Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
ifpi, ireland, isps, liability, safe harbor

Companies:
eircom, ifpi



IFPI's New Strategy: Sue ISPs For Not Stopping File Sharing

from the making-life-even-worse-for-themselves dept

Earlier this year, the IFPI was successful in convincing a court to force a Danish ISP to block access to the Pirate Bay. Rather than recognizing that this only helped drive more traffic to the Pirate Bay, the folks at the IFPI seem to have gotten it into their heads that the best course of action is to start suing ISPs for not stopping file sharing. Its first target is the large Irish ISP Eircom. Eircom points out all the obvious things: it has no idea what its users are doing on the network, it's just providing the network -- and no one had made it aware of any specific infringing activity. Rather than deal with those very reasonable questions, the record labels responded with the ridiculous "but you know it's happening!" response which we've heard all too often these days. Of course, knowing that unauthorized file sharing is happening on your network and being either liable or able to stop it are two very different things. Basically, the record labels seem to be admitting that they are unable to stop file sharing, so it must be someone else's job. Even worse, they seem to be saying that it's a legal responsibility of someone else to try to prop up their own failed business model. Talk about grasping at straws. I'm not sure if Ireland has laws like the US's safe harbor provisions protecting service providers from liability for the actions of users, but hopefully the Irish courts quickly realize how ridiculous it is to pin liability on an ISP and throw this case out. What's also partly disturbing is the fact that the "but you know it's happening!" comment comes from an EMI exec, just after we thought EMI was moving away from ridiculous IFPI lawsuits. Apparently not.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2008 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: making the torrent system

    Learn about a protocol before you spout stuff.

    1) The encryption is weak, and only hides WHAT it is (eg a Torrent) not what is IN it (some David Bowie albums).

    2) Even when encrypted you just have to monitor the port. 6881-6999 are the only ports Bit Torrent listens to. If it isn't in that range, it's not going to find it without changing the protocol. Oh and that's only for *inbound* traffic, and you'll need one port for every Torrent going.

    The trackers listen to port 6969. Just that one (usually). That can be changed, but then it'd be documented. ISPs can shut down the majority torrents just by blocking that one port.

    BitTorrent is not built for hiding _anything_. It is an amazing protocol and has a LOT of practical uses. It is extremely unlikely that the protocol itself would get banned, and if it did it would very likely be unbanned by SCOTUS in short order.

    There are a lot of changes that need to be made to this country to get our shit back in order. I just hope that over the next few decades people in power actually (wishful thinking) concentrate on that rather than pissing off the rest of the world.

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