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back to article Canadian operator EasyDNS stands firm against London cops

EasyDNS was the just the first of a number of global DNS operators who will be invited by a London IP crime unit to make one of their customer's domains, er, disappear. But the Canadian operator is standing firm. The City Police's new Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is issuing takedown requests, not orders. It can ask …

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Anonymous Coward

Intellectual property crime is an serious offence that is costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

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Intellectual property distribution is an serious civil infringement that is costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

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Even if it does cost media companies millions (which it probably doesn't - I've ranted before about a pirated copy is not necessarily a lost sale if they wouldn't have bought it anyway) let's examine the tax behaviour of these big companies and see if they've used the Starbucks route of tax avoidance to steal millions from the UK tax coffers. - yet they still use the (taxpayers) paid for old bill to do their dirty work.

Nuff said.

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A little off topic, but what happened to the little 'rate this article' thing that used to be at the bottom of each story? Did certain authors complain about the ratings they were getting?

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Anonymous Coward

"what happened to the little 'rate this article' thing that used to be at the bottom of each story?"

I don't know about that, but I do remember that a week or three ago someone commented about the ridiculousness in 2009 of having to click thru to a separate page to upvote or downvote something.

It could just have been coincidence of course.

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Intellectual property law is a dangerous infringement of civil liberties that is costing the citizens of the UK more of their precious freedom each year.

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Intellectual property distribution is an serious civil infringement that is costing earning the UK economy legal industry hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

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Vic
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Devil

> Intellectual property distribution is a civil infringement

Not any more. Section 107 of the Act criminalises such distribution in a commercial context.

Shit piece of law which badly needs repealing. Like that's gonna happen :-(

Vic.

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Good for EasyDNS

I am a believer in law & order - who in their right mind wouldn't be?

However, I applaud the stand taken by EasyDNS in that when told by Mr Plod to bend over, their response is to remind the authorities that if the police wish to enforce the law, the police must abide by the law, and a company is only obliged to comply with a police request when that request is lawful, backed by the legal system and not because it is the whim or fancy - no matter how justifiable - of an individual officer or group.

Justice must itself be above suspicion, open and transparent - although I would concur with those who might say we're not quite there yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good for EasyDNS

if the police wish to enforce the law, the police must abide by the law

You're right, because it has another effect if due process is not followed: an innocent organisation may find itself cut off from UK sales on the say-so of an uncontrolled entity. That could get interesting, because that hits international trade agreements and all sorts of diplomatic and trading agreements stuff could start flying.

Tragic, it really is tragic.

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Seems the cops who chase the torrents have more budget than the cops who chase the online paedos

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yea funny that. If I gave the plod money in return for services I'd be arrested for bribery, but if organisations that are known for exhibiting cartel dare I say mafia-like behaviour do it - its ok.

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TYVM

Can I just take this opportunity to thank the London Police? Without them bringing this torrent site to my attention, I may not have found it. Thanks guys!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TYVM

I must say, there's no publicity like bad (free) publicity!

...

sorry, there's better: blocking those unspeakable pond-terrorists in the UK would ensure even better publicity.

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Angel

Re: TYVM

Nice one:- reminding Mr Plod of the law.

No, the other law:- "The Law of Unintended Consequences"..

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Alert

Few things..

1) It's a UK police force trying to get a Canadian company to do something - be interested to see what sort of "court order" would be effective for that

2) The redirect page would have said they were being "investigated", not found guilty of it. This is reason enough to make them disappear off the web?

3) Presumably the UK were trying to block it globally in this instance? Seems pretty far out of their juristiction...

What strange times we live in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Few things..

2) The redirect page would have said they were being "investigated", not found guilty of it. This is reason enough to make them disappear off the web?

I can see some "libel + material damages" cases heading this way if they persist in this sort of folly. As a matter of fact, given the heavy handed not not terrible well checked approach this stupidity is probably open to an engineered violation.

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Re: Few things..

It's a UK police force trying to get a Canadian company to do something about a company based in Singapore.

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Above the law?

Basically that police unit threaten people rather than follow established international procedures such as those for ICANN.

Perhaps they should learn how the internet works.

Oh, I notice they are endorsed by big business who are not squeaky clean.

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FACT talking bollocks

FACT are talking complete bollocks. When I got sued by the MPAA for DVDR-CORE I sent them a very thorough and long business plan to make the site "legit" and pay the industry their dues - they flat out refused - they have zero interest in allowing torrent sites to go legit.

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Re: FACT talking bollocks

What ever happened in the case?

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Re: FACT talking bollocks

Nothing, they lied to the judge in the US court saying I was living in the US - the judge passed a summary judgment on that basis for I think about 45k USD which could not be served (because I lived in the UK not the US).

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And so it begins...

...it started with the Yanks, and now, it's little lapdog (us) want to join in, being part of World Police inc.

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Re: And so it begins...

You can have Punch and Judy star in "Team Brittania: World Plods".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins...

America, fark yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfarking day, yeah! America, fark yeah! Freedom is the only way, yeah! Terrorists, your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to America, fark yeah! So lick my butt and suck on my balls! America, fark yeah! What you gonna do when we come for you now!

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Re: And so it begins...

So.... when is Team America 2: World Wide Web Police coming out?

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just out of curiosity

How is it that there is such a thing as "intellectual property crime" in the first place? Isn't this - by definition - more of an economic dispute between two parties and should hence be covered by civil law?

Sounds like the judicial systems are being abused to do the corporations' dirty work here.

Yeah, now's the time to get cynical and all, but, seriously, how have we let this happen?

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Re: just out of curiosity

> more of an economic dispute between two parties and should hence be covered by civil law?

That's exactly what it is.

Legally, the police have no role in this other than to keep the peace between the legal parties. It's all part of the greater plan to make copyright infringement a criminal act, which puts the onus on the "infringing party" rather than on the "offended party". This is a big deal because copyright exclusivity is something that you can assert against others by choice. By copying something, you are not automatically committing a crime. That's why it is a civil offense.

It's also why all the calls to YouTube to automatically remove "copyrighted material" is really to radically misunderstand the problem. Copyright holders regularly *do* put their material onto YouTube because *all* creative works are covered by copyright, even that home video you made. Sorting out what is legally there and what is not is not nearly as straightforward as some would have it.

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Re: just out of curiosity

...but, seriously, how have we let this happen?

By electing absolute IMBECILES as lawmakers; those IMBECILES being bought and paid for by their corporate masters.

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Putting aside the potential for damage that piracy can do - and the questionable figures often quoted by the media industry - the one thing Orlowski conveniently forgets is that this 'invitation' contained thinly veiled threats. The sort of threat you'd expect from a mobster when he enters the shops and starts talking about what a nice place it is and what a shame it would be if anything happened to it.

The potential for involving ICANN also shows that the lack of any legal requirement to comply is meaningless when the police are implying that they have other methods at their disposal to encourage or force compliance.

<shades of 'The Godfather'>It was an offer that the police thought EasyDNS couldn't refuse. They were wrong.

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Pirate

Dear PIPCU

May I invite you to fuck right off and leave censorship to those legally entrusted to do so?

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Just wait.....

The next part of the story will portray the 'Internet' as being beyond the law, as evidenced by the inability of UK police forces to enforce UK copyright laws (applicable only within the borders of the UK, just in case that wasn't obvious), and therefore DavCam will be canvassing for heavier web filtering to be mandated for UK based ISPs. Other topics to follow.

The intent is to make the internet as mundane as ITV3 or Channel 5.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just wait.....

Oi! What the hell is wrong with ITV3? Where else can I watch endless repeats of Poirot or Murder, She killed?

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Facepalm

Stolen IP eh?

I wonder if next time some scumbag decides to clone one of my photos as their own will the Plod leap into action demanding takedowns and such like? I mean my taxes to the HMRC pay their wages, unlike the modern day robber ( medja ) barons who are so wronged by these torrent sites, so surely I'm entitled to some service from Mr Plod when I'm wronged?

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Re: Stolen IP eh?

Yep, I've had whole columns off my website cloned on quite respectable rival websites without any police at all coming to help me out. Bu then, I am not making oodles of money off my site (well, none, actually -- it's free), so my IP doesn't matter.

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All this ever seems to do.........

.....is provide free advertising to the site in question

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False economics

costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year

Can someone explain to me how a US TV show that I might download from a torrent, watch and then delete costs the UK economy "hundreds of millions of pounds each year"?

I'm not going to buy the boxset of something I haven't seen and not all shows are shown in Europe and if they are they're sometimes many months behind.

If it wasn't available on a torrent, I just wouldn't watch it. So the money lost is zero.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False economics

"Can someone explain to me how a US TV show that I might download from a torrent, watch and then delete costs the UK economy "hundreds of millions of pounds each year"?"

Because you can't use a brain to extrapolate business options?

If demand in the UK, for a US TV show, showed enough demand then a UK broadcaster would license the show for redistribution (read: Breaking Bad). However, BitTorrent use reduces said demand from legitimate sources as the users gain access to the content regardless of legality - therefore, the potential UK broadcaster sees no demand, which loses that market share of potential viewers, which loses that market share of advertizing income due to the lack of commercials that were not run on the non-existent UK rebroadcast.

Simple.

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Re: False economics

I am afraid that the field of copyright math is extraordinarily complicated. We really do need to leave it to the experts. A single iPod full of pirated music has been shown to cause northwards of 8 billion dollars damage to the economy.

So please don't come along with and use your primary school times tables to conclude you have made no damage.

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Vic
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Joke

Re: False economics

Can someone explain to me how a US TV show that I might download from a torrent, watch and then delete costs the UK economy "hundreds of millions of pounds each year"?

Because, y'see, you're supposed to spend all your money with Amazon, who then return those hundreds of millions of pounds to the Treasury in taxes...

Easy, huh?

Vic.

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Re: False economics

What are you talking about?

The a major reason for many to get copies of shows via torrents, is because there are no way to see the show in a reasonable time frame or at a reasonable price. People don't want to wait, shouldn't wait, or need to wait for several months or more to see a show that aired on TV elsewhere in the world.

Like many have said for years. Make distribution of TV and movies simultaneous and quick at a reasonable price, globally and that will cut down on unwanted free content copying or like the industry likes to call it "piracy".

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Re: False economics

Which model iPod?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False economics

"A single iPod full of pirated music has been shown to cause northwards of 8 billion dollars damage to the economy."

I remember watching a video about that but can't remember where and don't know how to find it.

Is it downloadable anywhere? Preferably legally, but not too fussed.

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Holmes

Lets ask PIPCU

to shut down a well known search engine which profits from advertising whilst letting you look for torrents.

If they are struggling to find it they can always use Google.........

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm, new torrent site

Thanks Inspector Barnaby!

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I am confused by this story:

a) Canada is a member of the TRIPS agreement and has to have criminal procedures and penalties for copyright piracy on a commercial scale (Article 61 TRIPS). Why does the UK police then address a Canadian DNS provider and threatens to report them to ICANN? A complaint to the relevant prosecutorial counterpart in Canada appears to make more sense if they have a case.

b) The DNS provider does not seem to have free choice between the courses of action "fold, ignore, fight": If they infringe Canadian law, they have to fold. If they do not, I assume they are bound by their contracts and have to fight. "Ignore" would only be an option if they have no reason to fear any equivalent of contributory infringement sanctions or sanctions against aiding in the commission of copyright infringements.

c) What is the author's opinion? It is published under "Comment" but I seem to have missed the part where Mr. Orlowski expresses an opinion.

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"City of London Police has begun an initiative to target websites that attract visitors by providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content for criminal gain. These websites are able to operate and profit from advertising or other income on their sites without having licenses or paying the creators and owners of the films, TV programmes, music and publications. The initiative also seeks to protect consumers from malware and other harmful programs that may be downloaded unwittingly from sites that provide illegally offered content. "

So, apart form the 'criminal gain' part, shich I suspect is a rather nebulous term that would be hard to apply to even a torrent indexing site, how is this description different from what any search engine does (no names mentioned). The only way a torrent indexing site differs from a more general search engine is in its specificity, they don't offer any copyrighted material themselves, only the torrent files - it's a bit like prosecuting BT for publishing the phone number of someone conducting criminal activity over the phone, in their phone book. Only copyright infringement is of course a civil, not criminal matter.

Now, you have to understand that I am not suggesting that providing copies of other people's work pro gratis is morally or legally correct, but surely the people to go after are the ones who are ripping the copyrighted material and seeding the torrents, and surely this is down to the copyright owners, and their associations, especially since the ones making the most noise appear to be quite rich enough to be able to do this for themselves. I don't see why millions of pounds of our taxes should be paying for police to go chasing after civil matters like this, especially when it is so obviously out of their jurisdiction, and especially when the poilce are being expected to make cuts to their budgets to get us out of the mess that the Square Mile got us into in the first place.

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"and surely this is down to the copyright owners, and their associations, especially since the ones making the most noise appear to be quite rich enough to be able to do this for themselves. I don't see why millions of pounds of our taxes should be paying for police to go chasing after civil matters like this"

The copyright owners, and their associations find bribing politicians to make laws which are enforced with tax payers money offers the best return for their cash.

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Anonymous Coward

Private Police Force

PIPCU are nothing more than a private police force for the entertainment industry and should be disbanded !

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Megaphone

watch out

Watch out eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Discogs and Google. They're coming for you next... Since you enable people to obtain "pirated" (second hand) material.

Oh wait...

I've not bought a brand new DVD/CD for years. I always go 2nd hand on principle though even physical media is out for me these days. My physical storage space is too valuable for me to fill it with the tat that's churned out by these media cartels. Add in the time that it would take to consume their media then I'm at a huge net loss.

Anyone who decides to fund/approve activities like this, presumably diverting any tax money away from the priorities of ensuring a healthy and well-educated population, needs to be punched. Give me a refund.

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