back to article ISPs CAN be ordered to police pirates by blocking sites, says ECJ

ISPs throughout the European Union's 28-member bloc can be slapped with injunctions to prevent their subscribers from accessing pirated content, Luxembourg's Court of Justice ruled today. The decision comes after advocate general Pedro Cruz Villalón opined in November that telcos could be ordered to effectively operate as …

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Facepalm

Next up.....

Postal services to be required to open and inspect all parcels in case they contain knock-off DVDs / CDs.

Yet again the law-makers demonstrate their singular lack of anything remotely like a clue......

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Re: Next up.....

It is less them not having a clue and more them agreeing to make sure big business gets all the benefits it can, and in the future ensure "good will" from those large companies.

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Re: Next up.....

While I am not supportive of the blocking of such websites, this is not like authorising the post office to open parcels to check for pirated DVDs. This is like informing a courier that they may no longer deliver parcels from a particular company because they are known to distribute pirated materials. (And just like that approach, the company involved could just change their address/name to get around the block)

For it to be like opening the parcels, they would have to be running DPI and blocking content in a dynamic way. Not to say they wont do that (or even that it isn't already being done) but that's not what is being discussed here.

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Re: Next up.....

While true. It would be great if it worked like that. Why not stop all those scam numbers on the phone?

Scam emails get clamped down on quite a bit. Perhaps a similar model for problematic data/traffic?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next up.....

> Not to say they wont do that (or even that it isn't already being done)

I have a Cisco RV220W firewall/router. With the previous version of the firmware it would run for weeks without any issues but if I started a torrent download then the router would crash if it received a malformed torrent packet on the WAN side. It wouldn't matter that the Ethernet, IP and UDP headers and checksums were correct, it only crashed if the payload torrent packet was malformed. The router/firewall should not be touching the packet payload, as it only needs the IP and UDP headers to perform its functions, which means malformed torrent packets should not be crashing it.

The latest version of the firmware does not have this problem.

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Re: Next up..... Increase in big business profit

Increase in big business profit, increase in big business tax avoidance, decrease in the amount of tax big business pays.

I'd have no problem with this if Microsoft, Google, Apple and their ilk actually paid a fair amount of tax. They don't so why should I subsidise them?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next up.....

CEO's of ISP's quaking in their boots over the threat of arrest, result, random censuring of the internet.

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Re: Next up.....

"It is less them not having a clue and more them agreeing to make sure big business gets all the benefits it can, and in the future ensure "good will" from those large companies."

Hanlon's Razor - Never attribute to being bought and paid for malice that which is adequately explained by being clueless fuckwits who wouldn't know their arse from a spanner stupidity.

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Re: Next up.....

This is like informing a courier that they may no longer deliver parcels from a particular company

No it isn't. This is like informing a turnpike operator that they may no longer permit drivers to use their road if they say they are going to collect parcels from somebody who is known to distribute pirated materials. There is no commercial relationship between the (alleged) pirate and the turnpike operator/ISP. And it just encourages people to lie about where they are really going "oh no, I am not going to those nasty pirates, I am just off to see my friends at VPN Inc".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next up.....

scam calls and texts generate money, why would they want to stop an income stream just because it annoys end users

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Anonymous Coward

@Eponymous Cowherd

Feel free to keep making the Postal Service analogy but this hasn't stood up in Court for over 10 years. The world has moved on but not, it seems, you.

A better analogy is a shopping mall where the owner can be instructed by the police to ban known troublemakers, provided due process is followed. Owning a shopping mall does not make it a Temporary Anonymous Zone (TAZ). The law still applies.

Nothing in this ruling obliges an ISP to pro-actively police the mall, search people's pockets (sniff packets) etc.

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Flame

Re: Next up.....

This.

Why do you think - despite the whining of the anti-porn brigade over "net filters", the default for access to adult service lines is ON ? Surely if they want consistency and really are "thinking of the children" then they would insist that all landlines have access to premium rate numbers disabled by default.

Mysteriously this hasn't happened.

Icon, because we had to pay £20 when our (then) 8 year old son quite innocently called an 0898 number on a game for "tips". Then we had to pay £1/month for the "privilege" of having premium rate calls barred.

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Re: Next up.....

>this is like informing a courier that they may no longer deliver parcels from a particular company because they are known to distribute pirated materials.

If they only deliver pirate materials or have occasionally delivered pirate materials?

The BBC have illegally used stock photos without accreditation and stripped the meta info - should BBC.co.uk be banned by all ISP's in Britain?

Microsoft, Sony, Apple etc have been caught using FOSS code in some products without proper distribution - do they all get banned?

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Re: Next up.....

The worlds most pointless and never to be won game of Whack-A-Mole continues....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next up.....

Just use Google's DNS servers and then you don't need to care....

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Court decides ISPs are piracy intermediates

Right, lock up all the ISPs, that should put a stop to it.

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Facepalm

Re: Court decides ISPs are piracy intermediates

Well, you also need some kind of computer and screen to access the internet, perhaps they should be legislating for hardware restrictions being built into these devices that can detect if you are downloading copyright material without permission.

The logic bomb needs to go off in some peoples' heads it seems.

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In other news...

...drivers of cabs and buses taken by criminals to/from an identified crime scene can now be prosecuted as accessories to any crime committed. Or, putting it differently, what the hell are these people smoking?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other news...

Nowhere in the article does it mention prosecution of the ISPs, simply that they can be instructed to block infringers. Just as taxi drivers can be reasonably expected not to take a booking from bank robbers looking for a getaway driver.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other news...

"Nowhere in the article does it mention prosecution of the ISPs, simply that they can be instructed to block infringers."

Instruction(n): "making known to a person what he is required to do; a direction, an order, a mandate (oral or written)."

An order or mandate implies compulsion. Compulsion in this context can be inferred to be prosecution.

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Re: In other news...

It would be more apt to say a cab firm would be told by a court not to pick anyone up from tescos because someone somewhere carried a suspected stolen something into there.

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Thumb Down

Re: In other news...

"Nowhere in the article does it mention prosecution of the ISPs, simply that they can be instructed to block infringers. Just as taxi drivers can be reasonably expected not to take a booking from bank robbers looking for a getaway driver.

Wrong analogy:

This is like saying taxi firms can be required to not pick up fares from areas where criminals might be operating.

"Hi, Is that ISP Taxis? Can you pick me up from outside of the bank?"

"Sorry sir, that bank was robbed a year ago."

"What about picking me up outside the park gates."

"Sorry sir, drug dealing and prostitution in that area."

"OK. OK. Can you pick me up from my home".

"Yes sir, where would you like to go".

"Can you take me to the cinema".

"Sorry sir, someone was mugged there last week. Can't take the risk that you might be another mugger".

"How about the pub"

"Fight last weekend"

"Zoo?"

"Someone dropped some litter."

".........."

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Thumb Up

Re: In other news...

I can see a new game along the lines of "Cheese Shop" developing.

("Cheese Shop" is a game for two players, celebrating the famous Monty Python "Cheese Shop" sketch. One player is the customer, the other the owner. The customer has to list as many different cheeses as he can, whilst the owner has to have a different excuse as to why they haven't got it. The game is lost when a player repeats a cheese, or excuse. Best played after a few bevvies).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other news...

Wrong again, Eponymous.

Repeating false statements and interpretations over and over again does not make them right. Change the record.

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FAIL

Re: In other news...

"Wrong again, Eponymous.

Repeating false statements and interpretations over and over again does not make them right. Change the record."

Seems most people disagree with you, Mr Anonymous Coward. How about you reveal yourself instead of sniping at your betters from behind your AC parapet?

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Re: In other news...

This is like saying taxi firms can be required to not pick up fares from areas where criminals might be operating.

"Cabbie, take me home [hic]"

"Naaah, mate. That's Saaf of the River. Not this time of night"

You're right, I could never see this happening.

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Ok, so...

First sites that host "protected content" (whatever the f**k that actually means), then I have no doubt that this will be extended to sites that do not agree with EU or government policy or opinion and such like?

This whole judgement is wrong on so many levels. But by that ruling I am assuming that the highways agency can now be held accountable for allowing criminals access to jewellery stores and banks yes?

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Read it carefully...

It does seem a bit silly, but the article suggests that they can only be required to block specific pirated content, NOT an entire website. Call-me-Dave please take note.

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@ Pen-y-gors - Re: Read it carefully...

I wonder how they will find this content. They'll probably be ordered to look for filenames like "Harry Potter Film pirated illegal version.mp4". Downloading the file "wfuiG42Va5.ptd" will be totally OK.

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Re: Read it carefully...

@ Pen-y-gors

That is how I read it also and even TPB has legal content on it, it would be fun to see the ISP's demand specific links to block on torrent sites rather than blanket blocks on sites, I doubt however this will ever happen though.

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Facepalm

Superb!

So next time some talentless scuzzwad steals my photos, butchers them and starts pushing them as their own I can have an entire site blocked? Sorry? You say it's only for big media corps and the little guys can go **** themselves? Oh right, big business as usual looking after itself!

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Anonymous Coward

I want to see CD/DVD sales figures before and after the ban to see these lost billions in sales suddenly re-appearing.

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FAIL

Politicians fail to understand rules for "Whack-A-Mole"

Film at eleven.

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Anonymous Coward

As an American, this puts me in the somewhat bizarre position of actually being thankful for the DMCA.

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Should apply to everything

By the logic of the court, an ISP (or other provider of services) should block access to/from anything that is illegal. Now, copyright is one such thing, but there are plenty of others as well. So, this judgement shouldn't really be about copyright at all, but the general concept of supplying services to known criminals. However, this case goes further in that it actually affects the supply of services to people who commit offences against CIVIL law (i.e. copyright), not just criminal law!! So, the ramifications are much, much wider.

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Big Brother

@Mad Mike

Yes, but what is "illegal" exactly. And more importantly, where ? Whilst laws on CP have become fairly aligned in the past decades, there are lots of other areas where laws vary wildly. The UK is a particularly dangerous place in that respect, since a lot of laws rely on "context"[1]. I hope you haven't got a road atlas of the UK, because it could be of use to a terrorist in certain cases.

It's axiomatic that "illegal" will become more widely defined as "stuff the state doesn't want you to know".

[1]For an excellent demonstration of how context affects things, in a humorous setting, may I respectfully suggest you watch "Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle" shown on 22/3/2014

(iPlayer link here, but obviously it won't last forever)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Mad Mike

"The UK is a particularly dangerous place in that respect"

How true that is. My wife and I used to play a childish game of 'who can draw the rudest picture' after a few drinks.

It turns out that I'm crap at drawing and some of the women depicted had small tits and no fanny hair.

Apparently I now have to turn myself in as a paedophile and sign up to the sex offenders register.

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Joke

Vote Farage

Let's get out of Europe and not have any more of Brussels telling us what to do.

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Re: Vote Farage

You lost as soon as you said "Vote Farage" .....

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And these powers do what exactly? Increasing the traffic for sites advertising proxies seems to be the only impact.

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Anonymous Coward

Only block illegal content...?

So the ISP cannot block the website and framework that, by itsel,f is not illegal, but must solely block the illegal contents within that framework?

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Re: Only block illegal content...?

"So the ISP cannot block the website and framework that, by itself is not illegal, but must solely block the illegal contents within that framework?"

Sounds perfectly reasonable: before suppressing content that is 'illegal' that content must be identified.

Only things missing are painful (punitive) sanctions for blocking content that is not illegal, seeking such a block without identifying the specific offending items (ie requesting an ISP block access to an entire IP range just because one item on one virtual server in that range has been shown at some point to be 'illegal'), and similar sanctions against anyone aiding / abetting such a "blanket" block or those seeking it.

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Good luck with that...

potters off to check Pirate Bay

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Re: Good luck with that...

Oops that site has been blocked. Never mind, google pirate proxy, couple of clicks and away we go again. (Other options are available. Results may vary)

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Anonymous Coward

As it should be

ISPs must do their part to stop piracy or they can chose a different business to be in. They certainly profit by allowing piracy so they have a part to play in reducing piracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As it should be

Don't forget that your logic needs to include those terrible people who make a profit from making the boats that are used by real pirates (not metaphorical ones, unless you're using a Newspeak dictionary)

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Trollface

Re: As it should be

Anonymous troll is obvious.

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pirated content

i'm allowed to make a copy of my dvd collection for backup purposes

i'm allowed to upload said copies to a server hosted on the internet for backup purposes

i'm allowed to download again, because its copies i made, of my dvd collection

it only becomes illegal copyright infringement when someone else downloads the data - so the ISP would need to know its me and not someone else downloading the file

if someone else backs up the same dvd using the same method, the same file would be uploaded to the same server. a clever host would hardlink this to the same inode to save space - how would i, or the ISP know if i was downloading my copy of 'Bob Goes Fishing', or someone elses?

if you blanket block all video files, how does the ISP 'allow' my home movie i created under GPL entitled 'My fishing Trip'?

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Re: pirated content

Actually, you aren't allowed to make a backup copy of your dvd collection.

The DMCA and the ECD (in Europe) explicitly outlaw the circumvention of any copy protection systems. You have to circumvent CSS to copy your DVD, and that is a criminal offence.

In the UK you are not even permitted to make a copy of unprotected media (like CDs), though that is a civil offence, not criminal. You can copy CDs for your own use in the US as "fair use".

Perversely, if you buy a knock-off DVD (without protection) then copying isn't criminal as that offence was committed by the original copier.

Copyright law is a huge not-fit-for-purpose mess, which is hugely biased towards big business to the detriment of the consumer.

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Re: pirated content

i stand corrected

so quick tip of the day - dont let your cherished offspring anywhere near the dvd player or it will get very expensive!

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