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  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:05pm


    *cough* Copia institute *cough*

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • Jul 24th, 2016 @ 12:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Remind me again how Wikileaks isn't playing politics? Timing the release like this is just plain nasty, gotta wonder if the Republicans have inside connections.

    Between that and all the hateful anti-Hillary GIFs appearing online, you gotta know some modern day Karl Rove is pushing a social media agenda like mad - and sucking at it.

  • Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 8:20pm


    A whole bunch of NOT MUCH here. The allegations come from a competitor unable or unwilling to finance their own network. The reasons have nothing to do with frontier, and instead have everything to do with this simple map:


    Basically, outside of a few areas, West Virginia is as densely populated as Alaska. The costs to provide boradband service to everyone is pretty darn high, when you consider the distance per drop, and the amount of cabling that would be required. Distance wise, it makes DSL lines all but useless, as they lose speed with distance and most people would be quite far from a CO.

    It's not surprising.

    Now the lawsuit (which contain allegations, not confirmed facts) raises some good issues. But really, the company should be suing the government for lack of management, and not Frontier for using the funds to expand the network. This appears to be a classic case of throwing money at something and then not checking to see how it was spent.

    That it took them 2 years to even SERVE the lawsuit tells you everything you need to know.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Oh, wahwahwah...

    As for you two...

    "Do you expect a surge in DVD purchases?"

    Your answer is here:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160708/18024234925/as-uk-piracy-falls-to-record-lows-govern ment-still-wants-to-put-pirates-jail-10-years.shtml

    As piracy becomes less attractive and the legal services become more attractive... and if the pirate versions are harder to reach and harder to use, you can guess the rest.

    "Do you really think anyone will respect copyright (more) because of this shenanigans?"

    I am betting that more than a few people will consider getting out of the business of selling downloads. I am thinking that having pirate links a LITTLE harder to get to make slightly change the flow of the tide. Think of it as a butterfly effect thing, except of course this is just about the biggest butterfly of them all.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Oh, wahwahwah...

    "Can you perhaps cite the part of the law that states a percentage of links that need to be infringing in order for that not to applicable?"

    There is no hard and fast number. It's a question of inevitable knowledge. If your site is entirely nothing but likes to pirated material, it's hard to deny that you know it. Heck, all you had to do was look at their most popular download list, and you would see. I am sure that the site admins did that regularly. For that matter, in selling advertising for high rates, I am sure they were very much aware which pages and which downloads were generating the most attention, traffic, and therefore profit.

    if those top files had all been unix distributions and free android apps, then they might have some deniability.

    "Citation for the applicable law? Apologies for not believing the bare assertions of a proven liar, but that's the hole you've dug for yourself."

    Paul, I cannot and will not spend all the time required to teach you the basics of criminal conspiracies. Knowledge of and profiting from a crime is in itself a crime. Selling ad space on pages full of pirate downloads - knowing fully well that they are pirated material - creates that basic conspiracy.

    "CNet seems to do OK, as does Sourceforge and a number of other free software repositories."

    You can check Alexa to see the deal. Kat dot CR was ranked in the top 20 websites in the world. CNET as a whole was around #120, but downloads only account for about a third of their hits. So there is a major order of magnitude thing at play here.

    Just as importantly, there are literally hundreds or thousands of torrent search sites, including kat clones and mirrors. Their actual traffic position was much more likely on the edge of top 10. CNET is an exceptional case, a rare site indeed. There are only a very few sites in that marketplace (like Tucows), and otherwise few get involved.

    "Do you have any defence for your claims, or are you as ever talking out of your ass and creating a fictional reality where you can attack this site for imaginary indiscretions?"

    Actually, your assertions seem to be the sort of crap you always come up with, trying to poke holes and ignoring the proverbial elephants in the room. Perhaps it would be to your benefit to read the criminal complaint and actually try to understand it (you can use the dictionary for the bigger words, if that will help).

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 9:43pm

    (untitled comment)

    First amendment arguments in this area generally run into a dead end (ask your sainted Lessig about that). The problem is actually pretty simple:

    What EXACT free speech is being violated?

    The question is pretty important. In the same manner that I don't have access to the coding of this website (I can only see the results, not the code driving it), I don't have any particular rights to code that may exist as part of an item, beyond those set forth in the purchase agreement. You have ownership of the thing, and a license to use the code to operate the machine.

    So the hurdle is simple: Before they can have a hope of winning the argument, EFF would have to work harder to define what right is being actually broken. If they cannot define it simply and directly within existing legal terms, then they are very likely to fail.

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 9:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    I could design one too.

    All you need is a case, and LED, and a battery. As soon as the case is on the phone, turn on the LED. It would be right probably 99% of the time.

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 9:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    The ruling seems perfectly reasonable.

    The police used the phone to do something it can do without password and without otherwise unlocking it. No debate here, all phones can make an emergency call. That information is "free".

    After that, getting the information from the carrier is a no brainer as well. The phone company has that information and they are generally more than willing to share it.

    So there really isn't much here, except perhaps a cop who is a little smarter than most taking advantage of technology to bring a criminal to justice.

    Apparently, Techdirt hates it when criminals get arrested!

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 11:31am

    Oh, wahwahwah...

    You might be able to play the secondary infringement card if a small number of links on KAT had been pirated material. You might even have been able to play it if say, 20% of the links were pirated material.

    However, reality is different. Almost every popular torrent listed on the site was pirated. TV shows and such were sorted into special pages with information provided, which clearly showed that the site owners and maintainers knew what was on their site.

    It's also clear that the guy was selling advertising on the site knowing that the attraction was piracy, and was charging more for popular pages. Knowing the material was pirated, knowing that people are coming because they can get illegal content, and selling ads based on this a direct infringement situation. They don't have to actually rip of the content or host it, the only have to profit from it.

    Put it another way: Do you honestly think that KickAssLegalSoftwareDownloads would have been able to collect millions in ad fees?

  • Jul 18th, 2016 @ 11:09pm

    So remind us again...

    Remind us again how corporate sovereignty is going to destroy all laws and make each us slave to the corporations... oh yeah, wait, first big cases, all won by the countries and not the corporations.

    "the sky is falling..."

    Sooner or later, people stop listening.

  • Jul 18th, 2016 @ 11:07pm

    Are you kidding me?

    Some of the highest profile copyright cases (including those of mega-fail defendants like Thomas and Tenebaum started out with VERY VERY VERY low offers of settlement. Considering the volume of infringement in those cases (Thomas was charged related to 30 or so file, even though there were literally hundred or even thousands possible) and yet the settlement offered was as low as a few thousand dollars.

    So for Cruz, a settlement in the same range is likely. That isn't political favoritism or anything like that - it's a reasonable offer made in almost every case.

    The real difference? Cruz probably has lawyers smart enough to know to settle, instead of pushing on and on through court with horrible legal advice, crashing into a dead end of full liability and a life long punishment to pay off.

    In most cases, it's how you choose to handle it. Cruz will likely have it handled quietly and discretely, an amount will be paid and the case will be settled, and everyone can move on. Jammie Thomas? Who knows where she is hiding anymore, there ain't much call for download martyrs these days.

  • Jul 18th, 2016 @ 11:09am

    Re: A Crumb?

    I had the same opinion. Reading the story here (and at the Times) made me think that there is a whole lot more to this story that just isn't being told.

    First off, such a small amount of a drug should lead to an arrest, if it's illegal. But that arrest should lead to bail, not three weeks of incarceration. We are left to fill in an incredibly huge blank here.Having a lawyer that is pushing for her to take the deal rather than fight it seems pretty weird too, considering the lawyer SHOULD know that the $2 test isn't always accurate.

    The story reads more like "sweatshop law" rather than anything to do with a defective drug test. It would seem that the lawyer and the police were on he same team.

    When you reconsider the story in that manner, you start to understand better. Officers trained to believe a test is absolute proof, a lawyer who does nothing to correct them, and as a team they can crow about their huge numbers of drug arrests and convictions.

    The $2 drug test isn't a big deal here, except that the results are being misrepresented as "absolute proof" when they are at best a "strong indicator". I think they should still be enough for an arrest, but should also be something that leads to an insanely low bail, or even a ROR with a future court date, especially when talking about such a small amount of "drugs" seized.

    I don't feel any particular sympathy for the girl. Yes, it sucks, but yes, the story also provides enough details to suggest that she made a series of pretty solid errors along the way and pretty much opened herself up for what looks like an arrest mill operation.

    Can anyone explain why there was no bail on the table? I am thinking there is more to this than meets the eye.

  • Jul 16th, 2016 @ 11:43am


    This story honestly is garbage. Some borderline misogynistic references and a whole bunch of crap assumptions, it's almost like Karl wrote it.

    Let's see. Moving the opening ceremony (you know, the one with no drama about who wins) into relative prime time seems like a no brainer. No, it won't be live, but honestly, DOES IT MATTER? Live and most people miss it or delayed by an hour and somewhat time compressed seems like a good choice here.

    Moreover, the "most live" is in no small part because the events are happening in a time zone that is very convenient for the US. It makes it very much more realistic to run stuff live instead of the usual up to 12 hour delay (because few people want to be up at 3 in the morning to watch women's shot put or what have you). It also allows them to use prime time for "best from today" coverage and that's pretty good too.

    I think you are making a truly big deal out of nothing particularly serious.

  • Jul 16th, 2016 @ 10:12am

    Short answer NO

    The short answer here is no, for a whole bunch of reasons.

    First and foremost, the Trump 4 Ruler website is a public site. That is to say, it's open to everyone without restriction. No password is required to access the site, you are not entering a secured area.

    If those moved to bar them (say by issuing a cease and desist) it would likely not be valid on it's face, as it could be considered discriminatory. Otherwise, Trump could also issue a general Muslim ban as well. Denying service (even a free service) in a discriminatory manner won't fly and won't hold water.

    It's a nice attempt to muddy the waters of the law. Reality sets in pretty quick when you realize the difference between an open website and a secured "employees only" server. Even a non-techie judge could catch that simple concept.

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:00pm

    I be laughing at ya...

    This is one of those cases where Techdirt manages to entirely misrepresent a story in a manner that it would take a whole team of workers month to undo the misinformation provided.

    The gallery isn't claiming copyright over public domain works. They are claiming copyright ONLY on the photographs taken of those images. They have only ever allowed a single set of shots to be made of the (public domain) works they curate. Those images, produced well within the last 70 years, are copyright in and of themselves. Not the work pictured, but the picture of the work. The setting, the method by which they were photographed, the lighting... everything required for it to be a unique copyright work of it's own.

    Put another way: If other images of these works exist (they probably do, taken over the of the work) then they could be used if they are in the public domain or the copyright holder has granted rights. The images taken recently by the gallery are works in their own rights and copyright.

    Nobody is claiming copyright over 300 year old works of art. That would be silly.

    Thanks for all the misinformation and fake anger Mike, it made my weekend (and while I post this late friday night, I am sure it won't get added to the discussion until Monday... prior restraint lives at Techdirt!)

  • Jul 14th, 2016 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Exactly. Whatever has used the "specific search terms were used, therefore guilty" trope on a couple of occasions, never mind the fact that they were statistically insignificant."


  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Love of Control

    "I estimate that America and most other 'modern' nations are no more than 3-5 years behind this effort."

    I think Western nations will go about it in a little big of a different way, but to the same general end result.

    I think in the US it will be done much more along the lines of "you can have your encryptions and VPNs, but your connections will have to be entirely logged". It's to me one of the reasons why they are working so hard currently to strangle TOR.

    I also think that there will be at some point the completion of the title II move to apply similar laws and structures that exist for other utilities to the internet. Particular in that is the personal liability of the account holder for how the service is used. This is how phone, water, and electrical services work, so the internet could (and possibly should) be the same. There may be some legal arguments against it, but title II status goes a long way down the road already without anyone realizing it.

    Essentially, if a service provider masks who the true user is by providing a proxy or portal, then they would have to log by mac address and such, and retain those records for a given period of time.

    It would change how free public wifi works. It would certainly change the legal landscape for leaving your wifi open for any schmuck to use.

    SO you can keep your encryption, you can keep your VPNs, but understand that you are logged all the way.

    My guess is by 2020.

  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, I don't ignore that fact. Rather, I know that Google is very good at manipulating results on specific terms, and it's been shown before that certain terms that were used (as examples, not as the only piracy searches) were "cleaned up" before Google answered the call.

    As an example, if you search "rage against the machine free download" guess what you get? TONS OF PIRATE SITES. Google didn't clean that one up for their press release.

    "Google's comparisons here are in direct response to that criticism. "

    No, their comparisons are made to discredit the other side in no small part by making sure the small narrow selection of searches is "clean". It's very hard to take them seriously when you know that they control the results and can make them anything they want, just in time for their report to look good.

    Even Mike knows that.

  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 7:17pm

    THe court got it right, it's not troubling at all

    I always love when a judgement is "troubling" to Mike. Mostly it's because of a moral problem, and not one of law.

    There are a few simple things at play here. First and foremost, before anything, is the concept that Facebook usernames and passwords were being shared with a third party. It is pretty much a TOS violation for the original user. It's also really bad for site security for Facebook, as there is a site they don't control that would have a fairly high number of their passwords. A hack of this third party site would generate harm to Facebook.

    Most importantly, Facebook is not an open store. It's a close community that requires individuals, groups, and companies to sign up for their own accounts and to access the site in that manner. There is no inherent right to access the material of others, unless made public.

    Facebook did nothing wrong. In fact, they did everything right and dotted every I (blocking IP Range) and crossing every T (issuing a cease and desist) in the process. Like it or not, they deserve the ruling.

    Now, the CFAA law is a bitch, it's big and heavy and very powerful, and in this case is being used to squish an ant sized problem. It's easy to get distracted by all the legal machinery whirring and clicking to get this all done. If you focus on the issue (users giving access to third parties) then you might realize why the ruling went the way it did.

    We should celebrate that the courts are getting it right, even with such a huge law to apply.

  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 10:06am

    (untitled comment)

    "Google is big and successful."

    Yup. Nobody denies it. However, Google's numbers are a little bit self serving, if you ask me.

    "Katy Perry" by itself will ALWAYS be way more searched than any variation of downloading, mp3, etc. It's pretty normal. She's a big star and plenty of people search for her, her latest news, outfits, cleavage shots... whatever it is they like. Many of them would start with a simple "Katy Perry" search. So yeah, guess what, the volume of searches is there.

    You also notice that Google is using SPECIFIC single terms. So while "Katy Perry Free Download" might be one of the ways to find a torrent or download, it's not the only way.

    The scale between one search and another really isn't all that relevant - the numbers, however, tell a big story. If Google does 1 trillion total searches per year, and even if "good" searches are 500 times over "bad" (which is being generous based on Google's own numbers) then you are looking at 2 billion searches for piracy. So yeah, say what you like, serving up 2 billion less queries that lead to pirate sites would make a difference, like it or not.

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