Hollywood's Secret War On Net Neutrality Is A Key Part Of Its Plan Stop You From Accessing Websites It Doesn't Like

from the because-anti-piracy-is-more-important-than-the-internet dept

We already wrote about the MPAA’s plan to break the internet by trying to twist a portion of the DMCA to force ISPs to remove DNS entries, making sites effectively disappear off the internet. However, one key element to this actually relies on an issue closely related to the net neutrality fight — though understanding it involves going pretty deep into both copyright law and telecommunications law.

Historically, the MPAA has been against net neutrality for a long time. Back in 2007, during the original net neutrality fight, the MPAA weighed in with an FCC filing against net neutrality, arguing that it would interfere with filtering technologies that it wanted ISPs to start using. In 2009, as the second net neutrality battle ramped up, the MPAA sent a similar filing — with some friends arguing that net neutrality is just another word for file sharing, and would lead to “rampant looting.” Given all this, the 2010 open internet rules from the FCC included a special carveout for copyright content, arguing that the rules “do not apply” to copyright infringement.

We noted, earlier this year, how ridiculous it was that the MPAA was still on the wrong side of the net neutrality debate, seeing as how it would stifle a bunch of important new developments that have vastly improved things for filmmakers. But, it appears that the MPAA didn’t get the message, at all. The only message it got was to be quieter about its opposition to net neutrality. In some of the leaked emails, it’s noted that the MPAA’s strategy on net neutrality is to be quiet and evasive about it:

On network neutrality: Most member companies supported, in principle, a narrow, low-profile MPAA filing focused on opposition to the regulation of content.

And, indeed, that’s basically what happened. On September 15th, the MPAA filed a fairly short comment that mainly focused on making sure the new rules don’t create some sort of compulsory licensing scheme for content (no actual rules under consideration would do that) and that they don’t interfere with copyright law. Just a few weeks ago, it appears that the MPAA and a bunch of studio execs further met with the FCC to reiterate that there should be a copyright infringement loophole in any net neutrality rules:

the FCC should adopt its tentative conclusion to cary forward language in its previous network neutrality provisions making clear that the rules do not prevent content companies and ISPs from combating piracy…

That’s all to be expected. But there’s something much more nefarious going on, which came out in the leaked document [pdf] we discussed earlier about pretending that the DMCA requires DNS-level takedowns. We were a bit confused, initially, by TorrentFreak’s recent mention of the MPAA exploring the use of the Communications Act, but the full leak of the document makes that much clearer.

It’s not that the MPAA is looking to use the Communications Act against ISPs, but rather, the plan is to think about using the ISPs’ own arguments against net neutrality as a wedge to force them into site blocking. To understand how this works, you have to go back nearly a decade to to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Brand X case (which, coincidentally, came out the same day as the Grokster ruling). This was the case in which the Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s decision to say that cable internet providers could be classified under Title I as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service” (under Title II).

Obviously, that’s the key fight that we’re in today — to see whether the FCC can go “reclassify” internet (for both cable and DSL) away from Title I and back to Title II. Here’s why this matters in the copyright context: as we mentioned in our earlier post, “notice and takedown” provisions in the DMCA do not apply to “transitory digital network communications” under 512(a) of the DMCA. In plain language, this means that copyright holders can’t send takedown notices or append liability to a network provider just because some infringing content traversed its network. That makes sense. Without that, networks would have to do deep packet inspection and try to spy on basically all traffic.

But… part of the reason why broadband companies won the Brand X case was by arguing that they’re a lot more than just a network “telecommunications” service — and that’s because (they argued) they provide a lot more — including DNS services. And, thus, the MPAA argues, under the Brand X ruling, broadband providers are effectively admitting that DNS services are not covered by the DMCA’s 512(a) and thus may be covered by 512(d) (“information location tools”) which are subject to notice and takedown rules. Here’s the MPAA explanation:

ISPs successfully advocated before the FCC, and then at the U.S. Supreme Court…, that broadband service does not constitute a ?telecommunications service? within the definition of 47 U.S.C. 153(53) because broadband ISPs offer functionalities such as email and DNS, which are not ?telecommunications.?…..

Because ISPs offer an intertwined service package that includes both telecommunications and information services, the FCC held in Cable Modem Declaratory Ruling, and the Supreme Court affirmed in Brand X, that retail ISP service from a last-mile provider is not an ?offering? of telecommunications to the public within the meaning of the ?telecommunications service? definition, because the ?offering? includes both telecommunications and information services blended into the same service.

From there, the MPAA notes that the definition of a “service provider” is very similar under both the Communications Act and the DMCA — meaning that there’s a “colorable” argument, that since broadband providers have convinced the FCC and the courts that they’re not telecommunications services under the Communications Act it should also mean that they’re not a “transitory digital network communications service provider” under the DMCA:

…both statutory definitions are essentially identical (and the legislative history shows an intent to make them identical), and, having successfully advocated for and obtained a holding from the FCC that they do not provide ?telecommunications services? for purposes of the Communications Act, ISPs should not then be allowed to turn around and claim that they are ?service providers? for purposes of the DMCA. One might further contend that any specific ISPs that litigated the Brand X case or its progeny should be estopped from taking a contrary position under the DMCA.

In short, because these ISPs got classified as information services rather than as telco services by the FCC (and the Supreme Court said that was okay), they can’t then argue that they are telco services for the DMCA protections.

Given that, if the FCC were to reclassify broadband back under Title II, this leg of the MPAA’s argument would essentially evaporate. Because it would confirm, absolutely, that broadband providers are telco service providers, and thus clearly protected by the DMCA under 512(a). Thus, for the whole “notice and takedown at the DNS level” plan to be most likely to succeed, the MPAA really needs broadband to remain classified under Title I, so that it can rely on the argument that DNS services are not part of being a telecommunications service, but rather should be classified as a “information location tool” subject to notice and takedown.

I recognize that this may be confusing to follow — though I’ve tried to lay out the specifics from both copyright and telco law in a way that’s clear. The short version of this is simply that a key part of the MPAA’s “site blocking by DNS” plan, actually relies on the fact that broadband providers are not, currently, classified as telco services under Title II. If that changes, it takes away a big part of the MPAA’s legal argument. Personally, I think the MPAA’s argument, even if broadband is classified under Title I, is incredibly weak already, but having the FCC reclassify broadband providers back under Title II would make the MPAA’s attempt to break the internet that much harder, even with the loophole language concerning copyright infringement.

And, of course, all this goes to show just how far former Senator, now MPAA boss, Chris Dodd has gone in selling his soul to Hollywood. Back when he was in Congress, he was a big supporter of net neutrality. Apparently, being principled doesn’t pay as good.

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Comments on “Hollywood's Secret War On Net Neutrality Is A Key Part Of Its Plan Stop You From Accessing Websites It Doesn't Like”

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Bill Dempsey (profile) says:


The MPAA thinks they will gain some huge windfall by eliminating content downloads. They’re morons and they’re completely wrong. They have spent far more money paying lawyers, buying congressmen, and researching ways to get around the law than they could ever possibly gain from the miniscule number of college kids downloading movies. The completely incorrect assumption is that those kids downloading movies would actually buy those movies if they couldn’t download them. I guarantee they wouldn’t. So, the MPAA members will only increase their expenses by pursuing this approach.

Further, if they continue this insanity many tech savvy movie collectors like me will stop buying movies in protest. I did exactly that when the recording industry was adding insane copy protection to music. Their sales plummeted during those years and they tried to blame piracy. I went from buying 2-3 CDs per week to buying zero for years. When they stopped the insanity, their sales went up again.

Message to all MPAA members: I buy a LOT of movies. I will completely stop buying movies if the MPAA pursues this insanity. Put a leash on your dogs or you will lose big money.

Vote with your dollars people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Exactly, as all the traditional publishers, video/film, music and book, will have control over what is published, and almost all of the profits from content as well. They do not like self publishing content creators, as they are the real danger to their business, rather than the pirates that they keep banging on about.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Does it ever get old, trotting out that tired old strawman?

Because you know, personally, I see the vast majority of tv shows these days as crap not worth bothering with in any fashion, legal or not, and yet even if I don’t give a damn what rot they throw out, they’re still trying to screw up something I do care about, the internet.

So to pretend that people could only object to their actions because it would affect piracy(here’s a hint: It won’t, just like all the other pathetic attempts to ‘stop piracy’ they’ve tried over the decades that have utterly failed), is to mischaracterize, deliberately or not, the real issue behind the objections.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, they’re not.

So they’re not contemplating screwing with the DNS system, despite the evidence to the contrary, including emails from their favorite law firm?

Now, if you’re going to say that won’t make things worse for the internet, let’s look at the opposing sides.

One one, you have the AA’s, who claim that nothing they are demanding, past, present or future, will negatively affect the internet for any but guilty parties. We’ll call this side the ‘Doesn’t have a freakin’ clue what they’re talking about’ party, given how little they seem to know about the technical aspects of what they are demanding.

(Perfect example: ‘It’s easy to identify infringing works, and the systems we have to do so are highly accurate’. Uh, no, it’s not you blockheads, as exemplified by the fact that you’ve identified your own products as infringing in the past)

And, oh yes, let’s not forget that this side also has a penchant for lying, massive hyperbole(comparing the VCR to the Boston Strangler, claiming that a pirated CD suddenly goes from worth $20 to hundreds of thousands in ‘lost profits’), and have a history of decidedly underhanded tactics in order to get their way.

On the other side, we’ve got people who actually know the internet. People who work on keeping it running, people who have studied the bits and pieces that make it up, and who agree that what the *AA’s demand will, if granted, have a decided negative impact on the internet.

Don’t know about you, but between a group that has a penchant for lies and lack of technical knowledge, and people who actually know what they’re freakin’ talking about, I think I’ll believe the second group, not the first.

Another example: The constant attempts to shift the burden of proof/enforcement for infringement onto any party except the one able to determine just what is and is not infringing, forcing sites to screw over their users by blocking anything that might be infringing.

That is precisely why they are objecting. And *everyone knows it now.

You wish. So much easier to just dismiss any criticism by claiming the one putting it forward is doing it for personal, self-serving and criminal reasons, rather than actually addressing the criticism isn’t it?

So considering they’ve been trying the exact same crap for decades now, all the while crying about how, due to piracy, they’re going to go bankrupt any day now, I take it that means both piracy and their profits are all but non-existent at this point?

No? Both are still going strong? Piracy still exists, and they continue to make record profits on an almost yearly basis? Gee, it’s almost like they’re either completely incompetent at combating piracy(they are), or they care more about maintaining the control that they cherish than making the changes* to their business model necessary to boost profits and match how things are, rather than how they wish they were.

*Said changes aren’t even that difficult. All they’d have to do would be to offer their products in a convenient manner, at a reasonable price, and without ridiculously burdensome strings attached and their profits would explode.

They don’t do so because it would require them to give up control(release windows, DRM, regional pricing), and they value control more than profits, likely due to assuming one requires the other.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Look big man- tell me how removing the DNS of KickassTorrents will “break the internet”.

You can’t.

All you can do is spout FUD about how you think “Hollywood” or “the Mafiaa” will take down other sites that you believe could “break the internet” if their DNS was messed with.

You have exactly ZERO evidence that said sites that would harm the internet by such actions would be taken down.

Zero. Zip. Nada.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Look big man- tell me how removing the DNS of KickassTorrents will “break the internet”.”

Yes, that’s what he said sigh

Why are you not only such an outright liar, but unable to address the actual words stated by others? Why do you only manage to address fantasies of your own invention? Is reality that hard for you to bear. You know, reality – that thing that isn’t black and white, where people can oppose the idiotic measures you support while also not support piracy in any way? Is this truly beyond your ability to comprehend?

Do you have anyone on your “side” who isn’t a lying moron? Do you have anyone willing to debate reality?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Here’s Comcast admitting that DNS redirects are incompatible with DNSSEC, and in fact can look identical to malicious attacks:

‘When we launched the Domain Helper service, we also set in motion its eventual shutdown due to our plans to launch DNSSEC. Domain Helper has been turned off since DNS response modification tactics, including DNS redirect services, are technically incompatible with DNSSEC and/or create conditions that can be indistinguishable from malicious modifications of DNS traffic (including DNS cache poisoning attacks). Since we want to ensure our customers have the most secure Internet experience, and that if they detect any DNSSEC breakage or error messages that they know to be concerned (rather than not knowing if the breakage/error was “official” and caused by our redirect service or “unofficial” and caused by an attacker), our priority has been placed on DNSSEC deployment — now automatically protecting our customers…’

Here’s a muckup of the DNS system that led to people in two countries having their internet traffic screwed over in the same way that the poor saps in China have to deal with.

Here’s an example showing how utterly useless DNS blocking is to ‘combat piracy’.

Here’s a DNS provider noting how bad of an idea introducing DNS blocking would be, based upon how it’s been used in other countries(Of particular note: China).

Now, you may say that’s hyperbole, that it would only be used for going after the worst of the worst pirate sites, at which point I’ll get to marvel at your naivety, before pointing to the rest of human history, which makes clear the point: If it can be used for something, it will be. I’m sure people in the US never thought that the NSA would ever end up spying on them, yet they are, because they can. Likewise in the UK, where anti-terrorist laws have been used against reporters. DNS blocking may start only targeting ‘pirate’ sites, but if implemented, it will expand to be used against other sites.

And finally here’s a paper written by a handful of people who know the underpinnings of the internet much better than some lawyers for the *AA’s and the foolish politicians they have on their side, talking about what a bad idea DNS blocking is.

Two likely situations ways can be identified in which DNS filtering could lead to non-targeted and perfectly innocent domains being filtered. The likelihood of such collateral damage means that mandatory DNS filtering could have far more than the desired effects, affecting the stability of large portions of the DNS.

First, it is common for different services offered by a domain to themselves have names in some other domain, so that example.com’s DNS service might be provided by isp.net and its e-mail service might be provided by asp.info. This means that variation in the meaning or accessibility of asp.info or isp.net could indirectly but quite powerfully affect the usefulness of example.com. If a legitimate site points to a filtered domain for its authoritative DNS server, lookups from filtering nameservers for the legitimate domain will also fail. These dependencies are unpredictable and fluid, and extremely difficult to enumerate. When evaluating a targeted domain, it will not be apparent what other domains might point to it in their DNS records.

In addition, one IP address may support multiple domain names and websites; this practice is called ‘virtual hosting’ and is very common. Under PROTECT IP, implementation choices are (properly) left up to DNS server operators, but unintended consequences will inevitably result. If an operator or filters the DNS traffic to and from one IP address or host, it will bring down all of the websites supported by that IP number or host. The bottom line is that the filtering of one domain name or hostname can pull down unrelated sites down across the globe.

Second, some domain names use ‘subdomains’ to identify specific customers. For example, blogspot.com uses subdomains to support its thousands of users; blogspot.com may have customers named Larry and Sergey whose blog services are at larry.blogspot.com and sergey.blogspot.com. If Larry is an e-criminal and the subject of an action under PROTECT IP, it is possible that blogspot.com could be filtered, in which case Sergey would also be affected, although he may well have had no knowledge of Larry’s misdealings. This type of collateral damage was demonstrated vividly by the ICE seizure of mooo.com, in which over 84,000 subdomains were mistakenly filtered.

However, all of this is going down the wrong path. I’m not the one demanding the power to shut down a site by accusing it of hosting infringing files, the *AA’s are. As such, I’m not the one who needs to provide backing evidence.

So, show me the evidence that such sites cause measurable harm, harm great enough to justify taking them completely offline despite the legitimate uses of them, on little more than accusation of guilt. Show me the measurable harm that makes their losses greater than the silenced speech, or the ability for someone to share their own files, that would result from a site being taken down.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“So, show me the evidence”

Sadly, this won’t be forthcoming. He knows piracy is bad, absolutely anything to combat it is acceptable no matter what the collateral damage – even damage to the industry he claims to be trying to save – and anyone who disagrees is a pirate.

If evidence was involved, we might be able to get an adult conversation out of one of these people for once. I suspect this is not that time.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

DNS blocking may start only targeting ‘pirate’ sites, but if implemented, it will expand to be used against other sites.

Besides that, the definition of “pirate sites” would be in the hands of people who wanted to shut down sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Megaupload, and who knows how many other sites with lots of legitimate uses.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

It’s amazing that the simplest arguments are escaping your tiny mind, not to mention the actual issues people are talking about. You’re probably the same clueless moron who keeps claiming that blocking VPNs is desirable and won’t affect anything legal on the internet, aren’t you?

But, thanks for repeatedly linking everyone to your favourite torrent site, you little pirate you.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

No, I know you’re wrong. At least, I know that you haven’t thought about the actual argument being presented to you, and why this makes the whole issue rather more complicated and the methods proposed dangerous.

Go on, carry on pirating and letting people know which site you use, I’ll be here defending the fundamental infrastructure of the network you use from clueless fools who can’t read the actual arguments presented to them.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Of course I can explain it, you just didn’t ask. Acting like a twat doesn’t change the fact that you’ve not even attempted to determine other peoples’ opinions before whining and calling them names.

Let’s start simply: there’s a massive difference between editing a DNS file at its nameserver (which, at best, is what you seem to be arguing for, although I have some doubts about that) and performing external DNS poisoning (which is what the MPAA is actually calling for). The latter is fraught with dangers and causes massive problems that go well beyond a webpage. Many of them unintended, and many of which put the entire system in jeopardy.

Are you honest and/or knowledgeable enough to see the difference or do you need the whole thing spoonfed to you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Actually, there would be no way to tell if some nefarious virus infecting website or the MPAA took over the website once they allow for DNSSEC as both would just show up as compromised. This in turn would create a massive security issue as it would invalid the use of security as end-users some of which are not US nationals and thus not breaking any laws would then be compromised by the US government. The effects would be very real and we have seen some of the problems from the DNS hijacking in Brazil just recently, or would you rather log into your bank through a wonderful proxy server since the MPAA would break DNSSEC.
Added to the fact as we have seen from ICE domain seizures, they blatantly don’t work and often times are illegally seizing valid domains in the attempt. I guess you forgot that ICE called thousands of innocent people pedophiles with the mooo.com seizure, or the Rojadirecta domain seizure, or the dajaz1 domain seizure, et al.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You know, the lack of vision in Hollywood never ceases to amaze me.

We, the geeks, built for them (and everyone else) the greatest promotion and distribution medium they’ve ever had. Nothing else they’ve got is even remotely close to the Internet. And we did it for them for free.

So what’s their reaction? “Kill it.” In their profound ignorance, these ungrateful shits — who should be prostrating themselves before the architects of HTTP and DNS and the rest, and begging permission to kiss their feet — want to destroy it.

That will not be permitted. Hollywood is expendable and unimportant — and increasing irrelevant. If it has to be bankrupted and shut down in order to ensure the Internet’s future, then that’s a perfectly acceptable outcome. They might be missed momentarily…but on the other hand given that they’ve been reduced to recycling 1950’s comic books and passing that off as “cinematic art”, those moments won’t last long.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Sometimes malice /is/ the reason

‘Never attribute to malice, what can be explained by stupidity’ may be true most of the time, but not this time.

It’s not ignorance, it’s greed and panic. “… kill it” is the response, but the first half, “We don’t control this…” is the reason.

As you say, it’s the greatest promotion and distribution medium ever, but when the source of your power and profits is promotion and distribution, and suddenly anyone can do that, well, of course they’re going to try and destroy the competition.

It threatens the source of their power, their ability to dictate to everyone else what artists or movies will be successful, what song will be popular, and in so doing allows them to dictate the terms to the producers and musicians.

Take that away, set up a system where anyone can pitch their ideas, gather funding, and sell/make available their works, all without once talking to someone from a major label or studio, and being forced to hand over the rights to their creations, and suddenly the throne they’ve been sitting on for so many years starts getting more than a little wobbly, as they start to lose relevance. What need for a gatekeeper, if you can go directly to the fans/customers after all?

Now, they could change, maintaining their relevance, by shifting towards enablers, offering promotion and distribution on the creator’s terms, working for the creator, rather than the other way around, but after having spent so long in charge, being the ones giving orders, rather than receiving them, such a shift is almost unthinkable to them.

And so they’ll fight, and thrash about, doing everything they can to keep things the way they were in the ‘good old days’, and if that means hamstringing or outright destroying one of the greatest technological advances in history, then they’ll see it as nothing more than ‘acceptable loses’.

S. T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I don’t like to get vile and venomous with trolls. It doesn’t serve the purpose of presenting a cogent argument and paints me as something of an asshole. So I bite my tongue and try to be rational and calm and collected when people make posts like yours.

Tonight, however, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news: you caught me in a shitty mood.

You want to rail against piracy? Fine, fuck it, see if I care. You won’t really get anywhere with it—seeing as how piracy can’t really be stopped in full—but that’s your decision and I’m not gonna stop you. But don’t you fucking dare put words in my mouth when I sure as fuck didn’t say them.

I don’t condone copyright infringement, but I refuse to condemn non-commercial infringement. I understand why people infringe upon copyright; more than that, I understand how even an otherwise ‘innocent’ person can infringe by accident. Condemning non-commercial infringement won’t do shit to change people’s minds.

But it might make me your ally, which is a probably far worse fate.

You seem to advocate for the MPAA and RIAA and all their little multimedia tentacles getting the chance to run the Internet. The advocacy you (and those like you) carry out has one small flaw, though: people aren’t as dumb as you think.

The people behind SOPA and PIPA tried to sneak it past everyone, but a broad campaign of education and activism brought down both bills. People can and will learn about subjects which will affect their lives; massive corporations trying to turn the Internet into a global television set is one of them.

“Oh but you’re just upset because you can’t steal shows any more!”

The fuck I am. I don’t pirate much of anything: I watch films and what little modern TV I consider worthwhile through DirecTV, I listen to legally-free music (as well as Spotify), I buy DVDs and Blu-rays on rare occasions, and read actual books. On the odd occasion where I do pirate something, I do my best to support the artist behind what I pirate in any way I can.

This isn’t about fucking piracy. This is about the copyright maximalists trying to strangle the Internet’s very lifeline by essentially taking control of DNS. This is about those multimedia conglomerates trying to slowly change the Internet from an interactive communications network into a passive entertainment medium—and using the law, their bank accounts, and their assumptions about ordinary people to do it.

I’m not about to let these motherfuckers destroy one of the greatest achievements in the history of humanity because they can’t fucking figure out a better business model. I will take a stand against them however I can—educating others, sharing articles such as this one, protesting—to make sure their goal is seen as the fevered pipe dream of lunatics and madmen.

Go ahead, prop up another strawman. Tell me this is about ethics in copyright journalism or how I’m a copyright marxist or whatever. I’ll burn that motherfucker to the goddamn ground and tell you to build something better.

Like an actual fucking argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The factual arguments against this measure have been mentioned above, yet you have not conceded the point.

You seem hell-bent on insisting that the only argument against these measures is because the good guys in this debate want to steal.

You probably don’t want to hear this truth, but every time you repeat that claim, you’re lying.

That’s not disputable – you are lying.

Now, I’m sure that you will no doubt either ignore this, or respond indignantly, but all I want is a simple yes or no to one question:

Will you please stop lying?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Damn, I gotta quit commenting before my morning coffee. I got the AC’s mixed up, must have skipped the content when I saw the question & thought it was the maximalist, & meant to call them out on questions with preloaded assumptions.

Combined with an ignorant post I made on a wrong article earlier, I’m battin’ 1000 today.

Anonymous Coward says:


But if you delete the DNS entry isn’t the website still online? So instead of google.com I could enter and still have access.

If the above is correct then I give it 1-2 days before someone creates a DNS like website. And if they manage to block the IP then I guess 5 years and we need IP7 or 8 because 90%+ of IP6 will be blocked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Hmmm

Really depends on how they go about blocking… Earlier article was to attack resolving servers at the ISP thus black-holing domains at the ISP level resolvers. This could be easily routed around. ICE however was blocking at the TLD through VeriSign and IMHO was very scary on an International level. What will happen is simple the creation of popular Alternative DNS Roots.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hmmm

“But if you delete the DNS entry isn’t the website still online? So instead of google.com I could enter and still have access.”

“If the above is correct then I give it 1-2 days before someone creates a DNS like website”

Well, sharpen up your coding skills Google/Mozilla/Microsoft, because it is highly likely that the new Congress will pass a bill within 3 months that hands the current DNS system over to NSA/MPAA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Multiple items here:

First, disabling a DNS entry neither removes nor disables access to infringing material. The website and any infringing content is still available by way of the IP address.

Second, even if a particular ISP does disable a DNS entry, a savvy user can simply get the DNS lookup from another server (if the ISP’s DNS doesn’t automatically forward the DNS request to a server that does still contain the entry, that is), so again, disabling the entry has no effect.

Third, DNS applies only to a domain name, not to the underlying paths. While the case was about trademark, Patmont Motors v. Gateway Marine stated, “Every computer that is connected to the internet is assigned an alphanumeric designation– such as “whitehouse.gov”– known as a domain name. A website’s domain name signifies its source of origin, and is therefore an important signal to internet users who are seeking to locate web resources. … However, the text that follows the domain name in a URL– in other words, the text that comes after the slash– serves a different function. This additional text, often referred to as the “path” of the URL, merely shows how the website’s data is organized within the host computer’s files.” Thus, unless the infringing material resided on the domain’s home page, it’s been recognized that sub-paths are NOT the same as domains and a removal request targeted at DNS/domains wouldn’t apply to sub-paths anyway. Or at least, this argument is just as viable as the “DNS as information location tool” argument.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, lots of computers connected to the Internet don’t have hostnames. It’s certainly a best practice to ensure that those which provide services (e.g., DNS, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, etc.) do, and RFC 1123 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1123.txt) explains how and why. But there are things like load balancers and redirectors, reverse proxies and NAT’d internal networks that tend to render the statement “foo.example.com has address” more of a functional approximation than a precise statement of fact.

That said, your points are very well taken. After all, there was a time when DNS didn’t exist and we all periodically (usually, nightly) downloaded a centralized hosts file (from SRI-NIC if memory serves) that tracked the IP address of every host on the ‘net. It was only when that file became too large and entries changed too frequently that the need for something like DNS became apparent. And some of us still use mechanisms like this: I’ve hardcoded the addresses of certain (remote) systems into my own so that name resolution relies on that instead of on DNS, thus giving me a workaround for broken/blocked/forged DNS responses. No doubt a similar mechanism would become rapidly popular if the MPAA managed to get this enforced. I rather like that idea: the mighty MPAA, defeated by a text file.

But worth noting is that alternatives to DNS exist and have been discussed intermittently for years. Most of them are attempts to deal with DNS’s recognized technical issues and some of them appear to be credible attempts at what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, DNS 2.0. However, inertia being what it is and busy admins being who they are, none of them have really gained traction.

Yet. But if someone starts breaking DNS in a major way, they will. While replacing the global DNS infrastructure would be an expensive pain in the ass, it’s preferable to allowing the Internet to be broken in order to serve the myopic vision of a dying industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, lots of computers connected to the Internet don’t have hostnames.

In particular home computers, phones and tablets very rarely have entries in DNS records, and therefore a formal hostname. Often they do not have even a fixed IP address. Torrent systems and remote desktop services amongst other provided a dynamic means of finding IP addresses when a connection is required.

ahow628 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

While replacing the global DNS infrastructure would be an expensive pain in the ass, it’s preferable to allowing the Internet to be broken in order to serve the myopic vision of a dying industry.

You say dying industry, but as the article points out, the film industry is booming.

To be more exact, top-down industry representation is dying. Groups like the MPAA just aren’t really needed any more and their support is drying up, slowly but surely.

In any case, as you point out, I think the challenge to DNS is a good thing, much like NSA over-reach has been for encryption. Something like DNS 2.0 can’t really grow until it is has been sufficiently stressed to the breaking point.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Would almost say...

Even then you’re doing them a favor by watching/listening to their stuff. No, the only thing they pay attention to is the bottom line, and as such they deserve the scorched earth response: completely ignoring everything they put out.

Don’t buy anything they put out, don’t rent it, borrow it, watch it, or listen to it. Have absolutely nothing at all to do with them, whether legal or piracy. Treat their products as though they don’t even exist, completely ignoring all of it, and instead spending your money and attention elsewhere.

If money and control is all they care about, then the best way to strike back at them for the actions is to starve them of both, by refusing to give them money, and helping alternatives for artists thrive by spending money on them, undercutting the *AA’s ability to control those they con into signing with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Aereo decisions apply?

… ISPs should not then be allowed to turn around and claim that they are “service providers” for purposes of the DMCA.

The appeals courts rejected the Duck Test for Aereo. Is this going to be another Aereo-like court case? A business can only fit in one category, and we’ve decided which category that is before the case was tried?

am i evil says:

yes i f'in am

the solution is very simple and easy, simply use bandwidth sharing or a form or torrenting for websites and parts of them in replication called neural networking

each file of a website is done in quadruplicate. At diffferant places and your software can get it via its one simple file and this can alternate as much as you wish to and use various forms of encryption to do this to prevent anyone locally knowing the actual adresses.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘Historically, the MPAA has been against net neutrality for a long time’

actually for ever. it wants to be able to reclassify as and when it suits, just to be able to get websites shut down and people locked up. in other words, it is trying to get control of the internet! i have said so for God knows how long!

‘all this goes to show just how far former Senator, now MPAA boss, Chris Dodd has gone in selling his soul to Hollywood.’

in other words he is nothing but a friggin’ liar who will do whatever he has to now that he’s the other side of the fence, and even worse, his ex compatriots in the Senate are stupid enough to just help him whenever he wants them to!

clemahieu (profile) says:

If you’re talking Net Neutrality the concept you may have some points. If you’re talking FCC title 2 reclassification I disagree. All entities under title 2 are compelled more strongly to comply with law enforcement. Any hope of having your ISP retain your anonyminity from a law enforcement agency that has not yet sought a court order will probably go away if reclassified.

John85851 (profile) says:

Yes, you can stop piracy

You want to know how? It’s what TechDirt has been saying for ages: make the product widely available for a reasonable price.
Personally, I think if people are pirating something that means there’s a market for it that the producer isn’t fulfilling.

How did iTunes become the biggest seller of music when it’s so easy to illegally download music?
How does Pandora and Spotify stay in business if those evil pirates are stealing music?

Has anyone ever looked to see how many people pirated U2’s “Songs of Innocence”? You know, the album that was given to everyone who had an iTunes account?
What, no one pirated this album because they already got it from an official source?

And another example:
Back in 2005, when the new version of “Doctor Who” started, no TV channels in the US would show it. So how did Americans see it? Yep, they illegally downloaded it.
Now, BBC America (the official BBC station in the US) is showing the episodes on the same day they air in England.
So why should Americans pirate the show when they can see them for free on BBC America?

edinjapan (profile) says:

What's good for the goose

Having given this some thought it occurs to me that any code that might be enabled to erase so called pirates, copyright infringers and whoever else the AA’s deem bad can be turned against them. A dedicated group such as Anonymous could conceivably erase a big studio like Sony from existence long enough to bring them to their financial knees or erase all trace of Comcast’s offerings, support, sales and internet backbone for as long as they wanted.

Remember everything that can be conceived by these people is a two edged sword.

anti-censorship (user link) says:

I to beat avoind abuse and censorship´s

I think all this is behind the times, some businesses are not updated, and prefer others to follow protecting something that is obsolete, as is the Hollywood industry, when generating quick, viable and secure income, and so of course accepted by the vast majority of the public.

For those who have some older, previously existed cassettes before course the cd, and dvd.

Well, one way to stop the legitimate copies engaged young people in those days, especially, was to promote internet, but that takes a long time to get it, because before the websites, users abusing all sorts of ways.

Also, everything was restricted, proprietary software, and symbolically, was the trial — —- versions, was a prison in the whole world.

People, not yet considered attractive internet, and continued all kinds of people BUYING CASSETTES, and Cd, which they bought it, in turn, passed them to colleagues, friends, and these other followers, fans, acquaintances, etc ..

Do you really want to return to those days?

While watching him well, carefully, it can be even more beneficial, and we would not be spied on by the industries of copyrigth, because in reality, governments are pressured by those lobbyists (media powers, sometimes silent or hidden) in all kinds of countries or nations.

The opinions are respectable, how could it be otherwise, people try to comment, but we must provide solutions, at least I think so, and one way of course is to express mentioned in the beginning of my argument.

Hollywood is backward, obsolete, no new ideas to adapt to new technologies in the world.

Makes me very angry that the country of United States of America itself, CENSURE ITS CITIZENS, maybe this is normal now here in USA, but I do not see normal, it is an abuse by unscrupulous people, it seems.

For years I still continually news related to that country copyrigth friend, and watch .. information, CHILDREN ARE FINED OR ENJUICIDADOS for downloading diverse and legal sharing.

Another problem is the profit or benefit, because if I have something whether or not my property, and have authorized me to have it, either by purchasing or sharing,

Who is going to ban or fine for something that is totally legal?

Sometimes citizens are good too trusting laws, and sometimes questionable if laws are passed or go against the rights of people, are laws NULL.

The torrents, they profit little, but one, and that’s where copyrigth trackers are based ALREADY HAVE STRONG ARGUMENT.

With visitors alike called affiliate programs, or so-called add, to generate income by visits to a site.

And then there are the solidarity donations in various formats, also sometimes persecuted.

It’s like the entrepreneur who manufactures a car, manufacturing thousands or hundreds of thousands of cars to be sold, traded, and then consumers who use it, lend it or sold or delivered to other users, but the car industries, pressure on country governments to create laws and mechanisms, and communicated to owners who bought cars ..:

Vehicles purchased are not yours, not SELL, GIVE, GIVE OR DONATE TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE CAN be.

It would mean that it is a dictatorship, and actually the owners of cars, NEVER BOUGHT VEHICLES, always belonged to the INDUSTRY, being a MONOPOLY, FRAUD, which is totally ILLEGAL.

It may even be treated as a trading scam.

Internet is a world of virtual communication can not be considered in the same way that physical life, although it adapts to the physical world, for handling something you need to run some personal and selectively.

But .. if I hire an ISP service (that is, any known) and’M PAYING FOR ANYTHING THAT APPEARS ON MY CONNECTION, and this is totally PRIVATE and SECRET.

Therefore, there is a void of legality in the United States, where it is allowed to spy on someone in the name of law, and hence censorship is considered, in other countries, for spying and follow someone is a crime, a crime.

Therefore, EL committing the offense IS NOT THE USER, is or are governments spying on users of private connections and secret communications —- —- secret for reasons of public safety.

But what storage companies say virtual memory, because the cassette has virtually disappeared, and soon cd, etc ..

What the ISPs say, because they generate income contracts with users.

What meta-search engines that take advantage of the appeal of download material and information freely, and help to search say.

But I rather pay a broadband or fast signal can change a connection fewer monthly money, and that ultimately, whether they realize million users produce business losses or layoffs in companies Worldwide, the lower the monthly income consumers an ISP, to unsubscribe or change in walking or limited signal.

For if I can not download good and lawful things as well as private,

What is the difference?
And I save money every month, if that were to happen in my country.

Apologies for capitalization,)

Greetings from Spain.

Thank you very much to Techdirt, continue, is helping many people.

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