Guilty Until Proven Licensed: FACT Shuts Down Torrent Tracker Despite Cooperation

from the wow dept

Another day, another overreach by the legacy players in the entertainment industry. Hot off its highly questionable win in the SurfTheChannel case, the "Federation Against Copyright Theft" (FACT) has forced torrent tracker UKNova to shut down. Now, some people will assume that this is just another torrent tracker, but the details raise some serious questions.

First of all, UKNova appears to have vigorously policed its listings, and was quick to take down content when it was shown to be infringing. The site also had strict rules about what could be listed, stating that it would not allow anything that was available commercially. So if it's available on DVD or on pay TV, it wasn't allowed and was blocked on the site. When FACT contacted them about some content, UKNova immediately removed the links. While this is the UK, rather than the US, this seems to follow the type of "good practices" found under the DMCA's safe harbors that indicate a site willing to act in good faith to prevent infringement. But... not according to FACT. With FACT, you're guilty until proven innocent:
“We immediately removed the alleged offending links to content that could be [connected to] the two companies and replied to FACT assuring them of our cooperation in the matter, but asking them to point out examples of potentially offending links,” a UKNova admin told us.

“ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless you can prove that you have obtained explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content,” was FACT’s response.
Of course, under such rules, pretty much no user generated content sites could exist. And, given who backs FACT, perhaps that really is their goal...


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    Rex Rollman (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Just because material is not commercially available doesn't mean people have the right to distribute it. Copyright still applies.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      It's basically impossible to know if copyright applies in that case. How do you know if something is unable to be distributed due to copyright? If there's no "Hey, I have copyright on this ; take it down please," before the site is eligible to be taken down entirely, then "under such rules, pretty much no user generated content sites could exist."

       

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      JarHead, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      K, care to explain how's that relate to "ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing,..." and all of that extra baggage related to it?

      UKNova has policed it's listings. If that's not enough, I'd like to see how you run such site and still hold your high horse notion plus survive at least 2yrs. Mind experiments don't count. I'd like to see real hard cold facts, please.

       

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

      Re:

      It's still idiotic to take the position that everything is infringing unless you can prove that it isn't (isn't that proving a negative?). Can you prove that you own the rights to the comment you just posted without anyone arguing that they own what you said?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      Sure you can make that argument - but it's certainly not "Stealing". This is because you are not taking money from someone because it's just not available elsewhere.

      Its actually serving an under served customer. They could look at the results - number of downloads etc - and then determine what best would be served by creating a DVD or Pay Per View etc.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      Damn, I guess they better shut down ox.ac.uk domain. After all Oxford university hosts quite a few repositories for scientific software, and I wouldn't be surprised to find some *nix torrents either.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      Why not? If it's not being sold, what's the harm in sharing it? There's no revenue left to be lost to "theft".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re:

        What is left is basically an empty notion of "if the copyrightholder wants to reenter the market...". The fact is that what they are saying is basically correct in Europe where DMCA means "Don't MuCk Around". Use of copyrighted material is basically illegal unless you get permission. Sure, there are some very weak exceptions about parody and something about how you can use x beats for commenting on a song or x words citation for comments, but I know that even record companies and national broadcasters doesn't understand these laws implications.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Aug 28th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re:

        "If it's not being sold, what's the harm in sharing it?"

        That's where we get into the wooly "moral" argument, where it's supposedly wrong to deprive copyright holders of potential future income if they were to decide to release it as opposed to letting the work be enjoyed by people while the copyright holder has apparently chosen not to make anything at all. I suppose it depends on whether you consider art to be a soulless profit-making exercise or, well, an artistic one. Most of the shills who would say the above situation is morally wrong are in the former camp.

         

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      Richard (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      Just because material is not commercially available doesn't mean people have the right to distribute it. Copyright still applies.

      Actually you cannot presume anything in that situation. Innocent until proven guilty is the usual presumption here.

      The assumption is that whoever uploaded the link holds the rights or knows that permission has been granted. Otherwise the internet would have to be shut down completely.

       

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      Richard (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Just because material is not commercially available doesn't mean people have the right to distribute it. Copyright still applies.

      How do you know that commercially available material is not itself infringing?

      Many commercially sold items have later been found to infringe someone's copyright.

      If you want to establish a standard of "prove that you own the copyright before you distribute" then it has to apply to EVERYONE not just the little people. Note that simply asserting thet you own the rights is not sufficient here.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

      Re:

      If you were to be trapped in a car that's heading for the ocean or in another dangerous situation where the brakes aren't enough but there's still a chance to bail out, would you stay in because it's illegal to be in a moving vehicle without your seat belt?

       

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      BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      Just because material is not commercially available doesn't mean people have the right to distribute it. Copyright still applies.
      Please prove to me that this statement is not copyrighted already.

       

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      Rekrul, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

      Re:

      FACT is just pissed because the site showed that there was a demand for content that the media companies can't be bothered to sell.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

      Re:

      do you guys anything other than just cry and whine all the time? give the baby a bottle already...

      http://torrentfreak.com/get-ready-for-another-forty-years-of-corporate-copyright-bullshit-120826 /

       

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    kenichi tanaka, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    These groups are really playing a very dangerous game. RIAA, MPAA, GEMA, FACT and all of these other organizations are playing a very dangerous game. If services are adhering the requests from the entertainment industry they're going to see a situation where people start striking back and that's a problem that's even more serious than Anonymous and every terrorist group on the planet. Eventually, it's going to turn into "the people" vs "the establishment (entertainment industry)" and that's one battle that I don't think these entertainment groups are prepared for.

    Anarky is just around the corner and I think these organizations are creating an even bigger problem without even realizing it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      It's already turned into the people vs the entertainment industry.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      @ #4
      oh, they realise what they are doing. what they are banking on is

      a)people not having the balls to fight against them
      b)governments fighting the people on the side of the entertainment industries if necessary

      what they are forgetting is that as soon as there is a danger of a government losing it's power over the people, it will take a different route. not all countries would go as far as the US and start fighting it's own citizens over 'file sharing'. most have one or two other things that are a tad higher priority!

       

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      SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      Problem is you've gotta get people untied, but no one is willing to do something like that.

      Watching their fucken football game and texting their 20,000 friends on facebook is too important. People like me will get left doing all the work and probably end up in jail or worse. That's why the public will always be slaves to governments and entertainment industries.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

      Re:

      anarky over access to free movies... first world problems of the highest order... you're kidding right? [facepalm]

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Good grief, Mike.

    A pirate apologist says what?

    You claim that all you do is help artists make money in the golden age of piracy. But that's not true.

    You write pirate-defensive articles like this. You write articles celebrating the demise of the MPAA like the last one.

    You do way more than help artists. You celebrate piracy and defend the pirates.

    It's disgusting.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      I find it quite telling that you think arguing that "guilty until proven innocent" is a questionable stance is "pirate defensive." Apparently you have no problem smearing anyone you dislike as a "pirate" even without proof.

      Some of us prefer to believe in the rule of law and due process.

      And then there's you.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Guilty until proven doesn't quite fit. Even with the failing/failed lawsuit on Kimdotcom, it doesn't look like his website will ever recover. It is more like shoot now and ask questions later.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Kdc should be able to sue for damages.

           

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            Keroberos (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Whom shall he sue? This is a criminal indictment, not a civil suit. He would have to sue the Justice Dept., but not until he is acquitted (if he ever is). For that to happen, he would have to come to the US and stand trial--and at that point he would be better off putting all of his resources into not going to prison.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re:

        I find it quite telling that you think arguing that "guilty until proven innocent" is a questionable stance is "pirate defensive." Apparently you have no problem smearing anyone you dislike as a "pirate" even without proof.

        Some of us prefer to believe in the rule of law and due process.

        And then there's you.


        Typical mindless demagoguery, Mike. I don't know who's "guilty" or "innocent" here. There was merely a cease and desist letter sent. I don't have the facts, and neither do you. You're quoting a torrentfreak article like it's a fully-developed record. I'm not sure how a private communication invokes the "rule of law and due process," but you feel free to spin this anyway you won't. What's questionable is your claim that all you ever do is help folks out who are facing rampant piracy. Obviously, as this article demonstrates, you do way more than that. This article, like so many, is pirate-apologism, pure and simple.

         

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          Rapnel (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hmm. Actually I think it's more of "If you'd like to stop bailing water out of your sinking ship you're about 1nm from a safe harbour where you can repair the damage and get back on course in very little time" approach.

          If "pirate-apologism" continues to be what props up the blatant realities of communications than so be it. It's your fault and yours alone whether or not you can succeed. Or choose to rather.

          We are no longer born kings - we are all kings. -me

           

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          Andrew Norton (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I don't have the facts, and neither do you. You're quoting a torrentfreak article like it's a fully-developed record."

          I *DO* have all the facts. The TF piece is accurate. The claim in the C+D was very real.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't know who's "guilty" or "innocent" here.

          So you assume guilt and attack me for suggesting that perhaps it would help if there was actual evidence of guilt.

          You're *such* a winner.

          What's questionable is your claim that all you ever do is help folks out who are facing rampant piracy. Obviously, as this article demonstrates, you do way more than that. This article, like so many, is pirate-apologism, pure and simple.

          When did I say that "all" I do is help folks out who are facing piracy?

          I also highlight gross abuses and excesses in the law which don't help anyone. Like in this situation.

          That's not "piracy apologism" no matter how much it fries your circuits.

          In the meantime, I will ask you, politely, to stop lying about me. It's unbecoming.

           

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        bob, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        You blather on and on about the rule of law and due process, but only when said law gets in the way of pro copyright groups. When pro piracy groups don't jump through endless hoops, you simply call it "innovation."

        The fact is that all of these sites hiding behind the DMCA could make it much easier to report infringing material. It takes someone ten seconds to upload something to YouTube, but it practically takes a lawyer to wade through their DMCA forms.

        If YouTube (and the others) really cared about due process and the rule of law, they would ask uploaders to at the very least establish their identity. Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute. Perhaps they could even ask them to upload a scan of a registration page from the Office of Copyright.

        If it's sauce for the goose, it's sauce for the gander.

         

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          Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They don't need to have a user prove they own the copyright, robert.

          "How does Content ID work?
          Rights holders deliver YouTube reference files (audio-only or video) of content they own, metadata describing that content, and policies on what they want YouTube to do when we find a match.

          We compare videos uploaded to YouTube against those reference files.

          Our technology automatically identifies your content and applies your preferred policy: monetize, track, or block."

          - http://www.youtube.com/t/contentid

          It's up to the rights holders to be proactive as it should be.

           

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            bob, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            While there's something neat about Content ID, it's not a complete solution. And if you're a true believer in dotting every T and crossing every eye, you'll want due process to work everywhere. After all, that's what due process is all about.

            Sorry. ALmost only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.

             

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              Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why is it not a complete solution?

              Besides, Google pretty much built that for the RIAA/MPAA for free. I wouldn't complain if someone built me a $32 million dollar system to maintain my broken business model.

               

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              apauld (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "and crossing every eye"

              Yes! Now we know why the legacy gatekeepers are so screwed up, they're all crossed eyed!

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And how do you prove you own the rights to the things you upload to the Content ID system?

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The fact is that all of these sites hiding behind the DMCA could make it much easier to report infringing material."

          Why? As long as they follow the rule of law to the letter regarding DMCA Safe Harbors they don't need to do a thing more. You want them to do more at their expense? Sounds like an entitled, pirate attitude if you ask me.

          "It takes someone ten seconds to upload something to YouTube, but it practically takes a lawyer to wade through their DMCA forms."

          bobby, bobby, bobby. Just how dense are you? You're aware that they specifically make bots that scour websites and then file DMCA notices on behalf of copyright holders, right? Which they then blame for filing false DMCA notices, despite being under penalty of perjury for doing so. (No slap on the wrist for even that.)

          "If YouTube (and the others) really cared about due process and the rule of law, they would ask uploaders to at the very least establish their identity."

          No, because there is no way short of asking for a birth certificate, social security card, etc. to establish a person's identity.

          Also, there is no such mandate under the law requiring that any of that be done so in order to register on any website, much less any website that allows users to upload material. (Which means Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Amazon, etc would all be subject to the same law.)

          "Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute. Perhaps they could even ask them to upload a scan of a registration page from the Office of Copyright."

          And exactly how would they do that? You are aware everything created, including this very comment, is automatically covered by copyright, right? Seriously, this very comment is protected by copyright. Yet I have no registration page from the "Office of Copyright" for it. (Does such a place even exist? Or did you pull that out of your ass much like your "facts" in your usual comments?)

          Yeah bob, let's all do that though. Just to please you. But, if someone files a DMCA takedown, a FALSE one, on something that they have no copyright to will they be properly punished for violating the DMCA notice? Will they be properly punished for copyright infringement, because claiming to hold copyright on something and having it taken down sounds a lot to me like copyright infringement.

          Yeah, seriously, start thinking things through before you hit submit. You just might realize how ridiculous you sound and how unrealistic your ideas would be to implement for anyone, your beloved copyright holders included.

          "If it's sauce for the goose, it's sauce for the gander."

          I consider myself a quote person. Huge fan of them. Yet I've never heard this one before. Care to tell me where you heard it? Because I always thought it was, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." But all knowing and wise bob is surely an expert on quotes, just like he's an expert on DMCA law and also on technology, since it would be sooooo easy to implement everything he's demanding and asking for.

          [rolls eyes]

           

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          Gwiz (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You blather on and on about the rule of law and due process, but only when said law gets in the way of pro copyright groups. When pro piracy groups don't jump through endless hoops, you simply call it "innovation."

          I don't agree. I'm pretty sure I have seen Mike blast players from both sides of the piracy issue when it comes to rule of the law and due process. And what the hell is a "pro piracy group" anyways?


          The fact is that all of these sites hiding behind the DMCA could make it much easier to report infringing material. It takes someone ten seconds to upload something to YouTube, but it practically takes a lawyer to wade through their DMCA forms.

          So basically you are saying that want these sites to go beyond the rule of law and what is actually required of them. You footing the bill for that?


          If YouTube (and the others) really cared about due process and the rule of law, they would ask uploaders to at the very least establish their identity. Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute. Perhaps they could even ask them to upload a scan of a registration page from the Office of Copyright.

          Get off it. YouTube DOES go above and beyond what is required by "rule of the law". On their own dime no less. And you realize that everything is copyrighted at creation don't you? Don't even have to register at the Office of Copyright. Now if you advocating going back to "opt-in" copyright, I'm with you on that one.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Now if you advocating going back to "opt-in" copyright, I'm with you on that one.


            Oh, lordy, me too.

            If just this one single change were made, it would make everyone's lives so much easier. Everyone's, from authors through every intermediary on the way to and including the final user.

             

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            nasch (profile), Aug 28th, 2012 @ 6:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            " And what the hell is a "pro piracy group" anyways?"

            You know, Big Search, Big Hardware, Big... Um... etc.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah darn those evil sites hiding behind...the law and common sense.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute. Perhaps they could even ask them to upload a scan of a registration page from the Office of Copyright.


          Except, of course, that you don't necessarily have to be the copyright holder or licensee to legally use copyrighted material in a YouTube video.

           

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          The eejit (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Newsflash: FACT is not a governmental body, nor is it a part of the judiciary system. It's that simple. They have no actual power, according to UK law.

           

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          Beta (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

          if you don't drown, you're a witch

          "If YouTube (and the others) really cared about due process and the rule of law, they would ask uploaders to at the very least... Then they could ask the uploaders to... Perhaps they could even ask them to..."

          So the "very least" wouldn't satisfy you, and neither would the "then", and I'll bet not even the "even", even if that were enough to effectively kill the service.

          The article shows what happens to those who try to appease the guardians of copyright: no matter how hard you've tried, if the self-policing measures you've taken haven't put you out of business, then they're not satisfactory, you could still do more.

           

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          rstr5105 (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow...Bob actually put together at least 2 coherent sentences in that comment. Good Job Bob!

          Also, not that I agree but congrats on actually posting a semi-reasonable solution to the problem as well.

          Though a Epic Fail for trolls everywhere, you might actually becoming normalized to internetizenship. =)

          A problem with your proposal though, what happens in a situation of fair-use that big content doesn't like?

           

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          JarHead, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If YouTube (and the others) really cared about due process and the rule of law, they would ask uploaders to at the very least establish their identity. Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute. Perhaps they could even ask them to upload a scan of a registration page from the Office of Copyright.


          If I remember correctly, you used to be preaching/ranting about how you "anonymized" your browser, speaking evils of "big search" tracking scheme, and all that. I agree with you on that, and heck even starting to get cues from you about how.

          And now this. Is privacy your own privilege but not others?

           

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          Seegras (profile), Aug 28th, 2012 @ 1:34am

          Re:

          Then they could ask the uploaders to verify that they really own a license for what they distribute.

          Could you please prove that you, bob, really wrote the above sentences yourself, and have not copied it from someone else?

          You can't. And neither can all those uploaders for the movies of their kittens and their minecraft castles they uploaded.

          Copyright happens to be a CIVIL right, which means if you feel yours is offended, YOU have the means to go to court against the violator. And NOBODY has any duty to act on your behalf preemptively.

           

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      gorehound (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      And you are an Industry Puppet who uses the AC instead of a nickname or your real name.
      I am an Artist and I put out Music and I also share all my Music for free.Come on over to www.bigmeathammer.com where my Band resides.I have close to 6 Albums of Material given away for free and with my permission to share.
      That being said (whether you believe me or not) I do support the views of Techdirt and am very glad a Site like this exists.
      Lastly, I will never allow the MPAA,RIAA, ETC a dime out of my Wallet and I mean it.Whatever money I can spend will be spent on Local Art and on the greater Indie Art Scene.
      I want to see the Big Boys go Extinct.They have preyed upon us for to long and I hope their day is coming.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      "You claim that all you do is help artists make money in the golden age of piracy. But that's not true."

      Actually, it's not true. He's never claimed that. What he has done is write articles ABOUT ways artists can make money utilizing all the tools at their disposal. Ranging from simply connecting with fans (via social networks) to trying different methods of distribution (website only with donation buttons, through torrents to save on bandwidth costs, etc.) to avoiding gate keepers entirely and going it alone (which involves a variety of methods).

      "You write pirate-defensive articles like this."

      Can you cite what in this article is defending piracy?

      Or did you ignore the following: "First of all, UKNova appears to have vigorously policed its listings, and was quick to take down content when it was shown to be infringing. The site also had strict rules about what could be listed, stating that it would not allow anything that was available commercially. So if it's available on DVD or on pay TV, it wasn't allowed and was blocked on the site. When FACT contacted them about some content, UKNova immediately removed the links. While this is the UK, rather than the US, this seems to follow the type of "good practices" found under the DMCA's safe harbors that indicate a site willing to act in good faith to prevent infringement."

      All of which sounds, or better said IS, Mike pointing out that the website kept within the bounds of the law as required and then some.

      "You write articles celebrating the demise of the MPAA like the last one."

      Really? I thought the article was about the MPAA getting some of their funding cut back. Nowhere did it seem to celebrate the demise of the MPAA. But then again, I took time to actually read the entire article and pay attention, rather than read what I imagined Mike wrote in order to justify my attacks upon him.

      "You do way more than help artists."

      He does a lot more than those who claim to speak for and fight for the artists. He praises them when they go out on their own. He writes about their successes (ranging from just selling some albums, to making the charts, to successful attempts at new business models, etc).

      Your side cheats artists at every turn (or should I bust out all the links to HUGE artists having to sue to get the royalties owed them, or even revealed that they're owed in some cases), attempts to stifle the artists attempts to go out on their own (taking down mp3s and whatnot that the artists are themselves posting online, as well as shutting down various new ways for them to distribute their music, etc), and so on and so forth.

      "You celebrate piracy and defend the pirates."

      No, he acknowledges piracy and points out the methods aimed at lowering it or stopping it entirely don't and won't work. Not without more legitimate offerings available around the world.

      He also doesn't defend pirates, but he does point out the hypocrisy in some of the methods used to bring them to justice. As well as point out the gross violations of law and due process in general in attempts to do so. (Which as someone who claims to hate piracy, should appall you just as much if not more than it does Mike. You're all for law and order, til it gets in the way. Then it's do what you need to to bring these scum to justice, right?)

      "It's disgusting."

      That's funny. That's the same thing your parents and the doctor said at the same time you popped into this world. Unfortunately, by that point it was too late to do anything legal about it.

      Oh, and you're "outrage" is even more disgusting. We get it, you think Mike is a horrible, horrible person. Can we move on already? Or is that asking too much?

       

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        JarHead, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 7:22pm

        Re: Re:

        That's funny. That's the same thing your parents and the doctor said at the same time you popped into this world. Unfortunately, by that point it was too late to do anything legal about it.

        Overall good post, only marred by this paragraph. Please refrain from ad hom, so we can at least show the trolls/shills/martian/etc that we can hold an argument without resorting to the same tactics they use.

        Show me don't tell me - Rush

         

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    John, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Its simple - guilty until proven innocent is absolutely compatible with the copyright religion.

    To Share = Original sin.

    You should feel guilty. Always. Otherwise, how can god be omnipotent?

     

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    The Ferg, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    "With FACT, you're guilty until proven innocent"
    That should be their slogan. Fits them well. I bet they've hired a private detective to check whether I'm writing this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    the whole intention is to shut down every site on the internet that isn't run by or under the control of the entertainment industries. the sooner ALL sites, search engines and ISPs get that into their thick skulls and join forces, the sooner there can be some serious, hopefully sensible discussions. what is so sad about this sort of selfish, non-sensical practice is that if the scenario above were to happen, the entertainment industries would make just as big a fuck ups as they do with everything they touch!

     

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    •  
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      KelvinZevallos (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      The only result out of it is forcing everything into sneakernets and searching/consuming stuff without a restrictive copyright. In the end, the current copyright will become so poisoning for any kind of content it applies, that anyone will look to get rid of that before anything else.

      As pointless as the other "wars" were/are.

       

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      Rekrul, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      the whole intention is to shut down every site on the internet that isn't run by or under the control of the entertainment industries.

      Yes, that's known as the "Getting Rid of Every External Distribution" plan.

       

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        Seegras (profile), Aug 28th, 2012 @ 1:38am

        Re: Re:

        Of course. It's not a war against illegal copying, it's a war against everyone else offering something.

        Like whores trying to shut down wives, because they do sex for free.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    the whole intention is to shut down every site on the internet that isn't run by or under the control of the entertainment industries. the sooner ALL sites, search engines and ISPs get that into their thick skulls and join forces, the sooner there can be some serious, hopefully sensible discussions. what is so sad about this sort of selfish, non-sensical practice is that if the scenario above were to happen, the entertainment industries would make just as big a fuck ups as they do with everything they touch!

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

    “ALL links or access to content provided by ANYONE are infringing, unless you can prove that you have obtained explicit permission from the DEATH GRIP OF POWER OVER MEDIA THAT IS US for that content,” was FACT’s response.

    Fixed that. They must've been drinking martinis at the time.

    It's been clear for some time that "user generated content" competes with "corporate media management" thus the war is definitely for total control. Even your blogs and chat logs are not immune from an offensive such as this.

    The thing is that we, the public, know the strength of the enemy. The Great Media Wars are upon us, indeed. Taunt the enemy from every quarter. Extend the skirmish lines beyond enemy lines. Harass their generals where and when they sleep so that they cannot sleep. The corporate media cartel is the enemy and the Constitution, the rule of law and the public are the spoils. Copyright is the weapon. Will the spoils be captured, tortured and enslaved or will they remain to be the foundations of an evolving humanity for the betterment of all? Mmm, yeah, I'm still on the fence. The fence that guards the piked heads.

     

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    Vincent Giannell, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    I wonder how FACT will react if someone like a user of UKNova sues them for forcing UKNova to shut down.

     

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      Duke (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      If a UKNova user tried to sue them, I imagine FACT would react with laughter.

      In order to sue FACT, you would have to show FACT did something unlawful (possibly not that hard given some of their actions) and that you were at a loss because of it.

      Actually, they'd probably react with laughter, then turn up at your door with a (dubiously legal) arrest/search warrant, on the grounds that, as a user of a known pirate site, you were obviously a serious criminal.

      Anyway, as the SurfTheChannel case (and similar cases) shows, FACT are pretty much beyond the reach of mere mortals; if you've suffered a loss because of them (say, they've lied to the police in order to get you arrested, used their pet financial investigation unit to illegally freeze your assets and so on), they've probably done a good enough job that you won't have any money left with which to sue them. Whereas they have full-strength Hollywood backing...

      Remember, justice isn't about right and wrong, it is about who has enough money...

       

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    bob, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

    "Of course, under such rules, pretty much no user generated content sites could exist. "

    Wrong. If I create the work, it's easy for me to give permission to a site to redistribute it. I own the copyright and I can license it as I choose.

    But the fact that you've written your response this way shows that you rarely consider these kind of users, the kind that actually do work and actually create things. You're just thinking of that kid who snarfed a copy of something from a friend who got it from another friend who got it from a torrent site but said he didn't. If that's your definition of a "user generated content", you're right. No one will be able to properly license something because none of the people in that chain hold a copyright.

    It's rather sad that you can't imagine users actually generating content and being happy to hold the copyright even though it happens every day. Everyone with a digital camera is an artist and I bet almost everyone likes holding the copyright. But only a small percentage of the world are the torrent-addled cheapskates who seem to act as your definition of the word "user."

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      I own the copyright


      Prove it.

       

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        identicon
        bob, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

        If you want to be that nihilistic, you'll never have the proof you want. But the copyright system has worked reasonably well for hundreds of years with a limited standard of proof and it could work in the digital world if the user generated sites just insisted on a bit of tracking information.

        Proof comes as it always has, in the court of law. It's easy for user generated content sites to insist upon a valid id. Heck, if you want to upload something to Google's AppEngine, you've got to go through two factor identification. WHy? Because they want to be able to chase you down if you cheat.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

          You neglect to acknowledge that, until recently, the burden was on copyright holders to register their works. I'm not going to argue here about whether that system worked reasonably well or not -- the fact is it's not what we have now.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

          Proof comes as it always has, in the court of law.


          That's just silly. Proof is what you present in a court of law to make your case. It is not generated by a court of law.

          But the copyright system has worked reasonably well for hundreds of years with a limited standard of proof


          Again, that's silly. The way copyright operates now does not go back for hundreds of years. Not that long ago, you had to register your copyright for it to be valid. That registration was your proof (and pretty solid proof at that!). That is no longer required.

          It's easy for user generated content sites to insist upon a valid id.


          Actually, that's very very hard to do. Nonetheless, for Google services, they come as close as you can get, as you noted with AppEngine. Even for YouTube uploads.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

          It was a joke of sorts, not "nihilism" and UKNova was shutdown in "court of law", they just shutdown, which is way Mike is rightfully complaining about this.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

            It was a joke of sorts


            Indeed it was, but I knew from long experience that Bob wouldn't get it.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

          But bob, if we can't prove that we own the copyright of our own things then someone else will just claim it for themselves, doing true "Copyright theft".

          It's not being nihilistic, it's being realistic.

           

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      Rapnel (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      distribution is no longer a limited and finite logistic. I'm continually dumbfounded by the lack of engagement and creativity by those that would benefit the most.

      All this uppity nonsense around who is right and who is wrong is appalling. INNOVATE (or die) and, for the record, strong-arming is not innovation. It's hole digging and they're getting deep.

      Here we have an EXTREMELY SMALL HANDFUL of organizations representing THE ENTIRETY OF THE COPYRIGHT REALM and you're good with that? No offense but - you're an idiot.

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      "It's rather sad that you can't imagine users actually generating content and being happy to hold the copyright even though it happens every day."

      No FACT and the cartels can't imagine that, otherwise someone wouldn't have claimed a bird song. Someone would not have claimed the rover landing on Mars. Someone would not have had an action because a commercial was heard in the background.

      Oh and when the cartels do it, the law looks the other way. When regular people do it, they get sued for piles of cash. Why is it acceptable for the cartels to ignore the law and not expect others to ignore it as well?

      You leftoff pay-wall and Somalia... your slipping bob.

       

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      icon
      Duke (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      Everyone with a digital camera is an artist and I bet almost everyone likes holding the copyright.

      I would hazard a guess that in the case of the vast majority (and I mean vast; >99%) of works covered by copyright the copyright owner is probably not even aware that the work is covered by copyright. Works such as everyday emails, doodles, tweets, Facebook posts, TechDirt comments etc.

      So, let's use digital cameras as an example. Someone takes a picture with their digital camera (or more likely, their camera phone) and uploads it to a picture-sharing site. Are they aware that they own the copyright in the photo? Probably. Do they consider the intricate systems of licences in place when they upload it? Maybe not. Do they consider that there might be something in the photograph (such as whatever they are taking a picture of) that might be protected by copyright itself thus making their photo unlawful? Almost certainly not.

      What about situations where they've given their camera to a second party so that they are in their own picture, do they realise that they might not own the copyright and thus might be breaking the law by copying that photo onto their own computer or uploading it somewhere? Again, probably not.

      So... in the vast majority of cases, what is copyright doing for people? Is it encouraging creativity? No. People would almost certainly be taking photos without copyright. Is it making them money? No. The vast majority of photos (and probably an even greater proportion of works in general) are taken with no hope of financial return. Is it getting in the way? Possibly; there will be some situations where their photograph may be illegal (due to the content, or due to someone else taking it). It may be that it will get taken down from a website due to a false (possibly automated) claim by a third party (as in this case, or many of the ContentID screw-ups).

      People may like holding copyrights, but chances are that in the vast majority of cases, they have very little idea what they actually hold, and it probably won't be of any use to them. For most people, copyright is something that gets in their way, not helps them. Don't confuse "professional or semi-professional artists" with "copyright owners".

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

        For most people, copyright is something that gets in their way, not helps them.

        This line, nay this entire post, deserves far more than the humble "insightful" click that I have given.

         

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          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

          Makes me want a button where I can highlight a section of a post and it sends it into a satellite that sends out lasers with hammers in 'em that bashes that text in everyone's skull until they understand it.

           

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      Noah Callaway (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      "Wrong. If I create the work, it's easy for me to give permission to a site to redistribute it. I own the copyright and I can license it as I choose."

      Most legitimate user generated sites require the user to check a box indicating they have the legal right to upload the work, and grant a license to the site to use the uploaded work (don't believe me? Read the terms of service).

      Given this, how is UKnova supposed to know ahead of time which uploads are legitimate users (like yourself), who created the work and are legally uploading it? How do they determine which users lied on the checkbox?

      You argue that they must be proactive in policing the works, but you also seem to think that if the user says: "I created this, it's OK to use it" that's sufficient grounds to use a work. Which is it?

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      The problem is the permision need not be accepted by the content inductyry, How do you give proof to the sight owner that you do own the cop[yright. Lso, ant infringeing content seems to provide an excuse to shut down a site.

      Requiring permission to link to content also puts a massive burden on sites, ad each post of content, or link to content has to be checked before being made available.

      Note the asymetry between the MPAA/RIAA members and their associates such as FACT, they want action on accusation, a claim that the material or link is infringeing but, require the accused to prove they do not infringe.

       

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      MahaliaShere (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 7:09pm

      Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

      So, would you mind posting a link to your work, bob?

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

        Re: Re: User generated is possible-- if the user actually does the work

        bob doesn't make any work; he just claims he does so he can blame and shame us for pirating it (even if we have no idea what the hell it is).

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Next they will shut down the post office because people can send a flash drive in the mail that could potentially contain copyrighted material.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    FACT = Flaming Assholes of Copyright Terrorism

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Chris Hoeschen, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    The fugitive slave act of 1850 declared that all runaway slaves be brought back to their masters. Prior to this act most states (mainly northern states) required a jury trial before an alleged fugitive slave could be returned to their master. This act made it the duty of any Federal official to arrest an alleged runaway slave based solely on someone else’s word. Simply make a claim that a black person is a runaway slave and now all Federal officials have a duty to arrest that person or face a fine. Since the alleged slave was not eligible for a trial this led to many free blacks being kidnapped and put into slavery. They had no rights in court and could not defend themselves against the accusation. Yep, no trial, no jury, just the word of someone else and a black person is now considered a slave.

    FACT declared that all links are infringing and must be removed unless proven innocent.

    Let’s hope we can avoid a civil war this time around.

     

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    sayonara (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    UKNova distributed torrents of UK TV programmes. Virtually all the UK TV companies are *not* members of FACT, except one, the one whose programs were being distributed and were removed upon request. At least some of the other TV companies are aware of UKNova's existence, as witnessed by UKNova having received occasional requests in the past from TV companies and duly removing them. I even remember seeing a photo of a BBC presentation years ago with a picture of the speaker standing in front of a projected UKNova logo for goodness sake. I'm not saying any of them approved of UKNova, but it was clearly known about and tolerated (presumably becasue of the strict policy of not allowing commercially available material on the site).

    Civil legal actions are not cheap. Seriously, would anyone here be willing or prepared to lose everything and have their lives seriously disrupted for years? Even if they won and recovered costs then they would still have a financial and emotional loss. And that's what FACT is relying upon.

    And yes, the SurfTheChannel case has clearly emboldened FACT into bringing private prosecutions too, or at least the possibility of more. With the knowledge that they won being commonplace (though it's currently being appealed) would anyone really take that risk?

    FACT stated “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless you can prove that you have obtained explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content,”. Read that comment from them again. It's *very* carefully worded. It doesn't reveal that they have no legal standing to bring a prosecution (remember, virtually all the UK TV companies aren't members of FACT) but it does make a particular point, that all the (commercially produced) programs listed on UKNova have a copyrightholder somewhere. That the copyrightholder hasn't taken action to date doesn't prevent them doing so in the future. It was superfluous for FACT to state (demand?) that the site obtain the explicit permission of the copyrightholder(s). But I suspect that if FACT were to take proceedings they would claim that to be necessary.

    Really, all it would take would be someone slipping copyrighted material belonging to a FACT member onto the site. No matter if it was removed within minutes, the fact it was made available however briefly would suffice to allow FACT to start a civil or criminal action.

     

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    Corby (profile), Aug 27th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Crimestoppers has joined with FACT to make it as easy as possible for you to report criminal activity related to the manufacture, distribution and sale of pirate DVDs as well as people using the internet to make stolen films and TV programmes available.

    http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/report-it/

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    when a government has handed execution of the law over to private companies, especially those with backing from particular industries, there is only one thing that is going to happen when the industry in question cant get control of something and/or make money from it. that is to use all means at it's disposal to destroy that something, even when it is doing nothing illegal. i am waiting to see how fucked up the UK can get because it grabbed ankles for the entertainment industries, before the government realises how big a mess it has made and tried to do something about it. with it being the most important industry on the planet now, i wonder how the entertainment industry is going to handle global warming, starvation, medical epidemics, fuel crises etc or will it just sit back and say screw you lot, you want to survive, pay me!!

     

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    identicon
    bshock, Aug 28th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Never Cooperate

    Isn't this the lesson every site should learn? Never cooperate with self-styled "authorities." It's like a jackal and a lamb discussing what should be for dinner -- in the best compromise, the lamb is still in trouble, and the jackal will always want more.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Sep 8th, 2012 @ 4:49am

    FACT doesn't care about copyright

    I once got in touch with FACT to complain about a case of multiple copyright theft, but they still haven't done anything about the egregious rights grab enshrined in the ToS of itv.com.

     

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


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