If Newly Seized Domains Were Purely Dedicated To Infringement, Why Was Kanye West Using One?

from the questions,-questions dept

The details of Homeland Security's domain name seizures keeps looking more and more questionable. Early on, people were scratching their heads over the seizure of torrent-finder.com, which was a pure search engine, but the deeper that people are looking into the domains involving copyright claims (many of the seized domains were apparently about trademark/counterfeiting rather than copyright), the more questionable the whole situation looks. Torrent-finder was just the start. Two more of the seized sites, RapGodfathers and OnSmash are popular hip hop blogs. In fact, both sites note that labels and artists regularly send them their own music, and both sites note that they comply with the DMCA in taking down files based on takedown notices. Even more damning, top artists like Kanye West clearly appreciate sites like this. Just a few weeks ago, Kanye West linked to OnSmash via his Twitter feed.

It really looks like Homeland Security/ICE may have seriously screwed up here. Whether or not seizing domains in general like this is even legal is an open legal question -- and blatantly seizing domains with tons of legit content that the industry and artists regularly used themselves seems like a test case the government doesn't want just waiting to happen. Hopefully the folks behind both blogs have already gotten in touch with various civil liberties/free speech lawyers who can help make them into perfect test cases to show that the government can't just seize web sites without due process.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    I-Blz, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    We really are.

    We. Are. Totally. Screwed. That is all.

     

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  2.  
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    max (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    problematic

    Domain seizures will prove problematic to the democratic process. I'm sorry to see we have come to this point. There are more productive solutions available but if the "community" doesn't support them and just continues to whine and complain - we can expect more of this........

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Murky waters

    Maybe Kanye West saw value in RapGodFathers, but the invisible hand of the IP-enforcement-market didn't.

    On another note, I read in an DoJ press release that "Operation In Our Sites 2.0" goes through the laborious process of acquiring goods from each of these domains then (perhaps subjectively) determines authenticity of the product.

    "During the course of the operation, federal law enforcement agents made undercover purchases from online retailers suspected of selling counterfeit goods. In many instances, the goods were shipped directly into the United States from suppliers in other countries using international express mail. If the goods were confirmed as counterfeit or otherwise illegal, seizure orders for the domain names of the websites that sold the goods were obtained from U.S. magistrate judges."

    Source: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/November/10-ag-1355.html


    In addition to acquiring the item, it would be good to know what, if any, techniques the DoJ, DHS and ICE used to determine if the items sold were even subject to US copyright law.

    What due diligence did DoJ, DHS and ICE use to determine the products/services offered on the website/s in question acquire any necessary licensing paperwork (if necessary). Were the copyrights registered with the Library of Congress? Do the products sold qualify as derivative works not subject to copyright law?

    Some of this may not apply to other sites, but I think it's a reasonable request to ensure due process was followed.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    What free speech angle? This is about counterfeiting, right?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Quasi-Fascist state. Exactly what the conservatives wanted.

     

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  6.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    due process how quaint

    due process? What's that? GUILTY!!!! Now prove your innocence.

     

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  7.  
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    ThroatChopU, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    WHO CARES?!

     

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  8.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic.

    If not: How do search engines counterfeit?

     

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  9.  
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    average_joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Re: Murky waters

    I think you're confusing copyright law with trademarks and counterfeiting. They're different sets of laws dealing with IP.

    I did read somewhere that the feds asked companies which websites were the worst offenders, and then they investigated the sites complained of.

     

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  10.  
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    Don, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    I thought that Homeland Security's purpose was to protect the United States against terrorist actions and essentially protecting the lives of the people living within the U.S.

    Why is HS getting involved in copyright and mundane issues like that.

    As for Kanye West, have you read his tweets, if that is any indication, he is the most self-absorbed person in the world. The guy has tunnel thinking and I wouldn't put too much into what he says.

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    What's quasi about it?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    RGF is back up; you might want to check their 'download' page before you suggest they're all squeaky clean in this...

     

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  13.  
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    Gwiz, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    WHO CARES?!

    Ummm... ME! I happen to think that things like due process and the First Amendment are pretty important.

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Murky waters

    "I did read somewhere that the feds asked companies which websites were the worst offenders, and then they investigated the sites complained of."

    Oh, wonderful....

     

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  15.  
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    .., Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Diddy too

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    Counterfeit goods are the domain of US Customs. Customs is one of 20+ agencies brought under the DHS umbrella in the early 2000s.

    Masnick should have made that clear all along, but this blog isn't about factual news, it's about opinion.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    I do. As you might in a big picture way. It's about the government acting in the way we designed it to. Fair use of due process.
    It's easy to not look past the smaller issue of protecting copyright. It's harder to see the bigger picture of the government acting without concern for our rights.
    This issue shows a trend to ignore the due process of law, on which we as individual depend upon to be treated fairly by the courts, etc.
    Protecting a business, while admirable and understandable, is not really the job the citizens assigned to the government.
    This issue appears to be about stopping infringement and copyright. It's really about what actions the government is willing to take, despite throwing out the freedoms that we are supposed to be worried about.
    So, as this issue unfolds in undesirable ways, I care.

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re:

    Commie.

     

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  19.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    "Masnick should have made that clear all along, but this blog isn't about factual news, it's about opinion."

    This isn't a news site in the sense that you can expect Mike to dumb everything down and re-explain things that have already been explained elsewhere. Interested readers have the benefit of being able to click the provided hyperlinks or googling the issue. To expect him to make clear what people who are already following the topic are aware of would require him to repost other articles in this article and that would definitely make it tl;dr. People need to learn to be more information literate.

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    "If Newly Seized Domains Were Purely Dedicated To Infringement, Why Was Kanye West Using One?"

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Look, United States government, I'm really happy for you, and I'mma let you finish....but Hitler's National Socialist Party had one of the greatest infringements on civil liberties of all time!!!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    BUT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!!

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: problematic

    "Domain seizures will prove problematic to the democratic process. I'm sorry to see we have come to this point. "

    Max its not at all problematic. It is just a short term inconvenience.

    For the past year one of my themes here on techdirt has been, the more repressive the government and the ISP's get online the faster people will adapt and create work arounds. DSL reports points us to Pirate Bay Founder Eyes Decentralized P2P DNS - In response to government's recent domain seizures. Where he plans to create a p2p dns sytem based on the .p2p upper level domain. That or something like it will fix domain seizures issue.

    Let me rephrase this for you ... "There are more productive solutions available but if the "community" doesn't support them and just continues to whine and complain"

    There are more profitable solutions available to those of us who feel entitled but the "pirates" just want free stuff and continue to steal our IP.

    "we can expect more of this........"

    Yes we can. The internet will adapt faster than government or the content industry. Expect to see more work arounds, and greater encryption usage.

    I have been expecting something like this for a couple years. It is a pivotal point that will end government monitoring of its citizens, increase free speech, and actually promote the arts and the sciences.

    straw meet camel ... I'm on a horse ... :)

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: problematic

    Oh and I forgot it is called a Cascade Failure in case you are wondering.

    "This failure process cascades through the elements of the system like a ripple on a pond and continues until substantially all of the elements in the system are compromised and-or the system becomes functionally disconnected from the source of its ... "

     

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  24.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes you are a Commie and that is why the ChurchHatesTucker.

    What kind of government would seize a private business without due process? Soviet Russia, Fidel's Cuba and Mao's China....

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    I AM GLAD I AM NOT IN AMERICA

     

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  26.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    DH - You had to bring up the Nazis in the comments.

    Okay everyone the fat lady has sung, just go home now nothing left to comment about ....


    What is that effect called again? where all comments end by degrading down to the nazis?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    This! Why cannot people see this? Isn't this the far more important issue?

     

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  28.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    "What is that effect called again? where all comments end by degrading down to the nazis?"

    I think it was called AllahVictory's law....or something like that....

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Not that it will have any significant impact on the comments here, but it is worthwhile to note that the majority of the domain names are associated with off-shore companies that sell counterfeit goods online.

     

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  30.  
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    Atkray (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Look, DH, I'm really happy for you, and I'mma let you finish...but Masnick's Law was one of the greatest eponymous adages of all time!

     

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  32.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    And yet, for some unknown reason, where America leads the others follow. Despite being able to see where it will lead us, others follow.

     

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  33.  
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    max (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: problematic

    The question is, do you have a better way to monetize creativity and human intelligence that doesn't force intellectuals to sell advertising and t-shirts to survive? A copyright system is critical to our capitalist economy. This is not China.

     

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  34.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    Not that it will have any significant impact on the comments here, but it is worthwhile to note that the majority of the domain names are associated with off-shore companies that sell counterfeit goods online.

    I noted in the post itself that most were about counterfeit goods, but that wasn't what the post was about... so why make this comment?

     

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  35.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    I think many of us are still left wondering, even in the case of the criminal counterfeiting operations, whether due process was even considered before executing the seizures.

    I realize there is a precedent for property seizures without due process which came from our infamous "war on drugs", but didn't we need to write a special laws specific to drug offenses to allow this circumvention?

    What guidelines were used to affect these censors and under which civil or criminal code are the name seizures permitted?

     

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  36.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    Max...partner...no one is telling creators they should ONLY sell ads and tshirts. Those things can be PART of a business model, but all of one. Besides, asking questions like "Do you have a better way to monetize creativity (except all of the ways I don't like and don't want to do)" is kind of silly.

    Do you have a better way to monetize IT consulting that doesn't involve me doing all the work I don't want to do?

     

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  37.  
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    Gwiz, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re:

    Not that it will have any significant impact on the comments here, but it is worthwhile to note that the majority of the domain names are associated with off-shore companies that sell counterfeit goods online.

    This may very well be true....but have any of these domain names been found guilty in a court of law of selling counterfeit goods online?

    Therein is where the problem lies...seize the domain name and then the domain name owners have to prove their innocence to get it back. That's backwards to me.

     

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  38.  
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    Gwiz, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Oops. That middle line should read:

    This may very well be true....but have any of these domain name owners been found guilty in a court of law of selling counterfeit goods online?

    Kinda hard to put a domain name on trial...lol.

     

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  39.  
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    max (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    So, does that mean you would do IT consulting free (as that would fall under an intellectual process) and then sell advertising and t-shirts to those clients to feed your family?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    You are a bit off topic for this particular blog post but dead on for the majority of the other discussions.
    I fully agree that the copyright system is important. I agree that we need to incentivize people to continue to create. Frankly, people do make a living off their creative works. Accordingly, copyright is a useful tool for accomplishing that. You and I may strongly disagree on the implementation of copyright I suspect.
    But, to remain on topic, as much as I can anyway, isn't the real topic here about DHS not following the due process of law, which we all depend upon, to seize the websites? My concern isn't what the websites were about so much as how the government took control of them. For me the ideals of what America is based on trumps all other concerns.
    Then we can go back to our usual sarcastic, inane and nasty remarks to each other.
    At least we have this blog where we can argue about copyright and related things. At least until DHS grabs this one.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    Totally off topic and sincerely meant - Great profile pic!

     

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  42.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    "So, does that mean you would do IT consulting free (as that would fall under an intellectual process) and then sell advertising and t-shirts to those clients to feed your family?"

    In large part, that is EXACTLY what I do. I offer my (or rather, my company's) expertise and insight in divising a technology strategy, and then sell the physical technology and ongoing support (which involves remote/onsite engineers, software, and other physical "entities") around it. I/we offer our customers "free" advice all the time, because we know that if we don't, others will.

    And yet, GASP!, we all make a pretty good living at it. I expect creators (of which I am one as well: writer) to do the same....

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    What I'm talkng about is how Masnick will fudge something if it promotes his agenda; in this case the agenda is fear, and saying 'Homeland Security' instead of Customs.

    It's a slimeball move, but certainly not his first.

     

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  44.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    "The question is, do you have a better way to monetize creativity and human intelligence that doesn't force intellectuals to sell advertising and t-shirts to survive?"

    Do I have a way for big content to survive. No, its just not possible. People who are artists have had a 400 year ride, it has come to an end. Sorry to tell you that but everything points to it.

    "A copyright system is critical to our capitalist economy."

    Actually its not. Everywhere you look in the open source and creative commons arena you see proof to the contrary. Copyright is only critical to maintaining monopoly rents. Economically speaking as supply approaches infinite cost approaches zero. That is where we are heading. Again the trends are there and will continue towards zero.

     

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  45.  
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    max (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    Aren't books, recordings, software discs etc. equal to "the physical technology" that you speak of?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    If you start copy and pasting the same phrase I will start thinking your are a bot.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    People are arrested and property seized before a trial all the time.

    What makes you thnk the Internet should be immune to that and get special treatment?

     

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  48.  
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    TPBer (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Hindsight

    Last week, on Monday I had my non public, InMotion ftp server gone thru with a fine tooth comb. I received an email claiming I had placed multiple copyrighted works and commercial software in a publicly available folder. It also stated if I did not remove the content in question that my account would be canceled.

    My site has never been public and the software files were BU of my originals, and the content was a few episodes of "Sons of Anarchy", how fitting.

    I attempted to comply and my account was already shutdown. I was able to get i touch with a support person and finally after 2 days they gave me access and I removed all content for now.

    This was all in the name of routine system maintenance, i have had this account for 1.5 years with some of the original SOA DL and they never bothered. They had clear warning Homeland Security sweep.

     

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  49.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    "Aren't books, recordings, software discs etc. equal to "the physical technology" that you speak of?"

    Of course they are. PHYSICAL books are. PHYSICAL recordings are. Software discs are. I don't hear a great deal of complaining about people pirating physical items (ones that can be deprived).

    But note what I said: we offer our strategic advice (and this is no small thing, mind you; it's often a detailed report and assessment that takes a good deal of work to create) for free because we know that even if we don't, others will. And because we know how to sell other things around that free but valuable offering, we do just fine....

     

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  50.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    "So, does that mean you would do IT consulting free (as that would fall under an intellectual process)"

    Actually thats a fail logically. Its infinite once (mp3, e-book, mpg, etc) created -vs- scarce resource talent. But I would sell tee shirts to make a couple extra bucks. :)

    If you are talking about software I created outside of contract then yes I would give it away free and consult on the installation, configuration, etc.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: problematic

    Been hearing promises of something like this for a while.

    Still nothing.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because it is special.

     

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  53.  
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    Gwiz, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    People are arrested and property seized before a trial all the time.

    I think property should be seized when there is a chance of destroying evidence prior to trial ONLY. I happen to disagree with the practice of asset forfeiture for fundraising. And just because it happens all the time does not make it right.

    What makes you thnk the Internet should be immune to that and get special treatment?

    Never said that it should....what's your point?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Kanye West the jackass that likes to use the race card every chance he gets?

    * On September 2, 2005-A Concert for Hurricane Relief-"George Bush doesn't care about black people.", the race card bomb.

    *November 2, 2006-MTV Europe Music Awards-Interrupts the awards to say he should be the winner.

    * September 9, 2007-2007 MTV Video Music Awards-Insinuates that his race was to blame for not being chosen to open the ceremony. "Maybe my skinís not right."

    * September 11, 2008-Los Angeles International Airport-Assaulted a photographer breaking his camera.

    * November 14, 2008-Hotel in Gateshead-Assaulted another photographer.

    * September 13, 2009-2009 MTV Video Music Awards-The microphone incident, for which he had to bend backwards to try and make it right.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: problematic

    I can withhold the results of a consult can't I, why would I need to sell merch?

    BTW consultants do that all the time and most IT people know to not deliver the whole thing before getting paid that is just dumb.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The nature of the beast that is why.

    The internet was developed to be immune to a nuclear attack, be resilient and robust meaning hard to clamp down and disrupt.

    Surprise it accomplished those goals and it is immune to censorship, any type of censorship good or bad.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    BTW people here discuss the topics because they care about, not because they need to. There are no laws capable of stopping the flow of data/information people know that, and the majority just don't care and thus don't talk about it because it doesn't get in their way.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    Nothing?

    You don't know about tor hidden services, retroshare, gnunet, osiris sp and others?

    Choose your network and be happy you don't need to be exposed, the downside is that it is a bit slow now for people without broadband, real broadband.

     

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  59.  
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    complexity, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Read the story?

    Before you make the same old tired arguments, do you mind reading the freaking story?

    "Two more of the seized sites, RapGodfathers and OnSmash are popular hip hop blogs. In fact, both sites note that labels and artists regularly send them their own music, and both sites note that they comply with the DMCA in taking down files based on takedown notices. Even more damning, top artists like Kanye West clearly appreciate sites like this. Just a few weeks ago, Kanye West linked to OnSmash via his Twitter feed. "

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    I know, right? And what's the deal with flying cars? I'm tired of waiting!

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    What I'm talkng about is how Masnick will fudge something if it promotes his agenda; in this case the agenda is fear, and saying 'Homeland Security' instead of Customs.

    You keep saying this and we've asked you repeatedly what is inaccurate about pointing out that Customs is a part of Homeland Security? You refuse to answer, other than claiming I have some sort of unnamed "agenda."

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    People are arrested and property seized before a trial all the time.

    What makes you thnk the Internet should be immune to that and get special treatment?


    And there are rules against prior restraint and shutting down publications without a trial. What makes you think the internet should be immune to that and get special treatment?

    And, in answer to your "it happens all the time" quote, you're wrong. *Physical* property does get seized, but the rules are that it's only supposed to be if it's evidence that might get destroyed. Going beyond that (as does happen) is not what the law allows.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And, in answer to your "it happens all the time" quote, you're wrong. *Physical* property does get seized, but the rules are that it's only supposed to be if it's evidence that might get destroyed. Going beyond that (as does happen) is not what the law allows.

    I don't think that's accurate. 18 U.S.C. 2323, which was amended a couple of years ago with the PRO IP Act, allows for civil forfeiture of "any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part to commit or facilitate the commission of" a list of offenses, include criminal copyright infringement. Nowhere does the statute require that the property seized be "evidence that might get destroyed." I think it's true that traditionally it was such property that was forfeited, but I don't think you could call it a "rule" by any means.

     

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  64.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    "Been hearing promises of something like this for a while.

    Still nothing."

    In situations like this it is always a gradual encroachment, followed by one or more events happening at the roughly same time, that triggers a response.

    For ten years we have been hearing about RIAA, MPAA, etc, pushing people around and pushing the boundries. We are in an economic down turn that everyone knows is going to get worse because of the president of the US. We have politicians talking about assasinating Assange, or illegally arresting him and bringing him to justice. Then there are ACTA, COICA, the DEA, HADOPI. And naked airport scanners.

    Camel meet straw ...

    The Confiscation of Domains.

    A line from star trek TNG came to mind when I heard the news, "This Far, No Further".

    I'm on a camel :)

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    Oh and ...

    This is our place, where we are free. Do not tax us here. Do not push us around. Do not threaten our freedom. We are many, you are few.

    And remember 1773 ...

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Laurence Eagleburger, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    What?

    It's just a domain name, you can get another one, they only cost 99 cents on the itnernet. How dumb are these Sysops at these rap blogs?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And, in answer to your "it happens all the time" quote, you're wrong. *Physical* property does get seized, but the rules are that it's only supposed to be if it's evidence that might get destroyed. Going beyond that (as does happen) is not what the law allows.

    Several years ago, it was decided that convicting drug lords was too difficult, so the government passed laws allowing their property to be seized, without any trial or even any real evidence that they had committed a crime. Since then, asset seizure and forfeiture has been a steady source of income for police departments and the feds. Since it's working so well (in their opinion) for drug related crimes, there has been a push to apply the same seizure rules to other "crimes" allowing them to just seize and keep people's property. As others pointed out, that rule now seems to apply in cases of copyright infringement.

    Basically, it's legalized theft.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Hindsight

    Last week, on Monday I had my non public, InMotion ftp server gone thru with a fine tooth comb. I received an email claiming I had placed multiple copyrighted works and commercial software in a publicly available folder. It also stated if I did not remove the content in question that my account would be canceled.

    My site has never been public and the software files were BU of my originals, and the content was a few episodes of "Sons of Anarchy", how fitting.


    Honestly, I don't know people trust online sites to serve as backups. At the very least, you should encrypt anything you put on there.

     

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  69.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: problematic

    A copyright system is critical to our capitalist economy.

    Any studies to back that up? Because Mike's pointed out tons and tons of industries (e.g. database industries) where IP laws hindered the industry in question. And wherever you see an industry that does not have copyright protection (e.g. fashion), it's competitive and thriving.

    It's certainly not true for artists. They've always made their money "selling" things that don't depend on copyright: e.g. endorsement deals, live performances, unique works of art, or "advertising and T-shirts" as you bluntly put it.

    In the meantime, the way copyright's legal process is set up, it does almost nothing to protect everyday artists from being exploited. If you're an average artist, you're likely to find copyright more of a hinderance than a benefit.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:17am

    Re:

    Quasi-Fascist state. Exactly what the conservatives wanted.

    Sadly, this particular issue has nothing to do with "liberals" and "conservatives."

    Sure, things have gotten worse under the Obama administration (due in no small part to Joe Biden, I think). But it was the Bush white house that signed the PRO-IP act into law, and if you look at the Senate voting records, the worst laws were approved by Dems and Repubs pretty much equally.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Re:

    you might want to check their 'download' page before you suggest they're all squeaky clean in this...

    According to the site owners, they've always taken down such content if they receive a DMCA notice. If that's true, then they're obeying the law 100%.

    Merely having downloads - even of copyrighted content - means nothing, because there's no way for us (or them) to know if that content was approved by the copyright holders. By default it's free expression; it only ceases to be that when the rights holders decide to take action.

     

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  72.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    People are arrested and property seized before a trial all the time.

    This isn't about seizing "property," it's about quashing potentially protected speech.

    For example: If you tried this with a record store that sold bootleg copies of live shows, it would be unconstitutional. Sure, you can seize the bootlegs themselves; but without an adversarial hearing, you can't shut down the entire store.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " What kind of government would seize a private business without due process? Soviet Russia, Fidel's Cuba and Mao's China...."

    You forgot a more modern one ... venezuela ... according to stuff I have read that country is going to implode in the next 5-7 years.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

    "You refuse to answer, other than claiming I have some sort of unnamed "agenda.""

    We all know you are trying to put chips in our brains so the governmnet can read our minds. ;)

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Ahem, pardon me, let me through, please....

    Thank you

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re:

    According to the site owners, they've always taken down such content if they receive a DMCA notice. If that's true, then they're obeying the law 100%.

    That makes no sense. You can comply with takedown notices yet still be guilty of criminal copyright infringement. The one's got nothing to do with the other.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you please elaborate? I was under the impression that section 230 of the DMCA said that if you complied with takedown notices then you were not punished for the actions of your users.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you please elaborate? I was under the impression that section 230 of the DMCA said that if you complied with takedown notices then you were not punished for the actions of your users.

    You're mixing up a couple of different things.

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ("CDA"), 47 U.S.C. 230, gives providers of interactive computer services safe harbor from liability for the posts of their users. For example, if I post something defamatory on techdirt, techdirt can't be held liable for my defamation. Section 230 specifically does not apply to intellectual property laws, nor does it apply to criminal liability. In short, it doesn't apply here.

    Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), 17 U.S.C. 512, provides safe harbor to online service providers from liability for the copyright infringement of their users, but only if the providers follow certain procedures. For example, if I post copyrighted material on techdirt, techdirt can't be held liable if it follows the procedures.

    However, DMCA safe harbors do not shield those operators who themselves take part in or have knowledge of the infringement. You can't just set a website with a proper DMCA agent, use it to commit or help to commit criminal copyright infringement, and then claim that your compliance with the DMCA shields you from liability. It simply doesn't work that way. You lose your eligibility for the safe harbor, you are not shielded from liability, and your domain name is subject to seizure.

     

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  79.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification.

    However, DMCA safe harbors do not shield those operators who themselves take part in..

    I must have missed this part in the story. Was there proof that this was happening? Does it even require proof-- or like everything else regarding IP, does it only require an allegation?

    ...or have knowledge of the infringement.

    I was under the impression (from what little I know of Viacom v. Youtube) that knowing there is infringing material in the meta sense (e.g., Youtube almost definitely has infringing material on it right now, but I'm not sure what) is not enough to lose your safe harbors. I thought it was determined that the service provider needed to know about specific instances of infringement and do nothing to lose those safe harbors. Further, if this site did adhere to DMCA takedown requests (the only *real* and legally binding way to know if something you host is infringing) then it stands to reason that they still have their safe harbors, and are therefore, as the poster you replied to said, 100% legal.

    Am I incorrect in my logic and/or understanding of these things?

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:06pm

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

    I must have missed this part in the story. Was there proof that this was happening? Does it even require proof-- or like everything else regarding IP, does it only require an allegation?

    I think all we know is that the prosecutor presented probable cause to a judge and the judge signed the warrant. Exactly what proof their investigation uncovered is anyone's guess.

    I was under the impression (from what little I know of Viacom v. Youtube) that knowing there is infringing material in the meta sense (e.g., Youtube almost definitely has infringing material on it right now, but I'm not sure what) is not enough to lose your safe harbors. I thought it was determined that the service provider needed to know about specific instances of infringement and do nothing to lose those safe harbors. Further, if this site did adhere to DMCA takedown requests (the only *real* and legally binding way to know if something you host is infringing) then it stands to reason that they still have their safe harbors, and are therefore, as the poster you replied to said, 100% legal.

    Am I incorrect in my logic and/or understanding of these things?


    I think the argument simply is that the sites were being used to commit criminal copyright infringement, and the safe harbors do not protect criminals.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 1:23pm

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

    non-responsive

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 1:48pm

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

    non-responsive

    I'm trying to respond, it's just hard to say anything in particular when we don't know what the fed's investigation of these sites turned up.

    I'm wondering now if the feds can seize a site where they find criminal infringement even if they don't suspect the site's operators of being involved in the crime. I'm inclined to think that they can. Not really sure though...

     

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  83.  
    icon
    marak (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:04am

    Your feds better not start touching my hosted sites :S

    Has your govt suddenly lost all rational thought during that holiday you had recently? Too much beer? :s

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    \]=, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: What's Homeland Security's purpose again?

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Pete, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 7:39am

    seriously chilling.

    This is kinda surreal - "Department of Homeland Security" - picture "Ministry of Homeland Security" proudly drilling in Red Square in 1971.

    Seizing... what are effectively... modern-day newspapers? No one finds that absolutely terrifying? That's the kinda s*** you expect out of Iran when some students are demonstrating for democracy and human rights. "Iranian officials seized 41 blog domains wednesday, in a move to bla bla bla."

    No, it's "United States Officials seized x blogs bla bla bla."

    When the hell did this happen? See you all in the internment camps, assuming the enforcement squads don't just put a bullet into me on the way.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Re:

    You shall start to care when it becomes illegal to think...

     

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


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