(Many other posts recommend overthrowing the government. I don't think this will work because it doesn't guarantee that the new government won't be corrupt; the kinds of people that want to be politicians will always exist and will always act in the same interests.)
As such, it's possible to see a list of all seized domains using a Reverse IP tool - e.g. http://viewdns.info/reverseip/?host=22.214.171.124
> The fact that the authorities have once again launched a large crackdown on “rogue” websites begs the question why this legislation is needed in the first place.
Isn't the difference that SOPA allows them to mandate blocking of non-US domains by service operators? I think it's pretty clear TLDs owned or operated in the US are a lost cause at this point unless other governments oppose the TLD sovereignty claims.
From what I have head they want SOPA to fix that by allowing them to block the domains they can't seize from being viewed within the US via a system like the one China uses.
So if you set up your site right the US government cannot stop anyone outside the US from viewing it.
I like his suggestion, and he is right. Nobody would dispute who gets to set the rules for .us or .ca, but the rules for .com and any TLD regarded as international are much muddier. Only having country TLDs would remove that ambiguity. Doesn't matter where the servers are hosted, you are under the jurisdiction of the TLD you choose to use.
And if anyone can figure out what server corresponds to what site, we haven't done enough work to protect anonymity on the Internet.
> I like his suggestion, and he is right. Nobody would dispute who gets to set the rules for .us or .ca, but the rules for .com and any TLD regarded as international are much muddier. Only having country TLDs would remove that ambiguity. Doesn't matter where the servers are hosted, you are under the jurisdiction of the TLD you choose to use.
"Regarded as international" or not, .com .net and .org get administered by US entities. TLDs "regarded as international" has about as much meaning as Internet sites "regarded as independent from country-specific regulation": namely, none unless we take steps to make it that way.
And people argue about that constantly, insist it's unfair, or shouldn't be the case. And there is some truth to that. In reality we can't truly genericize TLDs, someone will have to be the admin. This at least makes it somewhat clearer who has rights over what.
Does it solve every problem with IP ever? No. However, it would stop countries trying to apply laws to TLDs that they have no jurisdiction over and then insisting the US is playing police when they can't do so.
How does jurisdiction apply in this scenario?
This is a real question that has already been partly tested with the DeCSS incident. There are many creative ways to distribute "infringing material" that upset the traditional notion of legal jurisdictions.
Then the US stops getting to play copyright police with the .coms. It doesn't solve this frankly convoluted scenario when you are deliberately trying to be covert and avoid detection.
The funny thing is that a large percentage of those domains contain trademarked names. Can't the trademark owners go through normal channels (get court judgement, then file with ICANN) to grab the domains?
That involves tiresome due process.
The US government simply taking them by force is not the way these things are supposed to go down.
The laws are being misused by the party with deeper pockets.
I suppose (to my mind) the real question here is the due process.
Precedent established, then the net widens.
Warrantless everything, seizures without oversight, treat everyone like a criminal when they travel, simply live or go near the border and lose many constitutional rights, heavily arm law enforcement under the guise of "anti-terrorism" but instead use those weapons against peaceful protesters etc. etc.
What's strange and counterintuitive is that under democrat leadership it gets worse than republican because they are always afraid of being perceived as being "weak" so they overcompensate and are even more aggressive.
What's more ironic is we are critical of other governments who do these things.
18 USC § 981(b)
The domain name is registered through a U.S.-based registrar so it is subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
Private property rights for commercial use is one of the reasons why developed nations are developed. If I start a business in the US, I generally don't have to worry about someone else taking my trademark and selling fake versions of my stuff. From the viewpoint of a business owner, that's one reason why you'd setup a company in the US/Canada/Europe vs. China/Russia/etc.
I don't agree with the lack of due process, but I do think that securing economic rights to private property is a pretty dam good use of government resources.
The US system is founded in innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The requirements for this proof have been laid out and refined over 200 years. I think those requirements are not strict enough, but these seizures don't even include an actual trial, and thus deny the victims the right to defend their position, or make their case before a judge.
Earlier this year I heard about a hip-hop blog that was seized which engaged in no piracy... though it did offer songs that the record companies had given him as a form of promotion.
So, not only is this being done without due process, but it is being done incompetently to boot!
I have zero expectation that this won't become-- like the "drug war" and the "war on terrorism" -- an ever widening net to where it effectively becomes seizure of politically-incorrect domains (e.g.: write a post critical of the government on your blog? have no blog the next day...)
This is literally a form of government censorship of speech. Even if some speech is "illegal" (I don't think even pirate spreading domains are illegal, though there is a good civil case against them) the act of speaking is protected, and this right is acknowledged by the first amendment.
This is to me, very similar the whole #OWS movement's complaint - justice for all _who can afford it_...
Where do I sign up to the "Occupy the Root Nameservers Movement"?
No it's not. It's analogous to the police acting on a warrant to close a store front selling counterfeit goods. This is something that occurs constantly in large cities all over the country.
If a judge would ever issue a warrant to remove a DNS name based upon speech, and it's upheld, we have bigger problems than seizing DNS names.
From the horse's mouth: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/releases/2011/110316washingto...
19,959 seizures in FY2010, with an average value of $9,425. In addition to things you might expect (footwear, pharmaceuticals, watches, optical media) this includes things like cigarettes and ball bearings. The report cites a 42% increase in seizures at express consignment/mail facilities due to "continued growth of websites that sell counterfeit and piratical merchandise", which goes some distance toward explaining why these domain seizures are being brought.
(Incidentally, there's plenty of ammo for "government gone wild" arguments in the report, but people that expect it to be about torrents will be surprised and/or bored. There's more to the world than the Internet.)
:"Domestic Value", by which they mean the something like the street price, rather than the MSRP of the non-counterfeit good.
The burden of proof for these seizures was far less than a judge-issued warrant, which is the problem with which most of _us_ are concerned. Slowly eroding constitutionally protected rights reminds me of the boiling frog that never jumps out of the pot as the temperature is raised ever-so-slightly.
Meaning what, exactly?
It's analogous to the police acting on a warrant to
close a store front selling counterfeit goods
I'm amazed that Americans are comfortable with their leaders going down this road. It's been done before and has rarely ended well.
Yes, there is. The issue is whether anybody should have the power to grant such a warrant, not that warrants were not obtained.
Here is an example of a warrant of seizure issued by the United States District Court, Southern District of New York to "Any Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent or any other law enforcement officer authorized by law" to seize certain domains:
I apologize for not expending the energy to produce a copy of every warrant for every domain ever seized, but I am not personally burdened with such indomitable doubts as to their existence that others seem to be.
Still reading this warrant, it is so vague what the charges are. And I wonder, among all the people that had domains seized, were any found not-guilty and had their domains returned? Somehow I doubt it.
A seizure warrant, as signed by a judge. (Compare "search warrant", "arrest warrant").
Nobody is being charged with a crime.
That's not what a warrant is. Warrants are issued on the basis of probable cause. You probably understand this already with regard to search warrants: a prosecutor doesn't have to have filed charges against a person before the police can obtain a search warrant in the course of investigating the crime. The police only need to show that there is cause to conduct the search.
But more to the point of people not being charged: I'm not conversant in every relevant detail, but I presume the reason nobody is being charged in these cases is that the owners of these domains are unknown and outside of the US, besides. But again: nobody being charged doesn't mean warrants weren't issued for the seizures. The two are not the same thing.
This whole world is completely insane. "Your" representatives couldn't fix it even if they wanted to. Revolution is the only way out of this mess.
In other words: things will end up different because revolutions (amongst other change agents) have brought us to where we are, which still is a lot better than were we started.
From what I see and read it seems piracy is running pretty rampant. In light of that, these efforts to stop it (except SOPA, which I strongly disagree with) don't bother me. This list of domains makes it pretty obvious what they were up to. And I'm one of the few who still believes that content creators (including more than just music and movies but also software) should be able to choose how they distribute their work and how much to charge, if anything. Piracy is taking these creations and distributing them freely or for your own profit while the creator is getting screwed out of the money they should get for their work.
I also see how this sets a dangerous precident and law makers are heading down a slippery slope. There's obviously much room for abuse and cronyism.
So my question is, are we framing this the right way? The torrent sites seem to be bringing up these issues in an effort to deflect, distract from what they're doing, and sometimes even excuse it. Their actions and the actions of other illegal operators are what is causing the crackdown and creating a space for large companies and law makers to exploit with overreaching laws.
So while this stuff is definitely dangerous, how come we don't talk about making the pirates irrelevant so we can remove their excuse? If piracy wasn't so prevalent online then we could strengthen our argument while weakening theirs. The post would be more credible from any other site but coming from torrentfreak it comes off as propaganda even though I agree with them (just not what they do)!
I realized what the media companies were actually doing, how DRM hurts the people who actually pay for the product and all these enormous sums they force people to pay for a few cases of infringement.
I don't want my money to go to these corporations, that's why I'd choose to pirate over buying today.
That said, my 6 terabytes of content contain no illegal music and just a few large American-produced movies. It's mostly anime, documentaries and Swedish TV. The anime and documentaries I have because I simply can't buy them here. There's no way for me to consume this content legally in a way that I prefer. The Swedish TV I store so that I, one day, can show my favourite shows to my future kids (I'm doing backup on backup), and I'm not even sure if that's illegal, considering I pay TV-license and all.
Well, that's my case, I'm not sure which kind of pirate I am, but I know that as long as the media companies take a large slice of the money that's supposed to go to the artists, and use it to fight against the public, I don't want them to get a single penny from me.
You won't change "the system" by making their "we need stronger laws and stiffer penalties" arguments stronger.
If you don't like the system, refuse to participate in it - even if that means you don't get to listen to the music they sell. There's an enormous amount of legal nonDRM music available, either at "regular market prices", much less expensive than that, or completely free.
I _strongly_ recommend magnatune.com for a strongly artist supporting yet still inexpensive music resource.
Bandcamp, Soundcloud, there's many many ways to get free music online legally.
Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have every right to choose to sell ownership of their "creative output" to the traditional music industry for whatever deal they can cut - and the new owners really do have every right to control and profit from the subsequent distribution of that music. If you don't like their business model, great - don't buy from them. But don't pretend that makes it ok to download that music.
The more people who buy into alternative music distribution channels, the more likely it is that either a) the traditional music industry will change into something you can choose to support, or b) more musicians will choose better alternatives (where "better" here means "more aligned with your personal ethics/morals/preferences)
From their site:
"For just $15/month, you get unlimited music downloads in a variety of MP3 and lossless formats as well as unlimited online music streaming. Our library of 15,000 songs (1100 albums) [...]"
They have free downloadable one-hour example podcasts at http://magnatune.com/podcasts/ for all genres.
Right now I'm expanding my musical horizons by listening to a diversity of internet radios, using streamripper to save the songs in mp3 format with the correct title so that I can look up the artist name when I hear a song I like. I can then hunt for other songs from the same artist. Also see the small python program at http://www.michielovertoom.com/hobby/somafm-playlists which I wrote to download some playlists. I prefer raw stream URLs over obscure webbrowser-based radio players.
1) Spotify entered the market about the same time as I started sharing files, and that was good enough for me
2) I mostly listen to music that artists choose to distribute for free
I have also bought a few albums from Bandcamp.
This is tricky because I see your point but there also has to be a better solution. I feel like these reasons stifle progress that may solve your problems. Do you think if piracy were curbed a lot then maybe some company would take advantage of a space In the market and somehow let you get content you can't in the US? Maybe even these companies supporting SOPA may do it? Maybe I'm naive. Ive got some reading to do for sure on this. Thank you for honestly answering my question.
In the UK it is a criminal offence to bypass copyright protection measures, but it is a civil offence to download a movie. Thus, it is more illegal for me to go and buy a DVD which I then play on my Linux laptop than it is for me to just torrent it. (Whether anyone bothers to actually enforce these laws is another matter)
Huh. I have several hard drives filled up with dvds that I've ripped. I always that it was at least slightly less illegal (if not completely legal) for me to do that than it would be for me to just torrent the content.
On the other hand, I'm in the US, so things may be completely reversed here.
What they did right, was to provide a service that was easier to use than piracy, with the right price. That's the key. It may not get everyone to pay, but it'll get you the large majority.
Now, we're all just waiting for a Spotify-for-movies. There's no Netflix or Hulu over here, as Sweden is far down on the priority-list.
Edit: I mean why don't more companies get into it and how can we tell that to the authorities in a way they'll listen to
The new technologies are competing with piracy. Make a better service, with better conditions than the pirates can offer, and you win the battle.
In the end, the media companies need to choose between using the new technology that's being offered or disappear from the market. By the looks of it, some have gone with the latter option, and that is why we see these anti-piracy crackdowns.
A similar, but weaker, argument can be made in the case of counterfeit jerseys. A sports jersey is meant to show affiliation and identification with a particular group of people. Maybe people should be able to demonstrate that identification "unofficially."
Wisely, the study did not rely on music pirates' honesty. Researchers asked music buyers to prove that they had proof of purchase.
They all sound so '90s anyway.
Yes, I agree with you that the general public may be dismissive of what they say due to their championing of a technology largely used for copyright infringement. It certainly is a PR issue. That said, TorrentFreak is not really in the business of trying to convert skeptics. They're a site that specializes in preaching to the choir, much as boingboing does. There's a legitimate place for sites like that. They get the knowledgeable masses fired up about opposing bad legislation and illegal government seizures, which is never a bad thing.
As for torrent sites in general 'providing access' to pirated content, that's a pretty fuzzy area. Google itself offers a torrent search . Are not they, too, 'providing access'? Where do you draw the line? Yes, sites like thepiratebay are well-known for their brazen encouragement of piracy. That does not, however, mean that they are guilty of copyright infringement. My concern with making simple links illegal is that it breaks the Internet. It imposes upon site maintainers the responsibility to ensure that no links on their site direct people to content that the US Government deems unlawful, which is crap.
When we accept facilitation of a crime as a crime unto itself, we are conferring upon the authorities the trust that "facilitation" will not be overly broadly interpreted. I don't think we can do that, given the USG's behavior. Thus, I resist any attempt by them to claim more power to decide what content is and is not acceptable.
An arrest is chiefly an investigative tool, accompanied with (ideally) a legal proceeding that presumes innocence. Civil forfeiture is nothing like that.
Could you imagine the screaming and wailing if a .gov domain got jacked?
Forcing a website off the internet is like snatching my vocal chords out of my neck when they are about to vocalize something objectionable.