back to article Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

Europe's highest court has ruled that notorious torrent search engine The Pirate Bay infringes copyright, opening the door for ISPs across the continent to be obliged to block access to it. The decision is just the latest in a seven-year legal battle between Dutch anti-piracy group Brein and ISPs Ziggo and XS4All, and provides …

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So, peer to peer networks are out. What about downloading files directly? Or is that also covered?

Just asking for a friend, obviously !!

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Joke

Libraries are next. The Dewey Decimal System tells people where to go to find copyrighted books which is exactly how The Pirate Bay works.

After that comes cops giving directions.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't shoot the messenger

As much as i hate freetard pirates, thry are essentially costing anyone who buys content legally money, as we subsidise their freetard ways.

However, this ruling basically means Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, WhatsApp are also guilty of terrorism, as they are also messengers

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't shoot the messenger

The cost is the maximum the market will bear.

Since the replication cost is zero, it doesn't matter if 1 or 10,000,000 copies are made, and in fact the market has no way of sensing how many unofficial copies exist.

Advertising is the big stealth tax elephant in the room.

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

Indeed. It's hard to see how this bit:

"by means of indexation of metadata relating to protected works and the provision of a search engine"

Wouldn't also apply to Google and Bing.

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

You obviously missed the nuance of the ruling. The fact that TPB themselves deliberately and methodically categorize, index and filter records according to context and content of the files being pointed to, knowing full well as to the legal status of said content, tipped them over the edge into the waters of illegality.

From what it seems had they done very little in that regard and simply presented the users with an uncurated list of files it found, then they'd have been fine.

So since Microsoft, Facebook, Google et all do not categorize other people's files, posts, messages etc., especially being aware of the legal or illegal status of said content, in the same way, that legal nuance doesn't apply. Any categorization of posts or files is performed by the poster or other users.

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

How would you categorise those that only download old content or material that is not otherwise available by any legal means?

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Angel

Re: Don't shoot the messenger

TPB themselves deliberately and methodically categorize, index and filter records

Oh really, they do? How many staff do TPB have doing this do you think? Oh, they don't have staff? The categorisation and flagging is done by users of the platform? Oh my!

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

Again the nuance is missed - it doesn't matter just HOW that is performed, just the fact it IS performed using their platform and that TPB not only allow it to happen but expect it to be performed knowing full well what the net result is.

Again if TPB had taken steps to block users from this then it looks possibly that they could have escaped this, but since it was the express purpose of the site, they were doomed in the eyes of the court.

They didn't just host links, they hosted curated links and the platform was set up that way.

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

I was under the impression that Facebook do remove posts that breach their guidelines, so wouldn't that make FB a curated service? Google have multiple products which are not treated the same, Gmail is not curated, but Youtube is.

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

Again missing the point. They actively removed infringing materiel. Pirate Bay don't

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Paris Hilton

Re: Don't shoot the messenger

So since Microsoft, Facebook, Google et all do not categorize other people's files, posts, messages etc., especially being aware of the legal or illegal status of said content, in the same way, that legal nuance doesn't apply.

Do you use a different Google than I do? They have been pioneers of automatic categorization and have also put their metaphorical backs into making others' work available online, regardless of their wishes. MS, FB and others are playing catch-up, but see the value in following suit. In fact, Google hosts plenty of copyrighted material (YouTube is still theirs, right?), so the comparison with TPB looks even worse in that light.

I am not apologizing for bad behavior on anyone's part by pointing out that all the cool kids do it, but there is more than a bit of hypocrisy at play here.

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Microsoft/Facebook/Google categorizing other people's files

They may not be "aware" of the legal or illegal status of those files, but since everything I write, every picture I take, etc. is copyright by me under US law (and that's probably true in most places) they can't claim not to know that most files or pictures they link to (and cache in many cases) are copyright material.

It is a slippery slope from criminalizing the Pirate Bay to deciding that Google and Bing are guilty as well. What's the difference between linking to someone's blog and Disney's latest film? The fact that Disney may lose a lot of revenue from piracy, while the person with the blog was never going to make any money from posting her thoughts about Kim K's outfit?

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Re: Don't shoot the messenger

Again the nuance is missed - it doesn't matter just HOW that is performed, just the fact it IS performed using their platform and that Google not only allow it to happen but expect it to be performed knowing full well what the net result is.

FTFY.

Try a search on Youtube. Say "2017 full movie". If you get any results back, well...

(Just tried it and yes, got a just-released movie that hasn't yet come out on DVD/BR in NZ, playing at 1080.

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Last month, I tried to purchase two albums (I live in the Netherlands). Amazon UK and DE wouldn't allow me to do so because I couldn't provide a payment method issued within their respective regions. iTunes is out because I run Linux. Spotify and other similar services had the albums, but only available as streaming; no option to permanent download them to play on my Kodi HTPC + MP3 player.

I ended up pirating the albums because I exhausted all the legal options I could find.

So how about this: I'll stop pirating stuff when the industry starts providing a legal alternative. Seems like a fair deal, yes?

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Simple translation: "I did my best to find excuses to pirate because I don't want to pay for it, after all".

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Anonymous Coward

I'll stop pirating when capitalist exploitation ceases to exist.

Corporate information commodities have zero intrinsic value, so that's the amount I'm willing to pay.

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Oh, just buy it on CD and rip it. It'll probably be cheaper too.

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I could be mistaken, but...

... isn't ripping your CDs 'illegal' again?

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OTOH I recently bought my first download albums this year because it's finally got easy enough to get them without some form crippling DRM but it could still be easier (some kind of plugin for Chrome is still required) and there aren't really enough stores: I don't really like my purchasing habits being tracked.

I pay my licence fee even though most of it gets spent on football that I never watch (here in Germany) and I only listen to the public news channels: music on the public channels is unfortunately predictably shit. If the legal market isn't serving demand correctly then the black market will.

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Re: I could be mistaken, but...

"... isn't ripping your CDs 'illegal' again?"

If you buy a new CD from amazon.co.uk then they usually offer a free rip to MP3 download for you as well. Not just the really big selling CDs either.

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Re: I could be mistaken, but...

He's in the Netherlands so I guess not.

I don't think even the copyright lobby in the UK would be stupid enough to test that law.

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OK, so it's impossible to buy albums in the Netherlands? Such a remote and undeveloped country?

1) Physical shops are all closed in the Netherlands? Here they still exist, if they have not an album but it's in catalog they'll order it

2) Amazon is the only way to buy albums online in the Netherlands?

3) Amazon DE and UK didn't accept his payment method, what he tried to use, bitcoins? I live in Italy and I have no issue to buy albums from Amazon UK.

All that smells made up, just to justify pirating. If you like to be a pirate say it, if you believe music costs too much and you don't want to pay say it, but, please, don't make up excuses you can't buy albums because no one sells you, poor lad...

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"Corporate information commodities have zero intrinsic value, so that's the amount I'm willing to pay."

OK, this is obviously bullshit. It has a value to you, however small, otherwise you would not spend the time and electricity cost downloading an unlawful copy of it. And not all goods that we normally think of are physical, for example a repairman doesn't sell you a physical good, or even more esoterically, an insurance policy, especially one you never claim on.

In general, most goods are worth more to people than their scrap value. I assume you won't pay more than about £150 for a car then?

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Ehm. CDs haven't had DRM since the mid 2000s.

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Anonymous Coward

Freetard here

So I'm a freetard. I regularly download TV shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Westworld etc, from torrents or usenet.

I also pay my TV license, full Sky subscription (allowing me access to all those shows), Spotify Premium for the household, TV license, the blank media tax....

I don't download stuff because I'm some cheap bastard, I download stuff because I used to be a cheap bastard, and I know how much better an experience it is to watch downloaded shows than broadcast shows. They start when I want, they don't have 2 minutes of annoying intro about Volvos, and I don't have to type in a PIN because there may be boobies.

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Re: Freetard here

Another missed nuance; when you subscribe to SKY or HBO or whomever, they're granted you a right to STREAM the content. That is under their control. When the license to stream said content expires, or if, as a business decision they choose to no longer stream it, then your rights to stream it stop.

When you purchase the DVDs & BluRays you're purchasing a license to watch that content for as long as you want, no matter what the status of the show is on the streaming platform. You have paid extra for that right (and for the physical media).

When you torrent it you have decided to have you cake and eat it as well.

BTW; don't paint me as some shill for the industry - I think DRM is an absolutely awful idea which does nothing whatsoever to stop the pirates, but does it stop folk from making a copy of a medium that, once damaged is invariably unwatchable (unlike a book for example which I can bend the spine, tear the cover, drop it in the bath and STILL read it). And I firmly believe we should, by law, be able to have backup copies. In addition I hate 'cloud' purchases because they can whip those away in the wink of an eye just because the studio (or other person) whims it.

I also think the industry as a whole is as corrupt as all get out and totally anti-consumer and that, if they began to show more compassion and stopped with this war against us, they'd see a lot more folk legally sourcing material.

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Re: I could be mistaken, but...

Not according to Cary Sherman of the RIAA. There is a video on YT with him saying that they don't give a damn about ripping for personal use. I think its this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhIWvyKd7C0

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Actually you are incorrect; I've come across the Amazon "Payment method in accessing country" issue myself. There was a link on a bands YouTube site to purchase their CD which I clicked and didn't notice that the link was for Amazon.com and not amazon.co.uk. It wouldn't let me purchase from the .com site using my UK CC's.

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Re: Freetard here

As far as I know the UK still allows you to record these programs and watch them at a later date, and/or archive them for as long as you like, so SKY cannot take the right to watch the programme away from you.

I used to use a DVD/Hard-drive PVR setup to transfer programmes from SKY onto DVD and then rip them to whatever format I wanted, long winded but served the purpose. Much easier to just press a button.

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To those suggestion I buy the albums on CD and rip them instead:

1. I don't own a CD drive and have no intention of buying one.

2. These two albums were videogame soundtracks; one of them isn't even available on CD. Availability of these albums is not exactly widespread.

3. It's 2017 and I think we should be done with physical media for music by now.

To those suggesting I'm making up excuses to justify piracy:

1. OK. Believe what you like. I couldn't care less what you think.

2. Amazon UK/DE has worked for me in the past. Now it doesn't.

3. Here's a copy of the follow up email from Amazon sent on 16th May explaining that it is not possible to buy digital music from Amazon in the Netherlands:

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

Hello Martin,

Thank you for the nice phone call!

I am sorry that Amazon Music is not available in the Netherlands.

Sadly one can only purchase Amazon Music from Amazon.de in Germany and Austria.

Buying music from Amazon is only available in Germany, Austria, Great-Britain, France, USA, Japan, Spain and Italy.

I have passed your suggestion, that Amazon Music should be available in the Netherlands, on to the appropriate department in our company for consideration.

We always want to know how our customers react to all aspects of shopping at Amazon.de as this helps us to continue to improve the selection and service we provide.

Thank you for writing to us with your proposal.

<snip>

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Anonymous Coward

Same Freetard here

when you subscribe to SKY or HBO or whomever, they're granted you a right to STREAM the content. [...]

When you purchase the DVDs & BluRays you're purchasing a license to watch that content for as long as you want [...]

When you torrent it you have decided to have you cake and eat it as well.

I agree that that is what is written in legalese, however it is inaccurate because when talking about a performance, experiencing the performance is possessing it forever.

I can accept this is not a legal argument :)

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Physical shops are all closed in the Netherlands? Here they still exist, if they have not an album but it's in catalog they'll order it

They're bloody hard to find in Germany, I can tell you that and they a lot of them don't stock everything you might like.

Regarding downloads: music's not quite as bad as films as, as long as you go with the big three (Apple, Amazon and Google) you can normally get the stuff you want (try getting Sleaford Mods on Sevenload…) but payment methods can be restricted (bank transfer is not supported by Google). Films can be a whole heap more difficult because Hollywood lurves to carve the world up into small bits in order to maximise revenues. This means there are lots of UK films and series than I cannot watch legally even if I do want to pay for them.

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That's different, purchasing from Amazon US when you are in the UK is not the same as purchasing from Amazon EU when you are in the EU (independent of which EU nation you are in).

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That's different, purchasing from Amazon US when you are in the UK is not the same as purchasing from Amazon EU when you are in the EU

Why? There are no laws stopping Amazon US selling to EU customers, just like there are no laws stopping Amazon UK selling to EU customers. Amazon decide that they do not want to deal with EU customers on their US site; they might equally decide that they do not want to deal with NL customers on their UK site. They don't even have to be consistent about it!

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Amazon US maybe - but was it a credit card issue, or was the seller unable or unwillingly to sell/ship to Europe? What circuit the card was? Never found issues using Visa or Mastercard.

Amazon US accepted cards: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customerdisplay.html?nodeId=201132730 (hey, even China UnionPay!)

In UK, looking at https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201895610 if you use Maestro cards need to be UK based. Just it looks outdated, weren't UK Switch/Maestro cards brought to the standard circuit, and Solo card retired?

Amazon Germany rules are here: https://www.amazon.de/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201709160

Amazon Netherlands: https://www.amazon.nl/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201547370

If you want to pay cash because you feat to be tracked, better to find a physical shop...

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You didn't specify you were trying to buy from Amazon Music - you just wrote "Amazon" and "albums".

Amazon Music is rolling out in several countries, but it's a quite recent service. To sell digital music you'll need agreements. Hope EU will soon enforce a single digital market as well.

BTW: actually, physical media are an excellent backup - and sound far better than MP3s. And if you don't want a CD player, it's an issue of yours, not of those who sell music.

But if you listen to games soundtracks, well, maybe you don't need the quality....

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"actually, physical media are an excellent backup - and sound far better than MP3s."
After a recent discussion here on El Reg I decided to test that assertion. It might be the case that when I was younger and the codecs were less well-developed that there was a difference. I could not detect any difference between SACD, CD, Flac, or 320 kbps MP3. And I'm talking active listening here, not as background.

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"Amazon US maybe - but was it a credit card issue, or was the seller unable or unwillingly to sell/ship to Europe? What circuit the card was? Never found issues using Visa or Mastercard."
I never have issues purchasing CDs, books, ebooks from Amazon with Mastercard. Just attempted to purchase Fat Freddy's Drop album as MP3 and was told I didn't have a suitable payment method. Same happens when I attempt to purchase software from Amazon.

"If you want to pay cash because you feat to be tracked, better to find a physical shop..."
You're fucking joking, right?

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Anonymous Coward

"But if you listen to games soundtracks, well, maybe you don't need the quality...."

Classic FM now feature a games music weekly programme - as well as including them in its regular programmes. The composers, arrangers, and musicians/choirs are regarded on a par with those of block-buster film scores.

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Anonymous Coward

Only human labour (including creative) has value. A CD pressing machine is a lump of labour, which transfers a sliver of value to each CD as it wears down. Digital copies require zero labour.

Adding any amount of capital to creative labour is not enough to create property. Were I such inclined, I'd have no issue with downloading Pirates of the Caribbean 5, even though it cost $350,000,000 to make. And unfortunately I've already paid since the film industry is subsidized.

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Re: Freetard here

"I used to use a DVD/Hard-drive PVR setup to transfer programmes from SKY onto DVD and then rip them to whatever format I wanted, long winded but served the purpose. Much easier to just press a button."

Virginmedia boxes allow you to copy programmes off them too, but not through the HDMI output so only stuff downscaled to SD. I can record and watch HD only if I keep the recordings on their rather small internal disks.

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"2. Amazon UK/DE has worked for me in the past. Now it doesn't."

it's probably related to the new rules on VAT and where it's payable when distance purchasing across borders. Borders? I hear you ask, isn't the EU supposed to be a "common market" with free trade? Apparently only under the right circumstances, especially where digital content and IP rights holders are involved.

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Boffin

You didn't specify you were trying to buy from Amazon Music - you just wrote "Amazon" and "albums".

But amazon.all are a pirate company! They provide pirated CD's and DVD's!

Just had a look at the license on a copy of "From Dusk Till Dawn", and has the usual stuff on it including "unathorized...lending, hiring, ...re-sale"

A great many (IME, in NZ) DVD's and CD's have a prohibition on selling or giving away, and I'm quite sure this exists around the rest of the world. Yet Amazon, Discoggs, and many others sell 2nd hand material despite it clearly being against the "license" to do so. The copyright holders said "you cannot" yet Amazon does.

So buying from them is piracy (if you're buying 2nd hand).

Just as another note, all of the 15 or so DVD's I checked in the large collection a friend of mine has (at least 200), all of which were store-brought and most of which purchased in large chain stores (eg The Warehouse or certain supermarkets), were not available for sale outside of Australia. Many of others in his collection have a ratings sticker actually covering the license text, rendering the license unreadable without removing the sticker (which I believe would be technically illegal in its own right, and probably would not come off cleanly). Even though said DVD's were brought honestly by someone who was building up a collection, a large number of them were purchased illegally as they cannot be sold outside Oz, and yet were.

And that's the way for most other CD's and DVD's. We can only buy them when other people sell them outside the licensed area. NZ is too small normally for anyone to worry about it. Of course, if the media companies would just sell DVD's and CD's to those who want them, my friend wouldn't have purchased a very large collection of pirated DVD's. Despite that the makers got their rightful money.

As to CD's "sounding better" than MP3s, that's simply rubbish. If you record the MP3 at a high enough quality the sound is indistinguishable from CD's. And in some circumstances 96k is plenty high enough (eg if your car is noisy or you have a rather crap sound system). Most people don't care at 128, many won't notice at 160 (especially given the crap speakers/earbuds etc they listen on - when they think putting their tinny phone speaker on a cardboard box makes it sound "good" you can probably get away with recording the track at 5k, why bother with higher?), few would notice above 192k, even those of us with better than average hearing for a 40yo.

(PG also covered it quite well)

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@ kiwi

"Just had a look at the license on a copy of "From Dusk Till Dawn", and has the usual stuff on it including "unathorized...lending, hiring, ...re-sale""
Just checked some of my DVDs and all they say is "Licensed for Home Viewing Only. May not be duplicated." Where are these extra words printed?

Some years ago I purchased a computer game for The Gitling from Harvey Norman. It wouldn't install so I took it back. The salesdroid peeled the price sticker back to reveal the words "For Sale in North America and Canada Only".

"All you have to do is change your regional settings."

"That's going to fuck Excel and Word then! Why are you selling greyware instead of legit software?"

"We only sell greyware! Our customers prefer it because it's cheaper."

Last time I ever shopped there.

BTW More than happy to consider you Kiwis as honorary Australian citizens. After all, there's more of you over here than there ;-)

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FAIL

And why did you believe you have the right to buy this music? Isn't it possible that for commercial reasons, it's not available on your country.?

Why therefore do you then feel you did enough to warrant strealing it?

I mean if its raining and I can't find an empty hotel room for the night, is it OK to break into someone's house, so I don't get wet????

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So freetards will change their DNS and life will carry on

I'm wondering how long it will be before an ISP gets taken to court because it allows customers to set their own DNS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So freetards will change their DNS and life will carry on

Unless they use the technology employed in Egypt and elsewhre, developed in western Europe, no doubt.

They'll inspect plain HTTP headers and block HTTPS request based on the TLS server name requested by the browser.

Changing the DNS server doesn't help you there.

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Re: So freetards will change their DNS and life will carry on

@AC: That just ends up as whackamole

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Anonymous Coward

Hi Andrew

Andrew Orlowski frantically downvoting pirate posts.

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