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Italy Is The Latest Country To Realize IP Address Alone Does Not ID File Sharers

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

For many years, people who understand these things have pointed out that an IP address alone does not accurately identify who was doing any sort of file sharing. In many cases, it doesn't even accurately identify who was paying for the connection being used. Yet, the industry has often relied on IP addresses as definitive proof of file sharing. Only recently have courts begun to recognize how that's a problem. So it's nice to see that an Italian court is now recognizing that IP addresses alone are not enough to identify a file sharer, and even throwing out cases that don't have much more in the way of evidence. Still, in most of the various cases, it's never really about getting people to court. The industry prefers to scare people with a letter implying it has the evidence, and then getting people to pay up a "settlement fee" before they can defend themselves, because that's a lot cheaper than going to court.


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  1.  
    icon
    Jake (profile), Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    Making a Statement?

    How can we make a statement back? It seems that as the users we are limited on what we can do to the entertainment industry to attempt to 'get them off our backs'! Any ideas how we can respond? or are they too stupid to listen?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    "The industry prefers to scare people with a letter implying it has the evidence, and then getting people to pay up a "settlement fee" before they can defend themselves, because that's a lot cheaper than going to court."

    I would bet you that most of the people settling are in fact guilty.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    even if thats the case, what the **AA is doing here is still extortion.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    It isn't extortion, itis how the legal system works. You get a choice, settle now for $x, or take your chance in court and risk a bigger number.

    I am confident most of the people settling know they couldn't win.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Presumed Innocent until proven guilty

    Isn't this the problem, I thought that courts were all about "Presumed innocent until proven guilty"? In other words "Justice", look it up in the dictionary. It's not like there are no prisoners on death row for crimes that they did not commit. And it is not that new technology like DNA is not already proving these gross errors.

    I have music on my computer that is all perfectly legal, with original copies purchased. And not intentionally made available to others on the internet and under normal circumstances should not be visible to them. But that is not to say that those with the spy software could not find it, but does that make it file sharing? Because "making available" is about half of what these cases are based on, not to mention the IP mis-identification thing.

     

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  6.  
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    Eric (profile), Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Isn't it interesting that the supporters of the big companies are always anonymous cowards?

     

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  7.  
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    Esahc (profile), Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    or have a family they need to support and can't afford to fight.

     

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  8.  
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    Big Al, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Really? I would hazard a guess that a lot of the people also weigh up the pros and cons and realise that, even if they are innocent, a lawsuit from the **AA will bankrupt them, even if they win (as we know, the corporations are somewhat tardy in settling costs awarded against them).
    In that case a 'settlement' is often the only affordable option.
    Until there is some sort of parity in the justice system, the civil law will always be in favour of those with deep pockets.

     

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  9.  
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    TPBer, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Nonsense

    I have downloaded countless terabytes of movies, music and software. Granted I do not upload or shared after the download is complete and also run encrypted clients with updated countermeasures in place and never download to drive C but an external. If I were to receive one of those stupid letters I would simply mail it back with the response "Go Fuck Yourselves, prove it." Far as I know Time Warner does not either care or their deep packet inspection software is too busy checking out others or even non-existent.

    It would be a big waste of their time. Too many people are actually scared by some letter from a big law firm on that ominous letterhead they use. They cannot collect if you do not have it, bottom line. Their biggest fear is that if more people realize this their letters would be rendered powerless.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 5:39pm

    Re:

    I would bet you that most of the people settling are in fact guilty.

    Is that kind of like "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out"?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sorry, are you an idiot? It's not about "taking your chances" and risking a "bigger number". It's about going broke just trying to pay your lawyers and the court fees, because THAT is how your legal system works: the guy with the money can afford the trial.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    RD, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    Yes

    "Isn't it interesting that the supporters of the big companies are always anonymous cowards?"

    Interesting, but hardly surprising. These people (scum, as I like to call them) do just as their corporate masters do: hide behind walls of FUD and lies.

     

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  13.  
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    DTS, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Again, this is not how the legal system works. What the RIAA does is intimidate people with their letters stating that they're already under litigation. Litigation only happens when a subpoena has been issued or when you're dragged to court, not before.

    Ergo, this amounts to little more than extortion, with some clever craft on the side.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Sos, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    IPv6

    So is it just a matter of time before the recording/movie industry starts to really push IPv6?

    That reminds me to get my patent out on my file sharing toaster.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Yes

    Ever notice that the people who support "FREE!" more often than not also admit to having tons of "infringing" content on their computers? I suspect you spend most of you life in mom's basement hoping like hell you don't get the knock on the door that tells you the postman just brought your lawsuit.

     

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  16.  
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    DougN (profile), Jun 16th, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Settling with **AA != guilty

    When you think about it, given how deep the pockets of the **AA are, and how empty those of the accused are, it is pretty much a given that they couldn't win. Yes, it may be how the legal system works, but it does not make it justice. And giving in to the threats of the **AA does not make one guilty, though they would like to tout that that is the case.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    CleverName, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: WH - is that you ?

    What do mean by "support FREE!"
    Free as in beer, or free as a bird ?

    What do you mean by "More often than not"
    How many nots are there ? Where are you getting your numbers ?

    And btw, the silly basement dwelling nerd story is really getting old. New material would be welcome.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 8:08pm

    Re:

    "I would bet you that most of the people settling are in fact guilty."

    Prove it.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 8:08pm

    Re:

    "I would bet you that most of the people settling are in fact guilty."

    So you think people are guilty until proven innocent?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Making a Statement?

    Read my post here, it starts with

    "Perhaps a good (unpatentable) idea for people who want to freely release their music"

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090616/0946355250.shtml

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Fsm, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Yes

    Hi Harold.

    If it wasn't for piracy, millions of people would have never seen or heard any of the billions of movies and songs that they downloaded. File trading has boosted the publicity of every single artist affected by it. No file sharing: no publicity.

    That is if you follow the inane logic of "downloaded file = lost sale" that Harold likes to point out.

    And I'm sorry you grew up so insecure about yourself that you had to pick on people living in their parents' basement. Maybe there is some underlying abuse from an alcoholic parent that is the cause of all of this. Look in the yellow pages - I'm sure there is a counseling hotline that you can call.

    Good luck Harold!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2009 @ 3:38am

    "That is if you follow the inane logic of "downloaded file = lost sale" that Harold likes to point out."

    I ain't harold, sorry - there is a harold signed up here though.

    However, to your point, I don't take that hard (and stupid) logic of download = lost sale. But I do take that enough downloads leads to some lost sales.

    "File trading has boosted the publicity of every single artist affected by it."

    Yes, and just like the example of Google asking for FREE stuff for Chrome, most people are smart enough to know that exposure isn't everything. If an artist never charges for their work but is well known all over the world. how exactly does that help him live?

    The logic at work here appears to be that there wasn't anywhere near enough publicity before, that people didn't know about any movies or any music, and they were ignorant. Giving it all away for free has someone made people suddenly aware that music exists. Oh yeah, and suddenly they have a bunch more money to buy expensive concert tickets. Yup, got it.

    Sheesh.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 17th, 2009 @ 6:35am

    Re: Making a Statement?

    Wanna make a statement, lets get together and start our own one stop shop for all things Music... promotion, distribution, etc. The people here have absolutely great ideas, lets use them...

    I'll build the technology....

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2009 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    Google asks for free work in exchange for exposure.

    Companies pay millions of dollars for the same exposure (through ad campaigns).

    Neither strategy has any immediate return. One has immediate loss. Care to explain why a business model that has been in use for decades doesn't actually work?


    And for your second point, say that only 1000 people have money to spend on concerts. Currently, you are only getting 10 of those people. By spreading your music around freely, now 50 of those people like your music enough to go to a concert. It's quite simple, really.

    And if you don't believe that actually works, take a look at the Anime and Manga industry in North America. It used to be a complete dead industry, minus the few Oscar worthy movies. Now? It's a booming market. How did this happen? The exact same method that you are ridiculing. Hundreds-of-thousands of people distributed and watched fan-made translations for FREE, creating the market that never even existed before.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    The Cenobyte, Jun 17th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    extortion if they don't actually sue

    The govt. should prosecute them for extortion for each and every case where they asked for a settlement, didn't get one and didn't sue. I bet that would fix the issue.

    Extortion is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2009 @ 10:06pm

    Re: extortion if they don't actually sue

    Extortion is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.

    Can't you read what you just wrote? Notice the "unlawfully" part of that. These settlement offers are lawful, thus not "extortion".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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