Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
IsoHunt may soon be required to maintain a list of filtered keywords and withdraw any torrents linked with items specified in it due to a Californian court’s order. If the precept will be put into effect, IsoHunt could follow on the footsteps of Mininova, which became the subject of strict censorship last year, due to implementation of a similar provision.
The adoption of a keyword filter was mainly the idea of MPAA-represented movie studios, and now the court will analyze whether the measure is indeed necessary and feasible.
Gary Fung, the man behind IsoHunt believes that installation of such a filtering device would be inappropriate. In a previous statement for TorrentFreak, he explained that such a measure “raises serious issues on the balance between freedom of speech, fair use and copyright protectionism,” as it would also restrict users’ access to many legitimate torrent files now available in the public domain.
Considering the court has not yet pronounced a final verdict regarding the proposal filed by the MPAA, Fung told TorrentFreak that he would do everything he can to prevent the adoption of this measure. Fung believes that by presenting the recently developed ‘lite’ version of isoHunt to the judges, he should be able to convince them of the potential this has in addressing copyright infringement, and should pass on as a solid alternative to a keyword filter.
The new version of the website was described as simply a search box similar to the ones utilized by other search engines, including Google. According to Fung, the lite version should not encourage illegal file sharing any more than other search engines. However, this change may cause IsoHunt to lose some of its regular users, as certain torrents will be more difficult to find due to significantly simplified search options.
French researchers at the University of Rennes have concluded that Hadopi (Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet) legislation is ineffectual, as copyright infringement has actually increased by 3% since the law entered in effect. It appears that the law only managed to drive copyright infringement further underground, causing up to 2/3 of former P2P users in France to turn to illegal streaming sites and HTTP-based download services instead.
Faced with new issue, the French government quickly decided to adjust the law so that the responsibility of disconnecting Internet users would be passed entirely to judges, and downgraded the Hadopi agency to lesser roles, such as prevention and education against online piracy.
The study revealed that the use of P2P services had indeed dropped from an initial 17.1% to 14.6% since the month of October. However, the “three-strikes” legislation produced a significant 27% increase in the use of sites and services outside Hadopi’s jurisdiction over the same period of time.
“This study casts light on the limits of Hadopi, which equates piracy with a protocol (P2P) and reduces piracy only among users of this protocol,” the French researchers pointed out. “Establishing an administrative authority that targets P2P networks largely seems to have the effect of exchanging piracy techniques for another set that circumvent Hadopi’s provisions.”
Another interesting fact indicated by the survey is that as much as 70% of Internet users are not involved in any online piracy at all. On the other hand, half of the responders who stated that they were regular buyers of digital content also admitted they committed some form of copyright infringement.
For the many voices out there that opposed the “three-strikes” law in the first place, this outcome doesn’t come as a surprise at all. In fact, this very conclusive survey has done a great job at strengthening the general idea that the government should come up with solutions better than that to stand a chance at tackling copyright infringement.
The entertainment industry proves to be quite inventive and resourceful when it comes to finding ways to satisfy its penny-related paranoia. Its latest such effort could be seen as training students to snitch on each other. According to some reports on the Internet, Warner Bros wants to recruit anti-piracy ‘spies’ and has posted an advert at Manchester University with this exact purpose.
Allegedly, those tempted by the position can opt for a year-long contract involving monitoring the illegal downloading and distribution of the movie studio’s movies.
The job as a “download” spy also means that the employee is must set “trap” purchases of pirated content and requires experience with P2P protocols.
However, I’m sure you can come up with better ideas to make a fair buck as a student, don’t you?
Surfing the Internet aimlessly yesterday I came across a very worrying message from Computerworld which warns us in a well documented post that free/open source and open standards in Europe are being seriously threatened.
The site reports a Microsoft wicked lobbying campaign meant to dramatically change the EU IT policy leaving open standards and open source out of it : “The battleground is the imminent Digital Agenda for Europe, due to be unveiled by the European Commission in a month’s time, and which defines the overall framework for Europe’s digital policy,” says the site.
Looks like a call to arms since a good piece of our freedom is at stake here: “The battle over open source and open standards is taking place in the context of the European Commission’s efforts to promote interoperability, which it has been working on for some years now.”
To learn more details about this impeding battle we must fight and how you can carry this fight go here.
“We need to get as many people as possible writing to the key Commissioners *now* if we are to stop them,” urges Glyn Moody at Computerworld, and that’s definitely an option we should all consider.
Luck hasn’t exactly been on the side of Universal Music and Virgin Media UK in their attempt to launch a DRM-free music download and streaming service for Virgin’s broadband customers. Apparently, the Merlin Network, a non-profit organization working on behalf of independent music companies, has not come to any agreement with Virgin Media with regard to the price for its content. The latter had failed before (due to some major record labels) with its attempt to launch an “unlimited” music service based entirely on P2P technology.
While Virgin and Merlin could eventually come to a consensus and set a fair price for both sides, it’s pretty obvious such deals are not at all accessible (read: affordable) to smaller internet service providers whose business could be thus affected.