UK Lets The Recording Industry Decide What Websites To Censor

from the incredible dept

Having already kicked down the internet censorship door by ordering that ISPs block access to The Pirate Bay, the UK’s High Court has expanded the list of sites to block based on complaints from BPI about which sites it believes are responsible for piracy. And, so, just like that, those in the UK will find Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy blocked. I don’t know anything about these three sites. So, for all I know, they could be horrible, horrible actors in all of this, but even so, having a court order them completely blocked from access based on statements from BPI — a commercial party who clearly would have a bias against upstart, disruptive competitors — seems crazy. Again, take a look at the history of the entertainment industry attacking every single new type of distribution technology. And now the UK High Court is allowing them to do this to the level of flat out censoring sites.

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Companies: bpi, fenopy, h33t, kickass torrents, the pirate bay

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Comments on “UK Lets The Recording Industry Decide What Websites To Censor”

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77 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: So...

Copyright by definition has to be censorship. It removes the ability to say or do something. Though technically, I guess it’s the enforcement of copyright (stopping someone from doing, saying, expressing something) that’s the real censorship. To that extent you would think courts would be very careful in allowing enforcement. However it seems the opposite is the case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: So...

And anyone who thinks copyright is about “protecting the artists” is flat out ignorant of the effects of protecting the artists. If you’re willing censor the entire public for the benefit of 1 person (unless it’s a very very very very very limitied censoring) you don’t deserve the very very very very very little I’m willing to offer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: So...

When has copyright enforcement actually resulted in stolen money being given to the artists?

– RIAA lawsuits: confirmed to be reused in the lawsuit machine
– Blank media levy: nothing more than giving everyone else a “you must be a pirate tax”
– PROs: can’t be arsed to pay most of the artists, and can’t be bothered to actually find the artists they pay either
– Megaupload takedown: Jonathan Coulton confirmed no money trickled down
– Pirate Bay lawsuit: IFPI confirmed artists would not be seeing money stolen by the Pirate Bay

Copyright enforcement isn’t about returning money to starving artists because that was never its purpose. Anyone who whines about needing it to support starving artists is bullshitting, because that has never happened.

jameshogg says:

First it’ll be torrent sites. Next it’ll be VPNs, TOR and even Encryption.

And just like that, Copyright lobbyists end up supporting the blocking of technologies that are vital to opposition movements that go against fascist and totalitarian movements across the world.

“How dare you revolt against your dictators – don’t you know we have our OWN terrorists and Commies to fight?”

ralph says:

Re: Re: Re:

I agree with you. VPN service is here to stay; there really isn’t going to be a practical way to get rid of it. It’s used all over the place, all over the world.

I do think that filehosts are increasingly under serious siege(DMCA takedowns, removal of payment processors and so forth) and the wave of the future will be Bittorrent in conjunction with VPN service or a proxy.

People will have to become a little more computer literate, but when then happens I expect Chris Dodd’s head will explode.

I’m looking forward to that.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

@ “VPN service is here to stay; there really isn’t going to be a practical way to get rid of it. It’s used all over the place, all over the world.”

It is, BUT NOT allowed by ISPs for residences! Read your “Terms Of Service”; I’d bet half a red ripe apple that for a residence you’re technically forbidden to operate any server or service of such kind. And in any case, the “agreement” is totally up to their discretion.

It’s now down to crunch time, kids! All the hardware and software is in place, and the new policies are being rolled out. Exciting days ahead, your chance to be a pioneer and find out where the arrows come from, and how many. So get hot on firing up those VPNs!

By the way, yet again, for those hard-of-understanding: I’m only describing facts that I believe true. (And details of VPNs are irrelevant.) I’m a little sympathetic to your freedom concerns, but since most of you for instance don’t view Google as giant privacy-destroying monster, then all I can do is throw up my hands at your blindness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Correction:

The only sure way to stop ONLINE piracy is to shutdown the internet which may prove to be unhealthy for the MAFIAA since digital is what is saving the recording industry right now.

Nobody will go back to buying CD’s, it is a dead format like Vinyl or cassette tapes.

People may whoever do what I did, instead of throwing out the computer HDD buy a $5 dollar enclosure for it and make it a handheld pirate device, which you can lend to friends and family full of content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It is, BUT NOT allowed by ISPs for residences! Read your “Terms Of Service”; I’d bet half a red ripe apple that for a residence you’re technically forbidden to operate any server or service of such kind. And in any case, the “agreement” is totally up to their discretion.

If I’m not mistaken, ISP rules against VPNs only concern hosting them rather than using them. They don’t want businesses paying residential rates for something they can sell as a more expensive, business-class service.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“It is, BUT NOT allowed by ISPs for residences! “

So, you’re saying that every teleworker on the planet is working illegally? That my VPN to work when I’m on call is breaking the law or my ISP contract?

Yet again, you’re clueless and full of shit, and every “solution” you insist upon is actually massively damaging to the global economy. I know your **AA gods don’t care about that, but sooner or later you’re going to support something that does real damage to an industry bigger than them – and despite their claims, there’s many that are.

“facts that I believe true”

Maybe if you stopped attacking everyone who knows how things really work, those “facts” would be corrected. As it is, you’re attacking fantasies again.

PopeyeLePoteaux says:

Re: I doubt that

Given that many filesharing networks use ad-hoc encryption between members and onion routing, what you are actually proposing is to render it illegal to have administrative rights over your own computer.

China has tried this and had to give up. The US tried also. Banning encryption or making it hard/impossible to use proxies/VPN is possible ONLY if a new standard is implemented globally where no person can be allowed to be administrator on their own computer.

Even trying is highly likely to remove every business relying on VPN’s, cloud services and proxies from the market. Https has to go as well so say fare-thee-well to any service using encrypted login. Banks, amazon, online franchises, personal cloud storage, etc.

So, I don’t think that could happen, although they will keep trying to find a way to acomplish something like that, but for now, it is impossible IMO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Your forgot the important part, without those technologies there is no Apple store, iTunes, Netflix, banking, micro transactions, virtual currencies or the like.

Just to underscore the importance of those techs to commerce here are a few examples of the use of it.

The next world currency may not be the Dollar but a virtual currency. Everyone has front role seat at the rise of virtual currencies.

M&C SAATCHI TECH BULETTIN: THE RISE OF THE VIRTUAL CURRENCY

Tech2:
EA to build microtransaction systems in all of its future games

I want to see who will build a microtransaction system without encryption, secure channels(aka VPN) and how suscessfull they will be.

The Verge: Bitcoin value reaches new all-time high against the dollar, continuing upward trend

IEEE Spectrum: Bitcoin-Central Is Now The World’s First Bitcoin Bank…Kind Of

FinExtra: Royal Canadian Mint unveils MintChip virtual currency; launches development competition

This is a race to fill the vaccuum for a common currency in a global connected world.
Companies, governments and cyberpunks nerds are all racing to see who gains the public trust first.
The stakes are high, the winner gets to control everything for the next century.

Freeware Genius: Secure your online identity and personal info, with OneID
Double authentication using encryption and VPN for secure access.

Duke (profile) says:

For those interested the full judgment is here: EMI Records Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2013] EWHC 379 (Ch)

The law is a bit worrying (I haven’t read it in that much detail but I think it goes slightly further than previous ones) – the main concern is that, again, there was no hearing, no defence, no cross-examination of evidence etc.. Without seeing the witness statements I can’t be sure, but I think the judge just accepted everything the BPI had to say at face value.

That’s not justice – not in an adversarial court system.

out_of_the_blue says:

Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

SURELY none of you are downloading any copyrighted content from them? … Looks to me like tacit admission that you ARE, or at least wish to be. And all this talk of hiding with VPNs! You keep letting the cat out of the bag.

Look, censorship surely involves some sort of speech, NOT links to stolen content. Those link are evidence of criminal intent. — Don’t bother protesting that you read political tracts you get off The Pirate Bay: no one believes you any more; nor that there’s tons of free legal content on torrents while ignoring the mega-tons of infringing material, it’s just lying by omission.

You pirates are mis-appropriating fine old concepts and dragging them through the muck with your mania to download for free what someone else created and wants you to pay for. That’s why I can’t stay with you on these items.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
http://techdirt.com/
Where Mike sez: uploader + file host + links site + downloader = perfectly “legal” symbiotic piracy.

Zakida Paul says:

Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Um, because I have downloaded Linux .iso files and other open source software from these and similar sites. That is perfectly legal activity. There are many open source developers and independent content creators, as well as their users and fans, who are going to be seriously inconvenienced by this. These are the ONLY people who suffer from these blocks.

Why are you such a moron?

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

@”Zakida Paul (profile), Feb 28th, 2013 @ 4:45pm

Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?
Um, because I have downloaded Linux .iso files and other open source software from these and similar sites. That is perfectly legal activity. There are many open source developers and independent content creators, as well as their users and fans, who are going to be seriously inconvenienced by this. These are the ONLY people who suffer from these blocks.

Why are you such a moron?
—————

You missed my request up there to not bother with boilerplate:
Don’t bother protesting that you read political tracts you get off The Pirate Bay: no one believes you any more; nor that there’s tons of free legal content on torrents while ignoring the mega-tons of infringing material, it’s just lying by omission.

With yours, I’ve read those lies a thousand times here now. Congratulations, you win the dummy prize.

You’ll presumably be able to continue “perfectly legal activity” of torrenting Linux and so on. They’ll surely actually check the first ones they make examples of to be copyrighted content. You have no worries. Rest easy tonight, wrapped warm and cozy in the arms of Morpheus with your guilt-less conscience.

It’s just the FEW RARE pirates, can’t be more than a couple dozen in the US, who should worry, I guess.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

You’ll presumably be able to continue “perfectly legal activity” of torrenting Linux and so on.

Unless the slimeballs in the “entertainment” industry shut down all the torrent programs and trackers, of course.

They’ll surely actually check the first ones they make examples of to be copyrighted content.

Considering the industry has labeled public domain material and even official releases of copyrighted material to be “infringing,” then I think it’s safe to say they won’t check a damn thing. This is the primary problem.

Zakida Paul says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty, eh? You do realise that pirates will still pirate, right? Or are you too much of a moron to realise that? The only people who suffer from censorship are the innocent.

Look at Kim Dotcom, he had a service, Megaupload, which was taken down. What did that case accomplish? Massive publicity for him and his new service, and the tide of public opinion in his favour. Who lost out? Those who had their legitimate files stored on his old service.

You are right about one thing, I have a completely guilt less conscience because I do not pirate. In fact, I probably spend more on music, books, DVDs than you do. Take your bullshit somewhere else.

martyburns (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

You’ll presumably be able to continue “perfectly legal activity” of torrenting Linux and so on. They’ll surely actually check the first ones they make examples of to be copyrighted content….

…wait..wait.wait..

Didn’t you say yesterday that they’ll be harassing people simply for downloading large volumes of data?

Adrian Lopez says:

Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Look, censorship surely involves some sort of speech, NOT links to stolen content.

1. Unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted content is not the same as stolen content. Stealing content is something to the effect of taking an original manuscript. Reproducing content without permission is just infringement.

2. Links are speech. Some forms of speech are illegal, but it’s a pretty high bar. I propose that websites like the Pirate Bay do not meet the bar for illegality. Copyright infringement is not a serious enough offense to make such links illegal. Focus on the content, not the links.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Name a public domain example that copyright prevented you from using.

You losers are stale. You just repeat the same stupid lies and piracy-rationalizations about copyright length, etc when everyone knows yoo’re greedy and you pirate to get recently released movies and music. Seriously, just shut your pieholes already. Nobody, anywhere, believes any of your idiotic bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Then stop whining about how piracy hurts independent artists, because clearly nobody pirates from them.

Hell, whatever money “stolen” from artists isn’t even given back to them. This much has always been the case. If you’re so concerned about how artists are “ripped off” why aren’t you giving the money back to them?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Here is an example of the public domain being pilfered by bastards.

If we consider the original copyright rules(i.e. 14 years where only educational papers and books were allowed protection) you get a long list of works that should have been in the public domain for all to use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_in_film

Godzilla should be public domain, Armageddon should be public domain, Lethal Weapon, Dr. Dolittle, Bug’s Life, Deep Impact, instead the public have been robbed of the use of those works.

Here is another list of what should be in the public domain.

http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/1998

Where Harry Porter would be entering the public domain and people would be able to start drawing and use those in schools without fearing the copyright police SWATing the premises.

You robbed everyone and now you have the bold face to call others thieves?

LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Want to see the impact in schools of copyright BS?

Ask if any schools is going to start any speech with “I have a dream”. Not in this lifetime anyways.

Copycreeps actually made it illegal to give children color pencils to draw, because you know if they draw some Disney crap the responsible for that incredible selfish act(i.e. giving a child a pencil to draw) incentivized those childrens to break the law and steal from ARTISTS.

Why do people need to get permission to copy their own photographs from the person who took those?
You can’t even make a poster of your wedding or birthday if you wanted to,

How about all the lifes ruined by copycrap Jamie Thomas Rasset was one of thousands of people.

Now you creeps want others to foot the bill to protect your crap?

Go find a real job bum.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

“Name a public domain example that copyright prevented you from using.”

Every work released in the last century that had extended copyright applied to it – millions of works that would now be in the public domain under the copyright regime in force at the time they were created but are still copyrighted due to the Bono act and other idiocy. Many of which are listed here: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/, but that is far from complete.

Every work that’s currently orphaned due to copyright being applied to it, but is unable to be released commercially because nobody knows who owns the copyright.

Need me to go on? No, probably not, you’re such an idiotic whiny little child who has to attack everyone who disagrees with his strawmen, you probably didn’t read this far.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

“You just repeat the same stupid lies and piracy-rationalizations about copyright length”

Star Trek’s creator is dead, he died during the making of Next Generation before I was born.

That was over 30 years ago.

The only Star Trek that came out after his death that WASN’T thought up by Roddenberry (he left notes all over his attic) was the movie that retconned everything other than Archer out of existence.

Original Star Trek, Next Gen, DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise were originally notes that Roddenberry wrote up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why does this blocking concern anyone here?

Because while I’m not from the US, I know the RIAA and their in-bred cousins over the world are very, very keen on copying off each other’s draconian copyright enforcement regimes.

I also know that when it comes to nabbing the right people for alleged copyright infringement, they have the accuracy of a blind person trying to shoot the large side of a barnhouse. I wouldn’t trust any initiative they came up with. I trust these jerks about as far as I could throw them, with all four of my limbs chopped off.

The industry lost the war since they tried to criminalise home taping, and look how that turned out. Not only do you not find the inaccuracy and irresponsibility of punishments disturbing, you keep going on with your anti-corporate rants while completely ignoring the horrors inflicted by the RIAA.

Go fuck yourself, or get your buddies at the RIAA to do it for you, just like they do for artists.

Adrian Lopez says:

Content Blocking

No ISP should ever be forced to block any website, whether foreign or domestic. If you can prove a website is illegal and it’s hosted in your country, go ahead and shut it down. If it’s not in your country, look for a legal and ethical remedy within that country or leave it alone.

The Internet should connect us, not divide us.

Anonymous Coward says:

“If you can block that site, you can block these sites!”
Expect this event to be repeated ad nauseum. They’ll never be satisfied; they’ll never stop. Eventually they’ll be submitting tens of thousands of URLs a day to be blocked, and complaining that they aren’t able to submit hundreds of thousands.

Anyway, it’s only a matter of time before political dissent gets targeted, so anyone in the UK who doesn’t want 100% of their available online news to be veneration of their glorious leaders might want to start looking into getting a VPN.

Zakida Paul says:

Re: Re:

Artists are already starting to compromise with pirates through pay-what-you-want offerings, crowd funding, social media and giving away a song or two to generate buzz ahead of a new album release.

I think you meant that the INDUSTRY (by that I mean RIAA/BPI etc) will have to one day compromise with pirates.

special-interesting (profile) says:

The UK has developed a wonderful culture of freedom of thought (what is thinking anyway) that propelled them to succeed though/during a time of crises of (such as) WW1 and WW2.

To discard that heritage of greatness is beyond me. (like wow I’m appalled)

For a nation (UK) that at one time controlled the entire world, and lost it because of commercial stupidity, (slavery and colonialism) how do they give up to commercial pressure?

Is this a flag of (special interest) surrender?

P.S. The comments were great! (and I mean really great with references included.)

post note: Micky Mouse was trademarked (another abuse of trademark law) thus removing the character from culture. (what loss to our (American and also UK) GDP and world PR is that?)

change of topic but this is still on topic kind of thing.

The UK has made great inroads to a democratic society. Why give all that up now?

Copyright is the most abused legislation inexistent. Please strike it down immediately.

special-interesting (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You point out fascinating conflicts of interest. Specifically the interests of Empire and individual human decency (want to say ‘Rights’ but its more basic than that) which are not equivalent.

The USA has been a belligerent animal as of late. Please be understanding as we work it out. Greatness is not achieved through bureaucracy (our current theme).

Hope. (unspecified hope)

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright apparently is only good to create scams.

Youtube copyright trolls are claiming copyright on everything they can knowing that they don’t own anything.

The likes of John Steele plague countries threatening everyone they can certain in the fact that only a few would fight back.

DMCA’s are used to cripple competitors, censor speech.

WTF is wrong with people these days can’t they see what monopolies do, have it been that long that everyone forgot what shitty piece of crap is to grant a monopoly to anyone?

Anonymous Coward says:

the judges in the UK are as bias against file sharing under orders from the Government. they get plenty of funding from the entertainment industries and have plenty of ‘friends’ in those industries too. what is so shameful is that, not only were there no witnesses to question the ‘evidence’ from the BPI, there was no contesting from the ISPs either. basically, this is a knock-on effect from the ICE and DoJ practices in the USA. we all know how shit scared the UK is of upsetting that ‘special relationship’ between the two nations. as usual, the only losers are the public because if BPI thinks for 1 second that there will be a sudden and continuous surge to the high street stores or to their own web sites for downloading material, they can forget it! never gonna happen!! such a shame that the UK court system appears to now be as fucked up as the USA, where nothing is more important than giving the entertainment industries carte blanche for any actions against anyone it feels like and evidence is a non-requirement!! i read where one UK politician refused to even question any figures put out by the BPI when asked to do so by one of his constituents. he simply repeated the figures without contesting them and any thought that they may be inflated for obvious reasons. what a wanker! typical, but still a wanker!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Rumblefish - series of unfortunate errors

It clearly is a series of unfortunate errors … made by those who enable this sort of villainy. This one story exemplifies the haphazard approach to what is being called copyright enforcement.

Rumblefish CEO: Claiming Copyright On Your Incidental Recordings Of Birds Was Merely A Series Of Unfortunate Errors
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120227/13044117890/rumblefish-ceo-claiming-copyright-your-incidental-recordings-birds-was-merely-series-unfortunate-errors.shtml

YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/02/26/2141246/youtube-identifies-birdsong-as-copyrighted-music

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