Tech Still One Step Ahead: New Service Downloads Torrents Directly To Dropbox

from the it's-unstoppable dept

Update: Well, that didn't take long. Dropbox has already blocked Boxopus.

Every time some sort of file sharing service is shut down or someone else is arrested, we hear the regular crew of supporters of the existing copyright regime declare victory. But, every time, people just shift to some other service and move on. None of it leads people to suddenly spend money again when they hadn't before. TorrentFreak recently had an article about a service calls Boxopus, which uses Dropbox's API to automatically download content from torrents to a Dropbox file. Think of it as torrenting in the cloud. From a user perspective, there are plenty of advantages, including the fact that the content is then available on all your synced devices. Of course, there's also the fact that for an end user, it's somewhat anonymous -- since Boxopus is the "downloader" rather than the user themselves. So if the content is infringing, it's more difficult to track them down (though, I would imagine not impossible, if someone got access to Boxopus' logs). Apparently, a number of services have already implemented this as a download option. Of course, this probably just means that Boxopus will soon be targeted as a "problem" even though it has plenty of non-infringing uses, and actually could be quite handy for all kinds of authorized activities in a more cloud-centric universe.

Either way, what strikes me about this is a simple fact: the technology always advances. It sees areas where people try to stop it, and figures out a way to route around it. Whether or not people like this, it exists, and tons of other, similar offerings will likely exist in short order. You can fight the tide -- as some seem to want to do -- or you can look at ways that you might take advantage of tools like this. Only one of those is a winning strategy.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 12:10am

    "Of course, this probably just means that Boxopus will soon be targeted as a "problem" even though it has plenty of non-infringing uses"

    Actually, I'm more concerned about this:

    "uses Dropbox's API"

    I wouldn't be surprised to see them try to shut down Dropbox and other similar services for having an API that doesn't magically filter out infringing files. This would seem to be the kind of thing that will send their lawyers into a panic, and we know by now that logic and legitimate uses for a product go to the wayside when a record industry lawyer smells some billable hours.

     

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      MaJoR, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 1:27am

      More than likely they'll just pressure Dropbox to block Boxopus from the API.

       

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        samoanbiscuit (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 5:20am

        Re:

        Much more likely, Dropbox itself will come down like a tonne of bricks on these guys so they don't have a "Youtube v Viacom" moment. Dropbox is popular, but I doubt it has a warchest like Google's ready to back it up in court.
        Specifically because this is a third party taking advantage of their API.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 10:25am

        Re:

        They just did

        Well, that didn't take long at all.

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 6:36pm

          Re: Re:

          I find it more disturbing that DropBox was aware of the service coming, saw how the service worked before launch, and gave their blessing up until it launched.

           

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      Richard (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 1:56am

      Re:

      I wouldn't be surprised to see them try to shut down Dropbox

      Just let them try...

      Dropbox is too big and has too many people using it for perfectly legal purposes.

      The only result for them is going to be massive public pushback and most likely a legal ruling that will hamper them in the future.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:26am

        Re: Re:

        Umm...Google, anyone? Google is too big, and has too many people using it (and Youtube) for perfectly legal purposes. Hasn't stopped the MAFIAA at all in their attempts to shut them down.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hasn't stopped the MAFIAA at all in their attempts to shut them down.

          Last time I looked both Google and Youtube were up and running. The point is that in respect of Google and Youtube they have huffed and puffed but with no sign of success.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 7:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Google, and by extension youtube, have a lot more money to spend fighting off the vultures then most other companies. Most people cave or go bankrupt proving their innocence against the wealth of **AA lawyers.

             

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        hfbs (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:32am

        Re: Re:

        "Dropbox is too big and has too many people using it for perfectly legal purposes."

        Funny, I would've said the same thing could be said about Megaupload.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would've said the same thing could be said about Megaupload.

          I think Megaupload is towards the top end of the things they could succeed in taking down. The lifestyle and reputation of Kim Dotcom certainly made it easier for them.

          Far more people rely on Dropbox than relied on Megaupload (basically because Megaupload never promised to keep your files backed up securely for any length of time).

          The other point is the type of people that rely on Dropbox. We're talking about lots of "silent majority" types who have never really entered into the copyright debate up till now. We're talking local history circles, church choirs and the local organisers of political parties here - it's a whole different demographic.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 1:59am

        Re: Re:

        *cough*megaupload*cough*

         

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      Nom du Clavier (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 3:12am

      Re:

      This would seem to be the kind of thing that will send their lawyers into a panic, and we know by now that logic and legitimate uses for a product go to the wayside when a record industry lawyer smells some billable hours.

      So by panic you mean state of arousal?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 6:57am

      Re:

      Anti competitive laws (which includes IP laws) are the biggest plague to humanity. Abolish them, all of them.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      This idea that technology is the messiah is a joke. No, we need to stand up to our government and get them to abolish all these stupid laws.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 1:37am

    Torrents? BUT THEY'RE ONLY FOR PIRATES! YOU DIRTY PIRATE-SUPPORTING HITLER MIKE! It's not like there are legitimate uses for torrents, damnit! IF THERE ARE, WHY HAVEN'T THOSE OF US WITH UNDER FIVE IQ THOUGHT OF THEM YET?! Clearly the only option now is to sue them out of EXISTANCE!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 1:38am

    Copyright is an outdated concept.

    A monopoly to make copies? Really? COPIES? Talk about an outdated concept. Sorry to break it to you Copyright Cartels, but we're not De-evolving just for you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 1:55am

    Next Internet service for a targeted take down?

    Dropbox, and the cycle will begin again. The Copyright cartels will never learn because they love their game of whack a mole as it justifies their existence.

     

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      The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:02am

      Re: Next Internet service for a targeted take down?

      What's not to like? You get to smack the hell out of some moles and then you get tickets that you can exchange for a kazoo.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:02am

    Dropbox has already faced question

    I recall when Mega "conspiracy" and other file sharing services were called into question, Dropbox was on the list with Rapidshare, i.e. existing in a grey zone for now. Rapidshare actively filters files and they are required to search the web for links to content. Dropbox seems to be a little murkier but there's no doubt they will be called into question, probably requiring some sort of system to block copyrighted material. Ideally, Hollywood doesn't want you to sync files between your pc and phone because they'd like us to buy copies for both. That idea proves Hollywood is not on the same planet as everyone else.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 7:55am

      Re: Dropbox has already faced question

      How can dropbox block "Copyrighted" material when I'm allowed to transfer my legal "copyrighted" material between computers?

      Every bit of software I write is copyrighted.
      Every photo I take is copyrighted.
      ect.

       

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    The eejit (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 2:33am

    Also, can I ask what a downlaod is?

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 4:28am

    Amusing.

    I've been following the Tribler project (a taxpayer funded bittorrent client) and things seem quite promising. They pioneered many of the features most clients use nowadays such as efficient decentralization and bittorrent cloud search. And they have anonymizing features under development. While the client itself needs some serious code cleaning (last time I checked its size was of several Mb) the contributions its providing to the community are just plain awesome.

    And I'm talking about torrents only, TF has an awesome article on a service to download from Usenet via HTTP: http://torrentfreak.com/free-anonymous-usenet-downloading-with-just-a-web-browser-120609/

    It's a lost battle for the MAFIAA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 4:40am

    Technology will always be one step ahead. Someone out there is already inventing the future, while "they" are still struggling with the past.

    They can't win.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Well, that didn't take long. Dropbox has already blocked Boxopus.

    Problem solved. See what happens when legitimate providers act responsibly.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

      Re:

      They choke off new innovation?
      They scream like old men for people to get off their lawn, when no one has actually stepped on their lawn?

      *switching to the dealing with a small child voice*
      See there are files available via bittorrent that are perfectly legal.
      The big mean cartels like to pretend those don't exist.
      They threaten to take away all of the money from everyone else, because they think they are more important than anyone else.
      They are bullies.

       

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    sunk818 (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    ImageShack offers a service, but you download the file from their site.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Pirate Mike: Making sure you're always kept up to date on new ways of ripping people off.

     

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    John, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 7:43am

    uTorrent 2.2.1 and TorrentRover for me.

     

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