RIAA Asks BitTorrent Inc. To Block Infringing Content With A Hash Filter

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Almost exactly a year ago, the Hollywood-funded and run astroturfing group "Creative Future" posted a bizarre and fact-challenged article attacking BitTorrent Inc. for copyright infringement, and demanding that the company "take responsibility" for how the BitTorrent protocol was being used. There was, as always, some apparent confusion between BitTorrent the protocol and BitTorrent Inc., the company. You would have thought that this would have been figured out by now, especially given that BitTorrent Inc., the company, has been trying repeatedly to help content creators experiment with new business models that embrace the BitTorrent protocol, with a fair bit of success.

And yet, as Andy at TorrentFreak notes in a recent post, the RIAA has now sent a letter to BitTorrent Inc., once again demanding some sort of "piracy filter." [pdf]
Attached is a subset of the list of verified hashes of files of our members' works that have and are likely continuing to be infringed via BitTorrent, Inc.'s products and services. We are willing to establish a process to share the hashes with BitTorrent, Inc. on a regular basis so that BitTorrent, Inc. can use the information to deter further infringement of those files via its goods and services. We also know of several companies that offer services to help identify infringing torrent sites and files that may be useful in helping BitTorrent, Inc. deter piracy through BitTorrent, Inc.'s products and services.

To quote Mr. Mason yet again, "We don't endorse piracy." If that is indeed your business philosophy, then we believe it is only right and proper for BitTorrent, Inc. to take steps to reduce their facilitation of infringement. We look forward to hearing from you on next steps.
Consider this is a shot fired. It's not hard to see where this is heading. The RIAA is likely looking to set the stage for a lawsuit arguing that BitTorrent Inc. is somehow "inducing" copyright infringement by not proactively blocking content. Of course, pretty much all previous lawsuits making that argument have failed (miserably) and it's even more ridiculous in this case. And, yes, while the RIAA is pointing specifically at apps, such as uTorrent that BitTorrent owns, the idea that the software needs to proactively contain a hash-based filter is unlikely to go over well in court. Nor, of course, would it stop copyright infringement.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the RIAA gets its way here and BitTorrent is forced to somehow insert a special "YER A PIRATE!" filter into uTorrent, two things would happen almost immediately: 1. People would quickly create slightly modified versions of works to get around the hashes and 2. people would move to other BitTorrent clients -- coming from companies that aren't willing to work with the entertainment industry and aren't helping more artists learn how to embrace the technology to make more money and reach more fans.

It's the same move repeated over and over again by the industry: rather than figure out how to make use of the technology that fans like in order to do more, they attack the technology and then don't understand why people get pissed off and no longer want to give them any money any more.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 11:39am

    Colonel Klink.

    Eric Klinker.

    One is beloved for trying to stop something he cannot control. The other is not.

    I'll let you decide which one is which.

    SHULTZ!!!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 11:54am

    Once that torrent application got slow and boggy, no one would want it, in essence killing that version. They'll just move on to something else

    As has been demonstrated over and over, there is no one single demand from the RIAA or the MPAA. Once they have gotten some little gain, the knob is turned up on the demands as a continual feed into do this for us at your expense.

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 5 Aug 2015 @ 11:54am

    Hey Brad Buckles, you made a lot of assertions but no data to back it up.

    "F"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 11:59am

    Not their job. Their job is to make software, not give any fucks whatsoever about other archaic business models that are failing.

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  • icon
    Spike (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:04pm

    Everyone I know still uses older uTorrent versions due to all the adware crap that they added to the newer ones. Even if the RIAA got their way it simply wouldn't matter anyway.

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  • identicon
    Rex Rollman, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:08pm

    The problem the RIAA faces, aside from being an unethical organization, is that Bittorrent has a lot of legitimate use. I don't see this going anywhere.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:09pm

    It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

    The full quote from Bittorrent is "We don't endorse piracy, just make software that enables it to be kept secret, and have zero intention of implementing anything that would help rights-holders."

    Of course I like this move by RIAA: puts Bittorrent on the spot, forces it to be publicly pro-pirate.

    Now, I've provided a button nearby for pirates to click so they can make clear their intent to continue stealing. Similarly, individual identity is kept secret, because who wants to be known as a pirate and a censor? -- Instead of answering free speech with more speech, just censor away, kids.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:12pm

    It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

    The full quote from Bittorrent is "We don't endorse piracy, just make software that enables it to be kept secret, and have zero intention of implementing anything that would help rights-holders."

    Of course I like this move by RIAA: puts Bittorrent on the spot, forces it to be publicly pro-pirate.

    Now, I've provided a button nearby for pirates to click so they can make clear their intent to continue stealing. Similarly, individual identity is kept secret, because who wants to be known as a pirate and a censor? -- Instead of answering free speech with more speech, just censor away, kids.

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:13pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      Took four tries through TOR to get in this "public comment" box.

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      • identicon
        That One Other Not So Random Guy, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        You are using Tor... You Pirate!!!
        You are using Tor... You Terrorist!!!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        You know we're on to your game btw?
        Every conversation, whether its pro or against 'piracy', or about legal bills being passed or a new style of keyboard you INSTANTLY leap in and try to derail the conversation to make it about yourself.

        If you're that lonely, someone should throw you 0.1 of a bitcoin and you can get yourself a meth-skank for company.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:17pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        It's not censorship if it's still accessible.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        Wait, I thought only pirates used TOR? Or is that why you refuse to use a login and try using TOR in the first place - to avoid your obvious hypocrisy being called out for the 5 seconds it takes everyone else to notice?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:16pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      You sir, are a moron. Just like gun manufacturers don't endorse murder, they just make guns that enable it. F'ing idiot!

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

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:36pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      I would love to pay producers of content "a pittance" for the pleasure of having access to their work. However:

      1) They frequently want far more than what any average sane person would call "a pittance" and would instead refer to it as "highway robbery" or "you must be out of you skull and are you fucking serious?"
      2) They choose to offer the content only on horrendously inconvenient, highly fragmented, utterly outdated, and just plain buggy services and formats.
      3) They insist on corrupting the political process to try to hold back the tide and don't give a ratfuck about what else they need to destroy just so they can get a few more short years of declining profits on legacy business models.

      So convince your pay masters to give the customers what they want at reasonable prices on convenient services, and stop being assholes, and you can have my money. Until then, it's my money that I refuse to give away for your shitty product.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:51pm

      Zzzz ...

      Now, I've provided a button nearby for pirates to click so they can make clear their intent to continue stealing.

      No, I think I'll continue boycotting your garbage which I don't ever want, but thanks anyway. Your repetitively done-over movies, your childishly repetitive noise that you call music (made with a drum machine on steroids), and all the other crap you flog isn't worth a second of my time. Please die screaming in a fire.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:53pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      "It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts."

      Then why do piracy rates drop significantly when convenient, well priced, legal alternatives arise?

      Online streaming seems to have put a big dent in music piracy, and on the video side, there's a big chunk of "piracy" that is nothing more than paying for a service in a different country and VPN'ing to it.

      The first thing I do whenever I buy a movie is rip it to a hard drive. I never even stick the thing in a dvd/bluray player because of all the crap and baggage it comes with (including the umpteen thousand warnings to not pirate - which I only get on the legal media)

      Piracy flourishes because it's often the path of least resistance, not because it's free.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        Yes, with the dozens of legal services in the US, piracy has disappeared there.

        Oh wait, no it hasn't.

        Now please go take your outdated, moronic platitudes with you into the nearest burning building.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          I was 11 years old once and had no money. There are still kids with no money. People with no money do not buy content, not because the don't want to but because they can't. There will always be some who simply can't buy. So "piracy" will never go away.

          Well, at least not until the libre free open source/creative commons type stuff provides enough content that the big IP offerings become redundant, inferior and irrelevant. The transformation is happening right now. Several items have already passed that threshold. One example is the operating system offerings. Good bye and die Micro$oft.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          " Anonymous coward 01:"Then why do piracy rates drop significantly when convenient, well priced, legal alternatives arise?

          Online streaming seems to have put a big dent in music piracy, and on the video side, there's a big chunk of "piracy" that is nothing more than paying for a service in a different country and VPN'ing to it.

          The first thing I do whenever I buy a movie is rip it to a hard drive. I never even stick the thing in a dvd/bluray player because of all the crap and baggage it comes with (including the umpteen thousand warnings to not pirate - which I only get on the legal media)"

          Anonymous coward 02:"Yes, with the dozens of legal services in the US, piracy has disappeared there.

          Oh wait, no it hasn't."

          Because...

          Put it together man, I know your capable, just not willing.

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

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 10:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          Yes, with the dozens of legal services in the US, piracy has disappeared there.

          Like which?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 3:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

            "Like which?"

            (sound of crickets)

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            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 10:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

              Impressive.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:56pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      The subject matter and title. TD couldn't have done better if they were trying to troll for an out-of-the-but comment.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

        Traffic is way down here. Gotta throw some red meat to the target pirate audience.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          Blue meat == red meat

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          Your here, I'm here, loads of others here. Yeah, business must be way down for the poor Tech Dirt.

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

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 10:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

          [citation needed]

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 6:15pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      "Now, I've provided a button nearby for pirates to click so they can make clear their intent to continue stealing."

      I looked but couldn't find it, so I just hit 'report' instead.

      "Instead of answering free speech with more speech, just censor away, kids."

      The long list of comments answering you bears a striking resemblance to "more speech"...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 6:47am

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      The full quote from Bittorrent is "We don't endorse piracy, just make software that enables it to be kept secret, and have zero intention of implementing anything that would help rights-holders."

      Translation for you: "Do your own fucking work, you lazy fucking leeches! Is isn't OUR job to protect your shit!"

      Sorry pro-IP guy - but it ain't BitTorrent's job to protect your shit. Do your own work. It's hard, we know, but in the end, it's your fucking problem, and I personally don't support corporate welfare. Perhaps fewer DMCA takedowns of http://127.0.0.1 might free up a few resources for you.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:04pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      "Of course I like this move by RIAA: puts Bittorrent on the spot, forces it to be publicly pro-pirate."

      I wonder. In all your time trolling here, have you actually learned the difference between BitTorrent the company and the BitTorrent protocol, and how not only is the protocol often used quite legally but it has absolutely f**k all to do with the company of that name? If not, yes, we are laughing at you not with you.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:08pm

      Re: It's the same move repeated over and over again by pirates: rather than pay the producers a pittance, they use technology to evade clear law and then don't understand why people get pissed off and try to stop their thefts.

      "rather than pay the producers a pittance"

      Why would they pay the producers rather than the artists? Or, are you inadvertently admitting one of the problems often discussed here?

      Plus, I'm confused. One of the major complaints about legal services is that they don't charge a pittance. Yet, one of your heroes' complaints is that the pittance that streaming services charge should be much, much higher.

      Which are you defending again? Are you the moron who attacks Spotify because they don't make people millionaires from single users, or the moron who whines that people can actually choose to pay less through iTunes than they would have done buying a CD in 1991?

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  • identicon
    DigDug, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:14pm

    It's not like hashes are 100% unique

    People can modify files to get new hashes that do nothing to the original content.

    Regularly sourced files from a myriad of different sources can end up with the same hash value.

    If I were in charge of company, I'd say sure, we can do that, just pay us $1 Billion USD per hash per day that you want filtered.

    Otherwise my response would be GFY.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:33pm

      Re: It's not like hashes are 100% unique

      Just adding an empty space in a text editor that opens binary files will change the hash so yeah, it's entirely fucking pointless to filter hashes.

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  • icon
    Agonistes (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:15pm

    hahahHAHAHAahaa

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:16pm

    Attached is a subset of the list of verified hashes of files of our members' works

    Verified by who, and how are false claims prevented in the future? Also, where is proof of who owns the copyright? Without an independent validation method, such a filter is easily abused.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:26pm

    You only have to look at the Youtube content ID filter to see how a filter is going to work with BitTorrent. If thousands of copyright infringing videos can be uploaded to Youtube without getting picked up by the content ID filter the same will be said for any filter that gets implemented by BitTorrent Inc.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      ...thousands of copyright infringing videos can be uploaded to Youtube without getting picked up by the content ID filter the same will be said for any filter that gets implemented by BitTorrent Inc...


      CONVERSELY lots of legitimate uploads will be blocked by the same filters.


      (And apologies for feeding the trolls but this had to be said.)

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

  • icon
    LAB (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:38pm

    Not Bittorrent's job

    There are plenty of legit uses for bit torrent. In addition,the law provides finding infringing content is definitely not their job. I am more struck as to what would you have the RIAA do? There is nothing inherently wrong with a business based on selling music, or film etc. I have not agreed with many of the tactics used by many copyright holders in the past. However, if a certain behavior is illegal, and said illegal behavior frequently facilitated using another business, that claims they don't condone illegal activity, to take their statement at face value would suggest they might do something.....

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:02pm

      Re: Not Bittorrent's job

      I am more struck as to what would you have the RIAA do?

      What would I have them do? Ideally, realize that piracy isn't going to go away, ever(to even come close would require far more sacrifices than their entire industry is worth), and as a result spending ridiculous amounts of money 'fighting' it is wasted time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

      Realize that obscurity or the inability to access content at reasonable prices and in reasonable fashion are a greater threat to artists than any amount of piracy ever will be, and as a result push to make their content easily accessible, and at reasonable rates(something which has shown time and time again to reduce piracy more than 'educational campaigns' ever will).

      Realize that the same technologies they are constantly trying to kill are also often huge potential money makers, if they are only willing to work with them.

      However, barring all that 'crazy talk', what I would want them to do is stop targeting everyone for the actions of a few, and stop demanding increasingly insane penalties.

      They're welcome to go after pirates, I have no problem with that. They are not welcome to demand fines large enough to buy a house for the 'heinous' crime of downloading a CD's worth of music, nor are they welcome to demand everyone else do their job for them, nor randomly target people and sites with claims of infringement, forcing innocent people to defend themselves from baseless accusations.

      However, if a certain behavior is illegal, and said illegal behavior frequently facilitated using another business, that claims they don't condone illegal activity, to take their statement at face value would suggest they might do something.....

      Speeding, hit and runs, armed robbery, murder... that's just a few examples of cases where a crime is 'facilitated' by the product of a business, yet when someone speeds, do we blame the car manufacturer? When someone holds up a store, do we blame the gun manufacturer?

      No, instead we blame the one committing the crime.

      Saying they don't condone such activity is not an invitation to act as unpaid copyright cops, it's saying, "Hey, we realize that the tech can be misused in this fashion, but that doesn't mean we encourage or support it being used that way", nothing more.

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

      • icon
        LAB (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:59pm

        Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

        Speeding, hit and runs, armed robbery, murder... that's just a few examples of cases where a crime is 'facilitated' by the product of a business, yet when someone speeds, do we blame the car manufacturer?

        I think a more apt analogy would be you are the bartender/owner of a bar where people meet then plan and carryout hit and runs, armed robbery and murder. You as the bartender/owner hear them planning these crimes. There are some legitimate patrons, but word on the street is if you wanna find some people to do these crimes, then your bar is the place to go. You as the bartender are against illegality,so you say, but you don't do anything besides say you're against these crimes.... wink wink. Obviously copyright infringement is not on the same level as the crimes mentioned but I think you get my meaning.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 9:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

          "Speeding, hit and runs, armed robbery, murder... that's just a few examples of cases where a crime is 'facilitated' by the product of a business, yet when someone speeds, do we blame the car manufacturer?"

          Why not?

          "I think a more apt analogy would be you are the bartender..."

          I see your point. So if someone walks up to the bartender and tells him that some people sitting at a table over there are criminals of some sort, he shouldn't just tell that someone to go call the police (wink wink). No, if he is truly anti-crime he should just walk over there and blow their frickin' heads off right then and there. No stupid trial, no discussion, no nothing. Just blam! Maybe we need a new law requiring that.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 3:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

          Your example needs a little tweaking to be accurate.

          First of all, the size. You're not a bartender of a regular bar, instead, the size is a little bigger, let's say... the size of a large city. Way too large for you to reasonably be able to listen in on even a fraction of the conversations going on, thousands per minute(ignoring for a moment the privacy implications of doing so). To even begin to do so you'd need to wire up every table with listening devices, and hire a ton of people to listen in to the conversations going on, all on your own dime.

          As I hope should be clear, that takes care of the first half of the 'You hear them planning' bit. Scale makes that effectively, if not actually, impossible.

          Next up, the legality issue, with regards to spotting it.

          Say you somehow do manage to set up a listening system, allowing you to listen in on all the thousands of conversations taking place per minute. Works great, but, it has a downside: It completely removes the context the conversation is in, making it completely and utterly impossible to tell if the discussion is talking about a crime, or an identical action that happens to be legal.

          Ah, but a nice friendly person from another company comes to you, and tells you they've come up with a filter for the listening tech that will allow you to be able to differentiate the actual criminal planning from the planning for legal actions. Sounds great, right? Well...

          One tiny little problem with this: They have an absolutely abysmal track record with their accuracy, and are known to generate enormous numbers of false positives with their 'filter', which, despite their claims, also cannot differentiate between criminal planning and legal planning the majority of the time.

          Also, all it takes to defeat their 'filter' is for the ones holding a conversation is to change one word in their conversation, and the filter will completely ignore them.

          However, they claim that none of this is a problem. After all, if you really are opposed to the criminal actions of your patrons, surely you'll be willing to, on your own dime and time, wade through all the difficulties(somehow).

          And, again as I hope is clear, that takes care of the second half of the 'You hear them planning' bit. When the context a conversation takes place in is what differentiates it between legal and illegal, and you can't know the context, being able to spot the difference is all but impossible, and even trying is going to generate enormous numbers of false positives.

          The one pushing for 'filters' and everyone but them acting as unpaid copyright cops like to claim that it's an easy problem, that 'You know it when you see it', and that the only thing stopping others from just jumping at the chance to do their work for them is laziness and/or being focused on profits, but as their own actions, and a quick investigation into the matter shows, the case, and problems, aren't even remotely as simple as they'd like people to believe.

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

          • icon
            tqk (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

            The one pushing for 'filters' and everyone but them acting as unpaid copyright cops like to claim that it's an easy problem ...

            This is the classic problem technical people have with bad managers. They've got this great idea, and all they need you to do is "blah", where "blah" is the equivalent of changing lead into gold. Sure, it can be made to sound simple, if you ignore little details like reality, chemistry, physics, & etc.

            It also sounds incredibly stupid for us to hear them propose !@#$ like this, because it proves their utter ignorance of reality, chemistry, physics, & etc. How the hell do morons like that get into management?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

              How the hell do morons like that get into management?

              They switch majors once they find engineering is hard.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 1:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Bittorrent's job

              "How the hell do morons like that get into management?"

              Engineering/tech is a very different discipline to management. They require different skills, so a mediocre engineer may make his way to management where he's shielded from the day to day tech stuff, while a talented engineer is far more valuable and happy dealing with tech. At some point, the mediocre guy fools himself into thinking he's better due to the pay grade (many companies view tech as a cost, but management as an asset), and so starts making demands that he should know are impossible but didn't learn enough before promotion to realise it isn't.

              It's the Peter / Dilbert principle. Flotsam rises to the top while the actual assets are often forced to burn out before their opinions are heard.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 12:50pm

    Is this another article where M a s n i c k pretends bit torrent isn't overwhelmingly used for infringement? Oh, ok. LOL

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:01pm

    What about speed limiters on cars?

    I agree with the RIAA! And, while I realize that saving lives isn't nearly as important as protecting copyrights, why don't we charge automobile manufacturers with inducing manslaughter for not putting speed limiters on cars?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:28pm

      Re: What about speed limiters on cars?

      Because while we can pass so many laws they can't be counted by the Congressional Research Service.

      We can't pass a law for every dumbass and dangerous thing that every village's idiot might come up with as a use case scenario for every item manufactured, ever. That is why we pass laws against the result and not the means. Please grasp that there is a difference.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:42pm

        Re: Re: What about speed limiters on cars?

        We can't pass a law for every dumbass and dangerous thing that every village's idiot might come up with...

        We can try!

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

        • identicon
          DigDug, 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about speed limiters on cars?

          Why should we? The sooner the dumbasses die off, the better off the remaining gene pool will be.

          Now if only we could discover a virus that only targets incompetent and immoral politicians.. Oh wait - just say politicians in general, it means the same thing.

          Once discovered, if it was in the general population, there would be a sudden die off of politicians, which includes, lawyers, judges, federal agency employees, which includes alphabet agencies, and voila... the remaining gene pool would be even better off.

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

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:37pm

    [...] the idea that the software needs to proactively contain a hash-based filter is unlikely to go over well in court. Nor, of course, would it stop copyright infringement.
    But it would stop a whole load of non-infringing uses. For example, a hash designed to stop downloads of recent Dallas Cowboys games could also stop Public Domain ones and copies of files clearly titled 'Dallas maps for wannabe cowboys'. It's just a shame that maximalists don't care about the damage they're doing with their attempts to support their obsolete business models.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:38pm

    Many copyrighted songs are sent via email as mp3's. Shouldn't Microsoft have to do the same thing to Exchange????

    Many copyrighted things are shared via OneDrive, DropBox, etc. Shouldn't all of the so-called cloud storage vendors have to do the same thing?

    Many IM products allow encrypted transfer of files. Shouldn't they have to do the same thing?

    etc., etc., etc., etc....

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 2:20pm

      Re:

      And don't forget that as all files have to go through the pipes of ISP's when they are sent from one person to another on the internet then all ISP's should be forced to implement a filter too.

      If BitTorrent Inc is forced to implement a filter then you can sure bet the MAFIAA will be rubbing their hands in excitement in forcing every company, cyberlocker that allows for users to use to upload, send files etc. to implement a filter too.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 5:16pm

      Re:

      Stop giving the RIAA ideas.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 1:42pm

    If the bit torrent protocol hadn't been invented, I wonder if the RIAA would be complaining about the file transfer protocol, aka FTP. Would they be going to the maker of one popular FTP program demanding that they somehow stop all infringing uses of FTP?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      If the bit torrent protocol hadn't been invented, I wonder if the RIAA would be complaining about the file transfer protocol, aka FTP. Would they be going to the maker of one popular FTP program demanding that they somehow stop all infringing uses of FTP?

      That's next.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 5 Aug 2015 @ 2:13pm

    The RIAA wants BitTorrent Inc. to include a list of of banned hashes that can be easily updated?

    Here's what I'd love to see happen;

    BitTorrent Inc. agrees to implement such a feature and when the next version of the program comes out, it does indeed prevent you from transferring any files whose hashes are on the banned list. Said list to be loaded from a plain-text file when the program starts. :)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 2:25pm

    Dear Mr Shipbuilder

    We have noticed that you make schooners. Schooners are sometimes used by pirates. Please add this technology to your schooners that will render them unusable by pirates (and most other users).

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

  • icon
    Nageki (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:06pm

    One more thing about a hash filter

    Hashes are not exclusive to one file or another. It's a way to check if a file has been changed, it is not a form of identification for a file. Many different files will necessarily have the same hash. So, not only will it not STOP the sharing of those files (the slight modifications mentioned in the OP) it will catch files that have nothing to do with the files the RIAA wants to prevent from being shared.

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

  • identicon
    all your TPP is belong to NSA, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:24pm

    ROFL RIAA suiing itself

    ya warner brothers owns it if they really wanted they could just shut it down.....

    this is about other music houses not having there own piece of the "action"


    one maffia suing another

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

  • icon
    Mike Shore (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:28pm

    Change one word...

    To quote Mr. Mason yet again, "We don't endorse piracy." If that is indeed your business philosophy, then we believe it is only right and proper for BitTorrent, Inc. to take steps to reduce their facilitation of infringement. We look forward to hearing from you on next steps."

    Yeah, well, I don't endorse murder, but that doesn't make it my job to prevent murder.

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

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Change one word...

      More akin to: Yeah, well, I don't endorse murder, but that doesn't make it my job to manufacture wood chippers that you can't feed bodies (and thus large logs) into.

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

  • icon
    DocGerbil100 (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:35pm

    It's the same move repeated over and over again by the industry: rather than figure out how to make use of the technology that fans like in order to do more, they attack the technology and then don't understand why people get pissed off and no longer want to give them any money any more.
    This interpretation is far too kind. The RIAA - as with all the big media associations - has a single, unified strategy which has been very clear to all for a very long time now:

    • target and accuse anything or anyone that might have a competitive impact in the same medium, but isn't affiliated to the RIAA;
    • pay for lots of basically-fake evidence to "prove" massive damages against their affiliates;
    • take vast amounts of money off the victims in ratcheting license agreements until they can't pay any more;
    • when they can't or won't pay, sue them;
    • make sure the lawsuits last as close to forever as makes no odds - the victim will always run out of cash first;
    • generously allow the victim to fold, in return for everything they possess;
    • if they can induce a law-enforcement agency into shutting the victim down for them, it's a cheap and easy victory.

    The RIAA aren't confused, they're fraudsters - and obvious fraudsters, at that. The only reason the RIAA and MPAA's senior management aren't in prison cells is because the DoJ is directly accountable to the politicians - who are all on the fraudsters payroll, often quite openly.

    The big lawsuits aren't designed to stop piracy, they're designed to stop competition.
    They attack fair use and the public domain at every turn, despite being perfectly lawful, by definition.
    They wrecked Megaupload not because of piracy, but to stop Kim Dotcom from continuing the legal music creation and distribution side of his business.
    Now it seems they're getting ready to hit BitTorrent, Inc in the exact same way - and once again, it's the authorised, legal distribution of music they're really aiming for.

    This will not end well.

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

  • identicon
    Simple Solution, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:38pm

    End copyright

    The solution is simple, back out of the Bern Convention, end copyright and thus no copyright problem. Copyright is a stupid concept anyway. Helping artists make money -- Poo!

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:02pm

      Re: End copyright

      Aren't artists supposed to suffer for their art? Aren't they supposed to starve before they become great? So when we pirate, we're simply doing our part to make the artist great!
      /s

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

    • identicon
      DigDug, 5 Aug 2015 @ 8:12pm

      Re: End copyright

      Wrong!!!

      Copyright has absolutely nothing to do with making artists money.

      Copyright is a transaction, we give you exclusive rights to the content you created for a period of time not to exceed 10 years, and you donate your creation to public domain after that 10 years. You get to do what you want with your copyright for that 10 years, if that happens to include making a bit of money, then good on you. But remember, after 10 years, that body of work belongs to everyone ever after.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 3:40pm

    the culturetheft defense force is out today wow lol
    and let me tell you they are salty.

    Copywrong needs to be abolished completely and we need to do it all over again.

    Those who abuse the DMCA need to go to jail.
    Those who use bots to spam DMCA need to go to jail.
    Patent trolls need to be in jail.
    the MPAA needs to be in jail along with J Hood for collusion and corruption.

    When this is all done then we can talk about other stuff. Until then everyone is gonna seed shit all day long. What they are doing is no worse then what the copyright monopoly does.

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

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 5:09pm

    Huge list of verboten hases.. unmanagable

    The list of verboten hashes could and would become huge and unwieldy quite fast.

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

  • identicon
    Jimb, 5 Aug 2015 @ 5:52pm

    What of others?

    Are car manufacturers now required to implement anti-getaway tech in case the vehicle is involved in a robbery or a hit and run? Are gun manufacturers required now to have anti-murder filters? Are home builders required to implement anti-ontherun filters to keep people that are on the run from the law from hiding out? How about anti-drug abuse filters to keep doctors from prescribing drugs to those that don't need them, or some filter to keep people from selling their prescription drugs?

    Don't doubt for a minute that those things couldn't be implemented.

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

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 6:47pm

    Nose vs. face

    I think that the RIAA, MPAA, and others of their ilk forget that they should not cut off their noses to spite their faces! It's so simple, even a child with a lemonade stand (where that isn't illegal these days) can tell them that if you piss off your customers, you lose business!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2015 @ 9:08pm

    They develop strategies that are easy to fail and "force" them upon the industry.

    When they do fail - a new "failing" strategy is needed - again to be foisted upon others.

    This keeps them in business and in the spotlight and "controlling" of others.

    A "one off" successful method would not need them to stay around.

    No wonder they keep coming up with failing strategies..

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

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 5 Aug 2015 @ 11:47pm

    Can we all club together and get a nice, large, shiny Whack A Mole arcade machine for every RIAA office, perhaps one that fills entire rooms if possible?

    If this were to be implemented, it would be trivial for pirates to alter content to generate new hash values faster than anyone could possible catch or block it. Given this, it would appear that the real problem is that they *really* like that game and love playing it on a large scale. A simple one-off investment could scratch that itch for them once and for all and get us on to the subject of observable reality and solution that might actually work.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:20am

    Well uTorrent has becoming shittier with every version so i hope they play along.

    Otherwise, all they have to do is look at those who decided to listen to the RIAA like google. Nothing ever is enough for them, no matter what they do they will demand more bullshit and if/when they stand up and say enough they get sued and slandered by corrupt government officials.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 8:07am

    out_of_the_blue and antidirt just hate it when due process is enforced.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2015 @ 9:58am

    They have no idea how software and the internet works. Also, don't forget about Free and Open-Source Sofware.

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


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