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US claims all .com and .net websites are in its jurisdiction (theinquirer.net)
253 points by pixdamix on July 5, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 153 comments



England, February 2014: In other news, the Internet Service Providers' Association announced today that no major English ISP now relies on Verisign, the US company formerly responsible for administering major domains such as .com and .net worldwide.

This follows a ruling at the European Court last year that Verisign's actions in blocking the domain of German business Musikjetzt GmbH constituted an unlawful restraint of trade, and a subsequent European decision that all primary DNS management should be run under the newly formed United Nations Internet Oversight Service.

The Musikjetzt service allows music fans to stream their favourite songs on demand under the new copyright collective licensing regulations introduced Europe-wide in early 2013, and has sharply increased the consumption of music by independent artists.

Shares in major US record labels have fallen over 40% in the past year, which industry insiders have repeatedly blamed on the way that Europeans "don't respect copyrights." As one CEO put it, "If they won't respect our rules voluntarily, we have to make them respect them."

A spokeman for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said "Economic attacks on fundamental US industries are a bigger threat than terrorism, and we will always respond accordingly."

No-one from the Recording Industry Association of America was available for comment.


I worry that brussels and the UN are both just as bad as the US government, only a number of years behind them. The UN doesn't throw its weight around violating people's rights in large part because it doesn't have the power to do so.

I think the entire DNS system needs to be out of the hands of government bodies of any type, preferably relying on a cooperative, distributed solution, like the internet itself (theoretically) does/can.

I think it is amazing how divorced from US law the US government has become. Seizing domains without having previously gotten a conviction for a crime is against the law, and the idea that a DNS lookup is the same as "routing all traffic thru the US" is absurd as well. DNS records are cached globally.

I'm afraid that the solutions will have to be technical, and not governmental.


Oh? I kind of see it as the US gov have already been throwing their weight around, and the spare tire is hitting us all. Didn't Darpa recently not want to completely give up power over the internet, allowing something like this to happen?


>I think the entire DNS system needs to be out of the hands of government bodies of any type, preferably relying on a cooperative, distributed solution, like the internet itself (theoretically) does/can.

There was a small project a while back at the start of the domain seizures where a few people tried to develop a .p2p domain that relied on, you guessed it, peer to peer distribution of DNS records, effectively making it impossible to seize domains. I don't really know where it went, but considering I've never heard of them again I'd say the project's dead.


From http://dot-p2p.org/

> We currently believe the best way to create a stable environment for TLDs is to enact a central authority. We know this will cause much argument within the community, but we have made the decision that we believe will be best for the continued development of this project.

That, being against the whole point of it, probably killed it.


As if EU politicians weren't letting american IP lobbies bully the sh out of them and just passing laws that mirror american IP laws.

As a Spaniard and thanks to Wikileaks we've had the inside info on how the spanish government dropped their pants and let the american ambassador have a say on our IP enforcing laws so they followed the american lobby agenda. And we were one of the most rebel EU countries, others went down way easier... (Allô la France!)


A man can dream....


FYI, .com/net/org have always belonged to the United States.

In the same way that .ca belongs to Canada, com/net/org/us belong to the US. Think of them as the sponsoring organization that originally created them.

The only thing the US government has ever given up is control over the registry and DNS management. Under a MoU[1] that facility was handed over to ICANN with the understanding that they would select US based private sector companies to take on the duties.

Other TLDs that are sponsored internationally but managed in the US (like .me or .ws) is a whole different issue, but this one is pretty clean cut.

1. http://www.icann.org/en/general/icann-mou-25nov98.htm


It does seem problematic that all the generic TLDs (whose value over ccTLDs is obvious) are US-controlled. Maybe the imminent explosion of new gTLDs will help.


You can make a million brands of beverage, but everyone will still grab a Coke or a Pepsi from the shelf.

The new gTLD program is just a money land-grab. It's been well known within the domain industry that firing up a new TLD is one of the most profitable things you can do. Between speculators and brand protection agencies you are guaranteed a minimum of 100k+ registrations. Multiply that by $20-$30 bucks a pop.


Or in the case of gTLDs make that $185,000 per name applied-for.

In other news, ICANN is starting an "international development initiative". http://blog.cira.ca/2011/06/new-gtlds-icann-international-de...


The .COM domain has always been international in nature, not a country domain restricted to the US. See the extract of RFC 1591 below. Or have I missed something?

It is fairly clear that .US is for US companies, .COM is international commercial, and the .GOV and .MIL domains are restricted to the US.

RFC 1591 (March 1994) http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1591.txt

"Each of the generic TLDs was created for a general category of organizations. The country code domains (for example, FR, NL, KR, US) are each organized by an administrator for that country. ... These administrators are performing a public service on behalf of the Internet community. Descriptions of the generic domains and the US country domain follow.

Of these generic domains, five are international in nature, and two are restricted to use by entities in the United States.

World Wide Generic Domains:

COM - This domain is intended for commercial entities, that is companies. ...

EDU - This domain was originally intended for all educational institutions. ...

NET - This domain is intended to hold only the computers of network providers, that is the NIC and NOC computers, the administrative computers, and the network node computers. ...

ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. ...

INT - This domain is for organizations established by international treaties, or international databases.

United States Only Generic Domains:

GOV - This domain was originally intended for any kind of government office or agency. More recently a decision was taken to register only agencies of the US Federal government in this domain. State and local agencies are registered in the country domains (see US Domain, below).

MIL - This domain is used by the US military.

Example country code Domain:

US - As an example of a country domain, the US domain provides for the registration of all kinds of entities in the United States on the basis of political geography, ..."


.edu domains are only granted to organisations accredited as providing higher education by the U.S. Department of Education.

Wikipedia claims that it started out as a general TLD, as did .gov and .mil, and only became attached to the Dep. Education in 2001, which I am sure is wrong - I'm sure they adminstered it earlier.


"The only thing the US government has ever given up is control over the registry and DNS management. Under a MoU[1] that facility was handed over to ICANN ..."

That's just a bureaucratic illusion. As we can see from recent domain seizures, the feds can take over any of these domains, unilaterally, and without any notice or due process.


Assets used in the commission of a crime can be seized regardless of if you are charged or even found guilty of that crime. Cars, boats, and houses are regularly seized from suspected drug dealers.

None of these people have been deprived of due process. The due process is to go to the courts to challenge it.

If you don't like either of these points, you'll need to go to the courts and have the laws changed or thrown out. Thats how America works.

EDIT: Downvotes are not how you disagree on HN. Well thought out replies are.


I think it depends on what you mean by "due process." If you mean "whatever the law says the government can do, and/or what the government customarily does," there may have been no violation of due process.

However, the phrase "due process" also often means "what the law should say the government should do." Such an interpretation usually appeals to a higher moral authority, the Constitution, etc. This is how people often criticize the PATRIOT Act for violating due process, even though the PATRIOT Act defines clear processes to be followed. These people are saying, in effect, that the processes defined by existing law don't count as "due process."

You are right that court challenges are the way to fix problematic laws. But I disagree that "none of these people have been deprived of due process," because I think that any process worthy of being called "due process" should involve, among others, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and a bunch of documents signed by judges. I don't know what the law is really like in the US, but seizing property in the absence of a criminal conviction (except temporarily, to gather evidence) sounds like a gross violation of due process.


This is a circular argument.

"Assets used in the commission of a crime can be seized regardless of if you are charged or even found guilty of that crime."

If you don't have to prove there was a crime then how can you claim that the assets were used in the crime? This would mean the government/police could seize assets with nothing more than finger pointing. I'm ignorant of the law here, but I thought you were innocent until proven guilty. Not "innocent sans assets until proven otherwise."


That's how it works, now. There is no burden of proof.


Welcome to American-style legal logic.


You're making an assertion of a fact of law when you say: "Assets used in the commission of a crime can be seized regardless of if you are charged or even found guilty of that crime." This is the perspective of those who agree with the Asset Forfeiture law.

However, the constitution is also the law, and the fourth amendment is pretty clear on the matter. Further, other federal laws make it a crime to violate constitutional rights, due process, etc.

If the constitution is the highest law of the land, then every one of these illegal seizures is a crime. If the constitution is not the highest law of the land, then the Asset Forfieture law, which was enacted by congress that was created by the constitution, is null and void because the congress is null and void.

Further, in Mabury v. Madison the supreme court ruled that any law contrary to the constitution was null and void the moment it was enacted, not the moment it is struck down.

This means everyone participating in these thefts of property without due process are liable for their criminal acts.

Due Process requires that a conviction be obtained before seizing assets.

If you want to amend the constitution, there is a procedure for doing so. It requires more than just the congress passing a law.


Civil forfeiture law has been rapidly expanded by the war on drugs. It hasn't been part of "how America works" for very long. I'd say it is an example of "how America doesn't work" and a perversion of the fourth amendment.


This is why I store all my vacation homes and yachts on a hidden TrueCrypt partition.


Too late to edit, replying to save myself from the HN army...

Just because I explained how it works, dosen't mean I agree with the policy. US asset seizure and forfeiture laws suck. They are an abuse of the "war on drugs" powers in the same way that wholesale wiretapping is an abuse of the "war on terror" powers.

Stop downvoting me like I had something to do with the creation of this system!


> EDIT: Downvotes are not how you disagree on HN. Well thought out replies are.

Well thought out posts get well thought out replies.

For one, we're talking about foreigners here and you're saying they aren't deprived of due process - they merely need to come to American courts to get the laws changed. Hello!?

Second, you're missing the whole "your TLD is one of ours so you're in our jurisdiction no matter where you are" angle to this. The USA is attempting, yet again, to make its laws global.

Third, even if this was just domain name seizure as you seem to think, the government didn't warn or even inform people, let alone charge them with something. They aren't even officially admitting to it such that you can appeal. Even for Americans there is no due process.

Fourth, your "just like our drug laws" attitude betrays an incredible lack of perspective. Your drug laws are only slightly better than Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Your forfeiture laws are not only fundamentally unjust but also rife with corruption.

Then you capped it off with "That's how America Works."

If you happened into a tech article on a subject you didn't know anything and added your opinion you'd be downvoted for getting in the way. Why should this be any different?


Pot calling the kettle black, much? Please stop the anti-American trolling. I've noticed you consistently go from thread to thread spreading anti-American propaganda without citing any facts and insulting others: Africa like how you stood by and watched Rwanda butcher itself, quibbling over using the word 'genocide' to avoid hurting your allies, and own, historical images.

Or how WW2 the USA waited out much of the war while its allies were getting pummeled. Joining the war only when the USA was attacked. As spoils the USA has military bases in Germany, Italy, Japan, etc, and joint political control of much oil-rich and strategically important territory: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2729132


Seems like you should be the one reading the guidelines: http://ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html


Is this post for real? I think this account should be banned, it has to be a troll.


"I don't even live there"


Is this a joke? I thought it might be serious until I read: ICE is not focusing its efforts just on web sites that stream dodgy content but those that link to them

Please tell me this is a joke. I don't know whether to laugh or be sad.


Be sad. Until these over reaching idiots get taken down and taken down hard, they will continue to prop up the entertainment industry even though it is the public that is both paying the freight and the penalty.


AFAIK here in Germany you can get in trouble for linking to illegal content. That includes linking to software like AnyDVD that cracks encryption. I think heise.de, a big German tech-news site, got in trouble over that.


Heise fought 6 years for the right to link to "illegal" Software while reporting about court decisions regarding that software. After countless lost proceedings in lower courts, they finally won at the end of 2010, where the Federal court (the highest instance below the constitutional court) decided in Heise's favor that links are an essential feature of the freedom of online press and thus protected. This sadly does not include linking in general, only news coverage, but it was an epic win for press freedom anyway, since it was de facto illegal for the last 6 years even for the press, due to all the negative decisions by the lower courts.


I think the point of the parent post was that ICE is only focusing on people linking to 'illegal streaming sites,' but not going after 'illegal streaming sites' themselves, which seems somewhat backwards. That would be like the "War on Drugs" focusing on arresting people that point out where you can find drug dealers, but not bothering to go after actual drug dealers.


It didn't actually say that. Where does it say streaming sites?

Do you go for the seeders or do you go after the torrent search engines? One is whack a mole, one is destroy the C&C.

I know which one I'd choose.

It's more analogous to ignoring the street level criminals and going after the Don, who never get his hands dirty any more but is directing all those that do.

Edit: I'm not arguing for or against, just want to point out that there's no point going after the individual seeders.


  > It didn't actually say that. Where does it say streaming sites?
See:

  > ICE is not focusing its efforts just on web sites that stream dodgy content
  > but those that link to them
I realize that I misread the quote to say that they were just going after sites that link to them though.

I also don't understand how you are equating this with torrent search engines. Only some of the domains seized were torrent search engines.


I think the point is that they aren't just going after illegal streaming sites, but also people linking to them. To use your analogy, they're going after drug dealers and people who tell you where you can find drug dealers.


> people who tell you where you can find drug dealers.

... people who get paid to direct you to the nearest drug dealer, and only to drug dealers, organized by type of drug, quality, and potentially even with a rating system.

These sites are more than just innocent passers-by. They aren't the "drug dealer," but they aren't just a dude on the street who bought drugs that one time and might know a guy. Where the line is drawn between facilitation and not facilitation, I don't know. But where some say "they're identical to Google," I personally see a very large, obvious distinction.


  > But where some say "they're identical to Google,"
  > I personally see a very large, obvious distinction.
If Google's 'Product Search' links you to a website where you identity is stolen, is Google liable? Should the government 'crack down' on Google?


Again, if you are incapable of seeing the distinction between a general-purpose search engine which indexes the entire web and a website dedicated overwhelmingly to links to copyrighted content (including categorization features, rating systems, subsections devoted entirely to individual television programs), then we must just view the world differently.


Contributory copyright violation is a long standing element of copyright case law[1].

The parent poster is right under the current law (despite the downvotes). Google Product Search has numerous non-infringing uses, whereas a site that exists to do nothing more than link to pirated content will have a lot more difficulty in showing they aren't contributing to copyright violation.

The biggest, most recent case involving this was Grokster vs MGM [2]

The court found:

We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties[3]

Wikipedia has a good discussion of the ruling:

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Kennedy and Rehnquist, claim that "[t]his case differs markedly from Sony" based on insufficient evidence of noninfringing uses. On the other hand, Justice Breyer, joined by Stevens and O'Connor, claims "a strong demonstrated need for modifying Sony (or for interpreting Sony's standard more strictly) has not yet been shown," primarily because "the nature of [...] lawfully swapped files is such that it is reasonable to infer quantities of current lawful use roughly approximate to those at issue in Sony.[3]

The key point is * non infringing uses*. The court needs to be convinced that they exist, and this occurs on a case-by-case basis.

You (and I) may not like this law, but that is how it currently is being interpreted.

IANAL, etc.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributory_liability#Contribu...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grokster#The_history_of_the_cas...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGM_Studios,_Inc._v._Grokster,_...


Barnett, assistant deputy director of ICE: "The idea is to try to prosecute."

If I remember correctly, in the few cases that the domains were confiscated, there was no prosecution, no courts involved. The owners of the domains had practically no means to question or challenge the seizure. At least that's what the media reported at the time.


I'll get downvoted for this.

Argument (I don't completely agree, but someone will make it sometime)- I think it is not good for humanity to trust the jurisdiction of a country which has demonstrated tainted judgement by getting involved in nuclear weapons and given their recent involvements in the middle east. The United States is not the country whose jurisdiction should control any form of worldwide open platform.

Just a thought. This stuff needs some sort of international law. No jurisdiction in the world is good enough to rule the web, in any damned way. We cannot take our narrow minds into the future for our race.


> getting involved in nuclear weapons

Pretty much every western country has nuclear weapons. If you're referencing the fact that the US is the only country to have dropped nuclear weapons on another country, keep in mind that it wasn't until 30 or so years later that we realized how bad nuclear weapons are.

Hell, in the 80s, at my uni, there was an experiment to see if you could use nuclear radiation to clean toilet water.

Don't get me wrong though, I agree with your other points.


Pretty much every? No http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countries_with_nuclear_weapons

Nuclear radiation is very different to weapons, your local major hospital has a dozen different uses for radiation (more powerful than cleaning water).


If these sites are in the jurisdiction of the US, aren't they also entitled to the same right of due process? Have any of these seizures been challenged in court? And if so, what's the status of the cases?


One, to my knowledge, and ICE and DoJ engaged in some... rather dubious behavior in response to the target attempting to discuss the actions in good faith.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110613/12021514673/rojadi...


Only US citizens have the right of due process.


That's not the case; non-citizens under U.S. jurisdiction also have due-process rights. For example, despite him being a French citizen, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is entitled to the standard Constitutional rights in his criminal trial, including things like being read Miranda rights, not being forced to testify against himself, and receiving a trial that accords with due process. If any of that were violated, he could appeal his case and the appeal would be heard in the same manner as if he were a U.S. citizen being tried in the same New York courts. Even foreign corporations have due-process rights; for example, Texas cannot simply seize a refinery owned by BP without some kind of legal process.

The only cases I'm aware of where it's more murky are: 1) non-citizens held by the U.S. armed forces outside the territory of the U.S., alleged to be "enemy combatants"; and 2) illegal aliens awaiting deportation, who do still have some limited right to due process in challenging their deportation proceedings, but there's more controversy around it.


You're absolutely correct here. The 4th Amendment (giving protection from unreasonable search and seizure) starts off, "the right of the people...", not "the right of the citizens". Together with the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause, non-citizens get the same protections.

That said, the doctrine used in asset seizure cases (generally connected to the failed war on drugs) is that it's the seized property itself that is suspected to be guilty, and property doesn't have any of these rights. One can easily imagine them trying the same crap here.


Yeah, on the latter point, I agree that the odds are stacked against any claim. But they'd be stacked against a claim by a U.S. citizen, too; apart from the added expense of litigation, I don't think a foreign company would be at an extra disadvantage in trying to get their domain name back, just the "normal" disadvantage that comes with trying to fight administrative property seizures.


You know, I didn't actually know that. Thanks for the clarification.


Unless, in certain cases one law overrules another even thought the two are completely separate. Case in point: https://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=139484910828&topi...

Note: I am not concerned with immigration, but de-facto denial of basic rights and discrimination on the basis of nationality in cases where those rights are basic human rights, and not privileges granted by the state.


This particular linked case appears inextricably tied up with immigration, though. The person in question isn't alleging that he's being denied rights in any manner other than via the fact that he isn't allowed to legally live in the US. That's a bit different from the question of whether non-citizens caught up in the U.S. legal system (in either a criminal or civil case) have the same rights during the proceedings as citizens do.


The state should enforce visitation and joint custody rights. Whether it is by giving the foreigner a right to stay in the US, or by enabling and enforcing the travel of the child is up to the US government. I think that will be fair enough for those foreigners who are citizens of another country. It is slightly more complicated for refugees or stateless people, but it still should be on similar lines. Anything less is a travesty of human rights and justice.

Japan gets a lot of flak for their policies on this issue, but it should be dealt with in all countries and for all people, including illegal immigrants, deported people or unpopular groups because while the state or people can choose to deport someone, they shouldn't ever be able to steal your kids. The post I linked to seemed to be using it as an immigration issue. That is not what I am arguing though.


"By definition, almost all copyright infringement and trademark violation is transnational."

By definition? By definition!?

If that's the case, then as long as the bulk of pirates are in the same country as the copyright owner, then by definition, no violation has occurred.


Suddenly I am happy only the .org was available for my new project.

I am wondering though: Couldn't the US make similar claims on .org and .us (and .edu, .biz?) domains?


Yes. .org is ran within the US too. So are .info, .biz, .edu, .me, .ws, and a bunch more. The problem is most of the ccTLDs are actually operated by one of three companies, all of which are based in the US.


I was checking to see if my .asia domain was safe, and found out that .info, .org, and my beloved .asia tld are operated by Afilias which, according to wikipedia, "is headquartered in Dublin".

I'm prepared to believe that wikipedia is wrong, but you'll have to prove it. with references, citations, and what not :)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Irish_Arrangement

The companies you are really looking for are Afilias USA, Inc and Afilias LLC. If they were really based out of Ireland, their IP space would be allocated by RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) instead of ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers).


Isn't .me a Montenegro's TLD and belongs under its laws?


I think this is typical U.S. spoilt brat mentality. We need a new internet :).


Yes I agree. I think this typical U.S. spoilt brat mentality. We need a new internet :).


Marked down?! For what?


Verisign is operator of the authoritative domain name registry for the .com and .net top-level domains. Verisign is headquartered in Virginia, and as such, the "property" of the domain is located in the United States and is subject to the jurisdiction of our courts.

This isn't new, and it's why anti-cybersquatting legislation (15 U.S.C. §1125) can be enforced.



Hmm. Personally this is how I always thought of the original generic TLDs (com/net/org). In my head I think I even applied the idea to .xxx, .aero and what-not as well. Pretty much how I expect Libya to do whatever they want with the .ly domain.

This seizing of domains has been kind of the de-facto behavior for at least some five years by now. In my head this new policy does not change anything (don't run gambling sites on a .com domain etc?). Hell, I might even go as far as to say that it might be a positive thing if there was no such thing as a generic TLD. Most corporations registers all their domains globally anyway (whether that is good or bad is another story).

Not the most relevant Google query, but it takes the idea home, I guess: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=us+seizes+domain+20... -- I didn't bother looking for older entries than that.


Why is online piracy such a big business (and hence a problem to the rights holders)? Because there are no comparable legal alternatives. So instead of technology and business innovation, let's do legal innovation and sue them people regardless of where they are.


>Why is online piracy such a big business (and hence a problem to the rights holders)? Because there are no comparable legal alternatives.

I want to agree with you, because I wish that was the case, but it isn't. The 15-25 set just doesn't care. If they can get a movie for free on bittorrent, or pay $20/mo to stream as many as they want, they'll go for bittorrent the majority of the time.


I have to disagree with you quite a bit... the 15-25's care immensely about this. They might not express it the same we do, but media consumption (and in some cases production) is their entire life. They want to consume as quickly and easily as possible. BitTorrent and other "black market" sources are currently the easiest and fastest ways to consume their media.

My sister also (like my sibling comment) tried Netflix, Hulu, and the other streaming media systems. Netflix doesn't have the content they care about, Hulu was great until they were flooded with commercials. The first media business that figures out how to sell to this generation will get adoption quickly.

This isn't a new story. They've been trying (and getting close: look at the SNL digital shorts and marketing campaigns like the Old Spice Guy) but so far haven't quite won over BitTorrent et al. yet. The longer they wait, the closer their product gets to the $0.99 song from iTunes in that the average consumer won't be willing to pay much more than $1 for it.


The first media business that figures out how to sell to this generation will get adoption quickly.

It's too soon to tell, but the model Apple has taken with iTunes Match seems promising. Basically, instead of selling access to the media (which they already do), they're selling a cloud service that's useful even if you already have the media. And they manage to not compete with themselves because the service is free if you buy the media from them. So free that it's not even a service, it's just the way their store works now.

The usage patterns of TV and movies are different than music, but they aren't so different that something like that couldn't work.


I'm going to assume you're not in the 15-25 set, by even claiming there's wide commonality between people 15 and 25 years old. 18-25, perhaps.

The first major difference is that people approaching 25 have a great deal more money than people at 15.

All that aside, I for one notice a huge predilection in my peers (of the 19-22 set)to buy into services such as hulu and netxflix, and to look there first for their media. Why? Because the services are instant, cheap, and of much better than most pirated media.

FYI, netflix charges $8 a month...significantly less than the 20 you site.


I'm 24, and yes, there is a wide commonality in this group of people.

15 is usually around the age that kids start getting proficient enough with their computer that they can figure out how to bootleg movies. 25 is about the time that they mature out of it.

>The first major difference is that people approaching 25 have a great deal more money than people at 15.

Do they? Most of the people that I know around that age (I'm that age) have very little disposable income. While netflix (which doesn't have even remotely close to the same amount of titles as TPB) is only $8/mo, that $8/mo is a 12 pack of PBR.

>All that aside, I for one notice a huge predilection in my peers (of the 19-22 set)to buy into services such as hulu and netxflix, and to look there first for their media.

Are your peers mostly wealthy (relatively) computer programmers?

>significantly less than the 20 you [c]ite

Netflix and TPB aren't competitors. Do you think that major movie studios would offer all of their titles for $8/mo? There is already several massive experiments (netflix, hulu) taking place to test this, and the result is: no, they wouldn't.


I can't argue on any point except your money point, given my own experiences. (except for the fact that as netflix and TPB are sources for simmilar goods, then yes, they are competitors)

My peers are generally not computer programmers, no, nor do they have much disposable income. They do live in the the united states, which means realtive certian other populations, they are insanely wealthy. We scrape by in the lower end of cost of living in this nation with large student debts, and housing costs in the range of $400 a month...from that, it isn't hard to split a netflix bill two or three ways. It costs, effectively, spare change to buy a netflix account between three people. Seriously on the margin of 80% of the people I know have a netflix account, with far fewer understanding the mechanics of bootlegging movies. We have netflix before we have a tv subscription.


>15 is usually around the age that kids start getting proficient enough with their computer that they can figure out how to bootleg movies. 25 is about the time that they mature out of it.

Asserting that pirating is a question of maturity first and foremost is a very daring thing to do, to say the least.


Services such as Netflix and Hulu are not available in most countries, and if they are, selection is terrible.


Yeah that's the issue in Canada which has Netflix but the selection is so attrocious it's not even funny. All this because for Netflix it's a pain in the ass to have to negotiate for the same content in all the jurisdictions and that media conglomerates don't trust canadians due to our perceived soft copyright laws. Give me a brake.

I saw a report the other day on lower CD sales for local Quebec music. The whole time they were calling for the end of the world, then at the end of the show they mention that online sales are up. Nothing explaining why CDs are better for artist than online sales through iTunes and others. Nothing that says if the majority of loss sales are now digital purchases or if the total amount of buying is down. Instead it's the same bullshit stuff. CDs are down and we are making less money from CD sales. We need taxes on MP3 players that go (I don't get how exactly) to the artists etc...

Sorry that was unrelated as a rant but this is just how annoyed I am with the situation.


>Yeah that's the issue in Canada which has Netflix but the selection is so attrocious it's not even funny. All this because for Netflix it's a pain in the ass to have to negotiate for the same content in all the jurisdictions and that media conglomerates don't trust canadians due to our perceived soft copyright laws.

Consider that Rogers and Bell don't want to make it easy for anyone to steal their market share. I don't have cable, but I'd pay for Hulu, if it were available here. Look at the recent Internet Metering attempt by Rogers and Bell to stifle innovation in the way Canadians get TV and Movies.


You can pay for a VPN and get Hulu (and Pandora, and whatever else you're not "allowed" to use) in Canada. It's crazy that this is the kind of thing we have to do in order to circumvent the silly IP/location restrictions that exist today.


netflix US is also crappy. What makes you think it's better?

Proof: Take a look at their top 100. only 2 you can stream in the US, all the 98 others are via DVD only.


False dichotomy. You can't "pay $20/mo to stream as many as you want". The available selection from services like Netflix and Hulu is extremely limited.

Many in the "15-25 set" pay about $20/mo to download through an offshore VPS, private trackers and servers. This money would go to the content holders if they didn't cripple their "precious content" with bundling packages, intrusive advertisements, DRM and region restrictions.


I think it comes down to whatever is easiest. If $20/month gets me the shows I want when I want, I'll do that. If it doesn't? Bittorrent it is.


I think it's more the have a full time professional income set vs not. I used bittorrent a lot as a student, but nowadays half the time I don't bother and pay for it anyways where in the past I would spend the time to search for it.


Do you have anything to back up that claim?

My sister is in that range and she and most of her friends pay for content when they can, or so she tells me.


Way more 15-25 year olds pay for content than you would think, just less so in the 15-25 techie crowd.


It's not that they don't care they just can't afford it. If you restrict yourself to legal stuff you have to consider the price and you may have to decide. If you can get everything for free you take everything.

This is very obvious with music. Everybody I know has a music collection far bigger than what they could reasonably afford.


I'm 24. I have only one friend who will pirate movies and tv if they are also available via a convenient legal means.


Steam.

FTFY.


Also, GOG. It doesn't even use DRM.


I wonder where this will end? Claiming all packets that go through the US are in its jurisdiction? All packets that go through routers supplied by American companies who provide finance for the router? All packets that go through routers owned by a company who has 1 or more American shareholders?


I think they may be shooting themselves in the foot with all this litigation against copy infringers. Once it becomes impractical to share files using bit torrent, people will probably just switch to mildly less convenient but more secure methods, like free net.


Then .com's should be phased out. Migrate all .com to .co.us.


Haha, as much as it should, this is not going to happen. The USA does what it wants and everyone else acquiesces or faces repercussions. ICANN may be "international", but remember where it's based.


Why? A TLD doesn't have to explicitly reference the country in which it's based. The big TLDs started in the US, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they're still under the US jurisdiction.

That said, fragmenting the internet into nationalistic TLD silos will probably have some negative consequences for the cross cultural nature of the internet, and it might help to give the non-obviously nation-based TLDs over to an international ruling body.

It's something to be weighed by the US govt. I hope they consider both sides carefully.


Just because the US has historically had jurisdiction doesn't mean they always should forever. ICE has taken actions recently that proves conclusively they don't deserve this authority.


How would moving everyone to Colorado help?


.com is not a broken system, and .co.us is not as easy to type. Other than to strictly conform, I don't see any point in it.


Articles like these demonstrate that .com is a broken system.


Perhaps I'm missing something, but why would ICE have anything to do with copyright in the first place, regardless of whether their jurisdiction claims are upheld/fair? How does copyright fall under either immigration or customs?


How does copyright fall under either immigration or customs?

Think bootleg DVDs. According to the linked Guardian article, most of the domains ICE has seized were selling counterfeit physical goods.


Selling and Free[1] are interchangeable, as well as physical and digital, in your statement. Realistically, there isn't much difference between a counterfeit luxury handbag being sold for $20 out of the back of some shady shop and an illegitimate copy of a blockbuster movie being given out for free[1], over the internet or hand to hand.

[1] Key point: These domains being seized aren't actually giving away streams or download links for free, they're being reimbursed through ad revenue or affiliate programs.

Side note: A popular watch brand's repair facility in the USA gets a large number of counterfeit watches in for repair every day. They would like to see these thing eradicated, but are restricted by law to not seize the fake goods, after all they have no proof that someone somewhere profited from the production of the fake watch, which be definition is infringement. Anyone can replicate a popular product, but the moment it starts to compete with the original on the marketplace, it is copyright infringement. Blindly stealing fake watches from potential customers is illegal. So, this Watch company, if it desires to do so, will ask the customer if they would like to sell the watch to the company. If the customer agrees, they inform them that selling counterfeit goods is illegal, and they then have jurisdiction to seize the fake watch.


Sorry, this comment has entirely too many incorrect or unsupported claims... Don't quit your day job for that legal career yet.


Customs is used to seizing things, so if you want something seized you call Customs.


How does copyright fall under either immigration or customs?

The US off-shored the facilities for production of physical media, that's how. Not that CDs and DVDs were ever much of a US thing to begin with.


Maybe all those .ly domain names aren't such a bad idea after all...


With the way things are going, I am expecting .ly to be in U.S. jurisdiction before long...


Oh dear, why did I by a .net for my personal domain.... ><


Are there addresses that no country can't claim as in their jurisdiction?

Seems to me that you have to be in jurisdiction somewhere. Not to argue that American jurisdiction is necessarily the best..


.onion ? Technically not a real DNS entry, and is not present in DNS root.


I get that they can take the domain away, but to seek extradition and US charges in court seems absurd.


Intentionally or not this is an excellent way to force the "distributed control" issues of the Internet. It is only a matter of time before other countries (non-US) demand greater say in the control of the policies. This should be an interesting issue and relevant to all users of the Net in the long run.


Everyone else claims .us is in the US jurisdiction.

How will this stop anything? Wasn't .com handed to the UN to manage?


.com is managed by US company VeriSign with oversight from ICANN. Some people want to turn ICANN over to the UN or ITU, but the US Dept. of Commerce has held onto it with the argument that the UN allows evil countries to vote and we wouldn't want to give them any level of control over ICANN, however small.


with the argument that the UN allows evil countries to vote

I won't vouch for their exact argument, but this was around the time Sudan was elected to the Commission on Human Rights.


Sounds like a good time to start selling those .com/.net domains I've got stashed away.


Are there currently any TLDs that are not under the control of a country?


Well, PirateBay is a .org


PirateBay will be whatever it needs to be, so will other, similar websites. Domain seizures don't even sound like a viable method of actually thwarting piracy.


That's why I want to see alternative DNS services (TLD) take off...


http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2826 (informational), IAB Technical Comment on the Unique DNS Root, Internet Architecture Board, The Internet Society (May 2000), Quote: "There is no getting away from the unique root of the public DNS." (page 5)


tl; dr

ICE spokesperson: All your domain are belong to U.S.


+1 for having more than one domain for your (user content generated) startup.


I ask this completely seriously. What would it take to declare the domain of the internet as its own sovereign entity? The internet to me has become greater than just a communications network. It is a place where people connect/work/play. DNS is a natural resource, and should be regulated by all that is affected by it.


It's certainly interesting, but I don't think the internet could be considered its own sovereign entity. One major problem is that the "internet" is just an emergent property of lots of connected machines, and all of those machines have to physically exist somewhere within another sovereign entity.


In the US, various Native American tribes exist as "sovereign nations," able to set many of their own laws that contradict those of the state. I'm not familiar enough with the law to know the limits of their sovereignty, but hypothetically a similar concept could be applied to any property hosting a node of the sovereign Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_sovereignty_in_the_Unite...


Reservations in the US are a special class of enclave, which means a sovereign nation that physically exists inside another country. Other examples include Lesotho (contained within South Africa) or Vatican City (contained within Italy). What doesn't exist, and what I have a hard time imagining, is this sort of "distributed enclave" that's been suggested - an entity that exists in multiple places, each of which is within a different sovereign entity. It seems like a flimsy arrangement. Who's to stop any one country from taking over "internet territory" within their borders?


Well, there's the SMOM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Military_Order_of_Mal...). Sovereign, but doesn't own any land except for a building in Rome.


What if the entity was a p2p program that was miraculously internationally recognized? The hard part to me convincing governments to give up power.


Ok it seems that more than a few people have had similar misconceptions, so I'm going to try to clear this up. The idea that the internet is a p2p network is a pernicious falsehood. The only real way that the Internet is a p2p network is in inter-AS routing. You are not part of the p2p Internet, your neighbor is not part of the p2p Internet, and your company is probably not part of the p2p Internet--you're just leasing use of the p2p Internet.

By this I mean that the Internet is fundamentally not as distributed as it seems. This is the flaw that most people who argue for wireless mesh networks have. The don't actually understand the technical complexity in how the Internet is run. But anyway, let's admit for the moment that the edge network is not decentralized (it is completely dependent on its ISP). Well, then the Internet is kind of decentralized, right? No. In order to cover the vast areas of land and ocean that connect the Internet we require massive fiber infrastructure development. But if that were somehow provided it would be distributed, right? No. As two Northwestern phd students and I measured in a paper in submission, more than 60% of p2p traffic passes through one of a handful of Tier 1 ISPs.

No matter how you swing it, the Internet is not really decentralized, it is balanced between a few powerful companies and governments (which thus have to operate under the law of their hosting countries). A distributed or unregulated Internet is a pipe dream.


This is the flaw that most people who argue for wireless mesh networks have.

I'm curious what you mean here. I am reasonably sure that mesh networks are actually distributed, at least internally. Are you referring about the Internet gateways that are generally a part of a mesh proposal, or possibly that mesh networks don't scale like centralized networks do?

A distributed or unregulated Internet is a pipe dream.

I think that we could create a truly distributed network. It would not be nearly as efficient as the Internet we are accustomed to, and it would not be based on the current Internet Protocol.


I'm curious what you mean here. I am reasonably sure that mesh networks are actually distributed, at least internally. Are you referring about the Internet gateways that are generally a part of a mesh proposal, or possibly that mesh networks don't scale like centralized networks do?

I'm saying that mesh networks are 1) not connectable on the scale of the Internet and 2) not scalable.

I think that we could create a truly distributed network. It would not be nearly as efficient as the Internet we are accustomed to, and it would not be based on the current Internet Protocol.

No offense but many DS papers have been published in this area and most aren't even positive in the theoretical sense, much less the practical. Crudely, I think it's time to put code where your mouth is ;)


Crudely, I think it's time to put code where your mouth is

Ah, you have me there. Actually, I am interested in this space and would appreciate a good academic overview. Maybe some links to these papers you mention?



Most appreciated.


> What would it take to declare the domain of the internet as its own sovereign entity?

An army.


Does that make 4chan a sovereign entity?


A bunch of folks at keyboards are not an army.

http://xkcd.com/538/ contains some relevant wisdom.


> DNS is a natural resource,

Interesting idea, but I don't think this analogy works. Sovereign nations routinely assume complete control over natural resources located within their territories. (Maybe they shouldn't, but that's another argument.)


AFAIK, under international law for statehood it would require a permanent population, a defined territory, government and capacity to enter into relations with the other states.[1]

There is some precedent for non-states getting "international personhood" but so far its only happened to the UN and even that is only minimal personhood. [2] I don't think the logic would carry over.

Treating it as a natural resource would probably put it under the jurisdiction of states where it resides. At that point, maybe states can do what Equador did with nature and treat it as having fundamental rights in their constitution.

[1]http://www.taiwandocuments.org/montevideo01.htm [2]http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/4/1835.pdf (very long and I don't think mostly relevant).


Centralised DNS = bad. That's the issue.


It is a billion times better than decentralized DNS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file#History


if anyone is interested, i wrote a script to improve that a little. obviously it's no replacement for dns, but it makes it easier to share the data - it treats your hosts file as a database that can be both dumped to a file and updated from various sources, including web pages. https://github.com/ghettonet/GhettoNet


I imagine a decentralized DNS service based on the bitcoin network would be kinda cool.


Check out namecoin.


I had difficulty understanding namecoin. Do you simply pay for DNS registration with namecoins or is the DNS itself hosted in a decentralized and anonymous fashion?


You pay for the registration and update of names with namecoins and the data is stored in the namecoin blockchain. In this way it is decentralized. Lookups are done directly from the blockchain.


Or just .onion using Tor.


Interesting - thanks for the link.


It isn't just the domain names system, the whole way IP addresses are handled isn't much better.


Care to elaborate? I think the RIRs are doing a reasonable job, though if you don't like the needs-based approach to allocating addresses I could see the RIRs as disappointing.


if they even remotely try it, I bet each country will have their own dns server and broken internet. this clearly show that How gradually, USOFA do not have any intention to keep internet open. so it would be wise to move away from them while we can. ( only sometimes, once in a while, why it seems that china is better ? )


if they even remotely try it

They've been acting as though they had jurisdiction for a while; there have been tons of .com domains seized for non-US sites. This is just a confirmation of their position.


All your base are belong to us


I do not condone any lulz that may result from this, but this is the equivalent of dropping your soap in prison.




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