Filed under: Announcements & Events, Legal P2P News & Issues
We’re not used with good news when it comes to file-sharing, but this article makes the exception. ACAPOR – one of Portugal’s advocacy groups – sent the IP addresses of about 2.000 alleged pirates to the Attorney General in 2011 with hopes that they will be prosecuted. But things didn’t turn out as they’ve expected…
A Portuguese prosecutor chose not to follow on the individuals behind the IP addresses, stating that it’s perfectly legal to use file-sharing with personal purposes. Moreover, IP addresses are not enough to build a case against the alleged pirates, he said.
But let’s back up a bit to 2011 when ACAPOR handed out boxes filled with IP-addresses of alleged pirates while wearing T-shirts with imprints saying “Piracy is illegal”.
“We are doing anything we can to alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industry.”
The group added that “1000 complaints a month should be enough to embarrass the judiciary system.”
Their hopes, however, were shattered this year when the Department of Investigation and Penal Action took a look at the complaints and decided not to charge the people involved in this huge case.
“From a legal point of view, while taking into account that users are both uploaders and downloaders in these file-sharing networks, we see this conduct as lawful, even when it’s considered that the users continue to share once the download is finished,” the prosecutor said.
He also pointed that one’s online rights for education, freedom of expression and culture must stand tall as long as the case doesn’t concern commercial copyright infringement.
Furthermore, an IP address ““is not necessarily the user at the moment the infringement takes place, or the user that makes available the copyrighted work, but rather the individual who has the service registered in his name, independent of whether this person using it or not,” his ruling stated.
Nuno Pereira – head of ACAPOR – was not pleased with the decision and said:
“Personally I think the prosecutors just found a way to adapt the law to their interest – and their interest is not having to send 2,000 letters, hear 2,000 people and investigate 2,000 computers.”
Hopefully, this will set a precedent and an example to other countries such as the US, UK or Germany where mass copyright infringement lawsuits are still a thing.
US Internet Provider Crosses A Dangerous Line: Suspected Of Copyright Infringement Customers Get Their Accounts Suspended For Life
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Legal P2P News & Issues
Although Mediacom – one of the prominent internet providers in the US – is not to be a part of the six-strikes response system, the company is decided to punish its customers by permanently cutting their internet access, if they are suspected of illegal file-sharing.
Usually rights holders send DMCA takedown notices to ISPs. Then, internet providers either take action based on these notices or choose to ignore them. Mediacom, however, chose to apply their own policies, and they include the permanent disconnection of an internet account after a third strike.
Here’s what the company has in mind, as seen on their official website:
Strike 1: After the first DMCA notice the account is flagged and the subscriber receives a letter informing him or her about the alleged violation.
Strike 2: The second DMCA notice is more serious and results in an account suspension. Internet access can only be reinstated if the subscriber fills out some paperwork.
Strike 3: After the third DMCA notice it is game over for the subscriber. The account holder in question will lose Internet access and he or she is banned for life.
“Banned for life” is the reason we’ve decided to write this report. Even if a Mediacom customer is going to say that someone else used the account, that’s not something the provider cares about. For Mediacom, the account holder is completely responsible for what happens with his or hers connection, with no exception. Even worse, the provider sometimes applies an early termination fee.
What’s really appalling is that not even under the six-strikes legislation an internet account is to be banned forever. It’s simply unconceivable. The EFF already commented on the issue.
“Given the importance of connectivity these days, it’s extremely unfortunate that any ISP would terminate after three DMCA notices,” Corynne McSherry told TF.
“DMCA notices are merely accusations — they are not proof of wrongdoing, and ISPs should not treat them as such. Where possible, I would urge customers of any ISP that has a strict three-strikes policy to vote with their feet and find an ISP that puts its customers first.”
Leaving Mediacom could be an option, but not for those living in certain areas where the company is the only internet provider. However, their subscribers do get the chance to counter allegations of copyright infringement.
“Once this [counter notification] paperwork is returned, Mediacom turns it over to the copyright holder, who pursues action as they choose. This may include legal action such as lawsuits between the copyright holder and the customer,” Mediacom explained.
But going against Hollywood or the entertainment industry altogether is not something anyone affords.
So, how did this happen? How is it possible that in this 21st century society a major internet provider gets to step on a basic human right, in America – land of the free?
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
Starting with November, US voters have the most important task yet – that of deciding which officials are to handle (from now on) internet legislation. To stress the importance of the incoming elections, a coalition of internet rights groups started a “voter registration drive” throughout US soil. Here are the details.
To avoid legislations like SOPA, CISPA, etc. to see the light of the day, InternetVotes.org has opened a website where people can fill out on a form and express their opinion on how the Internet, as a whole, is being handled by governmental officials. Also, you can use the website’s widget to promote the cause.
“We changed the world in 2012 when we fought off internet censorship. Now, we can defend the internet and change politics forever,” reads the “motto” of the portal.
Starting with November the 7th, U.S. citizens can decide who is going to be in charge with internet’s freedom, a dire responsibility that will not be ignored, especially if we remember that it was a close call for everyone in Europe and beyond when SOPA surfaced. But thanks to worldwide protests, both on and off line, the Stop Online Piracy Act was put to its tomb. Good ridden, we say!
However, this didn’t stop the House of Representatives. In June they passed CISPA, an even worse version of SOPA that aimed to handle cybersecurity matters, whatever that means. That didn’t go well either, but, again, that did not stop the House of Representatives from trying again.
Just some weeks ago, the House voted for a five-year extension for the FISA Amendments ACT. You can read all about it here. Despite protests and irrefutable evidence that the legislation is a threat to privacy, officials continuously refused to revise the law.
The examples can continue. A CNET report shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning a way to spy on the internet, on a larger scale. Their goal is to include big companies like Google, Facebook, and Skype into their scheme, so that the bureau can have unlimited access to internet communications of all kinds.
The question is, what can the Congress do? Here are some suggestions as seen of EFF’s official webpage:
Patent reform: A new bill sponsored by Rep. DeFazio would fix much of the broken patent system that is engulfing giant tech companies in billion dollar patent suits and paralyzing up-and-coming companies with legal costs. The only parties benefiting from software patent wars seem to be big law firms and patent trolls. Visit EFF’s site defendinnovation.org for more.
Email privacy: Both the House and Senate have ECPA reform bills that would finally bring warrant protection to emails. We saw just last week that the Senate delayed this bill yet again after law enforcement expressed concerns it would hinder their investigations. Of course, this bill wouldn’t create any new rights; it would just bring the protections for our email into alignment with our rights with physical mail and phone calls.
Cell phone privacy: The GPS Act in the Senate and a corresponding bill in the House would force law enforcement to get a warrant for our cell phone location data as well. Your cell phone, which pings a cell phone tower every seven seconds, is one of the most privacy invasive tools out there; it can give your precise location to authorities twenty-four hours a day. And law enforcement made a staggering 1.3 million requests for such data last year—a vast majority of the time without a warrant.
Vote and keep the internet free of private interests!
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Tops
To get a better view on how the peer-to-peer scene is evolving with respect to what file sharing software people are using, we keep you posted weekly with the latest numbers. So here’s a list with last week’s top ten most downloaded p2p file sharing programs – the chart is based on figures published by Download.cnet.com and it refers to the number of times a p2p client was downloaded from their site (to download programs click on the titles – between brackets are displayed the current versions of the apps).
Week ended September 23
|P2P Filesharing Client||Number of downloads (last week)||Number of downloads(total)|
|1. uTorrent (3.2)||55,124||18,539,058|
|2. Vuze (4.7.2)||30,932||8,915,851|
|3. BitTorrent (7.6.1)
|4. FrostWire (5.4)||10,079||34,221,722|
|5. Movie Torrent (4.0.3)||7,703||1,219,453|
|6. Ares Galaxy (2.1.8)||2,923||1,668,320|
|7. uTorrent (3.2 beta)||5,727||181,389|
|8. BitLord (2.1.1)||2,123||2,501,072|
|9. iMesh (11.0)
|10. uTorrent Portable (188.8.131.52636)||1,366||261,773|
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, Legal P2P News & Issues
In a previous article we’ve mentioned a research that revealed a rather upsetting truth: BitTorrent traffic is heavily monitored on. In order to counter the unconstitutional habits of certain companies, BitTorrent decided to bring further modifications to its most popular client – uTorrent.
As you may know by now, a way for third-parties to track your activity is via the IP-address; but there’s another source of information that may do harm – namely the peer-id.
The developing team behind uTorrent is aware of this issue, and they’ve decided to do something about it by integrating a new feature within the client’s code.
“This feature’s operation randomizes peer ids in an n-hour cycle to mitigate tracking of our users when they use non-private torrents. The effect is increased control for our users of their own information and activity which, just like users of any service, our users ask for and are entitled to,” the company told TorrentFreak.
In other words, those of you who use BitTorrent can feel more secure as third-parties will no longer be able to track the peer-id for longer periods of time. As far as IP-addresses are concerned, one must always be careful, especially with public trackers.
“Our users are as concerned as anybody about the free flow and use of their personal information and habits,” BitTorrent told TF.
“So we work on features such as this to protect their privacy, just as companies such as Google, Firefox and Microsoft, in particular with IE8, bring their users more control of their information with things like easy, prominent private browsing features.”
It’s clear enough that privacy is still an issue when we talk about file-sharing, but we can only hope that this issue will one day be a matter of the past.