Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

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Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:33 pm


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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:33 pm

What would be the impact on Exetel users if we adopted a policy of blocking access to servers that contain copyright material offered for 'free' download?

ryanb
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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ryanb » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:56 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:What would be the impact on Exetel users if we adopted a policy of blocking access to servers that contain copyright material offered for 'free' download?
Users may be upset because they will no longer have access to freeware, shareware and public domain material, which are all copyrighted and can be downloaded for free. :wink:
.

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by flak » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:28 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:What would be the impact on Exetel users if we adopted a policy of blocking access to servers that contain copyright material offered for 'free' download?
Would Exetel consider doing this voluntarily or only if it was legislated?

If voluntarily I think the effect on Exetel would be:

1. Massive negative publicity (but any publicity is good publicity)
2. Large overhead of maintaining the blacklist, eg adding, removing, false positives, etc
3. Large support overhead answering questions like "why can't I access http://www.insertdomainnamehere.com?
4. rapid loss of userbase as:
a) customers cannot use their net connection for their intended purpose
b) customers feel their ISP should not be censoring their connection, regardless of the justification

Wouldn't such a move be easily defeated by tunneling by anyone who had an interest in circumventing it?

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:58 pm

flak wrote:
ForumAdmin wrote:What would be the impact on Exetel users if we adopted a policy of blocking access to servers that contain copyright material offered for 'free' download?
Would Exetel consider doing this voluntarily or only if it was legislated?

If voluntarily I think the effect on Exetel would be:

1. Massive negative publicity (but any publicity is good publicity)
2. Large overhead of maintaining the blacklist, eg adding, removing, false positives, etc
3. Large support overhead answering questions like "why can't I access http://www.insertdomainnamehere.com?
4. rapid loss of userbase as:
a) customers cannot use their net connection for their intended purpose
b) customers feel their ISP should not be censoring their connection, regardless of the justification

Wouldn't such a move be easily defeated by tunneling by anyone who had an interest in circumventing it?
An interesting view.

Let me put it more bluntly.

Why shouldn't Exetel 'null route' a site such as Pirate Bay which exists solely to provide copyright protected material to thieves?

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:01 pm

ryanb wrote:
ForumAdmin wrote:What would be the impact on Exetel users if we adopted a policy of blocking access to servers that contain copyright material offered for 'free' download?
Users may be upset because they will no longer have access to freeware, shareware and public domain material, which are all copyrighted and can be downloaded for free. :wink:
Does this apply to piratebay.com?

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by David R » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:11 pm

It would make authorised distributors happy across the country if ISPs ceased selling bandwidth as a commodity. It would likely impact the ones supply unmetered access to the 'internet,' initially, but then these weren't a consideration in any real product stream.

Economics will come back in, people will subscribe to 'unmetered' DVDs, like Netflix etc - efficient and cheap, but unfortunately losing some of that inconvenience that was subscribing an ISP.- More money to reward creativity and moreover, the trade would then be legal.

Also 'Criminals' will still go merrily about their deed they'll just use underground methods. If online servers were stopped entirely, what prevent them loading hundreds of movies and seasons from telly on to a Terabyte-or-Two size HDD', and then sending through parcel delivery.

People could alternatively find time for friendship & family or, if not practise tunneling Either way let them try and get blood from a stone.
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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by CoreyPlover » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:05 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:Let me put it more bluntly.
Why shouldn't Exetel 'null route' a site such as Pirate Bay which exists solely to provide copyright protected material to thieves?
Negative publicity is probably the biggest issue. Lots of people take the issue of (psuedo) net neutrality and anti-censorship quite seriously. Just look at the uproar when Exetel performed the web filtering test. This would however result in a positive selection effect, where some customers would choose to take their business elsewhere leaving Exetel with a higher percentage of users who have no interest in downloading copyright material.

But otherwise, even under null routing, such sites would be accessible via proxy. So you would only succeed in preventing some users from accessing sites like these. Intermediate & advanced users will still find ways to circumvent these restrictions.

The concept is the same as policing all laws and I think it can be subtle: You cannot actually prevent people from breaking laws (unless you have a Minority Report style society). You can only discourage them from doing so by providing different severity disincentives, penalties and repercussions.

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by JasonM » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:21 pm

CoreyPlover wrote:You can only discourage them from doing so by providing different severity disincentives, penalties and repercussions.
(.. or far more attractive alternatives).

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Does any user go to a site like pirate bay for any other purpose than to steal someone else's property?

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ryanb » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:29 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:Does any user go to a site like pirate bay for any other purpose than to steal someone else's property?
Would it matter if they did? You seem to be pretty sure that it's sole purpose it to "provide copyright protected material to thieves", so really, shouldn't any other use be insignificant in your eyes?

I assume this is forumadmin's reply??
Unless you have a different English language education to mine you would understand that a question mark has a defined meaning at the end of a sentence. It carries no other connotation.

My reply: Not in this context. The second part of your question is structured like a statement and could be put in another sentence as purely a statement to achieve the same meaning. ie. "Why shouldn't Exetel 'null route' a site such as Pirate Bay which exists solely to provide copyright protected material to thieves?"
Last edited by ryanb on Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by CoreyPlover » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:58 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:Does any user go to a site like pirate bay for any other purpose than to steal someone else's property?
That isn't the point.

Customers do not like others making ethical, legal or even rationale decisions for them. Bear in mind that there were customers that objected to the free migration from ADSL1 to ADSL2+ simply because they irrationally felt it was detrimental to them.

People will almost always oppose others making decisions on their behalf, no matter how sensible, rational or justified they might be.

Edit: Just playing devil's advocate here, but in their trial, Pirate Bay claim that "nearly 80 percent of tracked content was actually authorized and not copyrighted" and that noted that "the Pirate Bay actually has less pirated content than YouTube". I don't believe the first statement, but the second is quite possible.

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by ForumAdmin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:39 am

CoreyPlover wrote:
Edit: Just playing devil's advocate here, but in their trial, Pirate Bay claim that "nearly 80 percent of tracked content was actually authorized and not copyrighted" and that noted that "the Pirate Bay actually has less pirated content than YouTube". I don't believe the first statement, but the second is quite possible.
So is a defence for piracy that "I don't pirate as much material as someone else so it's OK?"

Isn't that along the lines of the pack rapist saying "I only raped her once so I'm not as guilty as my mate who raped her twice".

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by Dazzled » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:06 am

Gee, this is getting a little heated, with a moral dimension, not helped by referring to thieves and stealing. Copyright is just that - a right, a monopoly, granted by governments. It was not revealed on Mt Sinai. An acceptable balance is supposed to be found by our allegedly benign rulers between the interests of the copyright holder, and those of the rest of us. There is nothing "moral" about copyright, and while the law may punish breaches quite severely, this is not really stealing.

The major part of this problem - it goes far beyond overpriced infantile music - is that so-called "intellectual property", lawyer-speak for privileges, has been thoughtlessly extended to the point where fewer and fewer will fully support the legal constructs, which are increasingly artificial (in the case of many patents, downright ludicrous) - it's not just about hordes of teenage half-wits, nor is it about easy moral judgements. There is a risk that the current case will only worsen this mess with lawyers once more being the only beneficiaries.

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Re: Latest UK Moves Against Copyright Breaches

Post by CoreyPlover » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:07 pm

I agree that things are getting a little heated. Essentially, there are two competing stakeholders here:
  • Exetel directors who risk losing everything because of future adverse litigation
  • Users, who regardless of any rational argument or motives, desire free-speech and uncensored internet experience
Naturally, when directors ask users "what would be the impact if servers such as Pirate Bay were null routed" they are not going to get many desirable (or even relevant) answers. So perhaps it is best to step away from arguments and ethics and address the realistic implications of such a policy.

In my opinion, the most realistic repercussions of Exetel null routing such sites would be that:
  • Any attempt to null route such sites will be met with *extreme* opposition by users and the wider internet community
  • There will likely be a huge amount of misreporting and misunderstanding of this policy that magnifies the problem (just look at the web filtering trial for evidence of this and imagine it scaled by many orders of magnitude)
  • No justification (even one that states that these sites exist for the distribution of copyright material and any legitimate content these sites might provide can be obtained elsewhere) will be able to stop the flood of negative publicity arising from such a policy.
  • Should Exetel find a way to withstand this barrage, they will emerge with an improved (albeit lower) user base because many users with prevalence for downloading copyright material will have sought out other providers
  • Exetel will be stronger placed to withstand any future litigation
So, the implications of such a policy hinge critically on how well Exetel can withstand the onslaught of outrage that is guaranteed to eventuate. I think that two aspects that need to be addressed to minimise the negative impact on Exetel are:
  • A comprehensive education campaign to inform users of Exetel's intents (one key issue with, say, the changes to off-peak is that users were not educated about Exetel's motives)
  • A very well designed and prominent web page that would feature high on search results that explains the facts of the policy so that the public does not get misled by the misreporting and lies that are bound to arise

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