Hacktivist Judo: Musician Exploits New Spanish Law To Overwhelm System With Legitimate Infringement Complaints

from the you-want-infringement?-we'll-show-you-infringement dept

As Techdirt reported earlier this year, Spain's Sinde Law, designed to combat file sharing by blocking sites with allegedly infringing material, has an extremely complex history. It finally went into effect on 1 March, and was immediately met with a clever denial of service attack from a Spanish group with the self-explanatory name "Hackivistas". As TorrentFreak explains:
They encouraged sites to link to a copyrighted track from the artist Eme Navarro, who’s a member of the music rights group SGAE, but critical of the Sinde law.

While Navarro generally publishes his music under a Creative Commons license, he created an "all rights reserved" track specifically for the protest. Thanks to the hacktivist campaign hundreds of websites are now linking to this copyrighted song without permission, and Navarro reported a first batch of sites to the Ministry of Culture early this morning.

As a result, the commission tasked with reviewing all the requests will be overloaded with complaints. All the reported sites have to be processed on order of arrival, so the protest will significantly slow down this review process.
As well as gumming up the legal machinery for a while, this action is designed to obtain some much-needed details about how the Sinde Law will work in practice:
"Nobody knows how they will shut down websites. We suspect that they will ask Spanish companies hosting the websites to shut them down, and that Spanish service providers will block websites that are hosted outside of Spain."
This is pretty extraordinary. How can the Spanish government claim any legitimacy for a law that was not only brought in at the behest of a foreign power, but was rammed through the legislative process in such a way that those most affected by it -- the Spanish people -- still have no idea how it will be implemented?

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    I'm impressed. This is essentially the copyright law version of a false-flag operation.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Money where your mouth is Techdirt. Lets get a link to that song on the frontpage yeah?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      I was unaware this site was subject to Spanish jurisdiction.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 6:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Of course it is, it's on the internet and the internet belongs to everyone.

        now if you excuse me, I have to finish photoshopping modest burkas onto women in photographs on my website so they are compliant with Saudi law.

         

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          icon
          hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 2:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Thats weird, because I've been photoshop REMOVING modest burka's and replacing them with skimp bikini's, thongs and other saucy underwear to make them compliant with Internet Law :)

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    This is ridiculous. Basically they just ensured that these sites will be shut down. Way to go, dumasses, you snipped off your nose to spite your face.

     

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    •  
      icon
      silverscarcat (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      No...

      Read very carefully now...

      What they did was very simple...

      They showed how stupid the law is.

      The question I have is...

      Will the government get to implement the law before the Spanish people vote the law out?

       

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    •  
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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      Well, we certainly wouldn't want any mass outrage.

      Anyone will tell you that the best way to effect political change is to keep your head down and not make waves.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      James Litwn, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:04pm

      Re:

      Really? Any intelligent person would just create a free blog and place the link on that site, not too hard to do and does not block your own site.

       

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    •  
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      DannyB (profile), Mar 5th, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      The best way to get a bad law overturned is to enforce it.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    At the behest of a foreign power?

    Come on. There's a recording industry in Spain and I'm sure they're happy about the law. There are plenty of businesses that depend upon copyright there and I'm sure they're 99% behind this just like the copyright businesses here.

     

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      Richard (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:10pm

      Re: At the behest of a foreign power?

      There's a recording industry in Spain and I'm sure they're happy about the law.

      Well the point of the story here is that at least one of their musicians isn't!

      So the evidence is 1-0 against you so far...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:15pm

      Re: At the behest of a foreign power?

      Quote:
      The success of the children, but not of the chimpanzees or capuchins, in reaching higher-level solutions was strongly associated with a package of sociocognitive processes—including teaching through verbal instruction, imitation, and prosociality—that were observed only in the children and covaried with performance.

      Sciencemag: Identification of the Social and Cognitive Processes Underlying Human Cumulative Culture

      Copying apparently is fundamental for the advance of the human race and some people think it is a bad thing.

      If one minority of society is happy the other 99% is not.

       

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    •  
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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:40pm

      Re: At the behest of a foreign power?

      Foreign powers are the Ultimate Paywall.

       

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    •  
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      PaulT (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 1:29am

      Re: At the behest of a foreign power?

      "There's a recording industry in Spain and I'm sure they're happy about the law."

      i'm sure they are, especially since they're owned by the same corporations as yours are. So, why do you think their needs trump mine, and the rights of any other private citizen?

       

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    •  
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      Psychic Octopus, Mar 4th, 2012 @ 11:26am

      Re: At the behest of a foreign power?

      Of course some businesses depend on copyright. Trolling lobbyists and lawyers do. They'll be out of a job if copyright got significantly reformed in the positive direction. Obviously they're happy with any law that enlarges their field, as Sinde is.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

    This is sort of a light weight version of mailing illegal drugs to someone and then calling the cops. Except it's a protest so it's all okay, right?

    It's just wrong to frame someone as part of a political protest. If you want to do civil disobedience, take the risks yourself. Framing someone is just wrong.

     

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    •  
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      Mike42 (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      No one is "framing" anyone. The sites linking to the song did so on purpose.
      It's like 200 people with reefers walk up to a cop and say, "you gonna take us all in?"

      Reading comprehension is your friend.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        bob, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:09pm

        Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

        Oh really? The last time I saw someone taunt a cop like that, the cop just took in the loudest and most obnoxious. Then they forgot to book them for a few days. Eventually they found the paperwork. Two can play at that the sophistry game.

        I read it differently.

        "Thanks to the hacktivist campaign hundreds of websites are now linking to this copyrighted song without permission."

        The operative word is "without permission."

        You can't (1) ask someone to link to something and (2) claim they don't have permission because the very act of (1) negates (2).

        Now perhaps the sophistry club around here feels differently. Perhaps someone around here feels you can request something while not requesting it.

        My reading continues to be that they're asking innocent folks to link to something and tricking them with some weird CC slight of hand. But who knows? Maybe you're right. And why don't you try that cop trick some time. Prove how clever you are.

         

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        •  
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          Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

          You can't (1) ask someone to link to something and (2) claim they don't have permission because the very act of (1) negates (2).

          Really? That's funny. Because whenever we talk about the blogs like Dajaz1 that were posting lots of material at the request of the artist, and yet got seized, you industry supporters have claimed that simply being emailed a track by a promoter with a request to post doesn't constitute legal permission. What a fascinating double standard you have going.

          But that doesn't even matter here, because according to the article, the sites involved have chosen to participate with full knowledge of what's going on.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 9:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

          The GROUP encouraged people to link to it NOT THE ARTIST. How is that granting permission? And if he WAS granting permission how come is he then reporting it to the government as being unauthorized?

           

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          •  
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            Chargone (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 1:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

            because that was the entire point?

            he set it up for the purpose, got the Group, through non-official means, to encourage other people to link to it (and make them aware that he would be filing the relevant documents) possibly has the group coming back and telling him who/where to file against, too.

            it's a bit of a legal song and dance, but it works, and the law it's dealing with is at least as nonsensical.

             

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    •  
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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:24pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Re-read the story bob. Everyone involved is in on it - nobody is being framed.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 3:48pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Thanks for being the civil disobedience rule maker, us people wouldn't know what to do without you telling us "how" to do it.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:32pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Civil disobedience will soon become terrorism - amirite?

       

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        Chargone (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 1:10am

        Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

        ... given the attempt to pass law here (at the US's behest, if memory serves) which would have resulted in teachers etc going on strike rating as terrorism...

        i'm not sure 'soon' is quite the right word.

        (it failed when it was pointed out how insane that was... and the public were made aware of that and objected.the result was massively toned down legislation that, from memory, would allow action to be taken in the event of Actual Terrorism, and otherwise do very little.)

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 6:41pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Civil disobedience is what I say it is

      everything else that I don't like is just terrorism and stoner college kids who need a jack boot in their ass.

       

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Big Framing unsuspecting people is the Ultimate Paywall.

       

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    •  
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      PaulT (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 1:38am

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      Would it kill you guys to at least read the story, let alone comprehend it, before commenting? It would at least cut down on fantasy land comments like the above.

       

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    •  
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      Karl (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 8:43am

      Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

      It's just wrong to frame someone as part of a political protest.

      Yet, Viacom sued Google over videos that Viacom uploaded themselves, and deliberately hid the fact that they were doing it. (By, for instance, ordering employees to upload at coffee shops under anonymous user names.)

      I guess it's "wrong" to frame websites as part of a political protest, but when a company does it to increase their profit margins, you're A-OK with it.

      Also, as others have pointed out, the websites themselves are in on it... Unlike the websites who would be taken down for user-generated content they don't know about under the proposed anti-piracy bills you support.

      ...Are you some sort of agent provocateur with an anti-copyright agenda? Because you couldn't make the copyright-maximalist side look worse if you tried.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

        That seems true of anyone who vehemently opposes copyright reform.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 3:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

          yeah, I've noticed that too. Its like all the pro-copyright cartel commentators on the Internet, are secretly working for the pirate bay or something. Really weird. Every time they comment, it drives people to pirate more.

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 3:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow, framing unsuspecting people as a political act

            No they are just arrogant, stupid pricks.

             

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:50pm

    "This is pretty extraordinary."

    Actually, it's pretty dumb, protesting by being assholes. It's not positive. Rather, it appears to be trying to create another smoke screen for actual piracy.

    I hope he gets locked up for it.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      Actually, it's pretty dumb, protesting by being assholes. It's not positive


      All protests are for the sake of being an asshole you nitwit. How do you expect them to protest if they can't say things that make the other side feel bad?

      I didn't know protesting was only something that's okay when they aren't saying things I disagree with.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:25pm

        Re: Re:

        "All protests are for the sake of being an asshole you nitwit"

        It's a protest not by protesting something, but instead by trying to fuck it up. It's petty and pretty much asshole play.

        If you want to protest, protest. Don't just overload the system to try to hide your other piracy activities.

         

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          The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah that black woman that was such an asshole, she should have sit in the back of the bus.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 8:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the civil rights sit-ins of the 60s that disrupted businesses that would not serve black people weren't protests then and instead were "petty and pretty much asshole play"? Ok. Got it.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 9:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My what a bit ball of stupid we have here.

          It's a protest not by protesting something, but instead by trying to fuck it up. It's petty and pretty much asshole play.


          That doesn't even make any sense.

          "You can protest, but don't actually protest, because you might fuck something up and be an asshole"

          But hey, if you want to respond, respond. Don't overload Techdirt's comment section with partially-lobotomized drivel.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 11:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Don't be stupid. If you want to protest, protest - but don't just fuck the system up to the determent of others. That just encourages the authorities that there is a bigger problem, so they put more resources and apply more laws to fix it.

            That's just stupid.

             

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              Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 12:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Don't be stupid. If you want to protest, protest - but don't just fuck the system up to the determent of others.

              "If you want to protest, protest - but don't protest."

              Every single form of protest involves fucking up some system to some degree - even if it's as simple as shutting down a park for a demonstration, or a street for a march; or flooding a phone line with calls, or a mailbox with letters. Fucking up the system is, essentially, the very definition of protest.

               

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2012 @ 4:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Good lord you are truly stupid. I just hope you're actually trying to derail the topic and aren't actually this stupid. If not, please for the love of humanity, DO NOT procreate.

              Retard.

               

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        •  
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          TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 4th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you assuming all these sites have other piracy activities or just assuming they do?

          I suspect assuming as you offer no evidence of that or anything close to it. So, if all else fails it's smear time, right?

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Miso Susanowa, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 12:29am

      Re:

      You, sir, have just given me my hilarity of the day. Now I must get back to my nefarious pirating activity, which consists of playing and listening to my own and friends' music, videos, machinima, artwork and photographs; watching films & listening to music which I have already purchased and consuming content on the internet which is provided free for me by people actually offering it for no pay, thereby stealing potential income from companies by not buying their bloated and shiny new crap. Yo ho!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 8:47pm

    Now if we can just coop the same technique somehow to keep the ICE and the DOJ running around in circles everything will be just fine.

     

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    •  
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      The eejit (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 12:53am

      Re:

      WEll, we can start by getting some hacktivists to store a copyrighteds song on the ICE and DoJ webpages, and then we can report tyhe page. Bonus points if the music actually plays on the site.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        I can see it now... DOJ shuts down its own website and charges itself.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          S, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 6:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you mean:

          DOJ issues special memorandum that "the government cannot do anything illegal" and fines every American $5,000 for housing "digital terrorism".

           

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    MahaliaShere (profile), Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 12:50am

    Sounds like some people just hate the fact that people are protesting at all.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Discrimination!

    Why aren't people upset about the fact that ALL of these laws against making copies and whatnot ONLY effect the stupid citizens? Anyone with half a brain can stay anonymous while downloading OR uploading materials. This is totally unfair to the stupid ones...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2012 @ 11:55am

    considering Sinde is/was a scriptwriter and film director how could he possibly be unbiased as to the introduction of this type of law? he is obviously going to be on the side where he was employed and not consider the people or their opinions at all, so why give someone like him the job of Culture Minister of Spain in the first place, unless it was for the very purpose of increasing restrictions?

     

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  •  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Mar 5th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    I'm looking forward to this

    I've been thinking this for a while, and wondering why no one has tried it out already - use this as a method to bring low ALL MPAA/RIAA sites with legitimate takedown requests.

    Think if we keep them offline for an entire year with continual takedowns, they might start to reconsider the intended "unintended consequences" to their censorship lobbying?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

      Re: I'm looking forward to this

      That doesn't work with the MPAA and RIAA because they don't do their own dirty work. The hire companies like SafeNet and the like to do it for them. Those companies usually don't investigate complaints from others, they go looking for it themselves then issue them to ISPs and hosting providers on their behalf.

       

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