There was the same issue with ComputerCop as Violynne pointed out, even down to the claims put out by law enforcement (as you can see in this video where the EFF first revealed the issue while showing some of the footage - https://youtu.be/RRDhuHBk3gY?t=2m12s)
I've a strong feeling this is going to be a focal point in a panel called Journalism in the Post Snowdon Era I'm doing on Friday with the EFF's Dave Maass, and AccessNow's Amie Stepanovich. There will (should!) be video.
It's utterly unacceptable to constantly demonise encryption, just because it makes it harder to prop up police states.
I had similar problems with AdRev claiming Dvorak's New World Symphony Number 9, which is public domain, on my son's band concert video.
And yes, I strongly pushed for inaccurate/false accusations to be subject to the same sort of 'strike' system as copyright infringement allegations are in my consultation response to the IPO the other week on extending the punishment term to 10 years in prison. In fact, it was my major trust, that false claims are common, and increasing penalties for claims, with no penalty for false claims, is just going to generate more false or inaccurate claims, because the threats will have greater intimidation power with no repercussions.
Instead, why not come to Dragon Con, which has a whole track dedicated to the sort of stuff Techdirt covers.
In 2012 we had Bruce Schneier, in 2013 the ACLU's Chris Soghoian, last year we had Kurt Opsahl of the EFF, and this year it's a mixture of EFF, Accessnow, and public knowledge, as well as our regular hackers, cryptographers, and lawyers.
Our panels are meant to be more for the 'interested' rather than the expert, of course, and aim to cover as many topics as we can, so while Mike or Glyn might not learn much, many should. (and yes, I've asked Mike if he's interested in being a Guest before, but he couldn't make last year).
Hotels are going to be hard to find (all 5 host hotels each sold out within 15 minutes - not easy for 5 thousand-bed hotels at $240/night but there are overflow ones around, and MARTA.
So come if you can, and if you do, say 'hi', I'm the British guy making the track work!
I've had no TV service since 2004, except for a 3 month period in 2006 (issues with Charter). That might not sound that notable except for one thing - my wife's worked for DirecTV since November, and as part of her compensation, we're eligable for a Genie system and programming, free. We don't have it.
In fact, until christmas, all our TV sets were in the 14-19" range and from the late 90s, mainly used to play the Wii with, or my DVD player (haven't had that hooked up in over a year, haven't bought a DVD in 6-7 years), but we were given a 50" smart TV at christmas, which we use to watch netflix on, and occasionally youtube (and sometimes pandora, and every now and then, play the wii)
I could get programing, free, I just don't want it.
The one it's parodying (you wouldn't download a car etc.) was also a UK creation, for the 'Industry trust for IP awareness'. They also had fun things like faked up "actual footage from cams" (with authentic vcr tracking lines, and actual copied MST3K-esque viewers). It is what actually got me started in the field with piracyisnotacrime.com (we did manage to get one MEP to admit to basically spouting whatever was put in front of her when we pointed out her speech required time-travel, and also got the head of the British Video Assosciation [UK MPAA] to basically discredit the MPAA's famed LEK study when their own figures were significantly different.)
At least they didn't keep the other half of that campaign going though - "knock-off Nigel" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TbqBPmInjQ) - yikes.
I was in San Fransisco for the November 2001 "alerts". I was staying in Sausalito, but going to Treasure Island (yes, the one from Cory's "Little Brother") to film season 4 of BattleBots for comedy central. Because of traffic, we'd go via the Richmond bridge and Oakland at 6am, and Sf/GG bridge at 11pm to bed.
For those that don't know, Treasure Island (and Yerba Buena) is in the middle of the Bay Bridge, so either way, you have to take it. One day, we saw an abandoned big box van (think like a large rental truck) just abandoned on the side of the bridge. Now my co-worker (and driver) is ex Marines, so when we get to the exit (on the far side of the tunnel iirc) we stop and inform the National Guard squad (oh yes, military units were EVERYWHERE) there about the abandoned van.
Well, from the loading area (and our welding/grinding/safety test area where I was mainly working that day) you could see the bridge, and the truck.
Despite there being this 'Big Terror Alert', not a single person went near that truck for about 2 hours. Then a tow-truck came and pulled it away. No investigations, no checking the truck out, making sure it was 'safe', NOTHING.
I grew up in the UK, in Liverpool, during the IRA conflict. I was at the 93 Warrington bombing (the boston bombing was a near carbon copy of it, and almost exactly 20 years later), walked past one of the bombs minutes before it went off, and known many other 'suspect package' alerts.
They did none of it. That's when I understood how much of it was just for manipulation, and emotional response encouragement.
My wife's using a 5yo laptop for work. No issues. Last week I got a new PC, it's my 3rd since Jan 2000 (and it's a refurb, just like the last one in Feb 2009). And I have an emergency win7 laptop, that was made in 2005 (dell e1705) that's mainly used as a media hub (it has firewire and a line-in, in a laptop)
And in the mid-90s, I ran all the records of my fathers business on a dragon32 (what the TRS-80 coco was based on) which I used right up til i moved to the states in 03 - had a 7 year uptime at one point, and the warranty stickers are STILL on all the case screws.
I think you're overestimating the fragility of older computers
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First, it's not "extortion" if the content was viewed.
Yep, when I was looking for the NSW extortion statute, I found the bench book first, and it was pretty clear that standard (c)trolling would be extortion.
BTW, nice to have an Aussie Digital forensic consultant to backcheck me; i'm pretty decent with US and UK law (one being where I am, the other being where I'm from) but I'd never really looked at the law in Foreecks, glad I wasn't too far off the marker.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First, it's not "extortion" if the content was viewed.
Sorry, probable cause is an American thing, not an Aussie thing. Oh, and it's an American CRIMINAL thing.
There's ways to enforce copyright without having to resort to extortion. You could, for instance, litigate the case, rather than trying to intimidate settlements. See, it's the intimidating settlements bit that makes it extortion, nothing else, as the statutes clearly show.
Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
highlighted the appropriate section.
Wonder what Aussie law says. Let's look shall we? Let's look at Section 415 of the criminal code of Queensland
415 Extortion (1) A person (the demander) who, without reasonable cause, makes a demandâ€”
(a) with intent toâ€” (i) gain a benefit for any person (whether or not the demander); or (ii) cause a detriment to any person other than the demander; and (b) with a threat to cause a detriment to any person other than the demander; commits a crime.
(a) if carrying out the threat causes, or would be likely to cause, serious personal injury to a person other than the offenderâ€”life imprisonment; or (b) if carrying out the threat causes, or would be likely to cause, substantial economic loss in an industrial or commercial activity conducted by a person or entity other than the offender (whether the activity is conducted by a public authority or as a private enterprise)â€”life imprisonment; or (c) otherwiseâ€”14 years imprisonment. (2) It is immaterial thatâ€”
(a) the demand or threat is made in a way ordinarily used to inform the public rather than a particular person; or (b) the threat does not specify the detriment to be caused; or (c) the threat does not specify the person to whom the detriment is to be caused or specifies this in a general way; or Exampleâ€” a threat to cause a detriment to the public or any members of the public (d) the detriment is to be caused by someone other than the demander. (3) A reference to making a demand includes causing someone to receive a demand.
(4) A reference to a threat to cause a detriment to any person other than the demander includes a statement that gives rise to a threat of detriment to the other person.
(5) A prosecution for an offence in which it is intended to rely on a circumstance of aggravation mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of the penalty can not be commenced without the consent of the Attorney-General.
(6) In this sectionâ€”
threat includes a statement that may reasonably be interpreted as a threat.
Yep, looks like it's basically the same, if not broader. How about New South Wales? Pretty much the same (don't have a citeable reference, only the text of the 2007 Crime Amendments bill).
Now, if the threats in the lawsuits were CREDIBLE (they're not, which is why they've backed off from pursuing them when a fight is made) or if it wasn't made with Menace (defined as "A threat against an individual does not constitute a menace unless: (a) the threat would cause an individual of normal stability and courage to act unwillingly in response to the threat, or (b) the threat would cause the particular individual to act unwillingly in response to the threat and the person who makes the threat is aware of the vulnerability of the particular individual to the threat.". They specifically dismiss cases against some people to avoid part b there) then they wouldn't be extortionate, but they are. And the credible and menacing aspects were also why the courts wanted oversight of the letters.
So yeah, looking at the facts of the cases, comparing them to the laws, yep, 'extortion' still pretty much fits the bill.
Re: First, it's not "extortion" if the content was viewed.
First, it IS extortion. Don't take my word for it, take the word of Federal Appeals Court Judge Pregerson, who called it extortion (a good dozen times, in fact) earlier this month.
When you demand money 'or else', that's extortion. These cases use the court as an 'or else', but refuse to follow through. Their refusal to undertake the full legal process, and just leave it as a threat makes it extortion.
As for the second point, it follows from the first. A company that is attempting to make money from extortion is quite rightly being dealt a blow. If they were legitimately concerned with enforcing copyright, they'd be all for pursuing the case to its conclusion, must as Capitol V Thomas or Tennenbaum did. They don't, in fact they deliberately shy away from doing so, showing it's just an attempt to make money, through threats. I think that's quite rightly been dealt a blow.
Finally, your third point about 'duty to suppress infringements', is kinda true, but only for PROVEN infringements. Otherwise, it's just a baseless accusation. Now, what iiNet also knows is that such cases are expensive and that they're often too expensive to contest for the average person, plus it's specialist law. All companies also have a duty to generate profit, and as a member of society, the rule of law and justice'. In standing up for its customers in what it feels like a perversion of justice, they're making the company prove their accusations of infrignement before they demand enforcement (which would be costly for iiNet) as well as a positive PR move for the ISP, which will encourage customers.
in short, your claims make 3 assumptiosn - Voltage is concerned about stoppin infringement, that their accusations are flawless, and that requiring voltage to actually prove their infringements in court is somehow aiding infringement.
The reality is that Voltage has stated it's not about infringement, but money. Their evidence is notoriously bad, unreliable and at best flimsey, and finally if you're going to make a threat through the courts, you'd best be able to back it up, and an assisting people in proving that is not 'helping infringes', as if they have proof of infringement, then it's still going to be found as such in court.