Should ISPs Cut Off The Entertainment Industry For Pushing Them To Censor?

from the nuclear-option? dept

A bunch of folks have been sending over Rick Falkvinge's plea for ISPs to start refusing service to any company or organization that seeks to have them block access to others. This is, of course, in the wake of the Newzbin2 ruling:
"Any party forcing any of our kin anywhere in the world through a court of law to filter or censor any third part, or otherwise interfere with their communications, or threatening to use such force, directly or through an agent or membership alliance, and for whatever reason, shall have its identity and its business kicked off the net on all ports and all services. In transit, and at the end of the line. They shall be denied service and they shall be denied presence. For they who would deny communication to another, deserve no better for themselves."
It's quite a manifesto, and I certainly understand the sentiment behind it, but I'm not convinced it's a good idea for two key reasons. First, it's unlikely that any ISP will actually agree to this. Especially these days, when ISPs themselves think that they need to get beyond being "dumb pipes" and want to be in the content business themselves, too many of them no longer realize that they should be focusing on what's best for consumers. Second, and more importantly, I'm just not convinced that escalating a war stance is really that effective. I know it feels good, and many people here likely support this idea. But all it really does is continue to put the pro-copyright folks on the defensive and allows them to portray themselves as victims, rather than aggressors. I realize that some still view it as quaint, but I still believe that eventually the firms in these industries will come around to recognizing that it's in their own best interests to embrace what the technology allows, and cutting them off from the internet won't bring them any further down that path... but instead would likely make them dig in harder on their original position.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:09am

    While I agree with the sentiment that couching any ideological situation in war-like terms gets no one anywhere faster, if ISPs did take this plea to heart, they should change it to 3 accusations of censorship and yer out, just to be fair.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:13am

      Re:

      they should change it to 3 accusations of censorship and yer out, just to be fair.

      That wouldn't take long.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        MrWilson, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Censorship is where we can use the IP maximalist's logic against him.

        They have asserted that making copyrighted material available regardless of whether it's downloaded by anyone is still copyright infringement.

        We can thus say that censoring anything at all, no matter if anyone would have bothered to listen/read the message, is still mass censorship and should be punished accordingly.

        Since freedom from censorship is a more vital right in a democratic republic than the privilege of a temporary monopoly on copying a particular work, the punishment should be more harsh (and criminal). Corporations should be dissolved for violating civil rights since their corporate charters are a privilege granted by the people through the government.

         

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

  •  
    icon
    kleuske (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Wiki

    Such a policy is in place on wikipedia. If you threaten anyone with legal action, you're kicked off (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_legal_threats). I, frankly, applaud the sentiment but i have doubts ISP's will go along.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:24am

    I don't doubt that firms will eventually come around to embracing what technology can do. The cassette tape was eventually embraced. The VCR was eventually embraced. Lots of stuff was eventually embraced. I just wish they'd look back at these examples and then start embracing new technology more quickly instead of dragging out the same old tired schtick.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Prisoner 201, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:40am

      Well, that would require actual innovation, both in products and business models.

      It is far simpler on the little grey ones to just handle any and all problems by telling the legal department to sue someone.

      Besides, anyone developing any newfangled business models due to techno-whatchacallit is basically a thief, taking sales and customers from honest traditional businesses.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      They'll only embrace it when all other options fail. It's not an embrace - it's submission.

      It'd be interesting to know what innovations they were successful in stopping over the last century.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        rangda (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:05am

        Re: Re:

        It'd be interesting to know what innovations they were successful in stopping over the last century.

        DAT (digital audio tape) was originally pushed as a replacement for the audio cassette but paranoia over "perfect" digital copies forced all consumer DAT decks to have copy protection (Audio Home Recording Act of 1992) and the format was stillborn outside of pro audio (where it was used through the mid to late 90's). Amusingly the protection used was called SCMS which most users of DAT decks referred to as "scummy".

        I don't think it would have replaced audio cassettes anyway as the transport was similar to a VCR in design and was probably too fiddly to be reliable in a car stereo, which is what really pushed cassette in front of vinyl at the time.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        Hephaestus (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        They basically failed at everything they did. Yes they did successfully lobby for protection, extending copyright length, and collection societies. In the end that will be their downfall. They have set up a house of cards that spans dozens of nations each with their own laws, collection societies, and people not willing to give up an inch of their turf. They are locked into a system that can not adapt or change.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    jimbo, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:41am

    i agree that this probably wont work but, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander, as they say. a taste of their own medicine may do them good!

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:24am

      Re:

      You're on the right track. The best way to go about it would be if they are accused of trying to send letters to users on an ISP 3 times, they should be cut off.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:09am

    it wont work i the same way kicking people off wont work. given a week and any one kicked off will be back on.it is one name one person so someone in the house would put it back.in the same way someone in the company would.though it is a nice idea :)

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      it is one name one person so someone in the house would put it back.

      I work for a major US cableco ISP. When we cut someone off, we put a block on service at that address. The next person trying to get service there has to go to the local office with proof that they lived somewhere else before.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        btr1701 (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        > When we cut someone off, we put a block
        > on service at that address. The next person
        > trying to get service there has to go to
        > the local office with proof that they
        > lived somewhere else before.

        What a wonderfully customer-friendly policy. Nothing like trying to patronize a business and the first thing that happens is they punish you for the actions of someone else who you don't even know.

        My response would be to tell them to screw themselves and sign up with their competitor.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Assuming there is a competitor, of course.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 12:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What a wonderfully customer-friendly policy.

          Actually, it goes even further than that. Whenever someone applies for service and we run a check on them, one of the things we check is whether they ever lived with someone who owes us money. If so then they can't have service at any address until either that other person pays off what they owe us or this person pays it off for them. One way or the other, someone is going to have to pay. The collections department is very firm about that.

          My response would be to tell them to screw themselves and sign up with their competitor.

          I hope you're willing to move somewhere else then because in many areas we're the only game in town for high speed internet and we're certainly the only cable provider.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 12:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I forgot to mention, we also cut people off for DMCA complaints and tell them that we are legally required to do so by the DMCA when they call. No refunds on unused service either.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              PaulT (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 1:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So, you're saying that not only will you kick people off for accusations of wrongdoing, you'll also refuse them service if they've ever associated with someone who owes you money? Then, you also revel in the fact that these people have no choice?

              You, sir, are an asshole and it's no wonder you post anonymously.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 1:49am

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

                "You, sir, are an asshole and it's no wonder you post anonymously."

                So, what's your address, Paul? And do you have cable?

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  PaulT (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 2:05am

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

                  Neither is particularly relevant, although my location and various other details about me aren't too hard to find if you're so inclined. Unlike some posters here, my opinions aren't so odious that I feel I need to hide that I posted them.

                  ...and no, I don't have cable, though I do have that option if I wanted. I'd certainly be sure not to obtain that type of access if the above AC is any indication of the way they treat their customers, however.

                   

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

            •  
              icon
              mike allen (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 8:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              As I live in the UK where i have a choice of over 100 ISPs your argument is null and void.glad i not in USA for once.

               

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

      •  
        identicon
        abc gum, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re:

        "The next person trying to get service there has to go to the local office with proof that they lived somewhere else before."

        So now there are multiple parties who are guilty until proven innocent originating from one "kicking". Next thing you know, they will charge a fee to remove the block. Once this gets past the courts there will a huge increase in the quantity of accusations. Looks like a new and improved business model for the fascist regime. Drinks all around - its party time!

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:13am

    I've already done it -- a long time ago

    The domains that belong to the copyright cartel are blacklisted on every system that I run; their network blocks are firewalled out. This of course doesn't affect their ability to access anything else, but it does mean that (for example) they won't be able to send mail to any of my users, nor will they be able to reach any of my systems -- at least not from their own, I recognize that it would be easy for them to use third parties.

    This people are enemies of the Internet, and they've ALREADY declared war on it. I see no reason not to return the favor.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:17am

    It is censorship in the same way that you deny freedom of speech by having crack dealers locked up. If the ISPs were blocking protected free speech, there might be something to this story. But the courts have already ruled on Newzbin, and it's pretty much a done deal.

    Whining about it won't change much.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      Yes, Newzbin goes on, the courts look stupid trying to keep an injunction, and the entertainment industry keeps using money to try to beat a legislative hammer over them while the rest of the world watches them being ineffective.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      Somebody doesn't understand how the world works.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      No, it's the same as jailing the contractor that built a road because people use it to transport illegal drugs.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      You do realize that the court-ordered blocks have already been tunneled around, yes? (In fact, anticipating the next bit of boneheaded judicial idiocy, measures have been put in place to ensure continued access in the face of the next several feeble attempts to legislate water as "not wet".)

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re:

        I realize it, and understand that it isn't any different from arresting the local drug dealer. The addicts will just route around that blockage and find another dealer.

        It doesn't mean that you give up and stop trying to stop the problem.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Gwiz (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 12:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I realize it, and understand that it isn't any different from arresting the local drug dealer. The addicts will just route around that blockage and find another dealer.

          It doesn't mean that you give up and stop trying to stop the problem.


          No, it means you should find a better solution. In your example of the drug dealer, how about legalizing the drug use, taxing it and using the new revenue to help the addicts kick the habit.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            TDR, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, Gwiz, you would legalize things like cocaine, crack, and heroine? Things whose only effects are deadly to the body? And how would you prevent regulatory capture?

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Generic and prescription drug overdoses, household cleaners, and alcohol are "deadly to the body" too. Quick, ban them.

               

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

            •  
              icon
              Gwiz (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 4:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So, Gwiz, you would legalize things like cocaine, crack, and heroine?

              Yes. These substances are neither better nor worse than alcohol, nicotine, Oxycontin or any of the other legal substances that are misused all the time.

              30 years of enhanced law enforcement in the *War on Drugs" has shown us that attacking the dealer (or service provider, if you will) hasn't worked. It seems to me that attacking the problem from the other side would make more sense. Start by removing the demand for the illegal product in the first place by providing a legal and safer option.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                above_the_yellow, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 10:06am

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

                So, then, what would the legal use of things like crack and cocaine be? What purpose do they serve other than to get people high and screw up their bodies? That's the difference between them and things like alcohol and prescription drugs, which can be used in ways that don't harm the body.

                It seems that people like you, Gwiz, would turn the world into a hedonistic free-for-all and not care at all about the consequences.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 10:40am

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

                  So, then, what would the legal use of things like crack and cocaine be?

                  Well, since you asked, cocaine hydrochloride CII is a prescription topical anesthetic.

                   

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

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

                  "So, then, what would the legal use of things like crack and cocaine be? What purpose do they serve other than to get people high and screw up their bodies? That's the difference between them and things like alcohol and prescription drugs, which can be used in ways that don't harm the body."

                  I guess this idiot doesn't know that cocaine is also a prescription drug.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cocaine_hydrochloride_CII_for_medicinal_use.jpg

                   

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

                •  
                  icon
                  PaulT (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 11:01am

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

                  Christ... seriously, 2 seconds on Google or Wikipedia and you'd answer your own questions and stop yourself from looking like a moron. 2 seconds of thought and you could participate in intelligent discussion.

                  Instead, you launch into the usual hyperbole you use for discussions on the entertainment industry (which is what this thread is about, remember?), and assume it's all but nothing. Legal stuff has to be OK (despite the horrendous damage alcohol abuse causes) and illegal stuff has to be 100% bad, despite many medicinal uses. You literally don't have the brain capacity to see otherwise.

                  "It seems that people like you, Gwiz, would turn the world into a hedonistic free-for-all and not care at all about the consequences."

                  Whereas people like you want a totalitarian state where everything has to have an extortionate price tag, paid to corporations. Between these two ridiculous scenarios, I know which I would choose.

                   

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

                •  
                  icon
                  Gwiz (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 11:21am

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

                  So, then, what would the legal use of things like crack and cocaine be? What purpose do they serve other than to get people high and screw up their bodies?

                  The exact same purposes that Mike's Hard Lemonade, Budweiser and Marlboro Reds have. And who the fuck are you to tell other people what they can and cannot put into their own bodies?

                  It seems that people like you, Gwiz, would turn the world into a hedonistic free-for-all and not care at all about the consequences.

                  Not at all. Our current solution is not working. Not only that, it has also turned the US into a quasi-police state and has eroded our Constitutional freedoms in the process. For what? What have we gained? It's time to rethink the strategy.

                  Perhaps you should go and read the history of marijuana laws. It wasn't made illegal because it harmed people. It was made illegal because of William Hearst, who had millions of acres of forests and didn't want to compete with hemp paper and DuPont who had a patent on Nylon and didn't want to compete with hemp rope.

                   

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 10:48am

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

                30 years of enhanced law enforcement in the *War on Drugs" has shown us that attacking the dealer (or service provider, if you will) hasn't worked.

                Actually, it has worked just the way it is really intended to work. It has made criminals out of a large number of people and created yet another way to make the poor poorer and the rich richer. This is what the copyright industry is hoping a "copyright war" will do for them as well.

                 

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

            •  
              icon
              PaulT (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Things whose only effects are deadly to the body?"

              I'd look up the word "only" in the dictionary, and perhaps follow that up with a medical dictionary.

              I also love the idiotic derailing of the thread, as usual. No matter how much you wish they were, the use of narcotics and sharing a music file are not analogous. If you think they are, you're too stupid to take part in this argument. If you don't stop trying to derail the conversation.

               

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

        •  
          identicon
          FuzzyDuck, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 3:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It doesn't mean that you give up and stop trying to stop the problem.
          Unfortunately not no. It's not like the US gov is winning the war on drugs you know. They've tried repression for decades and it hasn't helped one bit.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            kleuske (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 3:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In fact it has made the problem worse by putting a de facto monopoly in the hands of criminals, who have no qualms about using weapons, or selling real nasty stuff to youngsters.Ask a Mexican how prohibition worked out, then ask a dutchman how their tolerance worked out.I dare to surmise both will agree the Dutch solution worked better. Much better.

             

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

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      "Whining about it won't change much."

      Blocking a single source won't do much, as you fools have been trying to learn the hard way for over a decade. It's been said that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

      Call me silly, but servicing your customers' needs is a better solution than killing their access to free speech and free legal content. But then, 'm not in charge of a failing industry so what do I know, right?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      Whining?
      That's rich.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Always a coward to say everyone should just go with the wishes of the IP industry, their well paid lobbiests and whoever they have in their pockets.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:18am

    ISPs Too

    Of course, there would be ISPs that would sign them up anyway, just like there are ISPs that sign up known spammers. But like spammer ISPs themselves get disconnected, censorship-friendly ISPs should get disconnected as well.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Should They?

    Hell yeah they should!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 11:21am

    i love it.but no isp's here will do it.would be great to take the RIAA/MPAA and blacklist them so no access to them or any of their stooges.
    war is coming to the usa soon in a computer near you !!!!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    md1500 (profile), Aug 1st, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    I've always thought that whenever someone downloads a legal product, the entertainment industry should reward the ISPs by giving them a percentage of the profits.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    We have the power...

    Just stop supporting the entertainment industry... I hear all kinds of people going on and on about how evil they are, so stop supporting them. Don't buy CD's, don't buy DVD/Bluray don't go to the theatre and cancel your cable. Anything less is basically saying what they do is ok with you.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 9:01pm

      Re: We have the power...

      Oh please, take it some step further: quit pirating, downloading, or sharing their content.

      Come on. If the industry is that bad, don't deal with them at all,and stop enjoying the product.

      I doubt many people here could even do it for 90 days.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 12:18am

        Re: Re: We have the power...

        "I doubt many people here could even do it for 90 days."

        If you were to make that bet with me, for one, you'd lose. We're surely not back at the old "nothing that doesn't meet my tastes can be any good" position again, are we? That's one of your weakest.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        RadialSkid (profile), Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 6:25am

        Re: Re: We have the power...

        With proper access to alternatives, such as CC-licensed material, it wouldn't take long to get off the MAFIAA tit entirely.

        I did it for music two years ago, commercial television 8 months ago, and am now moving into movies (I've watched all of five studio movies, all rented DVDs, since April). Your crowd is not as crucial to life as you would like to think.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    TDR, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 10:33am

    You guys actually thought I was out_of_the_blue? Must have done a pretty good impression of him, hehe. The alt name was a parody of his own, that's all. I've done it in a couple other threads using different prepositions and colors (into_the_red and below_the_green, for example). I apologize for how I came off, it's not really how I am. I wasn't aware cocaine had any medicinal uses, that's interesting. I knew marijuana did, but that's all. Do all illegal drugs have such uses? Just wondering, is all, not trying to troll or anything. I honestly don't know much about them other than the negative things.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This