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back to article You'll be on a list 3 hrs after you start downloading from pirates - study

File sharers who download torrents from services such as The Pirate Bay can expect to find their IP address logged by copyright enforcers within three hours, according to a new study by computer scientists. Researchers at the UK's University of Birmingham reached the finding at the end of a two-year study into how organisations …

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Anonymous Coward

What about Peerblock? Doesn't that help?

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Anonymous Coward

To an extent. But as these services use third party hosting it means they can easily expand into new I.P. ranges that peerblock type applications don't have blacklisted yet.

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Anonymous Coward

-Exactly. The Peer Block blacklist is as available to the enforcers as easily as it is to the torrent users. Therefore the enforcers will just use I.P ranges that aren't on the list.

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Anonymous Coward

Worried about being monitored from companies and entities within the ARIN block of addresses, just block them. They can change their IP's all they want, but with all ARIN, or APNIC, etc. blocked it won't matter.

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Anonymous Coward

VPN is the way to go

Good luck tracing people using a VPN...

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Linux

Is't illegal to perform any form of "Monitoring" of communications unless you control the network or are a law enforcement agency with a valid warrant?

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* Isn't It Illegal *

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No, it is not illegal. Well, not if you have the law-makers in your pocket. Although in all seriousness they could try and use the defence of "Committing a smaller crime to prevent a bigger one."

I for one await Canonical and Red Hat's enforcement officers kicking my door down for torrenting their wares mercilessly. I'll make them a nice cup of tea, we'll have a chat and maybe they'll give me a few free stickers. :)

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Linux

"No, it is not illegal. " -- How so?

"I for one await Canonical and Red Hat's enforcement officers kicking my door down for torrenting their wares mercilessly. I'll make them a nice cup of tea, we'll have a chat and maybe they'll give me a few free stickers. :)"

+1

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Anonymous Coward

"I'll make them a nice cup of tea, we'll have a chat and maybe they'll give me a few free stickers"

I grinned at that point, so civilised. Thanks <3

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Stop

Not illegal

It's not illegal because they are not monitoring YOUR connection. They are merely connecting to a swarm. If you log all the ip addresses your torrent client connects to is that illegal? Nope.

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Thumb Down

No

Gordon 'Stalin' Brown, 'Lord of the Sith' Mandelson and Jacquie (Jack boot) Smith passed the digitial economy bill 1 week before the last election at 11PM and that that allows it. Actually it requires it of ISP's.

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WTF?

Re: No

And now we have a home sec. who wants to tear up the human rights act.

Nice eh ?

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Linux

Count me in

+1

/The post is required, and must contain letters./

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"I for one await Canonical and Red Hat's enforcement officers kicking my door down for torrenting their wares mercilessly. I'll make them a nice cup of tea, we'll have a chat and maybe they'll give me a few free stickers. :)"

Article says they prioritize the most popular downloads. I fear that we do not live in a world where Red Hat isos are more popular than Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

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Joke

Re: harmony

I thought pretty much everything was more popular than the Ghost Rider films?

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Big Brother

Re: Count me in

@ Daniel Hall

If they denounce the Human Rights Act, you will indeed be counted.

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Re: Not illegal

And they are no committing a small crime to stop a larger one. They are committingf a couple of whoppers to stop... nope, they are just committing major crime.

If they can't work out who is actually doing what the best they can hope to do it drve a coach and horses over the two biggies and muddy up everything else; perhaps with the help of New Zealand's finest?

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BitTorrent = Honeytrap

Torrents have always looked to me like the exact thing you'd make to catch pirates. It makes every downloader into an uploader, and we know only uploaders have ever been prosecuted because the damages awarded for merely downloading would make the effort financially unworkable. Not saying BT *was* made as a honeytrap, but anyone who uses is ought to realise the risk they take, and I doubt many do realise.

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g e
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Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

Unless you set uploads to 0 bytes/sec of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

The article suggests the monitors don't download any file parts, so that wouldn't stop you being added to the blacklist/watchlist.

Of course if it got to court you could *claim* that you set uploads to 0 bytes/sec and ask them to provide proof of downloads, which they wouldn't have. This might severely curtain the damages and turn a Jammie Thomas into a Jammie Dodger.

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Unhappy

Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

Surely the whole point of their system is that they don't want to get you into court, they want to issue hundreds of thousands of demands for £750 that can allow you to avoid the huge cost and risk of going to court.

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Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

Not only that, but unless they actually download from you, all they've proved is that you have an interest in a particular torrent hash... In exactly the same way *their* system has expressed an interest in the torrent hash so it can join the swarm and collect IPs.

If you're a student doing an IT course, you have the possibility of claiming you were monitoring (exactly as they were) for a paper you are writing.

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Stop

Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

Nope, your IP address is still visible and you would be a leech into the bargain.

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Re: BitTorrent = Honeytrap

"and you would be a leech into the bargain."

You're expecting honour amongst thieves*?

*Incoming freetard pedantry in 3... 2...

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FAIL

Not everything is illegal on torrent sites and since you aren't logging the details of the file that I am actually downloading you don't have a leg to stand on, so good luck with that.

Of course those twats from FACT have a Pavlovian reaction whenever P2P is mentioned so I expect them to be putting out a completely ignorant statement anytime soon

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Ummm....AIUI it's not the download they do you for, it's the upload. I would see the indirect monitoring as a way of profiling, gauging levels and marking IPs etc for a stricter check. So if one of their monitors can download even a portion of "Princess Sparkle and the Kingdom of the Fairies", then they have you bang-to-[copy]rights.

Of course, if you are uploading a Uwe Boll movie you should be tried for crimes against cinema. ;-)

I'm not a total innocent, I did torrent some stuff when I first got the Internet. All of which I have now purchased on DVD or deleted. I no longer do it because my attitude changed rather quickly to simply not consuming. I also have friends in the creative industries and rather than drunkenly argue about god, we argue about copyright. but anyway...with Demonoid falling I am actually awaiting the letter in the post; I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is, or if there even is one.

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"Not everything is illegal on torrent sites and since you aren't logging the details of the file that I am actually downloading you don't have a leg to stand on, so good luck with that."

Well they can quite easily log the details of the file you're downloading. All they have to do is download the offending torrent, watch/listen/read to ensure it's not a fake, and then seed it until you've successfully downloaded the whole thing.

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Not everything is illegal on torrent sites and since you aren't logging the details of the file that I am actually downloading you don't have a leg to stand on.

******

The article doesn't say they aren't logging details of the file.

They are joining the swarm of clients associated with a particular torrent and making a note of every IP address which is part of that swarm, presumably they are targetting torrents which are already flagged in someway as likely to be infringing copyrights. For example, torrents which have the name of a recent movie release would be very high on the list of torrents to check.

They could also be downloading the torrent file as evidence seperately just to be sure what is actually being made available, they just aren't attempting to prove you are uploading parts of the torrent in the passive snooping mode and as such I doubt any legal proceeding would follow the passive mode evidence with the exception maybe of a boiler plate letter asking for money or bad things will happen.

I suspect that in passive mode they aren't looking for legal come back, it's more likely they are looking for stats about numbers of downloaders, locations, times etc which can be used for reports to government about how they are being bled dry by evil pirates, possibly looking for the really heavy users who can be targetted later with the active snooping mode.

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Anonymous Coward

portion of

Seriously, I have always wondered about this - if they can download a portion of "Princess sparkle..." then that proves you have a portion of it, not the whole file. Have you still infringed copyright? How small does the portion have to be before the answer is no? If all you can prove is that I have 512 bytes of "Princess sparkle..." (ie. less than 1 frame of a 90min movie) then is that still enough to prosecute?

And how reliable is btguard?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: portion of

Good question!

I was going to ask the same thing....

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Anonymous Coward

"They are joining the swarm of clients associated with a particular torrent and making a note of every IP address which is part of that swarm"

I thought TPBs trackers added fake IP addresses to the active peers list, making this kind of monitoring completely unreliable.

Unless the monitor actually connects to and downloads infringing data from an active IP address, then the 'evidence' they have proves nothing.

I don't use bittorrent anyway so it doesn't bother me either way :)

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Big Brother

Optional

You seem to be missing the point - downloading is a civil offence, uploading is a criminal offence.

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Pint

Entrapment

If any of these monitors is also seeding, then couldn't that be considered entrapment? as in "oh look lets make our copyright material available for free and see who takes the bait?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Optional

Just uploading itself is not a criminal offence, make money from it and then yes you'll be taken to court.. But the key thing in the UK is that if your not hurting their business, or doing it for a business, you wont be convicted of a crime here...

I buy 4-5 Blu-rays/DVD's a month, and I rip them to my HDD, technically it is copyright violation, but there is virtually no chance that even a civil court would award damages based on that. But I do have to say, I am much happier with Blu-Ray than I was with DVD, I've not seen any un-skippable 'Piracy is a Crime' trailers yet!

Hmm maybe someone should contact the ASA and get 'Piracy is a Crime' adverts banned, it is false advertising right?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just uploading itself is not a criminal offence, make money from it and then yes you'll

This meme could get you into serious legal trouble. It is completely false. All you have to do is diminish the marketing potential for the material and you can be taken to court. I received this advice from a lawyer who was paid to provide advice in a context other than streaming (showing material in public that was not otherwise available or for sale in our area, but was available commercially elsewhere).

Whether or not it is profitable for the rights holder to prosecute is a whole different issue, and many won't for small offenders because it is a money losing proposition. Of course occasionally they will pick out a random person so the can make an example of an offender.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just uploading itself is not a criminal offence, make money from it and then yes you'll

take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright,_Designs_and_Patents_Act_1988#Criminal_offences

So it sounds as if the AC was right, it's not a crime, but a civil matter for the courts to deal with.

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WTF?

Re: downloading is a civil offence, uploading is a criminal offence

Where the hell did you get that idea from?

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you can't commit

a crime (according to the MPAA/RIAA ONLY) to prove a crime. i think The Pirate Bay is actually used as a research/marketing engine. you cannot know if your movie/game is popular just by sale only. Plus, event when pIracy "hurt" you (crisys), if the product is good, i can bet that a lot of peoples who "used alternate distribution chnels" to get Crysis 1, have paid for Crysis 2 and even more poeples will pay for Cysis 3.

Piracy is actually more effective then a demo. As for movies.... well, if it's a flop, you glad your torrent it, if it's not, it;s worth the purchase of the Bluray. Beside, with 2 billions+ in profit, do you think piracy drive down the sale of Avatar?

If i say the Pirate Bay is controlled by the MPAA/RIAA, i whould not be far from the true. That is why it is still up. it is a extremly valuable marketing tool.

PS: a chunk of garble date is no prove of sharing. if they want to nail you for seeding, they need to get the whole thing from your IP.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just uploading itself is not a criminal offence, make money from it and then yes you'll

Criminal shmininal. That's hair splitting which ignores the point: You CAN be in SERIOUS legal trouble, even if it is "ONLY" civil.

The practical protection is that it costs too much to prosecute and too many people are doing it, not that you aren't making money from it.

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Linux

Re: you can't commit

"Beside, with 2 billions+ in profit, do you think piracy drive down the sale of Avatar?"

You are completely right. Also, how do they expect poor people in poor countries, living on a couple of dollars a day, to pay for expensive stuff like Blue Ray movies, games and high priced software. No matter how low they will bring the price, these users will never afford the goods and will look for ways to get them for free. Today they fight torrents, tomorrow will appear other methods and alternatives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: then seed it until you've successfully downloaded the whole thing

How long before they start their own torrents, monitor who downloads it then send them a letter.

I know it's been said to death, buts it beats me why the film/music industry just don't make their material legally and easier to download DRM free. DRM is useless to me, got osx/ios/linux/ms/android devices

We've got hundreds of kids dvds, the popular ones have had to be bought many times as they get scratched, bitten and snapped. There is simply not enough time in the day to rip the dvds so I've download a few to but on a usb drive to stream or plug in, kids love the physical packaging (as I used to love album covers and cd booklets) but I'm not prepared to pay the same price again for something in a drm ridden file. Netflix has helped a lot, by far the better for for my family’s tastes but still lacking a lot of content.

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Anonymous Coward

The perfect excuse:

"Honestly guv, I didn't download any of PrincessSparkle.avi, I only joined the swarm for the .nfo file!"

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Bronze badge

Re: Optional

> Just uploading itself is not a criminal offence, make money from it and then yes you'll be taken to court.. But the key thing in the UK is that if your not hurting their business, or doing it for a business, you wont be convicted of a crime here...

But you may not be convicted of a crime in the USA for it too neither. Not if they use Rendition Airlines on the return trip to pick up empties.

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Childcatcher

Presumably....

... this will be a boost for TOR...?

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Re: Presumably....

Maybe. But if enough TOR nodes are compromised, doesn't that make things traceable again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Presumably....

AIUI, the TOR network isn't really suitable for huge downloads like that, so it's considered bad form to do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Presumably....

How do TOR nodes get compromised ? Is there any evidence of this ? Is it 1984 ?

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Silver badge

Re: Presumably....

>How do TOR nodes get compromised ?

There have been a few Reg articles about just this (and other articles about fixing)... I can't remember titles off the top of my head, but you could try searching the Reg.

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Re: Presumably....

As somebody has already said torrenting large quantities of data through TOR is really not on. The network was created for other more worthy purposes - not that it's necessarily always used for those worthy purposes. However dragging gigabytes of data through it can really hamper those that rely on it to be able to communicate freely and without persecution from certain authorities.

In my experience it's unlikely that the speed you would get through the TOR network would be suitable for torrenting anyway.

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