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Australian ISP Refuses to Play Copyright Babysitter
Walks Out of Latest Entertainment Industry Meetings
by Karl Bode 08:59AM Tuesday Dec 18 2012 Tipped by Kilroy See Profile
You might recall that iiNet, one of Australia's largest ISPs, was sued by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and the Australian arms of various movie studios for failing to stop the transfer of pirated content across their network. iiNet fought back and won; Company CEO Michael Malone at the time argued the industry's demands for iiNet to play traffic cop were unreasonable if not impossible, and that "these guys are asking us to be judge, jury and executioner."

iiNet's making headlines once again for balking at industry demands, this week walking out of discussions with the Australian government and the entertainment industry over continued efforts to make ISPs responsible for the pirated transfers occurring on their networks. iiNet continues to argue that ISPs should not be asked to play content nanny if the entertainment industry isn't willing to work on fixing their broken business models:
quote:
The conversation has failed to move on. The rights holders are still insisting ISP’s should perform work on their behalf instead of addressing what we have always said is the root cause of the infringements – the limited accessibility to desirable content and the discriminatory and high cost of content in Australia. Infringements are a symptom – access is the problem.
The move comes as most of the largest United States ISPs begin to employ new anti-piracy measures that range from walling off Internet access until users read entertainment industry "education" materials, to throttling of user connections. Conversations with several major ISPs have shown me that most of them are participating quite begrudgingly, though they're all participating all the same (and passing the costs on to you whether you pirate or not).

As we've noted in previous reports, the effort won't make much of a dent in piracy, given there's no end to the number of warnings a user can receive, and users will simply flock to Proxy and VPN services to hide their online habits from the prying eyes of ISPs.

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ds7

join:2012-11-07
Montpelier, VT

More power to them

Providing the files people want without onerous hassles and profiteering would reduce piracy to near-zero. But that's not the real goal of the US copyright cartel. What they really want is to have their little oligopoly totally control the whole audio/video entertainment industry worldwide.

To do that they have to shut down all means of exchanging information without their being able to monitor and restrict it. The fact that this would trample freedom of communication for whole societies is merely "collateral damage" on their view, and they couldn't care less.

The proper answer to this kind of insane demand is to point out that it's impossible for ISPs to police infringement. It is not possible, in practice, for an ISP to know who owns the rights in every file that anyone ever transmits or links to, and who has or lacks a licence to send or receive every file. The only possible proof of infringement is a court verdict. The ISPs therefore should tell the greedy control freaks to shove off until they have proved each infringement in court.
jc100

join:2002-04-10

Re: More power to them

You can't be free but you can compete if you make the content reasonably priced and portable. There's always a segment who will have never bought an item and use the content due to availability. However, there are many who want a legit license, but then realize the cost is a burden. Consider some software might cost several thousand dollars (Adobe, Maya, etc). In terms of movies, DMA frustrates users. Who in their right mind is going to spend the retail price or near retail only to have restrictions on where and how a film is played?

These trolls are simply aggravating their prospective clients and forcing them onto piracy. It's hard to feel sorry for the King that can never have enough gold.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL

Re: More power to them

I believe they are scaring the average Joe from pirating with this crap. The people that know what they're doing aren't who they are after.

DataRiker
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00000

Re: More power to them

said by bobjohnson:

I believe they are scaring the average Joe from pirating with this crap. The people that know what they're doing aren't who they are after.

For the US, I disagree. Average Joe here knows absolutely nothing about the RIAA/MPAA other than some faint memory of Napster, and knows even less of the ISP's policies in place to deal with them.

Other than a few on this site who express their dismay and horror at copy and paste, most people just don't care one way or the other.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Ridiculous...

Are UPS/Fedex/USPS asked to police illegal activities that use their service?

bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by rradina:

Are UPS/Fedex/USPS asked to police illegal activities that use their service?

Lol.. Yes they are actually. The blatantly obvious anyway.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Ridiculous...

So they x-ray packages to discover illegally scanned copies of books, thumb-drives that contain an illegal copy of an MP3 library or an illegal copy of a DVD that someone just mailed to a dozen friends?

bobjohnson
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join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL

Re: Ridiculous...

No, but they are obligated to report illegal shipments as you asked in your OP.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Ridiculous...

How do they determine "illegal" and how does that translate to what's being asked of ISPs?

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Re: Ridiculous...

said by rradina:

How do they determine "illegal" and how does that translate to what's being asked of ISPs?

If you try to ship a pound of cocaine and an AK chances are that their x-ray machines won't miss it. Not paying for things and sharing things against copyright laws is illegal. It's the same as possession of any digital medium that is illegal. If you share it on the internet, they will find it and then find you.
--

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Ridiculous...

You misunderstand me. I agree with it being illegal but you didn't answer how the mail system, UPS or Fedex determines what's illegal and how ISPs should likewise police what they "ship".

bobjohnson
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1 edit

Re: Ridiculous...

I understand what you are saying but the two things aren't on the same level though... If you ship whatever has been determined illegal by laws that are already in place against possession of said items (bombs, drugs, moonshine, certain guns, etc.) through any of these services and you put a return address on them, expect a visit from your local federales. If you are sending stolen and or otherwise illegal stuff over the internet and your leaving your ip address all over it... Well, that's where it gets sketchy. They are just making up the rules as they go on this issue. Obviously the ISP shouldn't ignore any legitimate request for information and most of them already have a copyright office but are not using them against their own customers. But if people weren't violating copyright law the trolls wouldn't be on the fishing expedition in the first place.
--

Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Re: Ridiculous...

I have a feeling you have never worked in the business.

UPS has no way to know what is in a package outside of what they are told. They do not randomly open boxes that are not crossing national boarders. If you ship an AK-47(the fully auto and clearly illegal variety) from PA to FL and its packed properly? UPS will never know. Even if the box did break I can tell you that nobody at the sort would know an illegal one from a legal semi-auto replica.
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bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by Kearnstd:

I have a feeling you have never worked in the business.

UPS has no way to know what is in a package outside of what they are told. They do not randomly open boxes that are not crossing national boarders. If you ship an AK-47(the fully auto and clearly illegal variety) from PA to FL and its packed properly? UPS will never know. Even if the box did break I can tell you that nobody at the sort would know an illegal one from a legal semi-auto replica.

No I haven't worked in the business. Likewise if you torrent Hurt Locker or whatever through a vpn on your neighbors wireless network or hide the crack well enough that the police don't find it when they pull you over...
They are finding people that in comparison are shipping a full-auto uzi not in a box with a sticker and postage on the side of it.
--

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Ridiculous...

Read Karl's news article again.

I'm not arguing that an ISP should not turn over whatever records it has when a judge asks for information to proceed with a case. The ISP in question is complying with that request. It has asked for more time to comply because it wants to notify the customers that their information will be released and that the data may be used against them in a legal matter. (Probably because some other law requires them to do so or they might be held liable for privacy issues.)

I'm also not arguing for piracy and I don't have a position on whether or not the entertainment industry's business model is broken. If folks steal something and they get caught, that's how the system is supposed to work.

My question is should the ISP be in the business of policing activity taking place over its infrastructure? I understand the USPS has a police force that investigates things like mail fraud and those who seek to disrupt the mail service with harmful acts. However, they also wouldn't detect an illegal DVD copy mailed through their system as well as many other illegal activities because they don't generally open packages to inspect them. Regardless, we shouldn't use the bankrupt USPS model as an example of anything. The mere fact that they have a forensics lab rather than relying on local/national authorities to help with those matters is likely one of the reasons they are bankrupt. Yes -- someone has to do it but why would the postal service have to duplicate labs in other law enforcement agencies?

The copyright trolls want a lot more from ISPs and I'm asking what we require this country's "physical shippers" to do when their services are associated with illegal activity. Further, if we ask the ISP to do more, is this a wise decision? Do we want an ISP acting on behalf of the entertainment industry and charging all of us for these costs? What's reasonable?

My position is I think it's ridiculous (see the title to this thread) to ask the ISP to self-police the suspected illegal activity that takes place on its network. If we regulate them and demand it, they will pass that cost on to us and IMO, it's no different than those "music CD blanks" that had some sort of built-in fee paid to the music industry to offset the fact that those blanks would be used for pirating music. Whether or not they were didn't matter.

Elsewhere on this site I've also said that current government ideas around forcing ISPs to keep every e-mail, text message, DHCP address and browsing history just in case authorities need the data is very dangerous. ISPs should have the capability to trace and record user activities when instructed to do so by the judicial branch of government. However, outside of what's necessary for billing, they shouldn't be tracking any of our personal activities without a judicial review that finds sufficient cause to consider us a suspect of a crime that could be aided by recording our on-line activity.

I know recording all of our activity all the time would really help put the bad guys away. Again, as I've said elsewhere on this site, it isn't the good that could be done with this data, it's the bad that could be done with this data. What's the old saying, better to let the guilty go free than imprison the innocent? I think it would be a sad day in America to have our government mine this data for "subversive" activity. In any nation, beneath the surface lurks McCarthyism. A treasure trove of data that contained every person's on-line activity would be irresistible to those ideas and we should just say no. I understand technology now makes this possible but just because technology enables something does not automatically make it good or wise.

bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

I can usually argue anything lol... Not this time. It should be treated as a wiretap on a landline or the like but there are fine lines in all of this as with everything else. As it may cost more for the ISP to police this themselves, it will also cost more for your local court systems to deal with a bunch of extra crap going through as well...

NormanS
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said by bobjohnson:

If you try to ship a pound of cocaine and an AK chances are that their x-ray machines won't miss it. Not paying for things and sharing things against copyright laws is illegal. It's the same as possession of any digital medium that is illegal. If you share it on the internet, they will find it and then find you.

Who are "they"? How will "they" find "it"? In terms of FedEx, UPS, USPS.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
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bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by NormanS:

said by bobjohnson:

If you try to ship a pound of cocaine and an AK chances are that their x-ray machines won't miss it. Not paying for things and sharing things against copyright laws is illegal. It's the same as possession of any digital medium that is illegal. If you share it on the internet, they will find it and then find you.

Who are "they"? How will "they" find "it"? In terms of FedEx, UPS, USPS.

USPS has the postal inspectors that do it all the time, the TSA finds suspect packages on UPS and FedEx planes... Drivers report them... Etc.
--


NormanS
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by bobjohnson:

said by NormanS:

said by bobjohnson:

If you try to ship a pound of cocaine and an AK chances are that their x-ray machines won't miss it. Not paying for things and sharing things against copyright laws is illegal. It's the same as possession of any digital medium that is illegal. If you share it on the internet, they will find it and then find you.

Who are "they"? How will "they" find "it"? In terms of FedEx, UPS, USPS.

USPS has the postal inspectors that do it all the time, the TSA finds suspect packages on UPS and FedEx planes... Drivers report them... Etc.

But TSA is not the carrier. The carriers, except for USPS, have no inspectors. And even the USPS inspectors are not allowed to open packages willy-nilly, without warrants.

WRT ISPs, let the copyright trolls take their evidence to court to get subpoenas; one case per IP address.
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Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
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bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by NormanS:

But TSA is not the carrier. The carriers, except for USPS, have no inspectors. And even the USPS inspectors are not allowed to open packages willy-nilly, without warrants.

WRT ISPs, let the copyright trolls take their evidence to court to get subpoenas; one case per IP address.

This I agree with... But as of now the trolls are finding who is sending the files and needing the ISPs to give them a physical address. This is all just a really big mess and as I mentioned in a reply above, the internet is a different animal than shipping physical things.
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NormanS
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by bobjohnson:

This I agree with... But as of now the trolls are finding who is sending the files and needing the ISPs to give them a physical address.

But they are going direct to the ISP for that information; they should be taking the information before a judge and filing a formal complaint in a court of law. One case per IP address.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
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bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

I wonder how many people would actually be charged with something if they actually did that.

NormanS
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Re: Ridiculous...

Why would it lead to charges? Criminal action has a stiff level of proof to meet. I would expect it to lead to civil complaints.

The point is, sanctions should not be imposed based on third party complaints without judicial overview.
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Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
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bobjohnson
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Re: Ridiculous...

said by NormanS:

Why would it lead to charges? Criminal action has a stiff level of proof to meet. I would expect it to lead to civil complaints.

The point is, sanctions should not be imposed based on third party complaints without judicial overview.

I'm thinking about states where the criminal justice system is a state income source like Florida, or some situations where the judicial system believes they would be doing good by attempting to prosecute people based on this stuff. It will happen.
--

patronanejo

join:2009-09-10
EC2R 8AH

4 edits

This contradicts the original point:
said by bobjohnson:

....This is all just a really big mess and as I mentioned in a reply above, the internet is a different animal than shipping physical things.

Actually, what rradina See Profile originally meant was that they are not at all different:
said by rradina:

So they x-ray packages to discover illegally scanned copies of books, thumb-drives that contain an illegal copy of an MP3 library or an illegal copy of a DVD that someone just mailed to a dozen friends?

Forcing an ISP to police ostensibly-illegal digital files transiting its network infrastructure is no more legitimate than holding FedEx or USPS responsible for allowing illegal digital files --in thumb drives or on DVDs--to be delivered across their infrastructures.

It's preposterous, it's invasive, and the scale of the undertaking is badly misjudged.

bobjohnson
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said by rradina:

So they x-ray packages to discover illegally scanned copies of books, thumb-drives that contain an illegal copy of an MP3 library or an illegal copy of a DVD that someone just mailed to a dozen friends?

Btw, who here wants to bet against the idea that if UPS could send you a letter saying that if you don't pay them $5k they will report you to the authorities for stealing things that they wouldn't do this just the same as the trolls do?
--


FFH
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said by rradina:

Are UPS/Fedex/USPS asked to police illegal activities that use their service?

Don't know about UPS or FedEx, but the USPS has own police force to enforce the law. They are called postal inspectors.
»postalinspectors.uspis.gov/about···ion.aspx
»postalinspectors.uspis.gov/aboutus/laws.aspx
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Kearnstd
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UPS and Fedex are not required to do that. If a box breaks open and a bunch of grenades fall out then yes they will notify authorities(in part because such a shipment is against their own regs). However stuff with in the US if the box is not broken they will not just open it to take a peek.

Naturally sometimes boxes did break open but even then the people at the building did not care about the contents.(after all when you have 7 doors unloading full bore into the sort and you have to get the delivery trucks out by 8:30am you aint going to care about a few boxes of fake DVDs.)
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Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
Not on movies etc files but the USPS has the power to open and inspect ANY piece of mail or package they carry so they can easily go the next step and actually review what is sent. FEDEX and UPS won't ship wine ands spirits and face massive fines and felony charges if they do. The United States is being crushed by Corporate interests. It's just a matter of time!

WellIDunno

@speakeasy.net
Eh, sorta. I think they might check for explosives and stuff, but not sure. As far as snooping in every package to check for copyrighted material, I doubt it.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Good

this isp policing of traffic is absurd, people will get around it via proxy's and vpn's.
Their will always be some ISP willing to tunnel your traffic through them for a fee that doesn't bow down to the media companies, even if you have to funnel it through another country.

The only way to stop that would be to make VPN's illegal, which they can't due to the fact that corporations need them.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Re: Good

Don't say can't be done because they will certainly go after VPN traffic after they have shut down conventional traffic. Make VPN's illegal EXCEPT for the BIG boys called corporations would be just up their alley and the asswipes in the FED will certainly do their part to make it happen.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

1 recommendation

Good For Them

ISPs are not cops. While the should help law enforcement when presented with proper warrants. I don't see any reason they should be expected to do somebody Else's job.
averagedude

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Re: Good For Them

said by buzz_4_20:

ISPs are not cops. While the should help law enforcement when presented with proper warrants. I don't see any reason they should be expected to do somebody Else's job.

^^2nd^^ well said and to the point.

REITOwner

@verizon.net

Take this analogy further

Let's take this analogy further.....
I am an investor/owner of several dozen strip malls and shopping centers. They have all kinds of stores in them from banks, hairdressers, convenience stores/bodegas, clothes stores, etc. One or a few of them are selling knock off clothes and merchandise along with all the legit stuff they sell. If we extend this analogy, I as the owner of the strip malls would be responsible for policing all my tenants to make sure that they are only selling legit stuff and no knockoffs.

How in heck would you expect me to do this? I would have to hire a team of investigators and experts who could spot fakes from the real stuff. Then we would have to continually check on the tenants. Who is going to bear the cost of this -- certainly not me, my tenants or their shoppers!

•••
houghe9

join:2008-02-27
Lexington Park, MD

copyright holder

if you own the copyright is it illeagal to download your own content? if it is legal to download your own property how is the isp expected to determine if it is the original owner downloading?
MrRuckus

join:2004-01-30
Portland, OR

Re: copyright holder

said by houghe9:

if you own the copyright is it illeagal to download your own content? if it is legal to download your own property how is the isp expected to determine if it is the original owner downloading?

Because you are guilty until proven innocent. Copyright laws need to be revamped. They need to be updated as times have changed and a digital age now exists that didnt when the laws were made.

The MPAA/RIAA are like little kids being left behind and throwing a fit. Its just sickening how much pull they actually have.