Portuguese 'Anti-Piracy' Site Blocking Used Against US Video Game Developer

from the because-reasons dept

One of the reasons why many people are opposed to various "site blocking" laws, is that inevitably such things get abused. And while the US successfully stopped SOPA's site blocking plan, plenty of other countries went ahead and implemented something similar -- including, apparently, Portugal. Yet, earlier today, reports came out that the Portuguese site-blocking system was now blocking the website of an American video game development shop called Carbon Games.
Now, it does appear that someone just screwed up here. It's not happening on all Portuguese connections, but it did happen on multiple ISPs according to the initial report on Reddit. Also, it seems they only blocked the version of the website where the URL starts with "www." Get rid of that and people could access the website without a problem -- again adding to the likelihood of a general screwup. Oh yeah, also, it looks like if you use any other DNS provider, such as Google's DNS, you'd avoid the blocks (another reason why blocking at the DNS level is kind of stupid).

Either way, even if it was just a "mistake," the fact that it happened at all should be a huge concern. When entire websites can be blocked without any real review or due process, it opens the door to much more serious and widespread censorship. It's again troubling how quickly many in the copyright realm ignore the nature of this slippery slope.

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  1. icon
    rw (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 9:11am

    "It's again troubling how quickly many in the copyright realm ignore the nature of this slippery slope."

    Why should they worry about that? It's not hitting their pocket book...Yet.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 10:56am

    that headline is missing the word LAW...kind of confusing without it


    Portuguese 'Anti-Piracy' Site Blocking LAW Used Against US Video Game Developer

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 11:07am

    Don't fret, the anomaly-apology brigade will be here shortly.

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

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 11:17am

    I love how you care more about a few mistakes than you do about millions of intentional acts. Pirate apologist much?

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

  5. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 11:17am

    I'm surprised to not see any translation in the article:

    Per the principle that Portuguese text generally looks like really poorly written Spanish, here's my translation of the message, as someone who speaks Spanish but not Portuguese:

    The site that you are trying to access has been blocked in the carrying out of a notification by the Regulatory Entity

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    I love how you care more about catching pirates even if it means ruining innocent people in the process. I would probably be considered a pirate apologist since I prefer the proven innocent till guilty method. Also, I think your definition of few is wrong. Usually a few is around 3-5. The mistakes you are talking about have happened thousands of times and techdirt has reported on many occasions.

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

  7. identicon
    RD, 20 Jan 2016 @ 12:06pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 11:17am

    It's going to be very, very funny to watch when *you* are the one that is "few mistake'd" out of your dogmatic view. It's only an outlier until it happens to you.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    The mistakes can kill a start up business, while piracy as often as not has no actual impact on a business; except that the bosses feel that their control is being challenged.

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

  9. identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:19pm

    Great news for Carbon Games

    This is incredible news. Under the different trade packs Carbon Games is now able to take the Portuguese government into arbitration and win/earn multiple billions of dollars for the damages caused. That will teach those foreign nations for discriminating against US companies.

    Invoice for damages.

    $60,000 website downtime
    $740,000 for lost sales during that time.
    $10,000,000 for damages from false accusations
    $60,000,000 for damages to future games they no longer want to make due to PTSD of having website blocked.
    400,000,000

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

  10. icon
    Soapy Smith (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:20pm

    Perhaps they were trying to block carbongaming.com

    Portugal recently changed its gambling laws to limit online gambling to websites where only Portuguese citizens can play.

    I used to play poker on Carbon and their main website is carbongaming.com.

    Maybe someone tried to block Carbon Gaming and blocked Carbon Games by mistake.

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

  11. identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Great news for Carbon Games

    $400,000,000 for lost revenue from a movie deal they would have had in 20 years.
    $300,000,000,000 lost revenue for all toys that they thought about making.
    $200,000,000,000 attorney fees.

    Carbon games is set for life.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:28pm

    Re:

    "Better to let 10 guilty men go free than to put an innocent man in jail."

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    How many "mistakes" before it becomes more than a "few" for you to hand-wave away? It's hilarious denial.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:05pm

    the UK is one such country that just goes ahead and block websites, all without any oversight, without getting in touch with the admin or whoever is in charge of the sites and all on the say-so of an industry that is so bias, it wouldn't make the slightest difference what else the sites did, including supporting multiple charities! Cameron is so far up Hollywood's ring, he cant even see the light! then add in the ridiculously high punishments for downloading or sharing a movie or music disk and we get to the state we're in now, with the entertainment industries practically running the whole planet! and if that doesn't frighten anyone, it damn well should do!!

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    Under the Portuguese law, I find you guilty of being a pirate. Say goodbye to your Internet. Surely you wouldn't contest this, right? Because anti-piracy?

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 7:11pm

    "It's again troubling how quickly many in the copyright realm ignore the nature of this slippery slope."

    They don't care. They won't get blocked, and if they do, they have people for that. And if some penny-ante site gets blocked, well more traffic for them.

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

  17. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 1:20am

    Re: Re:

    "I love how you care more about catching pirates even if it means ruining innocent people in the process"

    Point of order: these people don't even care about "catching pirates". They only care about the appearance of such in order to lock out legitimate competition and prop up outdated business models. As long as they get paid in the short term, the damage they do long term is irrelevant.

    That's why they support things that don't work at all at reducing piracy (website blocking, traffic shaping, lawsuits against customers, etc.), while supporting things that negatively affect both customers and their own bottom line (high prices, DRM, windowing, restrictive regional licencing).

    The fact that innocent people get their businesses and rights destroyed in the process is just collateral damage. It's simply not as profitable to make the changes needed to actually catch pirates while protecting the innocent.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    and here he is!

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

  19. icon
    tqk (profile), 22 Jan 2016 @ 11:46am

    When I started learning sysadmin stuff ...

    ... they warned us about the One Day WordPerfect Course graduate. "They think they know everything there is to know." "Stand aside. I'm an expert!" These people should never be let anywhere near the controls of anything unsupervised. If only we could get these weekend warriors to test their weapons on themselves before pointing them at others, we'd need to worry about this a lot less often. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

    "Is this thing loaded?" Bang. "Ow." Thud.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2016 @ 1:19pm

    This country sucks.

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


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