Here We Go Again: Operation In Our Sites Round 4 Kicks Off With More Domains Illegally Seized

from the ice:-where-free-speech-is-for-suckers dept

It had been a while since Homeland Security's ICE group stomped on anyone's free speech and due process rights, so it seems they had to just run out and illegally seize a bunch more websites this weekend, once again without any notice or adversarial hearings as required by the Constitution and the case law on the matter. What's truly bizarre is that the folks at ICE are fully aware that these actions are unconstitutional and they are still moving forward with them. Having spoken to numerous people involved on all sides of these seizures (more on that soon), the picture that's becoming clear is that many of the ICE agents are uncomfortable with these seizure procedures, feeling (as many of us have suggested) that their considerable resources and time should be focused on stopping actual crimes, not people putting up blogs and forums online. At the same time, there is tremendous pressure from the top, driven by an almost fever pitch of lobbying efforts by the RIAA and MPAA to shut down parts of the internet that they can't figure out how to compete with.

TorrentFreak is keeping a list of the seized domains for now, and once again, it appears to be a mix of linking sites and some that are involved in trademark infringement. In fact, some of the sites seem to just link to other streaming sites. This seems incredibly problematic, in that they seem to involve a gross expansion of what the law actually says concerning indirect infringement and criminal liability. But, even if you could read the law in the extreme manner suggested by ICE and the Justice Department, it doesn't change the fact that these seizures are improper under the Constitution. It's pretty sad, because Homeland Security and the Justice Department are supposed to be about defending the Constitution, not ignoring it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 2:32am

    Thery obviously don't care about the corruption that's more rampant in the US than just about anywhere else, including India, the UK and Russia.

    Sad to see that the land of the free is turning into Fallout: New Vegas.

     

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  2.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    On the bright side, if the game is any indication, I'm going to do quite well once the world goes to shit. So, there's always that.

     

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  3.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re:

    True that. I must have like, 50 or 60,000 bullets at this point. Plus, I just installed a new brain in my dog, so advances in dog tech are something to look forward to.

     

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  4.  
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    Tom, May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:35am

    In Soviet US...err... I mean Russia....

    In Soviet US we have our "sites" on YOU!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:41am

    Re:

    Better start collecting bottle caps now.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:17am

    Since when did the us goverment ever follow the constitution?
    It didn't under bush, and it's most certainly not under obama.

     

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  7.  
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    cc (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:22am

    Re: In Soviet US...err... I mean Russia....

    USSR? United States Socialist Republic?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:24am

    Well Re1ease.net is out of my bookmarks now I need to find a new site like it.

     

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  9.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I beat it on hardcore mode, so that amount of ammo would be very heavy.

    I play fer realz, yo. ;-)

     

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  10.  
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    Modplan (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:46am

    ICE kinda got a taste of their own medicine here:

    http://i.imgur.com/zJJ81.jpg

    Well done ICE, great job. You showed those pirates a thing or two didn't you?

     

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  11.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I might try that on the second runthrough. I'm kind of a wuss.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:00am

    Re:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:02am

    While I'm not overly fond of those who would stick with ICE through this, it is good to hear that there are people with a brain and a conscience over there. If they manage to effect change from the inside, more power to them. Not that I think anyone will listen to a voice without a hell of a lot of money behind it, but...

    Also, just linking to other streaming sites? If I link to a legitimate video on youtube (or another site of the same flavor), but youtube (or the other site) has other, illegitimate content that gets taken down, would that fall under ICE's naughty list?

     

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  14.  
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    bob563 (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:06am

    In the end...

    ...doesn't responsibility percolate to the top?

    The president is ultimately responsible for the actions of these departments, he should be reigning them in.

    Unless he's so firmly in the pockets of the entertainment industry.

     

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  15.  
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    That Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:11am

    Re:

    well they are working on changing the law to make streaming a felony, given all of the ills and horrible things happening in this country on a daily basis... but streaming needs to be a felony.

    I guess we know how far they are willing to go to prop up a business model. Hopefully the public will balk around the time they make it legal to shoot people who might have seen a few seconds of a movie they haven't paid to see.

     

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    DS, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:24am

    Now, what if you link to a site that links to a site that streams? How many onion layers are 'seizable'?

     

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  17.  
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    abc gum, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re:

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that the imaginary property industry were investing in the private incarceration industry. I can see the synergy there although it may be more appropriate to spell it sinergy.

     

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  18.  
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    Jeff, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Whats next...

    I wonder if they are up to seizing Youtube next?

     

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  19.  
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    Christopher (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    On some things, they are not following the Constitution.... mainly because the Supreme Court is willing to let them get away with ignoring the Constitution with those conservative idiots in there.

    Yep, that's right people: the fact is that CONSERVATIVE judges are more likely than liberal judges to allow power grabs by the federal government.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re:

    In my experience, the judges least likely to look at constitutional issues are sitting judges...

     

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  21.  
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    rw (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Re: In the end...

    Isn't that obvious already?

     

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  22.  
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    sam sin, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:49am

    i doubt if the general public know very much about what is happening with these seizures. dont think there is enough publicity/media attention. probably because the papers etc have either been threatened (or bribed?) to not report it.
    however, regardless of the amount of financial clout the industries have, i dont understand why so much efforet is being put into everything RIAA and MAFIAA etc wants and why so much notice is taken of what they say. there are other industries that have more money and do as much, if not more lobbying, but virtually no notice is taken by governments and no new/updated laws come into being either. i an still of the opinion that there is much more to what is going on than just trying to protect a dying/ refuse to change industry and that complete control of the Internet is the actual goal. trouble is, what will they do with it when, and i dont mean if, they get it? even giving it to the government, what the hell are they going to do with it? use it for world domination and put the rest back into the stone age?

     

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  23.  
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    V, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Why?

    Why are these not being challenged in court? And why isn't the EFF stepping up this time?

    Even if you don't support file sharing - or linking to file sharing - the chilling effects of carte blanche government censorship has to be terrifying people!

    Sure... it starts small... "To protect you from terrorism..." or "But think of the children..." but what's next? Nazi style book burning because the current administration doesn't like the content? China style government control of the news? What about protests? Are we going to see Lybia style firing into crowds of demonstraters?

    It's a slippery slope we started down... and I don't trust anyone in the government to know HOW... let alone WHEN to brake...

     

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  24.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Please!

    "...CONSERVATIVE judges are more likely than liberal judges ..."

    Oh for the love of pete here we go ... With all due respect considered, I can't keep my lips zipped this time 'round but before I unload just please do note that I respect your right to feel that way and state as such; however, I will now take my right to express a resounding "BUT".

    Every discussion has someone who just HAS to start in on this crap i.e., "Conservative vs. Liberal", "Bush vs. Obummer" - when the heck are we going to LET IT GO and understand this is no longer about party politics?

    All you accomplish when you start that rant is more division amongst what would otherwise be people who by and large agree on something far, FAR bigger than party politics - OUR COLLECTIVE FREEDOM.

    Can we ever let go of all that petty nonsense and pull together to focus on the larger picture? The fact is, the current administration and the previous - one on each side of the "fence" - continue to trample on our freedoms. That should be the main concern. Personally, it's my opinion the current uber liberal/progressive admin is far, FAR worse but both are at fault.

    IMHO, it has now come down to We, the People vs. Tyrannical Government, period. And tyranny is just another form of terrorism.

    Off soapbox...

     

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  25.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The hardest part of hardcore is that stim packs don't heal damaged limbs. I can snipe a radscorpion in the dark from 500 yards, but can't seem to see a landmine 2 ft away.

     

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  26.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Re: Whats next...

    I wondered about that, too.

    Several years ago I had a YouTube account/channel - whatever. I had oh, a couple dozen self made videos on there. So one day I upload one that had a clip from a song that from my own PURCHASED CD I had made a mp3 out of.

    I was told my content was illegal. At first I couldn't figure out what the heck was wrong with my video - then I researched.

    So, I walked away from YouTube and never looked back but that is what enlightened me to this whole music battle - and I don't even get into music file sharing.

     

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  27.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re:

     

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  28.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:34am

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

    How the hell do you guys do that? I can't even play threw on easy due to it crashing and all the other glitches.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Laws...

    are for the little people.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re: Please!

    Can we ever let go of all that petty nonsense and pull together to focus on the larger picture?

    It's the team sports mentality: my team versus yours.

     

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  31.  
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    Jon B. (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re:

    Until there's a site taken down that most people are aware of and like, the media will only report this as the government taking down sites doing bad things like distributing porn, child porn, counterfeit movies, music and violent video games, terrorist communications, and leaked military documents that reveal strategic troop locations and endanger lives.

    It's cheesy to say "first they came for the pornographers...", but it's also true.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    ...complete control of the Internet is the actual goal.

    Complete control of the populace is the actual goal, and that starts with controlling their speech, which means the big, bad internet.

     

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  33.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Please!

    All the more reason John and Jane Doe Public need to stick together. There's far more of us than "them".

    I'm sure you've heard that old quote about when the gov't fears the people...

     

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  34.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:17am

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

    "How the hell do you guys do that? I can't even play threw on easy due to it crashing and all the other glitches."

    ... You must have the PS3 version.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:18am

    The first man at ICE to tell the top brass "no, thats unconstitutional" gets fired, the 2nd guy say, "welp, must be constitutional".

    The guys at ICE cant say no to the bosses, so we need to put pressure on them (congress).

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Just a question. Are any of the linked sites situated in the United States? Of those I was able to determine site location, they are located outside the United States.

     

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  37.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:23am

    It had been a while since Homeland Security's ICE group stomped on anyone's free speech and due process rights, so it seems they had to just run out and illegally seize a bunch more websites this weekend, once again without any notice or adversarial hearings as required by the Constitution and the case law on the matter.

    I love how you pretend that it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are unconstitutional. You full well know that it's not so black-and-white and that no court has ever ruled either way. Yet you continue to assert that it's all perfectly clear. Strange that. I'd say I don't get it, but I think I do.

     

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  38.  
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    DogBreath, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    It will probably end like this: One day while allegedly doing "the right thing", they'll take down "the wrong site" killing the internet, and all hell will break loose.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIxvpjREwyI

    (Survival Tip: Don't be "Brad", and you should be OK.)

     

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  39.  
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    RcCypher (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Please!

    I am going to refuse to bring up party politics in this post. All I have to say is that you are entirely correct Jeni. This is about the people and the freedoms that we hold dear, freedoms that are supposed to be GUARANTEED and PROTECTED by the Constitution that we are supposed to live by.
    This is about the people of the nation standing up to OUR GOVERNMENT and saying, "NO, you cannot take my rights and freedoms away. As the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, BY the people, FOR the people, and OF the people, you will tell ANYONE who wants to infringe on those RIGHTS and FREEDOMS to TAKE A HIKE.

     

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  40.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: Please!

    Conservative politics, Liberal politics, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!

     

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  41.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:38am

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

    I know I do. Got stuck between a tree and a rock once. Talked to a person with no face for a few minutes. They had eyeballs and a mouth and nothing else. Have been amused to see several NPCs sleeping a good foot off the bed in thin air. Watched dead NPCs spawn from ceiling level and drop to the floor.

    I consider these flaws part of its charm. Except getting stuck. Then I had to reload and shoot those damn radscorpions all over again. Of course, I played Fallout 3 on the PS3 so I'm kind of used to a somewhat out-of-sync virtual world.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re:

    But it's okay how ICE pretends it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are constitutional?

    I'd hope that erring on the side of caution when it comes to constitutional rights would be best practice, but...sigh.

     

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  43.  
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    DogBreath, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Please!

    Conservative politics, Liberal politics, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!

    So, in other words : Another bunch of Fakes and Frauds, who are just trying to stay in power any way they can.

    Politician punch-ups in Taiwan are 'staged to make MPs look tough'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-455587/Politician-punch-ups-Taiwan-staged-make-MPs-l ook-tough.html

     

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  44.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:51am

    It's all shades of gray

    Black is a shade of gray.

    I find that it is sometimes the favorite shade of gray of people who argue that things are not black and white.

     

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  45.  
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    DogBreath, May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    But it's okay how ICE pretends it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are constitutional?

    I would bet that ICE is getting their legal advice from TSA's "Blogger Bob", who seems to be saying, "It's not illegal if the government does it".

     

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  46.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    "I love how you pretend that it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are unconstitutional. You full well know that it's not so black-and-white and that no court has ever ruled either way. Yet you continue to assert that it's all perfectly clear. Strange that. I'd say I don't get it, but I think I do."

    Six months before a complaint is filed. Immediate loss of income and disorganization of fans of a site. The rules continue to insist this goes against most parts of the Constitution. And while we know you have a problem with Karl's write up, it's still damn accurate.

    The reactions are also well known in the reestablishment of a website, the overall expensiveness of a lawsuit or a complaint, the inaccessibility to tools to reestablish your website among other provisions.

    It should be pretty clear that if it's not unconstitutional, it's truly authoritarian, where all the cards are in the government's favor.

     

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  47.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:54am

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

    Had no issues on the 360 version.

     

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  48.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re:

    Law enforcement agencies aren't big fans of the Constitution, except when one of their own is charged with a crime.

     

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  49.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    When is ICE seizing all the Google domains? You can find all sorts of links to infringing sites via Google.

     

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  50.  
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    xebikr (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    Ha! Why is your name FUDbuster when all you do is spread it.

    I love how you pretend that it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are unconstitutional. You full well know that it's not so black-and-white and that no court has ever ruled either way.

    Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Your post is the very definition of the later two, as you are spreading uncertainty and doubt. As for the fear part, I think ICE already has that covered.

    It's funny how the 'pirates' seem to understand the constitution better than the ICE.

    1. The Government Seizes The Domains Without Prior Notice And Hearing.

    2. Seizures of Protected Speech Without a Hearing Violates The First Amendment.

    3. There Is No Concern That The Accused Will Flee With Their Domains.

    4. There Is An Unacceptable Risk Of Wrongful Seizure.

    5. Targeted Sites Are Not Given An Immediate Opportunity To Reclaim Their Domain.

    Any of these items would indicate that the seizures are not lawful, but taken all together, ICE seems to be skating on thin, well. Ice.

    In depth reasoning on each point here: http://torrentfreak.com/5-reasons-why-the-us-domain-seizures-are-unconstitutional-110312/

     

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  51.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Please!

    Thanks RcCypher - and applause, applause! :) Well said.

     

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  52.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:26am

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

    I have the 360 version. I figured you had the PC version. It would seem that's the only version they give a crap about.

     

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  53.  
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    Rekrul, May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    however, regardless of the amount of financial clout the industries have, i dont understand why so much efforet is being put into everything RIAA and MAFIAA etc wants and why so much notice is taken of what they say.

    IP is the new religion. Just like the Catholic church was the real power during the middle ages, with even kings bowing down and passing whatever laws the church wanted, the corporations are now the ones in charge and the governments of the world bow down and pass whatever laws the entertainment industry wants.

    Welcome to the Inquisition 2.0, just substitute "copyright infringer" for "heretic".

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Why?

    Maybe because there's no viable constitutional basis to challenge the seizures? Better question: Why isn't Techdirt funding lawsuits?

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re:

    "It's funny how the 'pirates' seem to understand the constitution better than the ICE.

    1. The Government Seizes The Domains Without Prior Notice And Hearing.

    2. Seizures of Protected Speech Without a Hearing Violates The First Amendment.

    3. There Is No Concern That The Accused Will Flee With Their Domains.

    4. There Is An Unacceptable Risk Of Wrongful Seizure.

    5. Targeted Sites Are Not Given An Immediate Opportunity To Reclaim Their Domain.

    Any of these items would indicate that the seizures are not lawful, but taken all together, ICE seems to be skating on thin, well. Ice.

    In depth reasoning on each point here: http://torrentfreak.com/5-reasons-why-the-us-domain-seizures-are-unconstitutional-110312/"

    This is all very pretty and nice. So if it's a laydown as you suggest, where is the litigation from the Google-funded professional apologist groups like EFF, PK, CDT?

    Where's the ACLU? Where are the website owners that have been harmed? Where's Techdirts lawsuit? How about torrentfreak?

    You can jerk yourselves off all you like with assertions of Constitutional violations, but until a court says it- it just doesn't matter.

     

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  56.  
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    Anon, May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Mafiaafire is already redirecting

    The mafiaafire addon is already redirecting from Re1ease.net to the new site.

    For many, it's like nothing happened.

     

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  57.  
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    DogBreath, May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can jerk yourselves off all you like with assertions of Constitutional violations, but until a court says it- it just doesn't matter.

    Nice. Control the courts, and you control the law. That's the precise thinking of King George III and how he treated the Colonies in the Americas. Any history buff of the American Revolutionary War can tell you how well that turned out.

     

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  58.  
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    xebikr (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can jerk yourselves off all you like with assertions of Constitutional violations, but until a court says it- it just doesn't matter.

    Dude. You have weird proclivities if you associate constitution discussions with sexual arousal, even if it's indirectly.

    Anyway, you're argument is: "It's not unconstitutional unless a court says it is." I'm going to give your analysis all the attention it deserves. Wow. That's dumb. Read your statement yourself and see if you can find out where you went wrong.

     

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  59.  
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    Karl (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Update

    Torrentfreak has a small update on the whole affair, here:
    http://torrentfreak.com/ice-seizes-more-domains-today-admin-says-well-be-back-110522/

    The quotes from "PiraCee," admin at Re1ease.net, are particularly revealing:

    "We have only ever had two DMCA takedown requests – for Source Code and Hobo With a Shotgun," PiraCee told us. "We removed both."

    To sum up:
    - They did not host any infringing content.
    - They did not stream any infringing content from sites that did.
    - They apparently obeyed every single DMCA notice that they received (all two of them).

    In other words, this particular site was a poster child for 17 USC 512 compliance. Even if not, they were possibly not guilty even of civil infringement, under the Google v. Perfect 10 ruling. The notion that their actions are "criminal" is simply absurd.

    On a related subject - Mike, do you know what's happening with the sites that are contesting the seizures? I don't know any of the players involved, and they're being (understandably) mum about ongoing litigation. Any news?

     

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    Joseph Kranak (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:30am

    The constitutional

    Though I agree that the seizures aren't constitutional, I think that ICE could make an argument based on civil forfeiture. This only comes to mind because Don Bordreaux wrote about the awful supreme court decision in Bennis v. Michigan this weekend. In short, ICE could claim that the web domain is a property, and that property has committed a crime (by linking to piracy) and therefore can be seized. It's then up to the owner to prove that it wasn't used in a crime (guilty until proven innocent). Since the supreme court has upheld civil forfeiture as not violating the fourth ammendment, then they might in this case. Now, I'm hoping no one in ICE is reading this because I don't want to give them any ideas. It's just that attorneys can be very creative in crafting legal arguments and courts very permissive in accepting these arguments when they want to find justification for denying something that they just don't like. So, if you find judges that simply don't like piracy and you come up with a coherent argument, they might be prone to buy it without too much critical thought (at least that's the only way I can explain the supreme courts bad decisions in the past).

     

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  61.  
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    Karl (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the Google-funded professional apologist groups like EFF, PK, CDT

    On a related note, I'm going into the business of making tinfoil hats. I think you'd be interested. They're guaranteed to keep you safe from space aliens, microwave weaponry, and the radio transmitters in your teeth. A bargain at any price, but I'll let you have one for just $100, or three easy payments of $35! Call now, operators are standing by.

     

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  62.  
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    A Monkey with Atitude, May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Funny when the facts don't support you, fall back on attacks and saying "if the courts havent said so"....

    When the courts don't support you will you go away? no you will push for legislation because "Obviously they got it wrong"... And will keep pushing and pushing until you get your way... cause yea that's how it is supposed to work, or only for the piss ass record and movie companies?

    Personally, while the RIAA and others exist, i have not bought 1 CD (cheap plastic crap) or seen 1 movie, other than netflicks and You-tube, please please have your cronies take them down... because that will be the day your house of cards falls and we win... until then I still win because i get to keep my money, and the internet routes around you... So basically your Screwed!

    Have a nice day, i will knowing the "starving artist, and actors" are in such bad bad condition LOL

     

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  63.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re:

    IP doesn't matter, it's the money being passed around to influence lawmakers that supplies the new Inquisition.

     

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  64.  
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    Karl (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: The constitutional

    I think that ICE could make an argument based on civil forfeiture.

    In fact, that is exactly what they are arguing.

     

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  65.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: The constitutional

    But the judges don't even know about bittorrent to a decent degree. They don't understand piracy and merely use it based on the ideas used by last century. Time shifting is irrelevant in this new shift of government, along with any concept of fair use.

    So how can you bring about a case of censorship or against piracy when the deck is severely stacked against you, the individual?

     

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  66.  
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    xebikr (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: The constitutional

    ICE could claim that the web domain is a property, and that property has committed a crime (by linking to piracy)

    It's an interesting argument. The main flaw that I see (and I hope that someone in authority to make these determinations sees it too) is that there is no law suggesting that linking is a crime. At least not yet. So no crime has been committed by the domains that have been seized.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    Google indexes virtually every site on the internet including sites that infringe - Google is obviously guilty of infringement and inducing infringement. A huge portion of the sites on the internet link to or associated with Google. Therefore ICE could seize Google and any site that has anything to do with Google under their current logic. Then ICE could protect us (Riaa/MPAA/BSA....) from the terrorist, thieves and plagiarists infesting the internet making the world, mom and apple pie safe.
    Now guess what they would do with those sites and bandwidth a few months down the road....

     

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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    Think about what would happen if ICE seized Google though...

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    No, Google would not be subject to liability under this act, which would be readily apparent upon reading the class of sites that would be subject to the law.

     

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  70.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Update

    On a related subject - Mike, do you know what's happening with the sites that are contesting the seizures? I don't know any of the players involved, and they're being (understandably) mum about ongoing litigation. Any news?

    Yes. I'll have a post later today or tomorrow. Waiting to hear back from one more source.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Please!

    I always read these posts like you're yelling the caps parts. This makes you sound crazy and makes it impossible for me to take you serious.

     

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    Joseph Kranak (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Civil Forfeiture

    "It's an interesting argument. The main flaw that I see (and I hope that someone in authority to make these determinations sees it too) is that there is no law suggesting that linking is a crime"

    The point, I guess I was trying to make was that with civil asset forfeiture, the idea is that the asset is used in the commission of a crime. So, the basic gist is that the website was used in the commission of the act of piracy. Now, you might say that the owner of the web domain didn't commit the crime and the linking to sites is not a crime, but that doesn't matter. The decision in Bennis v. Michigan was about a woman whose car was seized because her husband used the car to have sex with a prostitute. She committed no crime, but she was penalized because someone used her asset (the car) to commit a crime. ICE would use the same argument here (I'm not sure what, if any, legal arguments they've presented), saying that since some person used a website to link to another website where they pirated content, the first website was used in the commission of a crime and is thus open to civil forfeiture.

    Now, it doesn't take too much thought to see that the implications of such an argument would be huge, suddenly google and youtube and a whole bunch of other legit sites are now up to be seized (in fact, the whole point of DMCA was to prevent that problem with its system of takedown notices that would define third party liability). You'd thus have to circumscribe your argument to define what exactly makes the sites seized different from other sites that are sometimes used in the process of piracy, probably by arguing that certain sites are primarily used for piracy. The rationale usually used to defend civil forfeiture is that it takes the profit out of illegal activities, so if they can show that these sites profit from the piracy, that might also bolster the case.

    Additionally, you might try to deflect free speech arguments by claiming that links are not a form of expression, but merely a service or a tool. Namely, you'd say that when you provide a link you're not stating an opinion or presenting a fact, you're merely pointing somewhere, like opening the door for someone. So, if you've got a site like atdhe.net, which was seized just before the superbowl, which was purely links, you might be able to claim the site really isn't protected speech, it's just a set of instructions your browser uses to get to infringing content.

    As I said before, I wouldn't advocate such arguments. The whole idea of civil forfeiture is completely against the 4th amendment, and end all IP law if I could. But considering these are the arguments that might be presented, it's worth thinking about them.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Thanks ICE!!

    I have been way behind on some shows ever since NinjaVideo went down. I just never thought it was worth my time to hunt down another site, as all the ones I did find in my limited time looking sucked. But Release seems like it could be legit and is even old NinjaVideo staff. Guess I finally get to watch the last season of Peep Show and IT crowd tonight. Thanks ICE for bringing these wonderful sites to my attention.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: The constitutional

    If you make an argument for civil forfeiture, then there is a constitutional process for that.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    I love to think about that.

    I wish ICE would do it.

    Yes, really.

     

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    Buck Lateral, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: The constitutional

    Joseph,

    that is precisely the legal (constitutionally permissible) theory that ICE has acted under. These are analogous to the arrest of a person, which also requires no prior notification. I am unaware that an sites subjected to these actions by ICE have challenged the legality which is also telling- particularly if it's such a slamdunk as some suggest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    maybe that is due to the fact that Google is not "dedicated to infringing" as the language of the PROTECT IP Act specifies.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Why?

    And why is Mike Masnick stiffing a charity out of the money he owes them?

     

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  79.  
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    Buck Lateral, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Civil Forfeiture

    Though I'm unaware of a ruling on the free speech issue you raised, I think it is likely the central theme and one that the courts will uphold. A website that exists primarily for the purpose of ushering users to sites dedicated to infringing content doesn't have much of a claim to protected speech. And really it makes a mockery of all of the comments that compare seizing these sites to the type of censorship that exists in China.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re: ...Not subject to liability under this act ,..

    It seems that they are making up the law as they go, why wouldn't they go ahead and go to the next level??

    "Poking sticks at rats and bunnies is safe and fun, poking at lions and elephants will get you killed" - Jim Westendorf

     

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  81.  
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    Karl (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: The constitutional

    But the judges don't even know about bittorrent to a decent degree.

    This case has absolutely nothing to do with torrents, so that's a bit of a red herring.

    Instead, what the site did was post links to "file lockers" that hosted infringing content. They also embedded video streams from third parties (what Perfect 10 v. Google called "inline linking").

    As an aside, that ruling also determined that the "server test" is the correct test for direct infringement. That is, if the content is not hosted on your servers, you cannot be guilty of direct infringement - though contributory or vicarious infringement can apply.

    However, neither contributory nor vicarious infringement has ever been considered a criminal violation. Specifically, they are neither "reproducing" nor "distributing" the content for the purposes of copyright law (the "file lockers" and streaming sites are). One or both of those are required under 17 USC 506.

    Which means that none of these sites committed anything that any court has determined to be a criminal act.

     

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    Russ (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    ICE =Customs

    Mike,

    "It's pretty sad, because Homeland Security and the Justice Department are supposed to be about defending the Constitution, not ignoring it."

    You should have a much better understanding of Customs history that I do. Customs since Roman times has always been about collecting the taxes and tariffs. Most of the time, the tariffs were supporting protectionist policies. In merry olde England, the tariffs didn't even need approval of Parliament. Although they are supposed to follow the constitution, Customs primary duty has not been protecting it but enforcing protectionist policies and collecting taxes

    The Customs Service doing the bidding of commercial interests is entirely consistent with 2000 years of tradition.

     

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  83.  
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    Rick Kulacki Jr., May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm awaiting the day 4chan gets taken down for whatever reason....THEN all hell would probably break loose

     

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  84.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    What does "dedicated to infringing" even mean? If a certain percentage of the speech on the website is links to copyrighted material? How do you determine the percentage?
    What if, here in the comments, I spam a million web links. Does that mean techdirt has to come down?

     

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  85.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: The constitutional

    Damn... Should have said "technology" instead of "bittorrent".

    Regardless, I wonder what this means for all of the caselaw when COICA seems to proceed right over it.

    Will judges be more likely to interpret based on the precedents of say, Perfect 10 v Google, or use the applied and rather stringent dictation of COICA?

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Perhaps they could take to the next level ....

    “The bill still defines a site as ‘dedicated to infringing activities,’ if it is designed or marketed as ‘enabling or facilitating’ actions that are found to be infringing,” he said. “In other words, even if the site isn’t itself infringing copyright, if its actions ‘enable or facilitate’ someone else’s infringement, the government can tell ISPs to blacklist your site, and copyright holders can sue to cut your funding.”

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/protect-act/

     

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    The eejit (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    How so? IT enables dictatorships to look at America, say, "they're doing it, why can't we?" and ignore any potential moral high-ground the US might have had.

     

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  88.  
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    Karl (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The constitutional

    Will judges be more likely to interpret based on the precedents of say, Perfect 10 v Google, or use the applied and rather stringent dictation of COICA?

    It's the judges' job to interpret the law as written by Congress and the Constitution.

    So, they'd be duty-bound to follow COICA/PROTECT-IP if it's passed. Unless they find that it's unconstitutional... which is not unlikely.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: The constitutional

    If you're party to criminal infringement via contributory or vicarious actions, why would a court not deem you an accessory to a crime and treat you the same as any other accessory to a crime?

     

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  90.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Please!

    Ohhhhkay! "Anonymous Coward".

    Now that added WHAT to the conversation?

     

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  91.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The constitutional

    Linking to a site doesn't make a person "party to criminal infringement".

    That would be like saying if I linked to a prison pen pal site I'm party to every criminal's crimes. That's preposterous. You are presuming that a link to something that SOME call illegal means a person is guilty of criminal behavior. How do you prove such a thing?

    You can't just up and accuse people of a crime because they make a statement of fact.

    You can say, "Hey look. xyz.com has this that or the other thing" on a web page. That's not a criminal act, nor is it being party to one. Saying something is there doesn't mean a thing other than that - well, 'it's there'.

     

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  92.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    So if Joe-Blo walks up to me while I'm outside and asks where the nearest bank is and I give him directions, then he goes there and robs the bank, suddenly I'm a bank robber while I was just weeding my bushes because I gave him directions? I don't think so...

    This whole thing is a slippery slope that needs to be nipped post haste. If this revolting IP act is allowed, there simply is no telling where they will go next.

    There is also a statement in there that refers to anything "bad for public health" - that's not verbatim, but something to that effect. That is very vague and can lead to more murky waters that could have a profound negative effect on any number of web site owners that have nothing to do with copyright so-called "infringement".

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    That would be like saying if I linked to a prison pen pal site I'm party to every criminal's crimes. That's preposterous.

    Yes, your analogy is most certainly preposterous.

    Anyone have a valid legal opinion?

     

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  94.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re:

    But it's okay how ICE pretends it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are constitutional?

    I'd hope that erring on the side of caution when it comes to constitutional rights would be best practice, but...sigh.


    You bring up an interesting point. Congress enacted a statute allowing for the instrumentalities of criminal copyright infringement to be seized. ICE is exercising the power that Congress gave them. How could ICE know whether or not seizing domain names is constitutional? The courts typically don't give advisory opinions. Sometimes the only way to find out is to do it, thus creating an actual case that a court could look at.

    I hope somebody challenges these seizures soon, and I hope they have excellent lawyers making their case. I'd love to see the courts address this.

     

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    abc gum, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why?

    Why is it that some people can not stay on topic.

     

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  96.  
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    abc gum, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: The constitutional

    "analogous to the arrest of a person, which also requires no prior notification"

    You think that hundreds of people arrested for no reason would make the nightly news?

    Could those responsible for the arrest of innocent people be held accountable in civil court?

    Might the tax paying public be concerned about wasting their hard earned money?

    I doubt these questions will be answered by the silly apologist who passes the buck in a lateral fashion.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    You guys have serious issues with constructing analogies...

    So if Joe-Blo walks up to me while I'm outside and asks where the nearest bank is and I give him directions, then he goes there and robs the bank, suddenly I'm a bank robber

    No, because you don't know what his intent is and you're not directing him to anything illegal.

    If you told him exactly how to rob that bank, you're an accessory and guilty of bank robbery.

    That would be like saying if I linked to a prison pen pal site I'm party to every criminal's crimes.

    This analogy is even worse; the criminal isn't in prison for having a penpal site.


    This consistent inability to come up with valid analogies proves how incredibly weak the pirate "argument" is.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: The constitutional

    no reason

    Epic. Fail.

     

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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    Re:

    Oh, a little too much clarity too much for you? Sorry, but this isn't an issue for knee-jerk reactions. All potential ramifications need to betaken seriously.

    It may not be a bad idea to consider the points made rather than attempt a slam dunk just because you don't care for one or it doesn't suit your agenda or message, whichever applies.

    Please don't ever run for office if you're in the U.S.

     

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  100.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    "No, because you don't know what his intent is and you're not directing him to anything illegal."

    No, but what if he lies? What if he says I said something I didn't? Criminals are notorious for lying. Also, how does anyone who posts a link to what you consider "infringing" material know exactly what others are going to do if they decide to visit the link? How do you even know every visitor WILL visit the link, much less take advantage of whatever is on said link?

    You are taking innocent, unknown people and determining them guilty of a crime when in truth you have no clue what anyone is going to actually DO (or has done) when they visit these links.

    As for the prison pen pal site, guess I have to help you think deeper. What if a girl sees that link, finds a prisoner, writes to him, he gets out and brutally harms her in some unthinkable fashion and she tells authorities, "But I found the link on so-and-so's web site, it's all her fault! I never would have wrote if I hadn't found that link!" Is it then MY fault she decided to write a prisoner?

    BAM. Under the ILLogic of this bill then I'm guilty? Which again I'll say, is preposterous.

     

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  101.  
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    abc gum, May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    "you're not directing him to anything illegal."

    They're called banksters for some reason, what do you suppose that would be?

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    If he lied to you, you have no problem. You didn't know anything illegal was going on.

    Those sites know something illegal is going on. It's called willful ignorance and it fails in court. Sorry.

    Your penpal analogy is still bizarrely and illogically wrong and irrelevant.

    But I suspect you know that already...

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    What's funny is that China is home to a 99% piracy rate.

    It's the pirates that want the US internet to look like China's.

     

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  104.  
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    Jay (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    "Anyone have a valid legal opinion?"

    And yet another problem. People seem to look at the law to solve everything.

    Why is no one looking at the ramifications of said law? Great, Hadopi passed the legislation. How's it holding up in stopping piracy?

    Someone once said "for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction". Maybe, just maybe, the domain seizures, horribad laws, and overall ineptitude of our politicians will make that opposite reaction appear as people look at the ramification of becoming a criminal for nothing more than a download.

     

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  105.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    So wilful ignorance of the public should also fail in court. Here's another one.

    I have a three-PC license of Windows 7. I use two of those up on my own cimputer, through upgrading components. I call microsoft to request another license and am refused; as I need those two licenses for my notebook and my little girl's desktop, what am I meant to do.

    (and no, this isn't a hypothetical. This is a real issue.)

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Hadopi? Might want to let it actually be around a while before you judge the effects.

    And "stopping" piracy is a strawman; there will always be the dedicated sociopaths. Just like there will always be blogs like techdirt and torrentfreak obsessed with the culture of piracy.

    Rebelling via ripping off musicians is the ultimate in pussy anarchism, btw.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    Buy another one.

    "I've built a PC for every member of my family. My family has 50 people in it. Do you really expect me to buy multiple licenses for Windows?"

    Yes, you greedy tightwad. Yes I do.

     

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  108.  
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    Jeni (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    Okay, plain and real simple like for the shallow minded...

    The bank analogy is to point out that no, in no way, should be held responsible to any degree or in any fashion whatsoever for the actions of another human being. You simply cannot "shoot the messenger" as the old saying goes. There's another old saying that applies, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" - something like that, anyway.

    I'm 52 years old and apologize for "old sayings" but as you get older and experience more of life and the craziness of human nature, you understand why these old sayings stick around - they're spot on.

    Personal responsibility is what it's all about. If I find every file sharing network I can and stick links to them on a web page, that does not make me any more guilty of a crime or of using the sites as it does the next guy/gal who may happen to lay eyes on the web page I put those links on. Which, in turn, makes me devoid of any criminal act unless it's proven I've "infringed copyright" - which merely linking to a site simply DOES. NOT. DO.

    People make their own decisions in this life - others can't do that for them, not with a link, not with words.

    As for my pen pal analogy - if you don't get it by now, never mind. I tried. I'll just agree to disagree on that one as I do believe it's very relevant. I was threatened with arrest for linking to a police station on a business web site for crying all night. I know what's possible from dictator wanna-be's so my sentiments come from experience, I just tried to keep the "me-ism" factor out of this.

     

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

  109.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    Right, so because I followed what I'm meant to, I should pay £230 for ANOTHER licence for software I'm using in the appropriate manner? Sure, just another cashgrab, of course.

     

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

  110.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sociopath; I do not think it means what you think it means. IT is the lack of empathy for any emotion. A sociopath is a rarity, not the norm.

     

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

  111.  
    icon
    Jeni (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Would you please define, in your anonymous-coward brevity, what a "dedicated sociopath" is, precisely (by your so-called standards)?

    And would you also please define this "pussy anarchism" you speak of?

     

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

  112.  
    identicon
    Re1ease, May 24th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re1ease is back

    Re1ease.net is now back on-line at http://RE1EASE.NET.IN

     

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

  113.  
    identicon
    DogBreath, May 24th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Civil Forfeiture

    Your right about the cashgrab. Microsoft (and many other companies) don't care one bit about the ramifications of their "three install monte" (three card monte) when it comes to the end user, unless that consideration is to find a way to collect more money from the public for their illogical install routines. They're not looking for a solution to this problem, and as long as they win and you don't, they'll be happy.

    P.S. No need to respond anymore to this AC, "it" has shown its true colors by not responding to what you have specifically said, but instead attempted to change the subject onto something it thinks it has a better chance at winning. As the saying goes, "Nothing to see here, move along... move along."

     

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

  114.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re1ease is back

    The forums are still down.

     

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

  115.  
    icon
    kehvan (profile), May 30th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: It's all shades of gray

    Shades of gray are merely individual points of black and white seen from a distance.

     

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


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