Hollywood Studios Tried To Add File Sharing Sites To New Zealand's Child Porn Blacklist

from the the-audacity-of-egotistical-self-interest dept

We just wrote about the UK's filtering systems blocking access to 20% of the world's top 100,000 sites, even though only about 4% of those host the porn Prime Minister David Cameron seems so obsessed with blocking. Also noted in that story was the fact that many "pirate sites" are being blocked at ISP level via secret court orders.

MPAA head Chris Dodd absolutely loves web filters, proclaiming them to be the best tool the industry can (ab)use to thwart piracy.
Speaking recently at the IP Summit in London, Former Senator turned MPAA boss Chris Dodd pronounced his love for forcing ISPs to block and filter websites accused of aiding copyright infringement. Despite the fact filters can be easily bypassed by anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge and often filter legitimate content (a report this week suggests a massive swath of legitimate websites are blocked by UK filters), Dodd believes filters are the "most effective tools anywhere in the world" at fighting piracy.
It appears the studios agree as well, going so far as to attempt to equate the act of piracy with the act of distributing child porn.
The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) maintains a blocklist of URLs that point to sexual child abuse and criminally obscene adult content. Over in New Zealand the Department of Internal Affairs maintains DCEFS, the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System. Both are run in cooperation with the countries’ ISPs with the sole aim of keeping the most objectionable material away from public eyes…

According to a RadioLIVE report, in order to prevent copyright infringement the studios requested access to the DCEFS child abuse filtering system.

After obtaining government permission, Hollywood hoped to add their own list of sites to DCEFS so that by default subscribers to New Zealand’s main ISPs would be prohibited from accessing torrent and other file-sharing type sites.
So, in hopes of protecting their business model, studios tried to add file sharing sites to a list of child pornography sites. Not one of them seemed to realize how wrong it was to equate their companies' profitability with the sexual abuse of children. Whatever level of entitlement these companies have risen to in the past, they've vastly exceeded it with this maneuver. Studios may secretly believe copyright infringement is (very subjectively) as damaging as child pornography, but they've never made it this explicitly clear.

Fortunately, ISPs and the Kiwi government pushed back, unwilling to be complicit in the studios' most insensitive act of self-preservation yet. Unfortunately for Dodd and his charges, the studios will have to make do with secret court orders and default web filters that still allow end users to flip the "hide file sharing sites" switch to "off."

The studios believe they should have root access to government-ordained web blocking. In the interest of not making the situation worse than it already is, this should never be granted. Various governments have already included protection for the copyright industries in some of their web-targeted "for the children" legislation. Giving studios the go-ahead to tamper with child porn blacklists would just stretch the definition of "children" to include major Hollywood studios -- entities full of full-grown adults with enough power and money to protect them from anything.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    Another disgusting move by an already known rotten bunch. Next step they'll be posting child pornography on those sites to have them added to such block lists. Hear me, no tactic is dirty enough for the MAFIAA as they've been showing us for several decades.

    If piracy is that bad then they should be publicly ashamed of their origins to begin with. Using children as excuses is downright evil.

     

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  2.  
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    Michael, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Dodd believes filters are the "most effective tools anywhere in the world" at fighting piracy

    FINALLY, something we can all agree on with Chris Dodd. These filters are totally ineffective just like all of the other tools.

     

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  3.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:24am

    The things Chris Dodd loves

    > MPAA head Chris Dodd absolutely loves web filters

    He loves giant shut-off switches.

    He loves massive collateral damage.

    He loves injustice and lack of due process.

    He loves forcing his costs of enforcement and policing onto other parties.

    He loves the government willingness to act as his private police force, and even military.

    He loves screwing artists by ensuring movies never show a profit.

    He loves stealing from the public domain, by simultaneously using it as a treasure trove of ideas, and by re-copyrighting it so it is no longer public domain.

    He loves stretching the length of copyright.

    He loves stretching the meaning of copyright.

    He loves inventing new copyright rights so he can dip multiple times.

    I'm sure the list goes on and on. But then the sins of the RIAA are equally bad, including collecting licenses on titles it does not even own -- or even nature sounds it does not own.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    One would have a high degree of accuracy in equating MPAA with the state of CA, CA ethics, and Hollywood accounting.

    One likewise would have a high degree of accuracy in equation CA with rampart drug use, high debt, bankrupt governments, environmental radicalism including desert water mentality, left wing radicalism and Napoleonic law via Spanish law via Mexico.

    Seems to me that one nice big earthquake that produce some very beautiful beach property in Arizona would correct the complete problem.

     

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  5.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:28am

    I know someone who can help Mr Dodd...

    And he only charges $1M/month

     

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  6.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:32am

    Comparing copyright infringement to child exploitation

    > Studios may secretly believe copyright infringement is
    > (very subjectively) as damaging as child pornography

    I'm sure they believe copyright infringement is far worse than children being exploited.

    After all, there are plenty of stories of the casting couch and children being exploited in hollywood. Downplaying the exploitation of children may be a cultural thing among some of that crowd. Maybe not of hollywood in particular, but of people who think they have unchecked power.

    But back to copyright infringement -- it demands serious and immediate government action!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:32am

    Bad Analysis

    They should have let it go through. Then we would have had proof that all Hollywood movies contain child porn, and then we could ban Hollywood.

     

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  8.  
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    Digger, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:33am

    Well, to be brutally honest...

    The MPAA / RIAA still act like tantrum throwing 2 year olds, so we should take away everything from them "for the good of the children" and make all content public domain since they seem to be hell bent on name-calling (ZOMG!! everyone is a "PIRATE!!"), damaging consumer electronic equipment (how many devices die due to failed firmware upgrades to play the latest idiotic encryption scheme), defective by design (intentionally frail media, designed to fail from the slightest damage), lying (claiming losses that don't exist), cheating (claiming there are no profits, not paying their employees), etc...

    To me, it seems like we as good community parents need to beat the living shit out of these hoodlums and take away all of their weapons and toys until they learn how to "play nicely".

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    I think we should have the power to add Hollywood sponsored websites to the web filter.
    Because there are no bigger criminals in the world.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:36am

    it has never been about porn, even kiddie porn, or stopping children accessing porn sites or to stop pedophile rings from exchanging information about kiddie porn! it was the worst possible scenario that Hollywood could think of as the excuse to get file sharing sites blocked. Hollywood never has and never will give a toss if your or my child is kidnapped or lured some way into the sex game. if it can stop one file sharing site from existing, it's good to them! this is the lowest of the low and only after 'pressure and encouragement' have some governments fallen for this ploy. those like the UK, which is as thick as fuck and too scared of it's own shadow to say 'no' to the USA have done as wanted. but then it has that 'special relationship' with the USA and has to help keep Obama getting his sponsorship from the entertainment industries!!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:37am

    Re: Well, to be brutally honest...

    Movies are MY toy! I was playing with that first!

    Obamom! The stupid pirates are taking my toys!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:42am

    Prepare for Godwin:

    Next up on Hollywood's hyperbole express, downloading a movie illegally is like killing a million Jews.

     

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  13.  
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    Michael, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 9:47am

    Re: The things Chris Dodd loves

    Don't forget the sound of his own voice.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    Hypocrisy of Hollywood

    And yet according to Cory Feldman, pedophilia is Hollywood's biggest problem, and it's not just him saying that either. Some actress found a rather creepy site featuring herself after an egosearch (and even wrote about it on Cracked).

     

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  15.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    At least they haven't reached the "pirating kills millions of kittens" depth yet. THAT would be monstrous. /sarcasm

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:08am

    The problem is a lack of due process

    The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) maintains a blocklist of URLs that point to sexual child abuse and criminally obscene adult content.

    But not, apparently, quite so illegal that the sites themselves can be shut down. I understand there are jurisdictional issues involved in shutting down such websites, but I expect a proper audit of the URLs being blocked would reveal there are things being blocked which aren't necessarily illegal. We basically have a system where suspicion of wrongdoing equals guilt. Hollywood knows this, which is why they tried to take advantage of it.

    We're lucky that the folks in charge of the blacklist have just enough integrity not to add file sharing sites to the list, but it could easily have turned out differently. After all, file sharing sites can be used to share any kind of digital content, including the most disgusting content imaginable.

     

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  17.  
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    Anon, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Maybe it's legit?

    Maybe they wanted to block file sharing of *Blue Is the Warmest Color.* Since the movie depicts explicit sex scenes ( *lesbian sex scenes* ! ) involving one girl who according to the story line has not yet reached her 18th birthday, that is technically "kiddie porn" by the USA's legal definition. Does not matter if they are over 18, if the actor(s) are presented as under 18, it's a criminal offence to possess or distribute. So Hollywood wants to stop anyone else from re-distributing the kiddie porn it distributes.

     

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  18.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Re: The problem is a lack of due process

    > We basically have a system where suspicion of wrongdoing equals guilt.
    > Hollywood knows this

    Hollywood CREATED this

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 10:57am

    'Dodd believes filters are the "most effective tools anywhere in the world" at fighting piracy'

    this is because Dodd is an idiot. not in the sense that he hasn't got intelligence, but in the sense that he can only use it and the power that comes with his title to do as the Entertainment industries tell him. if he used his sense in the way it should be used, maybe he wouldn't do/say so ridiculous things? as it is, he is nothing other than a highly paid mouth piece, only there because of his connections. without them, he wouldn't even have a job!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    Actually filters are stupid. Whitelisting is much better. Therefore it makes perfect sense to block every homepage on the web and add only "trusted" sites at a slow and steady rate. There will be a little bit of collateral, but since the goal is as worthy as fighting child pron it is a reasonable exchange.

    Also FTPs and P2P has to be blocked, but that is no biggie either. The faster we get the web cleaned of all potentially reprehensible material, the better!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 11:26am

    No, Dodd, you moron - the most effective tool for reducing 'piracy' is listening to the market forces here, and making rational decisions.

    But that doesn't pay the bills.

     

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  23.  
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    PRMan, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 11:31am

    Re:

    "rampart drug use"

    People are using drugs in castles now?!?

     

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  24.  
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    John85851, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 11:45am

    Can other countries get in on this?

    If Chris Dodd can tell the UK and Australia what do to, what happens when one of China's CEO's says we have to start blocking sites to preserve China's entertainment industry?
    But that's censorship! We can't let those Chinese get away with something like that. We're the USA! It's okay if we force our morals on other people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 7th, 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Seems to me that one nice big earthquake that produce some very beautiful beach property in Arizona would correct the complete problem.

    You'd be better off waiting for legal/political fixes for this problem than mother nature. No earthquake will ever create Pacific Ocean-based beach property in Arizona in the near geological future. The best bet will be the Gulf of California moving Northward, and you already have prime beachfront property in Arizona on the Colorado River.

    It would be much more likely that California is split into six states, but even then, that fix wouldn't likely fix your issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Come on, guys. Piracy is destroying the child porn industry. These people have children to feed. How are they supposed to feed their children (aside from with their cocks, that is)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Kronomex, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 4:02pm

    A sign of desperation on their part? Other than that how much lower can they go, although they came close this time. Utterly moronic behaviour from a shoddy group.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 4:59pm

    Do you really think this was about piracy?
    The perverts just wanted access to the list of child porn sites.

    Like Dodd says, it is easy to get around the filters when you know how.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    Re:

    Hollywood never has and never will give a toss if your or my child is kidnapped or lured some way into the sex game. if it can stop one file sharing site from existing, it's good to them!
    It's not even that they don't give a toss. Since they want to piggyback off of child-porn filters, and they need the use of those filters to increase, they actually benefit from the production and dissemination kiddie porn.

    For this to work, Hollywood needs to actively promote pedophilia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2014 @ 12:37am

    Re: Hypocrisy of Hollywood

    "pedophilia is Hollywood's biggest problem"

    "Some actress found a rather creepy site"

    I'm at work so I'm not going to start searching Cracked for underaged actresses talking about creepy fan sites...

    However, unless the site itself was set up by someone in Hollywood, these two things do not equate to each other in the slightest. Hollywood could be the most morally upright, self policing area on Earth, and that still wouldn't stop some fan somewhere from putting up a creepy site.

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2014 @ 12:46am

    Re: The problem is a lack of due process

    "But not, apparently, quite so illegal that the sites themselves can be shut down."

    This is where governments actually have to catch up to the new world in terms of jurisdictions, legal status, etc. Most of the sites are probably not located in the UK. Once you start going international, getting a site shut down can be a legal minefield, especially if what's on the site is technically legal in the hosting country.

    Better to filter stuff locally, freedom of speech be damned.
    If anyone disagrees, they can just be accused of supporting child porn, even if they're just trying to protect something else.

    "I expect a proper audit of the URLs being blocked would reveal there are things being blocked which aren't necessarily illegal."

    But, they *feel* wrong.... plus collateral damage is fine if it's "for the children".

    Yes, that will be their actual argument.

     

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  32.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2014 @ 1:03am

    Re: Maybe it's legit?

    "that is technically "kiddie porn" by the USA's legal definition"

    So? This story is about New Zealand, with an aside regarding the UK. The age of consent in both countries is 16. It's also an independent European (mainly French) piece of fiction, meaning that Dodd's cronies had nothing to do with its production.

    Even if that definition is correct, Hollywood and the US definition should not mean a damn thing here.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 8th, 2014 @ 1:38am

    Re: Bad Analysis

    I can't decide if I should press 'funny' or 'insightful', so have it both, good sir!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 8th, 2014 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    "But that doesn't pay the bills."

    Actually, it does. What it doesn't do is maintain an effective monopoly on distribution, which is their actual concern.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Mark Noo, Jul 8th, 2014 @ 10:50pm

    Secret court orders

    I don't know anything about secret court orders. I need to know more about these secret orders that censor my ability to access information on the net.
    If it blocks access to other sites that have a similar product to the big studios does it rise to the level of them seeking an unfair trade advantage?

    I fu*king hate secret orders. We need a coalition to ban all secret orders and rules.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Zonker, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 4:18pm

    So the MPAA admits that their content is child pornography now? It must be if it is to be added to the child pornography filter. When do the criminal charges get filed against Chris Dodd for child porn?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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