Justice Department Hanging Onto Torrent-Finder Because It Doesn't Like How Search Engines Work

from the well-that's-just-great dept

In the wake of the news about the federal government completely censoring dajaz1.com for over a year on no legal basis, we've been wondering about some of the other websites that ICE has seized that have asked for the domains back -- without any further due process. Torrent-finder.com, which unlike the blog Dajaz1.com, is just a search engine, let us know that their situation is just slightly different. But what it comes down to is that the Justice Department doesn't like search engines and is waiting for Torrent-Finder to come up with a way not to find infringing materials:
The status of torrent-finder is different than other domains: were working with ICE to regain the domain by proposing methods torrent-finder can modify its search engine to ameliorate problems identified in the seizure. Broadly speaking, these are problems that IPR has identified with search engines in general. Were confident that this process will result in release of the domain name, and validation that torrent-finder.coms business is not based on infringement. In the meantime, my clients torrent-finder.com business has essentially been given the death penalty: over one year has passed with the domain offline, while the wheels of justice seem to grind more slowly than ever.
Is this really what we want or what the law allows? For the government to completely shut down a search engine for over a year with no actual court process, while the search engine gets to "propose" different ways to build a search engine... while waiting (and waiting and waiting) for DOJ officials to get back to them on how search engines should work in their "expert" opinions?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    On what grounds?

    It would seem as though the DOJ is lacking perogorative to demand torrent-finder do this. If SOPA passes search engines may be legally required to censor their results, but SOPA hasn't passed yet. This seems like a classic case of prior restraint and a clear violation of the law by ICE and the Department of (in)Justice.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    "were working with ICE to regain the domain by proposing methods torrent-finder can modify its search engine to ameliorate problems identified in the seizure."

    Actually, it sounds more like the guys who were running the site are desperately trying to find a way to make ICE happy enough to get their domain back, knowing that on the basis of what was there, they would never see it again.

    Sounds like it's all them... and not the government.

     

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  3.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: On what grounds?

    "If SOPA passes search engines may be legally required to censor their results, but SOPA hasn't passed yet."

    Even when it passes, the way it is written, it will probably be unconstitutional.

     

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  4.  
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    Nathan F (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    So what is to keep ICE from doing this to Google when they get done with Torrent Finder? After all, you can use Google to find Torrent seeds.

     

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  5.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:

    Pffft! I think we can trust the government to do what's right and in the interest of its citizens. Of course, corporations are now citizens too...citizens with more rights now that money equals speech.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Bizarre

    Either charge them with a crime or let the DNS name go.

    This sounds like a bully keeping a kid's lunch money until the kid promises to do the bully's homework for them.

     

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  7.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Idiots

    The day Google can come up with a way to not link to copyrighted material is the day it is fair to ask Torrent-Finder to do the same. Google has always been a good place to find your infringing MP3s from my findings.

    They seriously need reminding that a search engine only returns what people search for. You can't blame a third person (oh the Devil/Search Engine/Drugs/Tooth Fairy made me do it) if people want unlawful instead of lawful content.

    I would just turn around and say the Government should have removed all infringing material from the Net and since they have FAILED to do their job then it is not Torrent-Finder's fault its search engine contains infringing content.

    Or maybe we should blame ISPs for allowing all this to happen and demand they cease immediately by terminating all Internet connections. Thus copyright infringement solved in one foul swoop... or would it?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Way to gloss over the details of the story:

    Broadly speaking, these are problems that IPR has identified with search engines in general

    They are a search engine. The supposed problems their site has are the same any search engine has. But you don't see ICE going after Google, Bing or Yahoo.

    But the question is, why should they? Search engines are a third party not directly involved in the criminal acts. ICE should be detaining those responsible for the copyright infringement.

    Taking down torrent search engines will do nothing to stop copyright infringement. By the time the sites are down, 10 more would've popped up. I mean, just look at The Pirate Bay, possibly the most well known "pirate" website in the world. How many times have they been raided? And what did that do to them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    Target the sources of infringement and the pirate sites will dry up quickly. This game of whack-a-mole is a complete waste of time and resources, but, worst of all, gives law enforcement agencies an excuse to implement nuclear options that benefit no one and only push you further into 1984.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Well isn't this silly....

    The DOJ has a website that they say points directly to infringing material. Instead of using those pointers to all of that "obviously" infringing material, going to the source and taking it down, they want the search engine to hide it. It will still be there but now "one" search engine just won't see it. BOY IS THIS PROGRESS.

     

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  10.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Concern

    I also should add that I think ICE and the DOJ are playing games with them in their usual smoke and mirrors. If they want their Torrent-Finder domain back then ICE/DOJ have 90 days to take them to court to try and get a permanent seizure order.

    They stands much better chance in front of a Judge than the stupid demands they are making on them. A fair point when they demands they make are not what the law requires of a search engine.

    Don't believe in justice here when these people are all paid up corrupt bitches of the copyright industry. Harassment is their goal and not justice. Keep mad, never fearful.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    What would you be searching for if you were browse to a site named torrentfinder? What could that possibly be?

     

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  12.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    What would you be searching for if you were browse to a site named torrentfinder? What could that possibly be?

    Torrents. Which may or may not contain infringing content.

    I'm sure you must think you have some sort of point, what could that possibly be?

     

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  13.  
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    Nathan F (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Redhat.iso I hear it is a very good open source and free to use operating system.

    Or maybe even all of Sir Issac Newton's notes that just recently were released to the public.

    Maybe the journals from the Royal Society, one of the, if not the oldest, science institutes in the world making available 350 years worth of science journals?

     

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  14.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: On what grounds?

    yep, but they'll have 3 or 4 years of DOJ/DHS cowboy policing of the entire country (and rampant censorship) before a judge finally gets to review it and make such a determination.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Need to shut down Google and Yahoo as well then, I have found infringing content on both of them countless times.

     

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  16.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    linux distros?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes I am sure that 99% of torrent traffic is downloading the journals of the Royal Society. Why don't you provide me som statistics on torrent traffic. I think we all know that the vast majority of torrent traffic is infringing material. But please, provide those statistics for us.

     

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  18.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    What would you be searching for if you were browse to a site named torrentfinder? What could that possibly be?

    Torrents is a transfer protocol. It defines how data is moved from A to B. There is no thing as an unlawful transfer protocol and neither does it infer any morality or ethics.

    Like a piece of virtual wire...

    So again what is wrong with the name Torrent Finder?

     

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  19.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: On what grounds?

    I suspect it will take much longer than that.

     

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  20.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Probably the number of lawyers that Google employs. They're after the easy targets.

     

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  21.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Good riddance.

     

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  22.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes I am sure that 99% of torrent traffic is downloading the journals of the Royal Society.

    So what? I am sure that the majority of cars on our highways are violating speeding laws. Should we outlaw cars and highways because of it?

     

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  23.  
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    mischab1, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK, for the sake of argument, lets say that currently the majority of torrent traffic IS of copyright infringing stuff. So what. That doesn't mean that torrents are intrinsicly bad. If you go back 15 years, the majority of MP3s were copyright infringing songs.

    In both cases, the reason pirated stuff is\was in the majority is because the companies with the rights were refusing to offer it that way. Not because there is something inherently bad with MP3s\torrents.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Umm, sorry. but no. Google doesn't specifically aim at pirate torrent files, which is what a "torrent finder" generally does.

    It's the old "kitchen knife" problem, Google is a kitchen knife, with many uses that may include one or two bad ones. Torrent finders? They are generally bad things with a maybe one or two good uses, sort of like an AK47.

    If you can't understand the difference, it's pretty hard to explain the rest.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Bizarre

    What is a DNS name?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    yeah, did you find that 90% of it was infringing? Did you find that they don't handle DMCA complaints?

    You guys are just funny as hell at times.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Torrent is NOT illegal, It is a technical protocol used to transfer files. If a person transfers illegal files with it you don't then call Torrents illegal. As someone else stated, Most cars on the roads are illegally speeding, do we then make cars and streets illegal. NO. Get educated before supporting this crap thinking.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_%28protocol%29

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Bizarre

    Nitpick much?

     

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  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: On what grounds?

    I agree, by then they will have lobbied for some worse legislation. Which will take another 5-7 years to attack in the courts.

     

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  30.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you saying torrent-finder doesn't respond to DMCA notices?

    Got any proof of that?

    Their website says that they do if it's an actual link on their site.

    http://torrent-finder.info/dmca.php

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    +1

     

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  32.  
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    heyidiot (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Shouldn't the gubnent be workin'....

    ...on terrorist-finder.com?

     

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  33.  
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    anonymous, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    torrent finder points to torrents. you're the one that's saying all torrents found there are infringing, no one else. it's like saying that because every car is capable of breaking the speed limit, every driver is going to do so, therefore all cars should be limited to 25mph. that just shows you up for the entertainment industry troll you are!

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Pirate Bay is a pathetic shell of what it once was.

    I'd say the raids were very effective.

     

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  35.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That is complete bullshit. Torrent Finder is a search engine dedicated to finding torrents. They do not focus on infringement, only some of their users do that. Torrents do not equate to infringing content. They are no more liable than Google, which is to say not at all. It's designed to find torrents. It's not their job to judge and filter infringing content, because it's beyond their ability and resources. It's beyond anyone's ability. You can't tell infringing from non-infringing by looking at it. It would take an entire staff dedicated to reviewing each and every item, contacting the copyright holder each time, to verify its validity. That is an unreasonable expectation and it's a wasteful endeavor.

    Google and Torrent Finder are both search engines, they only differ in terms of scope. Google is broad and TF is specific. Simply because TF indexes torrents does not make it an AK47. Your analogy is based on lies and ignorance.

     

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  36.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Really? You actually believe that? I have no trouble finding any and all items I wish to find. I think you're deluded.

     

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  37.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    it is?

     

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  38.  
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    MonkeyFracasJr (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: "... vast majority of torrent traffic is infringing ..."

    True or Not that is NOT the point.

    If there is a guilty party there it is the person(s) who are OFFERING the infringing content. Search engines are not in business to offer content, infringing or otherwise. They are in business to sell advertising. To do this they try to get as many people as they can to visit their website to see the adds. They entice visitors by offering something the visitor needs, a way to find what he or she is searching for. The search engine is NOT responsible for the irresponsible actions of other people who choose to post infringing content online. An often used analogy is that you can't sue the automaker for a driver's negligence in operation of the automobile.

    Why do so many people think that this is a reasonable expectation? That because a website is popular then it becomes the websites responsibility to be accountable for an individual person's actions?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Torrents are the "kitchen knife" of distributed downloading. There, analogy applied.

    There is only one use for torrents: distributed downloading.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    As ignorant and arrogant as ever.

     

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  41.  
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    Machin Shin, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And so we find another person who subscribes to the "guns kill people" way of thinking. I'm so sick and tired of that line of thought. A gun is just like a kitchen knife. It is a tool and in the right hands is very usefull. A kitchen knife in the wrong hands is just as bad as a gun. Both can kill people and BOTH only kill when the PERSON HOLDING THEM use them to do so.

    Now as for torrent finders. The point being made here is that it is a search engine. In the wrong hands yes it is used to pirate things. Google is used to pirate things as well. Even worse Google is used every day by hackers to break into webpages or lead people to malware.

    The really big issue here is that our government is no longer playing within the rules set for them. The government has gone rouge and is turning against the people. Look back through history and really look at what has happened in the past. Nations are not built over night and they rarely fall overnight. Instead they do as Germany did in WWII. They slowly attack one group at a time. Each group they demonize and attack one at a time untill by the time people wake up it is too late.

    Look around people. Really stop and look at the things this government is doing. They are moving to pass laws that will censor the internet. At the same time they are working on a law giving them the right to indefinatly detain anyone in the world including US citizens. Does it not bother you that your government is slowly taking away all our rights?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Greevar, the problem is simple:

    Most torrents contain pirated or illegal material

    See, if you wanted to distribute something, torrents are perhaps the least efficient way to do it, because it's slow, distributed, and depends on tons of people to make the item available and keep making it available, otherwise you have no distribution. It's only legit advantage is that the costs are very low, because once you have seeded a file out to a bunch of people, it's their bandwidth and not yours that is getting used up.

    Now, if you are trying to share something illegal, pirated, or questionable, torrents are great! They are wide spread, hard to track, hard to trace, and it is very hard to figure out who first seeded a file without a fair bit of research (and some luck). If you were sharing a pirated movie, Torrents are excellent!

    So what happens is that, if you run a "torrent only" search engine, you are by definition going to be listing 90% or more illegal material. If you have any experience with torrents (and I am sure that someone writing a torrent search site would have that experience) you would know it too. If they didn't, a short review of customer searches and file clicked on would show them reality.

    See, the problem of a torrent search (or torrent guide, or a torrent whatever) is that since most of the material out there is illegal, unless you are going to manually check everything, you will always be a conduit for illegal activity.

    So in the end, the torrent search is like an AK47 - almost all of it's uses are illegal, and only a few are legal, and most people aren't going to perform the legal ones anyway (like being in the military).

    The difference between a torrent only search and Google is rather large.

     

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  43.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Bizarre

    It's a Do Not Seize name.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, by this ACs definition, 90% of the uses of an AK47 are illegal (yet it seems that the manufacturer can't be found to stop them), and 90% of all torrents are illegal (although I'm sure they really mean are infringing). Yo, AC, where is the data to back that up. Please send a copy to TechDirt subscribers so that your analysis can be verified.

     

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  45.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "See, if you wanted to distribute something, torrents are perhaps the least efficient way to do it, because it's slow, distributed, and depends on tons of people to make the item available and keep making it available, otherwise you have no distribution. "

    FALSE. You as the original uploader can dedicate as much bandwidth to seeding the file as you would like. So you can provide the same connection speed as say a direct download from your website. Only it becomes much faster because downloaders can also share some of the upload bandwidth.

    Blizzard distributes their patches via torrent. Do you think they are relying on other peoples connections to get that content out? No they have multiple dedicated seed servers pushing out the content and then end-users have the option to add some upload bandwidth if they want.

    Keep attacking shit you don't understand though, it looks good on you.

     

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  46.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ssssssssshut uup.

    No no youre right Ac everything here is broken no need to concern yourself with it any longer

     

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  47.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    "What would you be searching for if you were browse to a site named torrentfinder?"

    Torrents, you dullard.

    "What could that possibly be?"

    ANY file. Again, your lack of intelligence is showing.

    If the company's name was 'infringementfinder' you might have a point...

     

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  48.  
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    ZeeBat (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anybody that subscribes to this line of thinking "Most torrents contain pirated or illegal material"

    Is a stupid, fucking tool.

    Christ, some of you ACs aren't worth shit paper.

     

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  49.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    flawed

    because it's slow

    WRONG. A torrent with enough fast peers can easily fill your bandwidth.

    distributed

    Obvious.

    and depends on tons of people to make the item available

    WRONG. It only needs your one seed. Rent a seed box if you want. People who download can often help to seed or at least hit the 1:1 ratio.

    and keep making it available

    WRONG AGAIN. As long as you have your one seed it never dies. The good part of BitTorrent is the more people downloading means the more people uploading so it achieves a good supply balance.

    otherwise you have no distribution

    You clearly don't know about Torrents.

    It's only legit advantage is that the costs are very low

    Correct but that is not the only advantage. Are you aware that Facebook use the BitTorrent protocol to update their many servers? So many changes all over the place and BitTorrent is the fastest, least costly, most efficient method there is for them to keep everyone updated.

    because once you have seeded a file out to a bunch of people, it's their bandwidth and not yours that is getting used up.

    Yes or your own internal servers like Facebook do.

    They are wide spread

    Yes.

    hard to track

    WRONG. Copyright sharks like ACS:Law made a very efficient business out of tracking torrents and they exploited over $1 million from the public.

    Now such efficient tracking comes to US court cases.

    hard to trace

    WRONG. Any search engine will find what you seek.

    and it is very hard to figure out who first seeded a file without a fair bit of research (and some luck)

    WRONG AGAIN. Anyone serious in protecting their media can just do a frequent search for when their product hits BT, quickly join the swarm, then note down the IP of the only seed with 100%

    This evidence can soon obtain a court order discovering the real life side and shutting it down. Of course by then it is too late but they can punish who did it.

    The FBI also did very well finding the original seed of The Xmen: Wolverine workprint. A shame they never found the studio leak.

    If you were sharing a pirated movie, Torrents are excellent!

    That it is. :-)

    There is much more to BT than infringement. There is the whole Creative Commons industry, many products are now made for BT distribution, then anything made by the US Government is public domain and freely available on BT.

    Consider it like YouTube as when they started they did some serious infringement but as they grew so did their lawful media share.

    So ICE censoring Torrent-Finder are blocking the American public from finding the lawful content their tax dollars funded.

     

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  50.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Most torrents contain pirated or illegal material"

    Your entire argument is predicated on this assumption. You're blaming technology for the action of people. Just because you can't form an effective model to deal with these individuals does not mean you get to break the technology they use.

    Your approach would be exactly like ripping out the highway signs to keep people from transporting illegal drugs. Sure, it's less convenient for the drug dealers, but it doesn't stop them and all you've done is made it hell for all of the innocent people who had perfectly legitimate uses for those roads. It's immaterial what portion of the traffic is carrying illegal drugs, because you're attacking something that you have no business meddling with. Would it be acceptable to remove road signs if 90% traffic was illegal drugs or other contraband?

    Wouldn't you find it terribly debilitating for you if you rely on those highways to get from place to place? How about that? What if we demanded that you lose something that you rely on be removed or neutered because we don't like how some people are using it for illegal purposes?

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Idiots

    Shouldn't that be 'one fell swoop'? Oh....nevermind. I see what you did there ళ_ళ

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sigh...I just don't get you guys.

    One one day, TPB is evil incarnate. The next day it is a hollow shell of its former self.

    Make up your mind.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Illegal as in fraud, or illegal as in, "we don't like it"?

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Most torrents contain pirated or illegal material"

    Got the slightest bit of evidence of that? Any studies of that? Or mere speculation?

    In short, can you back that statement up beyond the "they gotta cause the RIAA says so" bull.

    Put another way, do you have an original, independent thought in your head?

    Take your time. I don't need to know this year.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Two uses actually. The protocol works for distributed uploading as well.

    Gotcha!

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    DC, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Re:

    So 20 years ago you would have wanted to outlaw FTP? USENET?

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You want stats that it isn't infringing, so how about you provide stats that torrents are, in fact, infringing.

    Not faith, facts. You are the one making the accusation so you bear the burden of proof, AC, old lad.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Twenty years ago AJ was in diapers. I don't wanna know what he wanted outlawed then.

    Probably Fidonet.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

    Re:

    In aid of what? A judicial game of whack a mole? A judicial game that's questionable at best and illegal at worst?

    So, Google, Yahoo, MS and every other search engine in the world should be shut down if they return so much as a questionable file on any web sit on the planet?

    Any torrent site is automatically guilty? Next up will be ZIP, RAR, TAR-BZ and other compress file format that just might encoded is guilty?

    You're the alleged law student. Have you ever heard of things like due process, unreasonable search and seizure and other things like that there or did you nap through those classes?

    I guess you must have.

    So let me enlighten you. In civil, common and criminal law a hearing is required before property can be seized. There has been no hearing where accuser had met accused (plaintiff vs defendant or whatever). But property, to wit, a business name and a server have been seized. Both are considered property under the law. Nor have criminal charges been laid.

    Due process has not occurred yet you say "good riddance". Nice to see you want to take the authorities word for everything. Sounds like you're dusting off the Nuremberg defense, "We were just following orders!" Not valid then, not valid now.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Re: flawed

    To add to what's legal and torrented, let's just add 99% of GPL/Open Source software at some point in it's existence in some fashion from distributions down to single projects.

    Oh heck. I forgot. GPL/Open Source is infringing and illegal cause SCO said it was and the court was wrong in slapping SCO down and bankrupting a valiant company fighting the good fight against infringement.

    I'm soooooooo bad.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re:

    Getting a seizure warrant from a magistrate judge upon a showing of probable cause is due process. That's what happened here: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2011/12/dajaz1.pdf You don't have to have an adversarial hearing before a seizure warrant is issued. The affidavit stating probable cause is sufficient. Criminal charges do not have to be filed in order for civil forfeiture of property to occur. You're not making a lot of sense. If you think that this violates due process, make your argument. The constitutionality of asset forfeiture has been upheld in the courts. You don't have much legal leg to stand on. And really, "Nuremberg"? Not impressed.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re:

    As ignorant and arrogant as ever.

    Were these pirates friends of yours? They're lucky they're not in jail.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re:

    It's the infringement that is outlawed, not the technology.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:09pm

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

    "Your approach would be exactly like ripping out the highway signs to keep people from transporting illegal drugs."

    If all the road signs said "crack house, this exit", then yeah, I would take them down. The signs that don't point specifically to illegal activity could stay. But clearly, most of the signs would point to crack houses. So why keep them up?

    " You're blaming technology for the action of people. "

    Nope, I am just looking at the results of technology + people. There are legal uses for torrents, there are legal uses for AK47s. For the most part, if you come in contact with an AK in your life, it isn't a good thing, because it is usually in the 90% bad mode. The guns aren't bad, the way people use them is bad, and so the best answer is to ban the gun. The few people who have legal, good uses for them can still obtain them, but making them generally available just ain't right.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's the same reason why you cannot easily find cold tablets with ephedrine in them anymore - because while it is legal, and while it is great at fighting your cold, most people buy them and use them as an ingredient to make meth or other drugs. So generally, you can no longer find them in the US.

    There may be good and legal uses for it, but the illegal uses (and the repercussions of it) is intolerable in our society.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:40pm

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

    If all the road signs said "crack house, this exit", then yeah, I would take them down. The signs that don't point specifically to illegal activity could stay. But clearly, most of the signs would point to crack houses.

    So your approach, with the road signs, would be to specifically target those signs that point to illegal activity, and leave the other ones alone no matter how few they are. Yet with torrents, you're ready to condemn an entire site (an entire protocol?) to destruction if it goes above some threshold of copyright infringement?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ephedrine is quite easy to find. It's behind the counter at your local drug store, and it is entered into a computer system when you purchase some so you cannot go elsewhere to purchase more. Didn't you ever wonder why they require ID for a controlled substance?

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Funny, they aren't targeting infringement. They're targeting the technology. That's why they would go after a search engine that specializes in torrents. Nothing about the site, itself, is infringing any more than any other search engine.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But they DO have to file charges to keep the property after 90 days. Where is the filing of charges? Why haven't they returned the site? We're not impressed with your arguments, either.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 9:03pm

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

    Your AK47 analogy is bunk. I've been around that weapon before (I handled it too) and 100% of the time nobody was hurt. You're trying to make torrents out as something they just simply aren't by equating it to deadly weapons. Torrents are not deadly weapons. Trying to imply they are on a similar level is underhanded and dishonest. You don't get to ban something because people misuse it. You deal with the misuse. Torrents misused are no where near as harmful as a misused firearm in any case and they never will be, because they don't equate. Banning torrents would be stupid and short-sighted, much like you.

    If you can't stop the people from doing something you don't like, then you don't get to take away civil liberties by censoring free speech to achieve it. Torrents are a perfectly legitimate technology, as are search engines that index them. Your profits do not supersede our right to communicate as we see fit. Your damn profits don't deserve any consideration when it comes to civil rights. If you can't make money doing it the way you do, then you can find another way. The people don't owe you a living, it's up to you to find a way to convince them to buy. Learn to find other ways to monetize art that doesn't rely on controlling the supply of copies in circulation.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Forget censorship, what about the NDAA? They want to give the military to the power to arrest and detain Americans without due process indefinitely. That pisses on the entire Constitution in its entirety.

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They are supposed to file a forfeiture complaint for the property, but there's no need to file criminal charges against the property's owner. The forfeiture complaint deadline can be pushed back with court approval. Here (if Mike's "story" is true), the owner of the property is working with the feds to get the property back. Sounds like the feds are being nice to me.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But for infringement, that website would not have existed.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And what was the infringement again?
    Showing results for a query?

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What infringement?
    Finding answer for a query?

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Millions pirate everyday most even without knowing and they probably will never face any serious consequence at all.

    Is that luck?

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Intolerable to whom?
    To you maybe to the majority of people they not only don't care they do it everyday.

    Law is only law when you have a majority of people to defend it and fallow it otherwise is no law and will fade away from memory.

    Meaning copyright days are numbered.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2011 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice to see due process being uphold by the American court system.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    -1

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See, if you wanted to distribute something, torrents are perhaps the least efficient way to do it, because it's slow, distributed, and depends on tons of people to make the item available and keep making it available, otherwise you have no distribution.

    See, you don't have a effing clue what you talk about. Torrents are the cheapest and fastest way to distribute content cause all swarm members donate their bandwith. Just ask Blizzard.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:24am

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

    LOL, again with the crappy analogies. Try harder.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why don't you provide me som statistics on torrent traffic.

    Because you're the one claiming torrents are evil which makes it your obligation to substantiate your claims?

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:37am

    Re: Re:

    Already in the works. Looks like a scam, though.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:39am

    Re:

    Right, when will you be gone?

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 3:55am

    Duh huh Duh huh, Duh huh huh huh huh huh

    High tax and plenty Cadillacs Da haahh, da haahh

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 4:05am

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

    nasch, I am saying only that sites like torrent finder are going to be unwilling or unable to filter out the bad results, and since that is pretty much the bulk of what they would be serving, it's pretty much impossible for them to handle it.

    The number of illegal roadsigns in this case would be so high, that it would be almost impossible to take them all down. Worse yet, large groups of people would be behind you putting more signs up. It's not a simple thing.

    I suspect that the site owner is having that discussion with ICE, and is having a very hard time coming up with an answer that works. Further, if they remove all the offending torrents (perhaps by whitelisting only, example), they will find that nobody is interested in using their "clean" service, because most people are looking for illegal stuff, not legal.

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 4:09am

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

    Greevar, your time with the AK47 balances out against 50 gang bangers in "your hood" that have one, and routinely use it to intimidate people and to secure their drug den. There isn't a decent crack house in all of detroit that doesn't have at least one AK guarding the building.

    So your legal use of the AK is the 10%, on par with linux distros and patches for WoW.

    "If you can't stop the people from doing something you don't like, then you don't get to take away civil liberties by censoring free speech to achieve it."

    Illegal activity is not protected speech. There is no free speech in aiding and abetting a criminal act. There is no "I was just watching the door holding my AK" excuse in free speech. It isn't a question of profits, it's a question of legal or illegal. It's nice that you try to turn it into a problem of the content companies, but no matter what they do, it cannot justify your illegal actions.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:35am

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

    LOL again with the crappy non-contributing post. Try harder, Mr Flaws.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: "... vast majority of torrent traffic is infringing ..."

    "Search engines are not in business to offer content, infringing or otherwise."

    Incorrect.

    Let me tell you an old story about search engines. Back in the day (96-99) there were a couple of big search engines online. Hotbot, Altavista... Yahoo was still really a directory. Well, one of them decided that it was going to filter out porn results as much as possible, basically meaning that using that search engine to find porn would be impossible. They disappeared pretty quickly.

    Thus the term "no tits, no hits".

    In the torrent world, it's "no pirated material, no hits". When torrent sites in the US tried to be "clean" with a whitelist tracker, they discovered that nobody (and I mean nobody) would bother with them.

    It's not hard. If you open a torrent search engines and don't show the illegal content, you fail. If the illegal material suddenly couldn't be listed, the torrent search sites would fold like cheap suits. The business model is pretty much entirely predicated on there being the promise of pirated material to drive surfers to the search sites.

    It's the same reasons why Mega upload gets 50 million visits a day. They aren't there for the great site design or to trade family pics with strangers. They are there for pirated material. Take down the material, make it unavailable, and the mega business model dies instantly.

    You have to be blind and ignorant not to understand why these businesses "work".

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Re: flawed

    "WRONG. A torrent with enough fast peers can easily fill your bandwidth."

    Most torrent distribution depends on end users downloading and re-peering. Without them, it's a fail. As a protocol, it's much heavier than direct FTP download would be, so if you are going to be your own single peer, it would be better to just allow a direct download.

    "Correct but that is not the only advantage. Are you aware that Facebook use the BitTorrent protocol to update their many servers? So many changes all over the place and BitTorrent is the fastest, least costly, most efficient method there is for them to keep everyone updated."

    Actually, facebook uses it in part because they don't need the information to be accurate at all locations at the same time. They have great allowance for their servers to be far out of sync. It's the nature of the game. However, they are using the PROTOCOL, not the trappings of public P2P.

    "There is much more to BT than infringement. There is the whole Creative Commons industry, many products are now made for BT distribution, then anything made by the US Government is public domain and freely available on BT."

    Even with that "impressive" list, you still come up with about 1% of the total bandwidth used in P2P. It's nice to come up with excuses, but let's get real: P2P would not work without a critical mass of users, and the users are there mostly for illegal content.

    "Consider it like YouTube as when they started they did some serious infringement but as they grew so did their lawful media share."

    Actually, with the price of hosted bandwidth coming down, and with fears of poisoned or polluted distributions, it seems that most companies are back to direct downloads. At the end of the day, they can control their user experience better, be more reliable, and assure timely rollout of their material. Consider Wordpress - millions of downloads, all direct. Why do you think they avoid P2P?

    "So ICE censoring Torrent-Finder are blocking the American public from finding the lawful content their tax dollars funded."

    Not at all. If I want the US government stuff, I go to the US government site, which links directly to the torrent file, which lets me get it. I don't need a "torrent search" packed full of illegal content to try to find it. If I want it, I go to the source.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:13am

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

    "Illegal activity is not protected speech."

    You are so damn stupid. I didn't say the infringement was protected speech. I said that non-infringing speech was protected. By banning torrents to prevent people from using it to infringe, you've also infringed on the civil right to use it for protected speech. You're just willfully twisting my words to suit your own ends. Let me make this explicitly clear: YOU DO NOT GET TO CENSOR PROTECTED SPEECH IN AN EFFORT TO CENSOR INFRINGEMENT. Speech is a constitutional right and copyright is a legal right. The first has priority over the second. Now move along before you make a bigger fool of yourself.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

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

    nasch, I am saying only that sites like torrent finder are going to be unwilling or unable to filter out the bad results, and since that is pretty much the bulk of what they would be serving, it's pretty much impossible for them to handle it.

    Why is it the search engine's responsibility to filter out search results to other peoples' stuff?

    The number of illegal roadsigns in this case would be so high, that it would be almost impossible to take them all down. Worse yet, large groups of people would be behind you putting more signs up. It's not a simple thing.

    Does that make it OK to take down the legal street signs? Or is it time to rethink the whole quixotic plan?

    I suspect that the site owner is having that discussion with ICE, and is having a very hard time coming up with an answer that works.

    Your suspicions are noted.

    Further, if they remove all the offending torrents (perhaps by whitelisting only, example), they will find that nobody is interested in using their "clean" service, because most people are looking for illegal stuff, not legal.

    See my question above. Second, that isn't any of ICE's concern.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

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

    It isn't a question of profits, it's a question of legal or illegal.

    So you believe it's important to narrowly target only infringing communications for censorship, or are you in favor of censoring both legal and illegal speech (for whatever reason - 90% illegal, too hard to patrol, take your pick). Do you believe it's important to get to those responsible for breaking the law, or is it a good idea to also hold third parties liable?

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re:

    just look at The Pirate Bay, possibly the most well known "pirate" website in the world. How many times have they been raided? And what did that do to them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.


    I disagree. It fed them many more users as the litigation made The Pirate Bay name a brand name that even non-Internet-savvy people knew. It could be argued that it also popularized BitTorrent as well.

    All in all the constant attacks against The Pirate Bay have likely worked against the original goals.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: On what grounds?

    > yep, but they'll have 3 or 4 years of DOJ/DHS
    > cowboy policing of the entire country

    Not likely. What usually happens in cases involving constitutional/free speech/prior restraint issues is that the court issues an injunction against enforcement of the law until the courts issue a final verdict on the matter. This prevents exactly what you said: years of potentially unconstitutional prior restraint of protected speech by the government.

    This is what happened with the Child Online Protection Act. It was passed in 1998 and the ink wasn't even dry on Clinton's signature before its constitutionality was challenged. The court issued an immediate order enjoining the government from implementing/enforcing the law until the constitutional issues were decided by the court. The law never actually took effect, as three separate rounds of litigation led to a permanent injunction against the law in 2009.

    Hopefully SOPA will share a similar fate.

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

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

    > I am saying only that sites like torrent
    > finder are going to be unwilling or unable
    > to filter out the bad results

    Bottom line is that nowhere else in the wider world is it illegal merely to tell someone where bad stuff happens.

    But for some reason, the moment you add 'on the internet' to it, all the normal rules are supposed to change.

     

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


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