Mininova Told To Remove Infringing Material

from the good-thing-there's-none-on-the-site? dept

Earlier this year, we noted that torrent search engine Mininova was being sued, with Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN asking the court to force Mininova to block certain content. It's difficult to see how or why this should be Mininova's responsibility. As a search engine, it has no way of knowing which content is authorized and which is infringing. Yet, a court has sided with BREIN and told Mininova it needs to remove all infringing torrents from its site. The court is giving the site 3 months to implement a filter system, or face a fine of 1,000 euros per infringing torrent. Of course, Mininova already takes down torrents when alerted to the fact that they're infringing. Demanding that the company pre-determine which torrents are considered "infringing" doesn't make much sense (especially since the torrents themselves are not the "infringing" content). This seems to be yet another ruling with a court finding that assisting with potential copyright infringement somehow needs to be stopped.


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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Crystal Ball

    There are plenty of psychic hotlines out there; perhaps the EU court could suggest an inexpensive and reliable one to mininova?

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    "Mininova Told To Remove Infringing Material"
    "especially since the torrents themselves are not the "infringing" content"

    So if torrents are not infringing material, exactly what material is Mininova supposed to remove?!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      The torrent listings "point" to where one can find such material and download same. One can quite easily construct a compelling legal argument that by directing persons to the locations for downloading such material the torrent sites are engaging in a contributory manner to the unlawful downloading and uploading of the material.

      Yes, generic search engines can find torrents as well, but one should not ignore the fact that the torrent sites are in many, if not most, cases well aware they are facilitating almost exclusively the infringement by others of copyrighted works, and at the same time are being renumerated for doing so.

       

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re:

        From what pool is "many" or "most" taken from?

        Major torrent searches? All torrent searches? Did you do an analysis or did that come out of the @$$?

        I bet many, if not most, torrent searches are unknown of and you thus can't generalize like an @$$. Furthermore, I bet many, if not most, aren't used for copyrighted content.

        Furthermore, if law says A you cannot say A is performed by said group when B is performed leading to A. That's like saying a Police Officer shoudl be sent to jail for sending someone to jail because that someone broken out of jail and the Police Officer should have known that would have happened beforehand. Before we'd know it there'd be no Police officers - only happy lawyers about to become unhappy.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          TPB top 100 files on any given day are 99.9999999999% all the time stolen / pirated / infringing material.

          It's a pretty good sampling of what the public is actively downloading at any given time.

           

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            Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then why are the lawyers going after the search engines when they should be suing the public who are performing the copyright infringement? Something is off. Something is seriously off here in America.

             

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              minijedimaster (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Something is seriously off here in America.

              Apparently it's not just America as in this case, The Pirate Bay case and to the point the majority of stories like this, they're all other countries.

              TPB top 100 files on any given day are 99.9999999999% all the time stolen / pirated / infringing material.

              It's a pretty good sampling of what the public is actively downloading at any given time.

              So when "99.9999999999%" of the people who share data over the internet are "infringing" on a copyright, what needs to change? The people or the law?

               

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                Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Jail the people! Jail the people!

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The rich and the powerful corporations impose their will on the opposing will of the masses. But the person who posted at Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:32pm is fine with that, it's the will of the rich and the powerful that matters even if it comes at the expense of society at large. It's very sad and I wish there is more that could be done about it.

                (well, there is in the case of copyright. Refuse to pay for anything under copyright unless the material explicitly releases itself to the public domain, ie: under some creative commons license, in a reasonable period of time. If everyone does this then corporations would have no choice but to comply. This should include things like music CD's or anything copyright. Unfortunately I don't like the idea of applying this to educational books that people learn from, we shouldn't boycott our own education just because of faulty copyright. In those situations we really need to compel the government to do something).

                 

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      Bertol, Aug 31st, 2009 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      They have to remove torrents files which are redirecting consumers to copyright protected files.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    TPB case has shown that torrent files are part of the process of infringing, the keys to the castle as it were. Without a torrent file, nobody would be able to get the parts.

    It doesn't matter how much you try to distribute the concept, in the end, the idea is to actively infringe of copyright.

    Mininova can very easily filter out stuff, by manually reviewing the content of every torrent posted. Sucks, but it would work.

     

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      Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

      Re:

      Meh.

      Google should start in the torrent market. Make tons of $$ through advertising and hosting and provide an API to others for filtering content like they do through YouTube. I doubt anyone would touch them with success.

       

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      It doesn't matter how much you try to distribute the concept, in the end, the idea is to actively infringe of copyright.

      *sigh*

      You poor, poor fool. Everything is automatically copyrighted upon creation. If I draw a picture of a horse having sex with you, it's copyrighted. Futhermore, if I wrote a little song about a horse having sex with you, and I put it on Mininova, it would be copyrighted but not infringing. If, say, Radiohead, puts their music on Mininova, it's copyrighted but not infringing. If Radiohead says I can post their music on Mininova, it's copyrighted, but not infringing.

      Tell me, O Enlightened One, how are they supposed to tell an authorized copyrighted work from an unauthorized one?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Joe, besides the fact that you are being a horse's patout about this...


        "how are they supposed to tell an authorized copyrighted work from an unauthorized one?"

        It is so simple, it is beyond understanding why this becomes an issue: Why is putting the torrent up? Is the torrent for a movie being put up by the studio, or is being put up by "12yearoldkidinbasement@hotmail.com"?

        How hard is it? If the REAL owner wants the thing to be up, they will put it up.

        So little of what is on torrent sites is non-infringining that it is way easier to assume it all infringes, and work backwards. So your art or your song, well, you post it, you are the author, and you give mininova the right to distribute it for you. End problem.

        It doesn't take a brain to figure out that the ISO of photoshop CS4 with a keygen isn't exactly up there with the permission of the owners.

        The legal stuff is such a small, small amount of the work, that it isn't hard to figure out. Heck, start a torrent clearing house that secures the documents required to prove that a given torrent is being shared legally. Only allow torrents that come through the clearing house to be used. End problem.

        As you said, "Everything is automatically copyrighted upon creation." - it is also automatic that rights to distribute are NOT granted. How hard is that to understand?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So your strategy to implement this verdict is to...

          1) Create a database of all known licensed authors, musicians, artists, production companies, record labels, musicians...

          2) Cross reference #1 database with list of every licensed work in existence.

          3) Manually search through everything else to make sure that the name matches the contents, and that some guy with a couple of brain cells didn't think to name his infringing torrent as something that wasn't obvious.


          It would be interesting to see what you would do if you were running a Search Engine. Pitch your theorycraft to Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. and you'd be laughed out of the state.

           

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            minijedimaster (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You could have just said he obviously is a complete moron, but I like your version better.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You keep thinking "big", when the answer is small. Filtering on just the names of things is a good start, hack, keygen, Adobe, etc would be a good start.


            To be fair, you could do the reverse:

            1) Create a database of permitted, acceptable torrents. Make it easy for the copyright / work owner to register their official torrent file

            2) Cross reference 1. If the torrent isn't on there, don't list it.

            3) Have a nice day.

            "It would be interesting to see what you would do if you were running a Search Engine. Pitch your theorycraft to Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. and you'd be laughed out of the state."

            Those search engines index what is on a site, they don't specifically index torrent files. Remove the offending torrents from the net, and the only torrent files you will find on Google et al would be legal ones.

            Simple answers sometimes aren't understood even by simple people. What's your excuse?

             

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              Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              " Remove the offending torrents from the net "

              Please do profide the technical know how this is possible. I'm pretty sure you've already got the simple solution. It takes 6 words to describe therefore it must be as easy to describe.

              Oh yea, must be "censor" (complex solution) or "shut down the internet" (simple solution - just turn off the electric - another simple solution implementable worldwide by going out caveman-style).

               

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              Cyanid Pontifex (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 9:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Are you familiar with a lot of modern internet jargon? It started out as a way on usenet for avoiding the very censorship system you described. People couldn't post things about hacks, so they posted the about haxx0rs; they couldn't post Software became warez. People eventually got to the point where they had to use numbers to substitute in for letters, (thus 1337 was born). This system has been tried before, and it DOES NOT WORK. You cannot censor the flow of the internet, for information will simply find the path of least resistance around the blockage and resume its former course.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 11:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1) Manually check everyone trying to register a file...break all privacy laws to check identities...commence wild-goose chases for people trying to upload files that have no copyright whatsoever...

              2.1) Still waiting for #1 to completely.

              2.2) Manually download every file to make sure the uploaded torrent actually points to the files that says are there.

              3) Haven't had a nice day in months because of #1 and #2.

              "Those search engines index what is on a site, they don't specifically index torrent files. Remove the offending torrents from the net, and the only torrent files you will find on Google et al would be legal ones.

              Simple answers sometimes aren't understood even by simple people. What's your excuse?"

              Search engines only exist because they run on a "index first, ask questions later" system, meaning that every single copyright infringing page will be indexed, just like Mininova indexes every torrent first. If you were running Google, you would've died along with all the other dot com bubbles.

               

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          CastorTroy-Libertarian, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 5:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, Assume all are guilty and have them prove that they are innocences... yea that worked for the Soviets and the Nazis...
          FFS, Willy S. put it best, "first kill all the lawyers"..

           

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      Lucretious, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

      Re:

      TPB case has shown that torrent files are part of the process of infringing

      decided by a judge who, it was later found, to have been connected with "the industry" at one point.

      I can find PLENTY of copyright infringing material on Google (or any other search engine), should they too be taken to court?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re:

        "decided by a judge who, it was later found, to have been connected with "the industry" at one point."

        Nope, sorry wrong. You fail. Link or retract.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          http://techdirt.com/articles/20090625/0949185362.shtml

          Judge was connected to the industry, but appeal court defended it by saying he was "educating himself".

          Connection confirmed, bias claim denied.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, not connected to "the industry" - only connected to an interest group that was looking at strengthening copyright laws.

            It's like saying I go to a boxing gym to work out, so I am the world champion. You are missing a couple of steps in the process.

            Fail Whale.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The Swedish appeals court charged with looking into whether or not the judge in the original trial against The Pirate Bay was biased, has said they found no bias (for real, this time) with the judge, despite his belonging to two groups that have pushed for stronger copyright laws -- and the fact that the prosecutors' lawyers were involved in that organization as well."

              (from the link)

              That sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yeah, but the magic is, your opinion doesn't matter - the courts have settled it, and the appeals court has ruled. Take it like a man and move on.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I understand that the will of the people makes no difference in this tyrant nation and that it's rich and powerful entities that get their way at the expense of society at large but that's not to say it should be that way.

                  But at least you seem to acknowledge that there is a conflict of interest involved. But you just expect people to shut up about it and take it and do nothing instead of standing up for what's right. See people, this is the mentality of the patent maximists who are encouraging these rulings.

                   

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                  Lucretious, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 5:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Back to the original argument, you lose.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So the industry being a member of the same group as you isn't a connection in the slightest? Both the judge and members of the industry being heads of that group isn't a connection?

              If you went to a boxing gym and worked out at the same time as the world champion, and said "Hey, I'm a big fan", you wouldn't consider that a connection?

               

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      Lack, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:43pm

      Re:

      Your lack of intellect here is astounding. Perhaps .exe files are illegal because they can contain Viruses, or maybe Knifes are illegal because they can be means to kill people. First of .torrent files are perfectly legal and they expediate downloads to save users time. A torrent is nothing more than a type of file and just because things can be use with malcontent does not make them illegal it only speaks to lack of intelligence on how to address the real problem.

       

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

        Re: Re:

        In one parrellel world:
        -----
        *.exe files are illegal because it has been shown that *.exe files are part of the process of infringing, the keys to the castle as it were. Without a *.exe file, nobody would be able to get the parts.

        It doesn't matter how much you try to distribute the concept, in the end, the idea is to actively infringe of copyrights (i.e. ABC, microTorrent, etc).

        *.exe files can very easily filter out stuff, by manually reviewing the content of every torrent posted. Sucks, but it would work.
        -----


        In another parrellel world:
        -----
        Microsoft is illegal because it has been shown that Microsoft is part of the process of infringing, the keys to the castle as it were. Without Microsoft, nobody would be able to get the parts.

        It doesn't matter how much you try to distribute the concept, in the end, the idea is to actively infringe of copyrights (i.e. using Windows/WindowsCE/Vista/XP).

        Microsoft can very easily filter out stuff, by manually reviewing the content of every torrent posted. Sucks, but it would work.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          haha, funny boy. It's the same dumb concept as blame the car makers for drunk drivers. It's a meaningless argument - one that doesn't mean that other are more or less liable.

          Your parrellel (sic) world is about as good as your spelling. :)

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      then google,yahoo, would be guilty also so they should be taken off line like the tpb site

       

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      nunya, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:47pm

      Re:

      That is flat wrong, with DHT and Peer Discovery, magnet links etc, all you need is the name of the file and you can search for it.

      I'm not telling where bemuse the self-righteous will try to kill it... but I feel compelled to point out here that the genie is out of the bottle and we'll all just develop countermeasures to whatever you come up with to try and stop it.

      I myself have written and produced original material which I have released under the terms of the Creative Commons Non attribution - Non-Dommercial - No Derivative Works License because I see the the future and it's much cheaper.

      people are making way too much money in residuals for a little bit of nothing and it's not going to be the end of the world if they have to work a few days a week just like the rest of us.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

    I'm big on the process of elimination as a way to simplify and tackle problems, so when I see issues like:

    "a court has sided with BREIN and told Mininova it needs to remove all infringing torrents from its site. The court is giving the site 3 months to implement a filter system"

    ...my brain immediately begins listing the possible explanations for such a one-sided ruling (because, to be completely fair, at best producing such a filtering system that would have any serious level of accuracy is next to impossible, which I think BREIN knows full well):

    1. Court ignorance of technology
    2. Collusion/bribery of the legal system
    3. Personal problems between the beligerent parties
    4. Altruistic and/or emotional reasons trumping rational ones

    I can't get much beyond that. So I started thinking about how to eliminate these. Some of the latter issues are tough and usually involve me riding in on some sort of steed (because I've always wanted to do that) and valiantly explaining common sense and/or the rules of Dark Helmet to these people while simultaneously whipping them with an olive branch (think of the confusion) as my female dog dry humps their kneecaps.

    But the first one is rather simple. If we're going to have a ridiculously sized judicial system used for every and any complaint in our daily lives, from business to personal, isn't it time we make that judicial system just as highly specialized?

    What, for instance, is the problem with having a very specific set of judges and arbiters that will ONLY handle internet related issues, and in addition to their law degrees and backgrounds, they need at least a BA in Computer Science with a focus on networking technology? Or why can't the Family Court justices be required to have a BA in Parental Psychology or some such degree?

    At least if we did that we could begin to get over this whole, "well those old fuckers just don't understand the internet" and move on to the next reason to eliminate...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

      Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

      DH, nothing personal, but I think people's praise for your posts here are going to your head. It's also clouding your vision, because you aren't reading very well. let's take the quote in two parts, so maybe you can handle it better.

      "a court has sided with BREIN and told Mininova it needs to remove all infringing torrents from its site"

      Basically, look at each torrent currently on your system. Does it point to a copyright work? Remove it. Send notes to all users who have submitted a torrent to resubmit only torrents they have full rights to distribute.

      Oh yeah, don't accept torrents from other sources, no cross sharing of torrents.

      Effectively, outside of the known sharable files (such as unix distributions and WoW updates) trash everything.

      "The court is giving the site 3 months to implement a filter system"

      The filter system is pretty simple. Every new torrent that gets submitted goes through a simple set of filters, looking for obvious references to hacks, copyright, keygens, etc. Eliminate anything that fits the obvious filter criteria. Then send the remaining torrents for review by an actual person. The person checks and certifies that there is nothing indicated in the torrent file, description, etc, that suggests that this file is in any way a violation. A list of files inside the torrent would likely be more than enough.

      Anything that passes that, post of the site.

      In the end, it's pretty simple: So little would pass, that Mininova will effectively be empty. So maintaining it won't be hard. All the judge is doing is telling them to do what they should have done to start with: Only publish what you know is legal. When in doubt, don't do it.

       

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        The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

        Basically, look at each torrent currently on your system. Does it point to a copyright work? Remove it.

        I don't know if you're the same misguided AC as above, but I recently cleared this up for you/him/her. Every creative expression is copyrighted upon creation.

        Read it, please.

         

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

        It's simple, right.

        Can you volunteer to do this for free? It's simple and should take you little amounts of training and little amounts of technical know-how.

        Furthermore, even if there was a daily quota on the job there would never be a backlog and dissatisfied people - REALLY!

        Oh yea, DH has good points. I'd like to see lawyers with technical backgrounds. By background I mean working in the industry and not as a lawyer BEFORE being a lawyer.

         

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

        "DH, nothing personal, but I think people's praise for your posts here are going to your head. It's also clouding your vision, because you aren't reading very well. let's take the quote in two parts, so maybe you can handle it better."

        I don't take anything personal on this site and it takes an awful lot to offend me, but Christ, I hope not. I like to think that isn't the case, but if I ever start to sound like it I encourage anyone and everyone to begin an immediate beatdown. But I do have a few honest questions, being as how I'm not a fan of infringing sharing:

        1. "Basically, look at each torrent currently on your system. Does it point to a copyright work? Remove it."

        Seems to me that other than the "look at each torrent" part, which they crowd source, they're kind of doing this already, aren't they? But since they're doing that, suppose they shouldn't oppose looking at it themselves. I would just hope the time frame would be more reasonable to the number of torrents hosted than the 3 months given for the filter systme.

        2. "Oh yeah, don't accept torrents from other sources, no cross sharing of torrents."

        Blanketly? Why? What is the problem with cross-sharing with reptable sites? Sites implementing similar systems for instance?

        3."Effectively, outside of the known sharable files (such as unix distributions and WoW updates) trash everything."

        Why do they have to be known? Why can't I upload my own work, writing, music, whatever? And how do you get the filter system to let me do that? And what recourse do I have if non-infringing material is trashed?

        4."The filter system is pretty simple. Every new torrent that gets submitted goes through a simple set of filters, looking for obvious references to hacks, copyright, keygens, etc"

        Honestly, where does that blacklist come from? It truly might exist, but I'm unaware of it to date. If it exists, that seems reasonable.

        5."Then send the remaining torrents for review by an actual person."

        This is where I have a problem, because I think you're underestimating how many legitimate files are being shared, how many torrents that is, and how much manpower that would necessitate. I think that to try to do this would cripple Mini Nova and force it to shut down, which I also happen to believe is the reason BREIN is getting this implemented.

        "Only publish what you know is legal."

        Totally agree. What is Mini Nova publishing and by definition, is it illegal?

        "When in doubt, don't do it."

        Totally DISagree. Maybe it's my American upbringing, but I was always taught that challenging hazy borders was a good thing. When in doubt, do it and learn from the results.

         

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          minijedimaster (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

          What is Mini Nova publishing and by definition, is it illegal?

          Silly wabbit, didn't you realize that they publish .torrent files and that those are illegal?

          I think the sarcasm meter just blew up

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 4:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

            I don't understand why I never got any answers...I'm a little disappointed...

            Plus apparently I'm growing a comment ego? Awesome...

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

      Re: Another Dark Helmet Government Policy Change

      I sorta agree with you but then I sorta don't. Yes, specialized judges for various topics makes sense in terms of reducing ignorance but then it makes collusion easier. So it's a good idea but then it's a bad idea at the same time? Perhaps if we had specialized judges that were directly elected by the people and had term limits of like two years then that would make more sense being now they have an incentive to act in the best interest of the people?

       

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    Jesse, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    ...what about google?

     

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      chris (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

      Re:

      ...what about google?

      google has a lot of money so no one will ever tell google what to do.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

        Re: Re:

        They tell Google what to do all the time. Hell, a model told Google what to do.

        There is a small part missing. The judge said that since Mininova already filters malware, they should also filter everything. Apparently the judge is a fu**ing moron (and so is the AC up there).

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:16pm

      Re:

      What about Google? remove the torrent sites, and google would index NOTHING.

      Another dumb argument.

       

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:50pm

        Re: Re:

        It would only index *.torrent files.

        Solution: Ban *.torrent files from being searchable.

        Community responds: Names files *.muchachos21321.

        Solution: Ban *.muchachos21321 files form being searchable.



        Ooops, another dumb argument. We also forgot torrent files can be put on individual websites without a central location point. Darn. Another dumb argument on your side. Silly Coward.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Time to play Whack a mole again. Anyone want to take bets on the new big torrent site?

     

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      Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:13pm

      Re:

      I'm betting on pages 2, 10 and 9,999 may have the next hit. That is, pages of when you google "Torrent Search".

      There are about 69,300,000 hits.

      Assuming at least 5% are Torrent sites then we have 3,465,000 torrent search engines.
      Assuming at least 1% are Torrent sites then we have 693,000 torrent search engines.


      ... could be lower but damn we're getting into the tenths of a percentage point. Maybe they should proactively clog up the legal system and have it sent a notice to each torrent search site?

       

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Easier Solution!!

    "it needs to remove all infringing torrents"

    Since people, and only people and companies can be infringers; then logically torrents cannot be infringing content.

    Thus, mininova has no actions to undertake.

    (Hmm, guess the court was wasting its time on this one.)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

      Re: Easier Solution!!

      ...and mininova isn't a company or a person?

      toke toke, pass it to the left.

       

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re: Easier Solution!!

        Does a company have to be registered to be a company?

        If it doesn't have to be registered then it isn't a company. Is mininova registered with any governments as some sort of entity? If it isn't then it can't be a company or a person.

         

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        minijedimaster (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 7:00pm

        Re: Re: Easier Solution!!

        ...and mininova isn't a company or a person?

        Is Mininova a company? Yes. Is Mininova a person? No. Is a .torrent file a company? No. Is a .torrent file a person? No. Can Mininova infringe on a copyright? Yes. Can a .torrent file infringe on a Copyright? No. Does Mininova infringe on a copyright by hosting a .torrent file? No.

        Basic reasoning and deduction skills FTW!

         

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    chris (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    meh

    like demonoid, mininova has been shut down before. like demonoid, they came back. if they get shut down they will either come back or they won't, but it won't make a lick of difference.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    I think the main purpose of destroying torrent sites is to destroy the communication structure of the Internet and to try to turn it more into the monopoly driven and completely overpriced top down structure that mainstream media and cable television has turned into.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

      Re:

      and Torrents should be allowed to host non - infringing material without having to go through substantial work in order to ensure that nothing ever infringes. If something infringes contact them and let them take it down. If they do a reasonable good job at removing infringing material that's fine too. Perhaps they can have a system like youtube where anyone can flag infringing material and allow the torrent hosts to review the falgged material specifically.

       

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    Anthony (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    I have a friend who has recently released her first CD which was released independent of any record labels - available in some smaller retailers, iTunes, or signed copies directly from her. She put the the album minus the last 2 songs onto various torrent sites (9 songs on the version she released) - with a text file indicating how to purchase the album or individual songs. I can't see how Mininova would know if the person with rights to the CD authorises the release or not. Surely their current system is best.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

      Re:

      She could incluse a creative commons license, example, or similar share, with a link to her website (she would have one, right) where she can state it again in the clear so there is no confusion.

      It would take only a minute to check. Your friend should be happy, she might be one of only a few legal files on there!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    scaled filtering is not simple

    Throwing aside all legal arguments over whether or not this ruling is right, the 3 month deadline to implement this "filter" from a computer science and business perspective is near impossible unless you have the following:

    1) a decent number of smart developers that know how to apply a filter that can scale on a search engine (remember, if you do this wrong, you slow down each individual search which = increased processing time on your servers = a bottleneck that will kill your site as you try to scale with the internet)
    2) an existing, very detailed, real time updated database that lists every work that is considered infringing (key word is real time updated)
    3) some smart database architects that can shard said database (because no doubt it is huge and filtering using said database even when done right would not scale without sharding)
    4) a ton of cash to waste on setting up additional servers for these databases
    5) even more cash to upgrade your existing servers so you can make sure your current caching strategy doesn't get driven into the ground with the extra burden of the filtering

    This is just a simple list of technical/financial difficulties that I thought up of in half a minute of reading the judges ruling. And I'm an amateur when it comes to solving these types of CS problems. To me this ruling is very insulting because it looks down on the CS profession and assumes these types of problems are simple.

    As for the AC that said:
    "Mininova can very easily filter out stuff, by manually reviewing the content of every torrent posted. Sucks, but it would work."

    You sir are an idiot. Trying to do that is a death sentence because some evil person can just do the following - create a simple randomization algorithm that can create and upload/host what could be near empty torrents but all with "infringing" material. Each of these new torrents would then need to be verified. Now think what would happen if several people wanted to kill mininova and did this all at once? Soon your search engine will fall so far behind in verifying torrents that you'll be completely out of date and no one would use it anymore.

    As for a flagging system, that really only works if you have an active community that cares to flag this material. I highly doubt the people using mininova care.

    To summarize: Even if mininova were fulling willing to comply and the ruling was 100% correct, everyone who thinks the judgement can even be accomplished or that it is even fair are idiots because scaling on the internet is NOT simple. And to all the people who suggest manual solutions, I'll quote one of my favorite movies:
    "So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

      Re: scaled filtering is not simple

      "You sir are an idiot. Trying to do that is a death sentence because some evil person can just do the following - create a simple randomization algorithm that can create and upload/host what could be near empty torrents but all with "infringing" material. Each of these new torrents would then need to be verified. Now think what would happen if several people wanted to kill mininova and did this all at once? Soon your search engine will fall so far behind in verifying torrents that you'll be completely out of date and no one would use it anymore."

      No, you sir are an idiot. Respecting copyright isn't something that should be done when you have the time and when it is convenient, but as a matter of course in the business. If the torrent community isn't able to find a way to control the extensive sharing of infringing files, perhaps they should be replaced by a better business model, no?

      Mininova could just keep hiring people until they can keep up with the flow. It's no hard. Financially, it might be impossible, but technically it isn't an issue.

      "3 month deadline to implement this "filter" from a computer science and business perspective is near impossible unless you have the following"

      Again, you make a bit of an idiot list - you are attempting to filter with a huge system by technical means what can most easily be done with human eyes. torrent titles and descriptions have to be pretty good, otherwise nobody will find the content. So it isn't like there are going to be hundreds of torrents named "nothing here to see #21" - nobody will know to search for it.

      Very simple filters (terms like hack, crack, keygen, and a list of major software packages, current movies, band names, etc) would be more than enough to flag probably 80% of it right there. No huge technical requirement.

      So now they get to manually look at 20%. Have the system automatically download the torrent once, and when a human comes to look, they can check the contents quickly. A human could check maybe 20 or 30 an hour.

      Now I know, this goes against the idea of the wild west intenet where everything goes at the speed of light and nobody cares about anyone else's rights. Too bad, suck it up sunshine, the trend is shifting the other direction and soon being a pirate online will be like being a CB radio owner - there are still some and most people laugh at them.

       

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        Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

        Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

        Google is looking for geniouses like you Mr. Anon. Please report to Google offices immediately, they need your assistance.

        First, realize that Google IS the biggest torrent search engine. It's just hidden. Learn to use the functionality such filetype:torrent in your search queries. For example, type the following:

        spiderman filetype:torrent
        Here's a link:
        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial& ;q=spiderman+filetype%3Atorrent&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

        Ooops, I spilled the beans. Google is THE BIGGEST promoter of file sharing. Wait, I'm not using a filesharing program - I'm using Google. Woops. Sorry. It was a good secret while it lasted. It returns more results than ANY torrent search!!! I HAVE FOUND THE WINNING TORRENT SEARCH!

        It's official: Lawyers are inept and just sue for money. Wait, anon, are you a lawyer?!?!

        Anyway, please contact Google, they need your filtering method. It's novel and unique.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 7:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

          Are you a total moron, or just mostly?

          Google indexes what is on other websites, point.

          Remove the torrent sites from the net, and mysteriously all the torrents disappear out of Google.

          Keep going, you are only making yourself look entirely stupid.

           

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            Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 8:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

            I am a moron. I misspell words on a daily basis.

            Google indexes what is in documents what use any format ASCI or not.

            Google indexes *.XML files.
            Google indexes *.HTML files.
            Google indexes *.css files.
            Google indexes *.php files.
            Google indexes *.HTM files.
            Google indexes all files with certain exceptions - maybe (I didn't design the system.)

            Google does not discriminate on what server file is located.

            File can be on a FTP server.
            File can be on a WWW server.
            File can be on a MSG board server.
            File can be on any server with certain exceptions - maybe (Then again, haven't seen Google providing public access to emails indexed through GMAIL. Would be cool though to see what lawyers are thinking)

            Google does not discriminate on where server is geographically located.

            Server can be in North America.
            Server can be in South America.
            Server can be in Asia.
            Server can be in Europe.
            Server can be in Antartica.
            Server can be in Australia.
            Server can be in India.
            Server can be in the Ocean.
            Server can be on the Ocean.
            Server can be in Space (Upside down, Downside up, whatever)

            Does removing torrent sites remove *.torrent files form the web in any way, shape or form? They can be hosted on any server.

            Conclusion? Google is an equal opportunity employer. They're looking to hire you. I'm a moron, they won't hire me. Unfrotunately :(

            ^ Seee, i no speling sklz. No gooooggooole for mez.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 8:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

              You are trying so hard, and you are still missing it.

              go search for .torrent files on google. Where are they all located? Surprise, they are on torrent sites. Amazing, isn't it?

              The rest of your post appears to be the ranting of a child discovering that someone is going to take back all the toys you stole from the store. Get over it.

               

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                Kazi, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 9:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                You're missing my points (Is the thickness of your skull proportional to the depth of your bad arguments? It is.). It could be because computers aren't a subject of your choice. English probably was a good subject though, right?

                Let's review:

                *.torrent files can be hosted on any web server.
                *.torrent files can be embedded in any document.
                *.torrent files can be located anywhere in the universe

                Everything of the above can be done within technological limits. You are suggesting that getting rid of torrent sites will get rid of *.torrent files. NOPE. IT will NOT get rid of the files. *.torrent files can be hosted/embedded/located anywhere.

                You're missing this point. ANYWHERE.
                Repeat after me: A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E.

                They (the *.torrent files) are not limited to the Torrent websites. They can even be attachments in your EMAIL which are indexed and if Google opened up email searching to the public … EUREKA!! GOLD MINE!!

                What does this mean? You would have to get rid of the TRACKERS instead of the torrent files. You can't get rid of trackers because they are anonymous and provide no information whatsoever about the file. It's just a seeder IP, some ID for the download group, and some ID for the peers. No information whatsoever about the contents of the torrent. Your whole argument revolves something like this:

                Premises
                . *.torrent files are EvIl!
                . *.torrent files are hosted on Evil Torrent Websites.
                . Eliminate Evil Torrent Websites.
                Conclusion:
                . Elimination of torrent websites eliminates *.torrent files.

                Guess what buddy? There's an alternate hosing source to *.torrent files. Did you pass the LSAT? I'm beginning to doubt it. You can’t seem to comprehend my points.

                Guess what - yet again? You should wake up to reality, grab a beer, and think about this a bit more. Google is looking! I'm pretty sure they have applications for you with excellent jobs – you’re genius.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 4:09am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                  The term putz comes to mind on this one.

                  It doesn't matter WHERE the files are kept, if people can't find them, they won't be listing them A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E.

                  "Guess what buddy? There's an alternate hosing source to *.torrent files. Did you pass the LSAT? I'm beginning to doubt it. You can’t seem to comprehend my points."

                  I got you loud and clear, and but you have still proven you are an idiot. How are people finding these torrents? Torrent sites. How do they end up posting them A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E? They had to find them first. Cause and effect, fool. If nobody knows where the torrents are, how the heck are they going to share them? Answer, they can't.

                  Think about the whole process, think about how it happens. TPB and Mininova and all those Torrent search sites are an integral and required part of the process. Stuff goes stale too fast, it disappears, it has no peers, etc. So a chat board full of torrent links is meaningless, because most of them won't work within a few hours. It's why the trackers are so important, because without them, nobody can find the current versions / active versions of what they are looking for. A torrent file that points to dead space isnt' worth much, is it?

                  In the end, you have just proven that theiving file sharers will do anything to get something for nothing. You are a digital shoplifter, get use to the concept.

                   

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                    Kazi, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 6:56am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                    How do people find these *.torrents?

                    Are you like a 5 year old that missed the point of Google being a search engine?

                    Repeat after me me: S-E-A-R-C-H-E-N-G-I-N-E

                    You don't need a Torrent Search to find them. Did you like not learn English? Are you really that thick skulled? Seriously, are you?

                    Guess what that means?

                    MiniNova and TPB are NOT AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PROCESS. They just facilitate the process. Wait, you missed this point too, right? Where's that great English coming from Mr. English major?

                    All you need is Google to find these *.torrent files scattered all over the web.

                    Type into google: gentoo filetype:torrent
                    Now type in google: open source filetype:torrent
                    Now type in google: quake 3 source filetype:torrent (Q3 source is released to pubplic as per ID Software licensing)

                    Did I used MiniNova or TPB? Nope.

                    The only difference between a Torrent Website and Google is that Google doesn't host *.torrent files. Torrent Websites do host such *.torrent files.

                    Furthermore, now you're generalizing that all file sharers are thieves? I can't seed my Linux now - I'm a thief? C'mon, I'm expecting more of your eduction. No, I don't infringe on copyrighted material - most of it is a time sink and there's better publically licensed material available to read and be entertained by. Hell, I don't own a TV - the content isn't worth my attention.


                    Furthermore, want to know why TPB and MiniNova are laughing themselves silly to lawyers suing them? They can create custom torrent search engines / aggregates using google search. All they really have to do is use the Google AJAX Search API (http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxsearch/).

                    Read through this tutorial: http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxsearch/documentation/#The_Basics

                    Notice something interesting? I do, Google doesn't discriminate and such a Torrent Search Program/Engine is outside the law's control and way more powerful that TPB and MiniNova which specialize with torrent file search. Yes, waste taxpayer resources. It's your duty to do so as a lawyer.

                     

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                      Kazi, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 7:42am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                      Here are some sample torrent search engines using the Google AJAX Api. Some are more complex and coded better than others:

                      www.torrentsearch.com
                      You can see by looking at the page source you can see it is using Google AJAX Search API. This is more of a non-infringing torrent search.

                      www.scrapetorrent.com
                      Again, here you see the same. Just look at the source code. Nice GUI for a search engine, right? It's designed to facilitate in torrent file searches (More infringement though, oh well). View the page source. What do you see? It's Google based.

                      http://torrentoogle.com
                      Again, another torrent seach engine. Guess what, they too use the Google AJAX Search API and don't host any *.torrent files. Viewing source code you can confirm again that it's Google based.

                      My point? The major Torrent Websites right now revolve around searching torrent files that may deemed as copyright infringement. The only way lawyers have found to find such Torrent Websites to be liable of copyright infringement is because they host the torrent files. Websites based on the Google AJAX API don't host their *.torrent files.

                      Conclusion? All these companies suing such websites are wasting their resources. They sort of can't settle. Makes of the Wii settled because they realized it's pointless arguing over something when the outcome is subjective and not based on logic. In this case it's the same situation. The outcomes are subjective. There's well over 3,000+ such sites. Anyone who knows programming can code such a torrent search and provide an open source distribution. It isn't hard. Are we going to sue such programmers now? Wait, let's go after google because they facilitate searching torrent files and as long as they exist you will always be able to find a torrent you need to find.

                       

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                    Captain Obvious, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 9:52am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                    So how then, do you plan on removing anywhere from 700,000 to 3,500,000 torrent sites from the 'net? I want a complete procedure listing with specific details on how to get from step to step, and if you can't provide it, then you'll have proven beyond what is already in plain sight that you're just blowing smoke and shilling and have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

                    Or you could just admit to the utter uselessness and futility of trying to remove something from the 'net that is fundamentally unremovable. Just because something seems like it should be right doesn't mean it is. And just because something is in the law doesn't make it right, or a good law. Methinks you need to understand that concept.

                     

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                      Kazi, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:51am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

                      I love this idea I've learned over time after graduating college. It's an amazing concept:

                      "Criminals abide by laws while humble humans abide by common sense and mutual respect".

                       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

        Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

        Mininova was already removing copyright material on their torrent lists, especially upon request, so I don't see what the problem is.

        Look at how much copyright and intellectual property is costing society and impeding our basic freedoms that we allow it to shut down perfectly good systems of information distribution just because Mininova has the potential of being used to distribute copyright material. This is ridiculous, we should allow intellectual property to be destroyed before we allow it to be used as a pretext to turn the Internet into the corrupt top down information structure that mainstream media has turned into.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 7:35pm

        Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

        And yet you completely missed my point... I said to ignore whether or not this is right or wrong legally. I'm talking about what the court is telling mininova to do and why it is a death sentence. I showed the two ways you can tackle it - a technical method which I did say was impossible given the conditions and a business method which I also say is impossible. In fact, even you admit to this:

        "Mininova could just keep hiring people until they can keep up with the flow. It's no hard. Financially, it might be impossible, but technically it isn't an issue."

        As for the technical solution, even you seem to realize how impossible a task it is. I never said either solution was smart, I said they both point to this being a death sentence. Yet somehow you want to fire back by ignoring the very first sentence in my post and try to bring in the legal and moral arguments into this. Except, that isn't what I'm trying to get at. So let's see if I can make it clear:

        Ignoring who is right, who is wrong, the sentence itself is not fair. I personally think the judge is displaying his complete ignorance for technology and making assumptions about how simple a task this is. Everyone who agrees with the terms he gave mininova is displaying this same ignorance. Because of this, the sentence is far too harsh and doesn't match up with the ruling.

        What they should be saying is mininova is liable and we'll give you a chance to fix things. They should not be saying, mininova is liable so we'll kill you off without giving you a fair chance to fix things.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 4:14am

          Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

          You miss my point: Mininova doesn't have the right to make it's living off of other people's copyrighted stuff. You are making the assumption that they have the right to exist, no matter how many copyright feet they trample to do it. The reality is that they don't - they can exist all they want, but they have to find a way to do it LEGALLY. The court has only ordered them to operate legally.

          The real problem is that the torrent world is so entirely filled with illegal content, that there is no way they can do it with reasonable levels of technology or staffing. That to me is the best indication of the true problems, that there is little on torrent sites that is legal. We aren't talking about filtering out 2 or 3% of the total files, we are looking at filtering out 90% or more.

          So you have to step back and stop whining about how much technology it would take, and consider the actual intent and functioning of the site. There is a reason why this court order is going to be hard or expensive to implement, because the site itself has a "basic problem" that won't go away.

          If the result is to kill the site off, well, so be it. Perhaps next time they will select a business model that includes being legal and honest.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 6:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

            I completely understood your point cause it's something that I partially agree with (the purpose of most torrent searching sites are to just make access to illegal content easier). Except like I said, it's not the topic I'm trying to discuss. You seem to be sidestepping my point which is the punishment doesn't fit the ruling. The judge either knowingly or unknowingly is trying to kill off the site. I'm just making the assumption that the judge is trying to act unbiased so he is unknowingly doing so.

            Telling mininova to make their site legal is all fine but their sentence (do it in 3 months or else we fine you into obliviion) is highly unreasonable. Telling them to do it in milestones over a longer period of time is much more reasonable (and even possibly accomplishable) and shows that the court isn't either:
            1) stupid or,
            2) simply out to kill off torrent searching sites

            Sure they basic business model, or just the business model of torrent searching may be flawed, but you have to realize that until this ruling made the law clear, mininova had every right to exist. Before that it was very ambiguous (as shown by how many people disagree with this still). A thoughtful and unbiased ruling would be one that gives mininova a chance to live. This ruling though, does not appear to be of that nature. It just seems like they want to kill off the site completely which is not the type of ruling a judge should be passing unless it was VERY clear that the company was performing illegal activities. Otherwise, what the judge is doing is akin to the government controlling what companies get to live or die.

             

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

            The issue is that what it did already was in compliance with the law. Mininova indexed every torrent it could find (it does not host), and lists them. When there is a complaint, it deals with it.

            This is the same business structure as Craigslist, YouTube, eBay, and nearly every internet system in the world. Accept content first, and deal with problems that arise.

            Google does the exact same thing, Yahoo does the exact same thing, every forum does it, every blog...

            Nothing in the law states that there is a threshold for the percentage of illegal content you are allowed to point to. Pointing to illegal content is either against the law, or it isn't, and sites like Google point to illegal content 100% of the time.

            To use a crappy analogy, if you own a store and cocaine makes up 5% of your sales, it's just as illegal as a store that sells cocaine 90% of the time. The only difference is the severity of the charges you face.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Kazi, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

              If MiniNova doesn't host *.torrent files then ... I would safely conclude noone knows what is happening.

              People say the basis of the whole "copyright infringement" is because MiniNova hosts *.torrent files.

              If it doesn't host torrent files then you are totally right with the comment of "If you own a store and cocaine makes up 5% of yoru sales, it's just as illegal as a store that sells 90% cocaine of the time. The only difference is the severity of the charges you face."

              So MiniNova is 99.999% coicaine while Google is .00000000000000000000000000000001% coicaine thus MiniNova is used for copyright infringement. I'm guess that must be the logic being used.

               

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      •  
        identicon
        Jeremy, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: scaled filtering is not simple

        You are a complete idiot
        "So now they get to manually look at 20%. Have the system automatically download the torrent once, and when a human comes to look, they can check the contents quickly"

        You basically want MN to infringe on the rights of the owner of the copyright to make sure no one infringes on the rights of the copyright owner.

         

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    herodotus (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    "No, not connected to "the industry" - only connected to an interest group that was looking at strengthening copyright laws.

    It's like saying I go to a boxing gym to work out, so I am the world champion. You are missing a couple of steps in the process."


    No, it's like saying that if you go to a boxing gym to hang out that you are 'connected with the local boxing scene', which would be true.

     

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    Paul Hobbs (profile), Aug 26th, 2009 @ 9:01pm

    What about this idea...?

    It seems to me that the heart of the issue is two-fold:

    1. copyright owners want to get paid for their content, and they claim that torrents and other means of file sharing are depriving them of their dues
    2. the public (apparently) wants access to content for free (or at least very little)

    I don't believe that the majority of Internet users adopt the philosophical or ideological position that they are entitled to free content - I think most people are decent enough to accept that if something is of value, they should pay for it. However, in reference to point 2, I think most people believe (rightly or wrongly) that the price you pay for digital content should be much lower than the price you pay for physical content. iTunes might seem cheap at 99c per song, but at that price it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to fill an iPod with music, which is ridiculous. Given the choice between paying exorbitant prices for content, or getting it for free, people will almost always choose free (IMHO).

    As much as I like the economic model that is often promoted on this site (CwF + RtB, give away the infinite resource and charge for the scarce resource), my gut tells me that it may not work for all content creators. For example, there are some artists who write great music and can produce an awesome CD, but they suck on stage, or they are not interested in touring.

    So, let's assume that we need to satisfy two requirements:

    1. people will always want free (or at least very cheap) content
    2. the content creators/copyright owners need to get paid (somehow)

    I can't help thinking that one solution lies here. Granted, it's an old article and there are numerous subscription style services already out there. But I think this idea is different for several reasons:

    1. the consumer is not paying their money to a content provider (eg: EMI, Sony, NBC, etc), so you aren't limited to particular artists or movies or TV shows
    2. ISPs don't need to become gate keepers (just look at what the idiotic Australian govt is trying to do with mandatory internet filtering)
    3. it helps to guarantee the quality of the content. If you could get access to all the high quality content you wanted, why would you risk getting shitty content (or worse, eg: viruses) from a torrent site for the sake of $6 per month? As an aside, a similar argument can be made about the decriminalisation of drugs - you (mostly) eliminate the criminal trade; you can standardise the quality of the product; and you can regulate/monitor the consumption.

    It seems to me that we are in for several years of heated debate, dumb law suits, crappy legal decisions, etc, before the world catches up to the technology. I'm hopeful that (within a few years) the sheer weight of numbers and the nature of the net itself will result in a better system that works for all stakeholders (except the RIAA who are bunch of low life fuckers).

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Ehh?

    "TPB case has shown that torrent files are part of the process of infringing, the keys to the castle as it were. Without a torrent file, nobody would be able to get the parts.

    It doesn't matter how much you try to distribute the concept, in the end, the idea is to actively infringe of copyright."

    That's like saying crime is a result of people being alive, so stop it at its source. If there were no people, there would be no crime.

    Or a better analogy is that supplying torrents is supplying the tools to infringe, so anyone who supplies the means to commit a crime is liable.

    This argument goes bad fast since any indirect help you do also makes you part of the crime. So, a robber purchase food to live which makes the grocer a criminal, which means anyone who supplies money to the store is now a criminal, which....

    EVERYONE IS A CRIMINAL, now pick and choose whom you want to throw in prison.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Ehh?

      I have read some stupid comments on Techdirt (and likely made a few too) but this one is an all time classic.

      Put down the bong, and put on your tin foil hat.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Time to rename that organization to BREINLESS it seems.

     

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