back to article London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

City of London cops have ventured outside the M25 to cuff a suspect in Nottingham under the suspicion that he runs a "proxy server" which allows users to access 36 verboten sites. Officers from City Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) said they'd arrested and questioned a 20-year-old man suspected of running an " …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "Good to see that in a "raid", a private individual from the Federation Against Copyright ViolationTheft, a private for-profit organisation funded by large studios, was invited along for the ride."

    They probably took a video of the raid, which will find its way onto dodgy sites, be downloaded etc. and round and round you go..

  2. NogginTheNog

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "When you download that DVD you had no intention of buying anyway you have robbed them of the money you wouldn't have spent not buying the DVD."

    So if you weren't gonna pay for it then why the fuck watch it? Would you be impressed if your boss told you to turn up tomorrow but he/she had no intention of paying you anyway? You do realise that not everyone in the media industries are on million dollar incomes yeah..?

    Oh of course, you're a FREETARD == gimme gimme gimme gimme more more more!

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "You do realise that not everyone in the media industries are on million dollar incomes yeah..?"

    You do realise that these operations are put in place by the ones that are on million-dollar incomes, and they're NOT doing it for those who aren't ?

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: Jolly good work.

    You're right, I'll be heading down to the auto dealership and buy a car with out even test driving it...

    The biggest downloader I know actually buys shed loads of stuff (shit really) after previewing it from the download, but he may be the exception to the freetard rule. He likes to keep stuff in the box unopened when possible...

    So, is there problem using your back up copy as your primary, and keeping your primary in the box for added value?

    After isn't that what we all want in life? Added value?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "When you download that DVD you had no intention of buying anyway you have robbed them of the money you wouldn't have spent not buying the DVD."

    Very few people who download a pirate movie had the intention of buying it anyway, that is why they downloaded the pirate version. Only people who choose not to use pirate copies generally buy the movies they want to watch.

    If a store gives away free candy, I'm not going to go to the store next door to buy the candy.

    You may not like the law and you may not like having to pay for digital content, but if you think most people who pirate movies are actually people who usually contribute the most to the media industry then you're delusional.

    The copyright law (death + 70), the influence of the media moguls lobbyists, the heavy handed attitude to it etc are all way over the top in my opinion. However I still pay for an £8 per month music subscription, have a streaming video subscription and buy the odd DVD and have only pirated one movie in modern times and that was after I had already bought it online (awaiting delivery) and wanted to see it before watching the sequel later that day (it wan't available on any streaming service)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    So if you weren't gonna pay for it then why the fuck watch it?

    Offhand I came up with two non-Freetard reasons to download a title:

    1. Only a censored/expurgated/"edited for time" version is shown on TV but you want to watch the unadulterated version. (Unless you want to construe skipping the ads as theft.)

    2. The title in question is otherwise unavailable in the geographic area where you reside.

  7. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    I wonder just how much it costs to rent the City of London cops for a day?

    Do you pay in cash, booze and parties, or free trips to "seminars" some place warm?

    Do you need to be a member of a special club, or can anyone rent them?

  8. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "Very few people who download a pirate movie had the intention of buying it anyway,"

    I for one have bought a number of movies I wouldn't have otherwise done, after viewing downloads..

    The simple truth is that a good number of movies are crap and I'm bugger if I'm going to pay 15-20 squid on a new release to find that out. The crap ones get deleted and usually not-fully-watched.

  9. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    Apparently you have to be a member of the church of scientology.

  10. Fibbles

    Re: Jolly good work.

    The simple truth is that a good number of movies are crap and I'm bugger if I'm going to pay 15-20 squid on a new release to find that out. The crap ones get deleted and usually not-fully-watched.

    Well if they're crap, I guess that makes your actions acceptable then?

    The actions of pirates don't suddenly become morally justified just because the big corps going after people for copyright violations act like complete bellends.

  11. Captain DaFt

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "If a store gives away free candy, I'm not going to go to the store next door to buy the candy."

    To run with your metaphor (lame as it is):

    If a store gives away free candy that I like (and would pay for), and the other store out right refuses to sell me the candy, where do you think I'm going for my candy?

    <Looks at the two DVDs I bought before the producer of the series decided it'd make more money not releasing the DVDs except through exclusive deals not available in my area.>

  12. murri
    Big Brother

    Re: Jolly good work.

    Reminds me of the DirectTV and Canadians.

    When DirectTV was offered in the early 2000s in the US, some canadians were being accused of "pirating" the service using aftermarket decoders etc. But DirectTV did not offer canadians the service legally, so they (DirectTV) had to abandon their..quest

    The greed is endless....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    I was on the receiving end of a chain email sent by an acquaintance who joined the plod, which made fun of the fact that you get (potentially) a much lesser sentence by beating, raping, murdering someone, or a combination of all three, than by downloading a film from the net.

    The (tongue in cheek, obviously) recommendation was that next time you felt the urge to fire up BitTorrent you should go and brain someone instead.

    Not fucked up at all, eh?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    In lieu of the arguements of those pirating being more likely to buy, it's already been proven.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/06/piracy-film-music-study-pay-illegal-download-damage

  15. Mr Anonymous

    Re: Jolly good work.

    You forgot the following copyright exemptions:

    Non-commercial research and private study

    Text and data mining for non commercial research

    Criticism, review and reporting current events

    Teaching in educational establishments

    Helping visually impaired people

    Time shifting

    And of course that copyright is a civil offence, so I don't think it is illegal as breaking it is not a criminal offence. (I'm not a lawyer, if I was I'd be charging, but I believe this last line is correct. The exemptions are correct however, so please remeber when answering that phoney letter these scammers send out)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    >You do realise that not everyone in the media industries are on million dollar incomes yeah..?

    True. Perhap then they should try to make a living from performances, rather than digital duplication which requires no effort on their part and is easy for anyone to do.

    Meh, I'm grumpy and think we could do with a lot less "entertainment." Who knows, people might start talking to each other again.

  17. RobTub

    Re: Jolly good work.

    Those execs who sell their works on the internet totally ignore the fact that the internet is paid for by all those millions of subscribers and the execs are making use of the internet's reach without paying a single cent for them. For example, assuming 10,000 subscribers of 100Mbps broadband, and only 1,000 of these are customers of, say, Netflix. And if these 1,000 Netflix users routinely watch movies and make use of 90% of the available bandwidth of these 10,000 internet subscribers, is Netflix stealing bandwidth from the other 9,000 internet subscribers?

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    I used to download rips of HD-DVDs so I could watch the high definition version of a film. I copied it from the PC to the PS3 and watched it on there.

    I wanted to watch the film in HD, I had an HD player but they did not make discs for it. So I worked around it.

    Funny that my BluRay player could play rips of HD-DVDs so well.

  19. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work. AC reasons

    3. Format shifting

  20. Robert Baker
    FAIL

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "And of course that copyright is a civil offence, so I don't think it is illegal as breaking it is not a criminal offence."

    Oh please, not that nonsense again; am I the only poster on these forums who has heard of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or the DMCA? Copyright violation has been a crime in the UK since 1 January 1989, and in the US since sometime in 2000...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "In lieu of the arguements of those pirating being more likely to buy, it's already been proven.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/06/piracy-film-music-study-pay-illegal-download-damage"

    Errr, no it hasn't. Did you even read that link. It was just saying that *movie* downloaders were more likely to buy movies and watch films than *music* downloaders.

    This debate was about piracy of all and the story doesn't compare to non-piraters at all.

  22. Robert Baker

    Re: Jolly good work.

    And once again, the dumb downvotes begin. This is a variation of the "appeal to popularity" fallacy; voting against an unpleasant truth won't nullify it, it will just show that you're an idiot and a wishful-thinking one at that.

  23. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Re: Robert Baker to Jolly good work.

    I just downvoted your comment, Mr Baker, since it proved you to be the idiot you described, and I thought you might be lonely all by yourself. A fault, I suppose, but I chalk it up to the milk of human kindness, which runs thick (but hopefully not too thick !) in my veins.... ;-)

    Henri

  24. MrXavia

    Re: Jolly good work.

    `'Oh please, not that nonsense again; am I the only poster on these forums who has heard of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or the DMCA? Copyright violation has been a crime in the UK since 1 January 1989, and in the US since sometime in 2000..."

    I guess you have never read the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 then?

    Edit: and the DMCA is a US law, does not apply to UK

    Last time I read it,Copyright Infringement was a Civil offence,

    it is only criminal when it causes significant harm to the copyright holder (I can't be bothered to go find the act and copy the relevant passages right now)

    Edit: I looked it up, read here.. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/part/I/chapter/VI section 107 for what IS a criminal offence.

    But the law is good, it is set out to protect copyright holders from organised infringement, but also not criminalise minor infringers. I.E. bootleggers get nicked because they cause losses and make money, sharing with a few friends is less of a worry.

    The problem is that the internet has meant a single person can easily cause severe harm by sharing something to thousands of people for no effort..

    What I suspect in this case, will be the proxy is set up specifically to give access to these blocked sites, and either makes money via Advertising or charges for access...

    Although I still cannot figure out what crime he has committed...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    It was actually the The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 that amended it to a criminal offence.

    However this make it criminal if copyright is infringed in the course of business or "to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright" which could be argued by any well paid lawyer in include nearly all "pirating" copyright infringement..

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "two non-Freetard reasons to download a title"

    Sorry, but your reasons are irrelevant.

    The creators/owners/licensees may be bast**ds but the stuff is theirs. You may want it in a different format/locale/cut, to 'preview' it for quality before buying it or some such, but your desire does not grant you a right to other people's stuff.

    I don't care if you call it theft, violation or whatever, the point is that someone/thing else made it and/or licenses it and have the right to charge for it. If you don't agree to their terms, you don't get the item - regardless of any justification, reasonable or otherwise. It's called honesty. Integrity.

    It's a moral thing too. You may believe the providers are in the wrong, but so what? That shouldn't affect your own moral stance - unless your morality was a sham to start with, dropped at the first sign of inconvenience or entitlement.

  27. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    Would you be impressed if your boss told you to turn up tomorrow but he/she had no intention of paying you anyway?

    I work as a programmer. I expect to be paid by my employer to turn up to work, but I certainly don't expect to be paid every time one of our users runs a piece of code I've written.

    By all means, performers should be paid to perform, but people shouldn't have to pay the same price you would pay to go to a concert and see a performer live just to listen to a pre-recorded version of their performance.

    Also, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that many people download things to watch/listen to them and decide if they like it, before actually buying it, so increasing sales. I know I have certainly bought things that I otherwise would not have, after downloading them first.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "Oh of course, you're a FREETARD == gimme gimme gimme gimme more more more!"

    Oh Andrew, give it a break...

  29. mamsey

    Re: Jolly good work.

    I do hope the private individual in question is not suffering with some form of cancer, as we all nknow what happens when cancer sufferers go for ride-alongs. BrBa.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real police for a genuinely plutocratic region of London

    @ Nick Ryan; "This was the City of London cops. They're not "real" police, they are corporate police."

    I see what you're saying, but what's worrying is that they *are* a real police force and have the power to do things every other police force does.... the problem being that they're accountable to the Corporation of London- the council governing the "square mile" financial district, 21 of whose 25 electoral wards are controlled not by the people who live there, but by banks, corporations and other companies. (No, this is not a joke).

    There's no conflict of interest there, and it's *purely* coincidental that a police force nominally governing a tiny square-mile-sized area is involved in a massively disproportionately amount of corporate-favouring activism against claimed infringements of intellectual property.

    "Claimed" being the word, since the actions of the force against alleged pirates- such as trying to have their domains taken off them, or putting notices up on their websites- bypass the usual judicial processes and oversights. Not that this is surprising for a police force run for the benefit of the Corporation whose powers far exceed its location, which is able to operate without the democratic oversight required almost anywhere else in the UK.

    This is an incredibly interesting article covering the Corporation of London and the square mile:-

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/31/corporation-london-city-medieval

    (I really "like" this bit... "The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. In one respect at least the Corporation acts as the superior body: it imposes on the House of Commons a figure called the remembrancer: an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker's chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City's rights and privileges are protected.")

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "two non-Freetard reasons to download a title"

    If the movie was broadcast on TV, then the people who made it got paid, the people who broadcast it got paid, and I got to see it "for free."

    If I download an unadulterated version of that movie instead of watching the altered version on TV, the people who made it still got paid, the people who broadcast it still got paid, and I got to see it "for free" but somehow now it's immoral? Is morality not derived from intent? Was my intent to steal it or just watch the complete version of it?

    The idea that the altered version of the film is a distinct copyrighted work is in fact technically correct and the media companies certainly treat them this way. But the two versions of the movie are substantively similar enough that any average person would hold the opinion that they are NOT different works. An explicitly differing version like a "Director's Cut" wouldn't be covered by this TV argument as that work has been specifically altered with the intent of creating a distinct artistic variation of the original. Time-compression and/or censoring the swear words is merely a technical/format change.

    The geographic non-availablity argument's fix is to just sell it online and stop doing geolocation filtering. If I live somewhere that has local laws blocking the movie from being sold to me, let me worry about that part; it isn't the copyright holder's concern.

  32. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "Good to see that in a "raid", a private individual from the Federation Against Copyright ViolationTheft, a private for-profit organisation funded by large studios, was invited along for the ride."

    That in itself is completely illegal, unless he was the actual person who signed the complaint and there was a court order for the raid.

    If there WAS a court order, the COLP wouldn't need to use bulying tactics to force handover of a domain - and registrars wouldn't be telling them to take a hike.

  33. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "So if you weren't gonna pay for it then why the fuck watch it?"

    The principle of the matter. Lots of people are downloading things with no intent to actually watch them, simply because of the streisand effect (whack a mole, etc etc)

    This isn't exactly new. The french had a similar problem about 250 years ago: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110808/12354815439/if-even-death-penalty-wont-stop-infringement-perhaps-different-approach-is-needed.shtml

    Documented in "Mercantilism", which is a university textbook, in case anyone wants to dispute it actually happened..

  34. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    3: The title in question was last aired 30 years ago and the ONLY source is a torrent of a fairly naff VHS rip.

  35. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "I work as a programmer. I expect to be paid by my employer to turn up to work, but I certainly don't expect to be paid every time one of our users runs a piece of code I've written."

    Microsoft and Cisco do.

    Once upon a time they didn't, but times change.

  36. Anon5000

    Re: Jolly good work.

    "If a store gives away free candy, I'm not going to go to the store next door to buy the candy."

    I'm going to the store that gives me everything in one shop, with the least hassle.

    Exclusive licencing deals = missing content, problematic silverlight, other drm blocking hdmi ports, etc compared to one website which has all the content and it works on any device. Not a hard choice.

    I stopped buying media due to the way the media giants started getting heavy handed and interfering with the open internet. It's principle now. I'll happily run a not-for-profit proxy if this guy wins, which he should considering all the facts so far.

  37. Vic

    Re: Jolly good work.

    It was just saying that *movie* downloaders were more likely to buy movies and watch films than *music* downloaders.

    Try this one, then.

    Vic.

  38. Sarah Balfour

    Re: Jolly good work.

    Does anyone recall the BPI's 'Home Taping Is Killing Music!', campaign sometime in the 'early '80s…? It was the primary reason for DJs talking over the ends of tracks (except Peel, as I recall, who was vehemently anti the BPI).

    Now, I don't know much about the film industry but, as far as the music biz goes, many artists are PRO 'piracy', particularly in the US. Up until a couple of years ago, there was a band called Bomb The Music Industry!, founded by Jeff Rosenthal (a well-known figure in cult punk circles) which made ALL its recordings available for free download (though you could make a donation if you so desired). NOFX frontman, and owner of Fat Wreck Chords, 'Fat' Mike Burkett, has not only taken the RIAA to court several times (and won every time) over FWC's name being on the RIAA's books. Apparently, the RIAA simply re-added it, but altered the spelling (Fat Records, Phat Records, Fat Wreck Cords, etc.). Burkett has also been known to pay the fines of anyone convicted of 'illegally' downloading music belonging to any artist on FWC's roster.

    99% - if not 100% - of the time, 'anti-piracy' has fuck all to do wth protecting the artists - and everything to do with ensuring the suits get their big, fat cheques. Trent Reznor has been known to ENCOURAGE the downloading of anything he's been involved with, just to piss off the suits. I've several NIN LPs - and I've only ever paid for a couple. Graham Crabb once told me I could download PWEI's new one if I couldn't afford it.

    Most artists feel that anti-piracy legislation stifles them because it hands too much control over to the labels, and they lose control over what is THEIR intellectual property, after all…

  39. SolidSquid

    Re: Jolly good work.

    I think he's gotten confused, although apparently you have as well. Copyright for *commercial purposes* is a criminal act, but copyright for private use is not. Copyright infringement on a non-commercial scale is a civil tort, not a crime (civil and criminal law are two separate branches of the law).

    Illegal refers to something that breaks the law, regardless of what kind of law. A crime is a breach of criminal law, which is the jurisdiction of the police and CPS (or a private prosecution, although these are pretty rare). A civil tort is a breach of civil law which requires the injured party/parties bring it to court themselves

    Also, the long running ad campaign by FACT where they say "Breaking copyright is a crime" are flat out lying. They want copyright to be perceived as being equivalent to theft, which is a criminal offence, so that people are more willing to accept severe punishments for it. It's basically a propaganda campaign, since FACT are entirely funded and run by various large name publishers and film studios

  40. janimal

    “Internet users have sought ways to continue to access the sites by getting round the blocking put in place by the ISPs. One of the ways to do this is to use proxy servers. This operation is a major step in tackling those providing such services."

    I'm pretty sure copyright infringement is the number 1 crime on Joe public's mind.

    We'll all sleep safe in our beds tonight!

    PS. I didn't think operating a proxy server or just visiting a blocked site was a crime? When did they sneak that in?

  41. chris121254

    "I didn't think operating a proxy server or just visiting a blocked site was a crime"

    its not

  42. g e

    Ummmm

    Presumably he is not the subject of a court order that was served on him to not provide such access?

    Unless his name's SKY or Mr British Telecom, etc

  43. dotdavid

    Prediction for the next step

    “Internet users have sought ways to continue to access the sites by getting round the blocking put in place by the ISPs. One of the ways to do this is to use virtual private networks. This operation is a major step in tackling those providing such services."

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    I'm amazed they havent banned Usenet access. As you say, 'coming soon' no doubt.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    They tend to only go after things that make it crazy easy to download things - there was a lot of enforcement action when sickbeard started making waves, issuing takedown orders to corrupt files and attacking indexers - even automated indexers, which seem to me to be performing precisely the same function as google, but somehow what they do is illegal....

    All the content is still on usenet, but you need to know how and where to look, and what to look for.

  46. chris121254

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    they cant ban VPNs because they are standard business tools

  47. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    "they cant ban VPNs because they are standard business tools"

    You're making the mistake of thinking that 'they' are sensible.

  48. tom dial Silver badge

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    VPN Licensing?

  49. RoninRodent

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    I agree with this. Back before Kazaa and their ilk appeared a much bigger file sharing network existed on IRC and the catalogs I used to see there had several terabytes of music alone on individual file servers and this was in the days where you couldn't buy a 1TB drive. Warez sites migrated around with files split into spanned archives and mirrored on several (usually free) hosts to help avoid takedowns. You had to know where to look for content and IRC isn't easy for non-technical people either. File sharing was never mentioned by the authorities in those days. Those IRC chat-rooms places still exist today and yet I have not once heard any mention of IRC and file sharing over the years.

    Then Kazaa/Morpheus appeared which were easy enough to the technically clueless to use making illegal downloads a simple search and click affair for non-techies and boom - big news. Then the whack-a-mole started and each time they kill off a file sharing service another one pops up. By the time BitTorrent appears the younger generation (and many of the older generation) have basically stopped caring whether content is legal or not and it has gotten so big the authorities now can't stop it.

    Now they are trying even increasingly desperate, pointless and unfeasible ways to try and stop it. Even worse is they are poisoning legitimate content with DRM, unskippable ads, FBI warnings and geo-locking making the illegal content far more attractive than legal content seemingly without realising it is totally counter-productive. The authorities are doing far more to accelerate piracy than actual pirates which just goes to prove just how clueless contents providers are. Until legitimate services offer the same or superior content to the illegal ones as a reasonable price the problem won't go away and even then it will just reduce it some as there are always those that want something for free.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Prediction for the next step

    @RoninRodent

    "...seemingly without realising it is totally counter-productive. The authorities are doing far more to accelerate piracy...

    Just like the West is doing to (allegedly) stop terrorism. Funny that.

    Makes you think there's method behind the madness.

    There is - the bigger the perceived threat, the more liberties they can take away. Legally.

    For the children of course...

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