USTR Puts Out Its 'Rogue Sites' List... Can't Even Find 20

from the and-for-this-we-need-to-change-the-internet? dept

One of the completely ignored questions in the larger debate over SOPA/PIPA is how big an issue this really is. How many of these dangerous "rogue sites" are there that need to be dealt with? When confronted on the issue, they usually say it's around 50 sites or so. So it seems rather bizarre that we'd want to change the entire legal and technical framework of the internet, along with putting massive compliance costs and liabilities on tech companies who create jobs... just for such a small number of sites. And... it's looking even more ridiculous than before. As you know, every year the USTR comes out with its silly and widely mocked Special 301 report, which takes industry complaints about who's infringing where, rewrites them (with no significant additional investigation) and puts a government seal on top of it. This week, they came out with the "out of cycle" naughty list of evil sites. Again, this involves just asking the big entertainment companies what sites and countries they don't like, and then writing up a report.

So, given a chance to highlight just how "big" a problem this is... all the industry could turn up was 19 specific sites that are rogue sites (well, here they're called "notorious"). To be fair, one of the 19 is "Allofmp3 clones" so that could encompass a few more sites. But, really, if the problem is just dealing with a small number of sites, is that really worth such a massive infrastructure change, since pretty much every technically clueful commentator has noted the massive cost on internet security of using these laws?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:23am

    In fairness, I would say it only takes one site if it were causing enough problems. It could be the google of piracy :)

    Modchip.ca is a totally legal and legitimate site btw. It's not our fault your laws are braindead so don't mess with our websites.

     

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

  2.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    lol, actually most of those sites look like they would be legitimate.. Cyberlockers and search engines and some kinda russian facebook?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    is this the same as [url=http://modchip.com[/url]this site?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re:

    ugh, broken. how do you embed links?

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Nice to see Megaupload making the list!

    USTR Special 301 = YAWN!

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Thanks for filling me in on where to go for my entertainment needs!

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Look a link!
    {a href="link"}link{/a}
    Pretend { is less than sign
    and } is greater than sign

    Standard html

     

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

  8.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re:

    Let's see...

    Half the document seems to refer to "physical markets", so they're irrelevant.

    Many of them seem to be sites hosted in Russia and China, many of which I've never heard of (thanks for advertising them, guys!).

    Some seem to rely on biased and/or inaccurate descriptions of what they do - for example, modchip device (which have many legal uses, or at least uses which have nothing to do with piracy).

    Many would seem to owe their existence to basic flaws in the business models of the content owners (e.g. TV Ants - I wonder how many people watching the material have any legal way of accessing it).

    So, yeah, you want to destroy the internet, due process and freedom speech for this?

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Hello again, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Simple Solution

    OMFG... This is much worse than expected. I thought all the hype was based on some billionaire wanting to waste other peoples money for an imaginary threat. But now I know the threat is real. And instead of going after ISP, Web Host, and Users. We should get rid of the tool that they use. Lets ban all computers and smart phones. That will stop it for sure. And don't worry. I will create a report on the economical benefits world wide if all computers and smart phones are gone... I will be the world's hero.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re:

    Lol, you can see it for yourself if you want, they just sell console mods and repairs. They have pretty oldschool stuff too, which is nice if you have a collection of old japanese games that were never released here (like I do).

     

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

  11.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    You can't even say thanks for the free publicity, I didn't know [insert site here]. Either because the sites aren't rogue at all so I can't do my rogue things there or because everybody knows already. But we still do our rogue stuff =D

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    oops, thank you.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Mr. Smarta**, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Need another list

    The RIAA/MPAA mafia has their "report card" list identifying (embarassing) companies that allegedly support piracy. The USTR has a "rogue sites" list that identifies supposedly rogue sites. We need an "Incompetent Company/Group" list that identifies/embarasses companies or groups that don't innovate, but just sue. These should be companies run by incompetent individuals who could innovate themselves out of an industrial paper bag. Then have a list of top companies that are innovating and are not in the process of suing other companies for infringement (might be pretty short).

     

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

  14.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re:

    Not sure why isohunt is on the list either, they already got shut down with a permanent injunction.

     

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

  15.  
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    TheNutman69321 (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:44am

    I was just looking for somewhere to get a new mod chip. Thanks companies who hate modders.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This site was my reference when I was learning teh html. Plus previewing your comment before you post helps you make sure it worked.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Why does the report look like something a middle-school student wrote?

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:57am

    I does seem to me a bit dishonest failing to note that the listed sites were exemplary of sites deemed "notorious".

    Kinda like saying those who were found liable for "notorious" infringement of music files only downloaded just a few because just a few were chosen for purposes of the lawsuits.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Enjoy w3schools while it lasts. Once SOPA passes, it'll be declared a rogue site because Apple likes to patent what the W3C wants to be open standards.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    The Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Status Quo

    Come on Mike, this is just status quo for the American political knee jerk reaction. According to Netcraft back in 2008, there are 168 million active web sites in the net, so just like when one bad person puts a bomb in his shoe in a plane causes everyone to take off their shoes forever at the airport, then one bad website should ruin it for everyone else too. Standard knee jerk thinking.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    Isohunt is still up. But they're just a search engine.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Mike, you need to pay attention. This is 19 of the clearly, obviously bad sites. That isn't to say that it is an exhaustive list, just an indication of sites that are out there.

    I don't get it - you claim SOPA will be over used, and when they come up with a short list only, you complain because it will be underused?

    Are you whacked?

     

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

  23.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, but they are still up because the US court judgement was to make them change how they operate (they have to filter out a bunch of keywords provided to them, which they are complying with as far as I can tell) instead of shutting them down entirely. The court could have ordered them shut down or filtered out of the US entirely instead if they thought it was appropriate.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That site has long been one of my favourite references, I learned much there as well.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    I don't get it - you claim SOPA will be over used, and when they come up with a short list only, you complain because it will be underused?

    Mike is complaining that it will be abused, not over used.
    this article doesn't show that it will be under-used It shows that SOPA is not needed.

    I suppose it's a bit much to ask a troll to understand simple concepts like that.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    He is complaining that the justification for SOPA is a short list of sites, but, in reality it will be over used.

    It like saying there are 19 incidents a year of people sticking there hand in candy machines, trying to steal candy, while someone is kicking the machine, causes it to fall over then kills the guy with his hand in the machine. So now we have to outlaw all candy machines over 3 feet tall.

    The justification for the legislation does not match the scope of the legislation. If you truly want to get rid of those sites, make use a more focused approach.

     

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

  27.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:29am

    They defended the efforts against rojadirecta because it had a ".com" TLD, thus a "footprint in the US". Eventhough they were ruled legal in their country.

    What will be the defense for efforts spent investigating sites like modchips.ca, when your only defense now escapes you?

     

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

  28.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    What makes you say those sites are clearly obviously bad? Just because they are on the list? Because they aren't really clearly bad.. In fact, except for piratebay, the ones I recognize are pretty tame. Selling mod chips in places where it's completely legal.. oh nos! search engines that comply with dmca notices and don't allow searching for anything the MPAA asks them not to.. oh nos!

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re:

    " Selling mod chips in places where it's completely legal.. oh nos!"

    I think if you go and look, most of those sites will gladly sell to you in the US as well.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'll sell you Cuban cigars, so what?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How to embed links:

    a href="http://www.example.com/">example.com/a>

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I said "in places where it's completely legal" not
    "only to customer's in places where it's completely legal"

    But, if you want to make a case for how modchips.ca should be forbidden from shipping to the US, I wouldn't argue. That is a whole different ballgame from taking their website away.

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Mike, you need to pay attention. This is 19 of the clearly, obviously bad sites. That isn't to say that it is an exhaustive list, just an indication of sites that are out there.

    Right. There are obviously more than 19 sites, so it is an outright manipulative lie for Mike to say they "can't even find 20." What else would you expect from Techdirt?

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    In context, it obviously means "can't even find 20" *for the list*.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oops!

    <a href="http://www.example.com/">example.com</a>

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:59am

    consolesource.com added

    Now I have added consolesource.com to my "trusted sites" for purchasing aftermarket parts and accessories... I have used modchip.ca before, and found them pretty reliable to deliver what you order - but i've been burned by some sites.

    USTR has confirmed for me that consolesource delivers though, so that's enough for me!

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:09am

    So modchips are a priority now too? Didn't MW3 just sell 1 billion copies in like a month? I don't think people with modded consoles even make a tiny dent in sales.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    The Logician (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    If there are more such sites, then provide a complete and exhaustive list with detailed analysis of each one. Now. Otherwise your statement is inaccurate and incorrect.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    mermaldad (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:29am

    I'm with Mr. Smart***

    I had much the same idea as Mr. Smart***, although it s˘nded like he was talking. about patent trolls. We need some organization to put out a special report of its own, identifying the "rogue"players, individuals and organizations who do the most to distort and abuse copyright, patents, and trademarks from their original purposes. there should be a separate report for each form of IP.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:59am

    This would be funny...if it wasn't so sad

    As some of you know, I've done a lot of research over the past several decades in the general area of spam and abuse, including phishing, forgery, mailbombing, DoS attacks, and related topics.

    One of the tactics that's now quite common -- because it's also quite effective -- is the use of plausible domain names. Thanks to greedy registrars, obfuscated registration, and complicit hosting companies, it's pretty easy and cheap to register many domains with names along the lines of update-adobe-2011.whatever, update-your-pdf.whatever, fix-adobe-2012.whatever -- and then of course load them up with appropriate malware, spamvertise them, and wait for victims to arrive.

    Alright, maybe "common" isn't the right word: let's try "epidemic". Now these domains are clearly "rogue": put aside the IP issues of copyright and trademark for a moment, they exist solely to push malware. That's it. They don't even pretend to have a legitimate purpose. There are new ones every day (as the old ones gradually get blacklisted, confiscated or taken down). So all of us who work in this area see a constant parade of them...thousands of them.

    And USTR couldn't come up with ANY?!

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Missing something?

    The belief:
    If SOPA/PIPA are passed that will = filtering the internet = Infringement/Lost sales Problem Solved!

    But China currently filters what their citizens see from the internet and yet it is stated that a couple of the biggest offenders are Chinese domains?

    So this filtering/blocking/censoring already doesn't work. huh?

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re:

    OK, then name the sites he missed off. Surely, it's not that hard for you to come up with the one site not mentioned in the actual report, right?

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    The Logician (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I do not believe we will get such an answer, Paul. AJ is, like most trolls, unwilling to address such questions directly. His reluctance to answer, however, clearly indicates that he cannot back up his claim in any way, and as such is answer enough.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 6:16pm

    Btw, SOPA has no effect on Russia/China rogue sites

    As long as they only register the .cn and .ru domain names. That makes the "massive infrastructure change" even more pointless.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    "well, here they're called "notorious""

    You mean like how the government is notorious for upholding corporate interests at public expense? You mean like how Hollywood is notorious for their Hollywood accounting practices? I'm surprised the government hasn't prosecuted Hollywood for GAAP violations by now.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re:

    The document did note that it was presenting only an exemplary list (i.e., "icludes, but is certainly not limited to").

    Had the document provided 40, you well know it would have been the same headline, with only numbers changed.

    As I likewise noted earlier, the headline is in my view quite dishonest.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You have, I believe, 19 sites as grist for your mill. Why not try something useful and present arguments rebutting the allegations associated with the named sites?

    It also helps to place things in perspective. This document is ancillary to the much maligned Section 301 report. Has it occurred to anyone that the document may be less about naming "names", and much more about naming "countries of origin", a precursor to future discussions with officials in those countries relating to trade policies?

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The Special 301 Report has been laughable for 20 years. It has not stopped piracy, but it has been used to put significant pressures on countries to comply with lopsided copyright laws or face sanctions. Brazil is the perfect example. Because of US bullying in copyright, they had to shut down pharmaceutical plants that would have helped numerous Brazilians over expensive imports from America.

    Meanwhile, the people that read these reports just found new advertising due to the rogue sites list.

    What's absolutely amazing is this: If rogue sites are such a large problem, why do they only have a few sites? The music industry has already seized 450 sites with the MPAA and ICE. Obviously, the rogue sites problem is solved by now.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    Oh the irony!

    To find out who the original parates were have a look for "Dickens 1842 Reading Tour: Launching the Copyright Question in Tempestuous Seas".

     

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

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

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