back to article BitTorrent busts Comcast BitTorrent busting

Unhappy that Comcast is busting BitTorrents, BitTorrent has decided to bust this BitTorrent busting. On Friday, as reported by TorrentFreak, a quartet of BitTorrent developers - including three staffers at BitTorrent Inc. - proposed a new extension to the popular P2P protocol that would circumvent Comcast's self-described " …

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  1. peter
    Black Helicopters

    They could just

    Start off a conversation between two people on bittorrent with http and put the data in a jpg format for instance. Unless the filters can discern what consitutes a picture for humans which is unlikely, or they stop people uploading their holiday photos.

    The headers would take a couple of bytes, run it all over port 80 with a faked apache talking in the background for extra realism.

  2. Eddie Johnson
    Pirate

    Forgery has always been a crime

    Comcast's "management" procedure consists of forgery and forgery has always been a crime. A simple criminal or civil case based on this should be pursued by EFF. They can argue the merits of management all they like but management accomplished by illegal means such as forgery is still illegal.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    So now you are against Comcast's network management???

    In this article The Register sounded like they were on Comcast's side:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/23/benett_eff_neutrality_response/

    Hey you are allowed to change your mind, but you have to admit to it and explain why. So is Comcast in the right or not?

  4. Troy Shanahan
    Paris Hilton

    epic fail?

    Comcast should quit while they're ahead... They're gonna lose customers this way... and they've got the whole torrent community thirsting for their blood.

    Well done comcast, you receive the 'Epic Fail' award.

    Paris? Cause we can see comcast reaching her level of pure stupidity soon.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    telcos

    BT is the same with it ridiculous overselling of "ultra" high speed lines, only to find out that there is a contention ratio of up to 25, and that even in the quiet parts of the nights you will never reach the top speed. Bastards. Its this sort of scummy practice that makes me fully endorse absolutely screwing over their "network management" as much as possible. Can somebody invent a protocol that waits until the important parts of the day when all the Comcast board members need to do their phone calls, and video conferencing, and then only uploads BitTorrents at these times? Unencrypted BitTorrents of just random pictures of crap, so that the comcast people can see?

  6. system

    Doing everything we can

    "But don't let Comcast fool you. The BitTorrent community should do everything it can to bust Comcast's BitTorrent busting."

    Step 1 should be to not even consider using this new extension. It fails to prevent anything but a very specific means of throttling, and is beaten hands down by simply implementing SSL on the server.

    I've posted reasons on TF, same username there.

    If this extension is accepted, and coded in by many admins and client devs, only to fail within 2 days, they may not take too kindly to the next extension proposal in 6 months time when BT.inc come up with something else. If nobody is implementing the next fix, and the one after that, comcast gets away with it.

    If we implement SSL on the trackers instead, we get protection against the throttling this extension sets out to defeat, plus protection against other forms, and it requires no new code for the clients and just a very quick SSL cert install for the tracker.

    Later version of clients just need to add support for certificate validation then, and possibly the ability to add trusted certs (so we don't all have to buy one from verisign), to prevent man in the middle attacks. MITM is not unique to SSL either. The same thing is possible with an ISP that uses transparent proxies (if they can read your plain http page, they just broke the so called shared "secret" for this whole extension).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yahoo BB japan

    Does something similar I suspect.

    whenever I have my torrent client running (even in encrypted mode) I can not open any webpages.

    close the torrent client and everything works fine after a minute.

    I don't know if Yahoo BB - Softbank is "managing" their network because every question you dare to ask as a foreigner is replied to with a "we only accept Japanese questions and do only Japanese support". Even when the mail is sent in readable Japanese but not in a perfect form.

    AC because I don't want Yahoo BB to find anything out

  8. ryan
    Paris Hilton

    Managment:

    The only fair way to manage p2p networking is with caps and throttling AND being up front about it. I can easily see how p2p could put huge strain on an isp but if they as a buissness can't make money by giving customers unlimited access to the internet, then don't sell unlimited access. Tell the customers what they are buying and let them decide where they want to spend their bandwidth and when. If there must be throttling at peek usage hours, tell the customer and let them decide whether they want to maintain their torrent activity or postpone it so they can get some decent web surfing speed. If there must be a cap let the customer decide what is more important; 24h of voip to that new russian wife they ordered, or the latest version of every linux distro out there.

    My isp switched from unregulated bandwidth to one with a monthly cap. They sent me e-mail explaining what they were doing. I wasn't overjoyed but I knew I was using far more of the pie then most of their users and all in all it seemed fair. There website gave me statistics on my usage, and I managed my activities according.

    Ultimitly, they probably just don't like torrents because people are watching downloaded movies instead of comcast's on on demand movies.

    Paris, just because everyone uses her and explains why at the end of their post.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    errr

    The proposed BitTorrent extension would use encryption, or "obfuscation," to keep Comcast from pulling this trick. "The goal is to prevent internet service providers and other network administrators from blocking or disrupting BitTorrent traffic connections,"

    Dont make it sound like something new, bit torrent clients have been doing this for ages

    oh well good job am in not in the US :)

  10. Lord Zedd
    Flame

    Loosing battle

    The moment Version FiOS is available in my area Concast will be out of my computer and TV for good.

  11. K L

    No effort to conceal torrent throttling here

    In Canada, Eastlink Cable openly admits to trying to "manage" torrent traffic as, I believe, do most Canadian service providers, but encryption seems to be effective so far. To me, it's shameful but unfortunately, it's a choice between crap and crappier.

    Some of their techs are total shits. I had one tell me, "We don't provide speed, we provide bandwidth." Guh. I wanted to reach through the phone and slap him. Next, while asking him to work on a problem I am having right now with my service and call me back, he said his shift had ended 2 minutes ago and basically declined to do a thing. If I was caught doing that where I worked I'd be marched out the door.

    It's no wonder to me that people are willing to take any step possible to sidestep every effort made by ISPs to limit service regardless of the reason. Competition is limited and customer service is piss-poor across the board. I'm only posting because I think the more bad press, the more chance of putting an end to this disgusting practice.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Balance

    Nice balanced article, until the last sentence.

    Let's take this game forwards 10 moves or so: BitTorrent becomes indistinguishable from, say, encrypted web traffic. ISPs aren't going to roll over and admit defeat - their business models won't support that - so all ISPs limit (or charge) any customer who generates more than a moderate amount of traffic in either direction. End of 'flat rate' tariffs for anybody other than a very light user.

    This doesn't sound much like progress!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Surprise at "overselling"

    What you have to remember is that Telco’s and hence most ISP's have graduated from the analogue telephone exchange where, in order to maximise the return on their investment in equipment, oversubscription is standard.

    no-one is going to offer domestic users 1 to 1 contention and guaranteed speeds unless you pay a high price for it. Now it could be argued that for most domestic applications a 25-1 contention ratio is fine since most households don’t use their connection all of the time anyway and when they do it's for simple applications such as email, web browsing and uploading a few bits and bobs to mytube or facespace.

    In short the major ISP's are all struggling with lack of capacity, also with a lack of funds to increase that capacity so they will take the easy route and attempt to throttle traffic which they deem to be infringing on it's fair use or network management policies.

    It's Just business, I'm guessing here but for every 1 ComCast customer who worries about their torrents being affected by this policy there are hundreds who just don’t give a toss because they don’t use it and the policy of throttling this traffic actually improves performance for the MAJORITY of customers.

    I don’t have a business degree or the benefits of a university education but, given the choice of upsetting thousands upon thousands of people who suffer increasing degradation of service or upsetting a couple of thousand people who cant download the latest Linux distros (because, as far as I can tell that’s all torrents are ever used for?) I know what I'd be doing!

    Where is the reasoned argument icon please?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    I hope both sides loose on this one.

    1) If you are using ADSL/Cable, it's a contended service, if you are a *big* p2p-er you will impact other users of the network. Why should they suffer for your pirac^h^h^h^h^h legitimate hosting of files?

    2) Comcast are in a bit of a bind here, becuase I don't think anyone would object to them performing normal traffic shaping at peak hours to preserve 'normal services' such as web surfing etc. (not sure if this is effective against p2p, my networking is a bit rusty) but why should they fire off their own packets to mess with customers p2p software?

  15. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    @Frazer

    Nicely put.

    It seriously pisses me off when I see my 8MBbs connection drop to a 250KBps ( or less!) crawl in peak hours knowing its mostly down to p2p-ers. Doubly pisses me off as my legitimate use of bandwidth is being hampered by file sharers.

    And lets not be under any illusions, here. Despite the whinging about legitimate uses of BitTorrent, 95% + of BT file sharers *are* sharing copyright material.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    SSL isn't the answer

    Encrypting torrents won't help. The ISPs will simply assume that anything encrypted is a p2p exchange, and will block/throttle it. All the legitimate telecommuting users of, say, SSL-encrypted email, https or VPNs will suffer as well. This is exactly what happend with Free in France a year or so ago. Lots of my colleagues who normally work from home found that they couldn't do the job they were being paid for. On my 1Mbit/s line I got 800kbit/s with unencrypted port-80 traffic, but had to resort to 24kbit/s dialup to read my work email. There was zero throughput of encrypted traffic on the ADSL line, even with a VPN configured to use port 80.

    The only solution is tariff-based. Unthrottled service up to a cap, and if you want to pass the cap you pay more. That way those who want 100% utilization pay more than those who want 1%. Seems fair to me. The only real complaint I can see about Comcast's behaviour is that they aren't being up-front about it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Really?

    "knowing its mostly down to p2p-ers"

    And just how do you "know" that. Done much research into it? How about peak hours being when most gamers would be online?

    "95% + of BT file sharers *are* sharing copyright material."

    Really???? Wow, you should work for I dunno, some encyclopedia or something, you are so insightful!!!! Of course they are, but the "legitimate use" argument is being used as a legal loophole to prevent blanket bans etc.

    A while back, there were statistics about the amount of pr0n being downloaded from the net. I'm sure that hasn't changed, maybe there's a lot of pervs in your neighbourhood?

  18. Magnus

    To the Cowherd

    P2P distribution is one of the major ways communities have been able to distribute data. Yes there is Piracy but it also enables many community and open source projects to get off the ground which wouldn't have otherwise due to otherwise prohibitive hosting costs.

    As trite as it sounds it is currently the best way to put the distribution of data into the hands of the people. Looking at how much power people have gained from controlling information and so forth I don't want an elegant way of distributing it to be destroyed.

    If you want to get upset about your poorly performing internet connection complain to the ISP for over promising and under delivering. They knew damn well they couldn't provide the speeds promised and now they are handily blaming it all on the evil, data stealing filesharers.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Why are *all* ISPs so dumb?

    If a seller has a product in limited supply, they could put a price on it and sell it by the kilo. Alternatively, they could put it out in a big room and charge a flat rate to come in and take as much as you like, and if some people look like they are taking too much then they could beat them up on the way out. (That assault probably qualifies as a criminal offence, but it's for the common good, isn't it?)

    One of these models is legal, sensible, and used in almost every industry. The other is how nearly every ISP on the planet has decided to market broadband. Why?!?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Capped at peak hours

    I'm on virgin here in the uk, they operate a policy of only allowing 2 or 3 gigs download at peak times (4 till 9). If you go over the limit your speed drops considerably. From 20meg to 5meg i think, and stays that way for 4 hours.

    Virgin however haver hidden this nuance deep in the depths of their website, i had to call support to complain about my quarter speed line before i found out.

    Thing is, it seems fair to me as there's no real need to download more than 3 gigs in the early evening. It does suck when you go over it but it doesn't take much effort to rack up any large downloads you want to do to run after 9 or overnight.

    A bit more transparency please, if it's a reasonable policy we as consumers should be given all the facts, something about fair trading...

    NB they don't throttle torrents/uploads at all. Why should they be bothered by uploads when its less than 5% of the total bandwidth supplied!

  21. Ash

    Skirting around the real issue...

    Why is BlueYonder (Now Virgin) allowed to sell me an "Unlimited" 8Mb connection which throttles down to 2Mb after 1GB of traffic?

    Why are they allowed to sell a portion of my 8Mb of bandwidth to someone else, simply because they don't expect me to make full use of the whole 8Mb?

    Why do we keep paying them?

    Of course I know the answers to all these questions; They can do what they want because the competition does exactly the same thing, and the bodies that oversee their practises agree that it's fair.

    It's a choice of taking it up the wrong'un by a baseball bat or a bowling pin.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ISPs are also to blame.

    "It seriously pisses me off when I see my 8MBbs connection drop to a 250KBps ( or less!) crawl in peak hours knowing its mostly down to p2p-ers. Doubly pisses me off as my legitimate use of bandwidth is being hampered by file sharers."

    Most of that is down to either excessive bandwidth throttling imposed by the ISP and/or them vastly overselling their capacity. I had similar speeds to you when I was with Pipex(Tiscali), suddenly I had enough and moved to IDnet (managed to argue with Pipex and get out of my contract too) and my speeds went back up to something more respectable.

    At the end of the day having such harsh contention on connections is a flawed system due to the nature of the business working day meaning almost everyone comes online at roughly the same "peak times" per day. Those being in the evenings and weekends, and with ADSL and Cable being "Always on" connections you shouldn't be surprised when someone does max out their usage.

    I get tired of all the "Unlimited" this and that talk from ISPs combined with the false "Up to" speeds we will never ever reach, no other industry is allowed to get away with such blatant misleading of its customers.

    Average speeds or a minimum speed we can expect at peak time please, no more "up to" nonsense, and if you Throttle me then remove the word "Unlimited" as well. Bloody ISps.

    Also remember BitTorrent has legal uses as well before you spout the Piracy argument... WoW Patches, Linux Distros the list goes on.

  23. Adam Foxton
    Gates Horns

    @AC "SSL Isn't The Answer"

    "That way those who want 100% utilization pay more than those who want 1%." So if I have the audacity to actually want to download at 8mbps and upload at 448kbps as advertised 24/7/365 I should pay more?!

    How's that outside the advertised "8mbps download, 448kbps upload, Unlimited" service that I'm already paying for? And, come to think of it, how can using my bandwidth- which I'm paying for, remember- to the full extent that I can possibly be considered unfair (as in violation of a "Fair" use agreement)?!

    Can you imagine a car that stopped after every 1,000 miles travelled in a month "to ease traffic congestion" selling?! Can you imagine that if they didn't tell you about it but just hid it away in the fine print of your contract that the company would not be successfully sued?

    FUPs and traffic management does just mean "hey, we're overselling".

    Sidenote: Doesn't that mean that- since all P2P traffic's clearly pirated material (the RIAA told me so...)- and ISPs are knowingly letting P2P traffic pass they're aiding and abetting criminal activity?

    DevilGates cos the outlook's not so good for Comcast et al

  24. Chris Branch

    The solution, of course

    Charge by the gigabyte! That'll stop the ISPs blocking downloaders in favour of making £££.

  25. Richard Bennett
    Thumb Down

    Gullible

    "But don't let Comcast fool you. The BitTorrent community should do everything it can to bust Comcast's BitTorrent busting. And so should the FCC."

    Please. If you're going to make a bald assertion like this, at least pretend to back it up with a fact, and I don't consider poor Robb Topolski's addle-brained theories "facts." If he wants to maintain high standing with the private trackers that support piracy, he should do his seeding in the off hours when network management is not in effect on Comcast's network.

    The new obfuscation scheme isn't going to work, it's simply another nuisance that all the ISPs will have to deal with on the way to metered pricing.

  26. Shakje

    Re: Eponymous Cowherd

    Clearly you're an idiot who hasn't thought through what he's saying. When people get in from work and want to browse or game, do you honestly think the first thing they do is to turn on all their torrents and use up their bandwidth? Anyone who has ever downloaded files using P2P knows full well that most downloading is done either overnight, or when you're out (ie 9-5 or 7 onwards in the evenings for students I guess), but the loss of speed you're seeing is nothing to do with P2P unless your idea of peak time is not 5-9pm. This is purely down to your ISP providing a connection to you that cannot meet the requirements it suggests it can.

    I've got the cheapest of the lines, seeing as I don't do much downloading at all any more (I'm not going to rehash the fact that I download legally 99% of the time these days), and imagine what 2Mb is like when it's throttled by VM. I reformatted recently and it took hours upon hours, because they cut back my net after the first few updates. Nice.

  27. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Re:ISPs are also to blame.

    ***"Also remember BitTorrent has legal uses as well before you spout the Piracy argument... WoW Patches, Linux Distros the list goes on."***

    This is the argument trolled out every time someone associates filesharing with piracy. Yes it *does* have legitimate uses, but that still doesn't change the fact that *most* users are sharing copyright material, i.e. music, movies and tv programmes. The Wow Patches and Linux Distros, etc, are a *tiny* portion of BitTorrent traffic.

    And, to the other AC, who thinks sarcasm is a substitute for reasoned argument, I *have* done my research.

  28. Lee
    Boffin

    @The Solution

    my connection in oz is 16 GB then flat rate of $4/GB, charged pro-rata per Mb, but they still _reserve the right to_ shape p2p between 4pm-1am if the network is saturated. It is, however, clearly in the ToS. Also, 1am-9am is counted at half the speed i.e download 2gb only 1 is counted. Also i have a fixed IP and they explicitly permit running servers on the website frontpage. <rot13>nnarg</rot13> if anyone is interested.

  29. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Unhappy

    @AC - Capped at peak hours

    I think that VM are one of the most communitive of the UK ISPs. If you want to find out about their AUP, then sign in to their "Customer Zone" and get details of your package. On that page will be a link to their AUP. Follow that, and you will find a link about their traffic shaping. Alternatitivly, look through their FAQ on broadband.

    If you believe it verbatim, then it is only the top 5% of users during peak hours who get traffic managed. Their peak hours are defined as 16:00 to 24:00.

    Having praised them on their openness, I find myself sceptical about what they say actually being what they do. My 8Mb/S line rarely goes over 25% of it's potential bandwidth for any traffic. My DSL router actually gives me a connection speed of about 7.4 Mb/S. This could be as a result of the upload speed of the site I am receiving from, but I have recently got a HSDPA modem which often downloads faster that my landline, even when only in 3G mode (my home is not in a "Turbo" enabled region). I suspect heavy contention, but can I get them to respond to mails asking what the contention ratio is?

    Still, I could change, and I havn't. Must say something.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Misselling ?

    ISPs and telecos are are getting their just deserts for the classic airline trick where they deliberately oversell seats on flights as a usual percentage don't turn up. However this sometimes bites you (the customer) on the ass as they say tough and you get bumped off the flight.

    So using that analogy on an 8mb ADSL line with a contention of 50:1 all you can be guaranteed is 8/50. OOps the telecos have just oversold the flight. Before telecos invest anymore increasing speed they really should look at increasing capacity to deliver what they sold you in the first place. Ps and a message those people who have 'Free/Cheap Broadband ' and whine when it is crap - I've got some magic beans here for sale ! Also for those hardcore gamers out there who complain about ping - try going out and meeting people it's a good incentive to wash.

  31. Mark

    "contention ratio of up to 25"

    No, try 50-1. dialup was about 25-1 to 30-1.

    For web browsing and email, dialup meant it took about the same amount of time to download a large page as it took to read it (unless it was mostly text). People often read the page as it was downloading. So your modem was on full-speed nearer half the time.

    At broadband speed, you didn't read 120x faster but your data could get through 120x faster, so your connection was idle for these low bandwidth tasks most of the time, so (despite telling you you could download movies, play games and so on [all of which took longer to download than view]) they upped the contention ratio.

    After all, since your ISP pays for the size of the connection, rather than the amount of data passed, any unused bandwidth is a lost opportunity to get another paying customer to use it.

    So, when people started using YouTube and other media sites, they had oversubscribed because they'd hoped nobody would be going back to the connection profiles they had under dialup. Rather than pay the frankly piddling cost of halving the contention ratio, they decide to throttle your connection.

    I've apparently got a 2Mbps connection. I have checked available connection speed on many occasions and I generally (~95% of the time) see less than 1Mbps. Once on Sunday I saw 1.5Mbps.

    NOTE: an OC3 with 155Mbps connection costs about £2500 a month. 50 people at 8megs is a couple of quid a month (about £2.50).

  32. Mark

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    So how much have you checked the volume of data passed? WoW patches are BT. Most patches are now BT.

    Porn is a big player in media. Very big. Likely bigger than the other media sections.

    Are you trying to help porn make money?

    Your refutation is trotted out at least as often as the ideas you troll against and never has someone said how they know it's a load of dingoes kidneys. Will you be the first?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Verizon ADSL JUST AS BAD!

    My only Torrent use is for Linux distros. I could clearly see the throttling taking place on my uploads. I kept changing the parameters to conform to their expectations/limits. They caused my seeding to time out eventually. I could watch the participation die out, one at a time.

    I could only requeue by restarting my DSL modem, which reassigned my IP address. Then I could watch it die again. I used to be able to participate (a couple of years ago), but lately they have been throttling.

    I hate to think the movie-stealers are screwing up our open-source sharing system.

    I wonder if they can tell what type of system is being used. The ones that went through were on Linux; the throttling is on the Mac. No, it can't possibly matter!

    Verizon is the best of our local providers in NYC, and they provide all the last-mile connections for DSL (and sabotage other ISPs on connecting); but I am looking for another one!

    AC because they are always watching!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    A bit of common sense

    I'm on Virgin and a fairly heavy torrenter. Aside from Ubuntu Gibbon and Open Office (for Windows) a few months ago, everything I download is copyrighted content - usually tv shows (Lost etc) that I can't get around to watch / want to own and 'unobtainable' stuff like anime fansubs.

    I live in a shared house where there can be up to five of us trying to get on the net (for Facebook, IM, general surfing) at any one time in the evening and I do think it's unfair that their usage should be impacted by me either caning the bandwidth or putting us into the throttled zone. So I put my downloads on in the morning before I go to work or leave them on overnight. Everybody's happy.

    Some people here might complain that they're not getting the full value out of their connections, but seriously, would you expect to be able to drive a car at full speed down the motorway, all day, every day, even at rush hour?

    Personally, I'd be happy to pay by the GB - bit torrent is not an inviolable right and in most cases it's not even legal. I know that and you know that, so get real.

  35. Mark

    Re: A bit of common sense

    No, I wouldn't expect to be able to drive at full speed. However I wouldn't expect to be told I can't drive because it's full or (cf comcast) told that this isn't my car even though it is just because comcast has caused a traffic jam.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Simple Answer

    Torrents are only really used to commit crime (and you all know that is true!) Simply require ISPs to block the traffic, whether it originates on their network or not.

    Also have them report any user who uses torrents to the police, failure to do so will be considered aiding and abetting.

    It's not about freedom of speech or anything. It is about theft. Pure and simple.

    Everyone using torrents is a thief and deserves the jail. They have no legitimate use.

  37. MarkMac
    Unhappy

    @Skirting around the real issue...

    "Why are they allowed to sell a portion of my 8Mb of bandwidth to someone else, simply because they don't expect me to make full use of the whole 8Mb?"

    Er, because you bought a /contended/ service, so its not all yours. If you want full access to the entire 8Mb, buy uncontended service.

    Be prepared to pay ~25x more for it tho....

  38. MarkMac
    Thumb Down

    legal uses?

    "remember BitTorrent has legal uses as well before you spout the Piracy argument... WoW Patches, Linux Distros the list goes on."

    Sure, but you really think that these will be a major contributor to BT traffic? Be sensible. The guys I know using p2p are downloading TV shows from the US, DVDs from Russia and pron from everywhere.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    Contention on dialup is a completely different thing. Dialup contention was the number of ISP modems per subscriber (well subscribers per modem), and had nothing whatsoever to do with bandwidth. All it meant was that sometimes when you dialled in you'd get a busy tone. Bandwidth was unaffected.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    I'd be happy with PYG model

    I get a few stateside TV episodes a week, the odd distro and Oracle binary releases ( average about 1.5GB each), but I would be more than happy to pay say £1/GB if I got the full use of the bandwidth I am supposedly entitled to.

    As usual my gripe, like everyone else's is, I pay X why am I not getting Y? Virgin even convinced me to up my connection speed, then I discover their evening "control" mechanism. Well I must say, I don't kill my connection, so some other scumbag on the pipe must be raking it down, 'cos some evenings I'm lucky if I break above 25kbps on a 20MB line! This goes down a storm when I am trying to keep a VNC/SSL connection to a Citrix farm to remotely support work callouts, as soon as the callout comes I have to turn to my family and it's "everybody out the pool", while I try to earn a crust.

    At least if I go ADSL, I might get a choice which money-grabbing scumbag, gets my hard earned loot!

  41. Eponymous Cowherd
    Pirate

    @ Mark

    ***"Are you trying to help porn make money?"***

    WTF does that mean / imply??

    ***"Your refutation is trotted out at least as often as the ideas you troll against and never has someone said how they know it's a load of dingoes kidneys. Will you be the first?"***

    You can turn that on its head, of course. Never has anyone offered any proof that BitTorrent *isn't* mostly used for distributing copyright material.

    So we will have to agree to disagree.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Mark re: "contention ratio of up to 25"

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/ioi/bbpricing/model.pdf (top link on google for "bt ipstream price list")

    According to Ofcom a 155MB central from BT costs £316200 annually or £26,350 monthly. 19 customers downloading at 8Mbps 24/7 constantly would fill that, making the cost per customer £1387 per month in BT charges alone.

    I'm not 100% sure of these figures, but I bet I'm not a far off.

  43. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Re: A bit of common sense

    ***"I'm on Virgin and a fairly heavy torrenter. Aside from Ubuntu Gibbon and Open Office (for Windows) a few months ago, everything I download is copyrighted content"***

    Well, at least you are honest about it.......

    Though why anyone would bother downloading contrived cack like Lost is beyond me ;-)

  44. Tom Chiverton
    Boffin

    @system

    The best defense against this sort of attack is to make the target i.e. the BT protocol a moving target. Every little change the BT community makes, essentially for free, costs ComCast money to update their attack tools.

    It's an arms race, and ComCast can't win (for long).

  45. Simon Day
    Go

    People don't want to pay for unlimited bandwidth

    I'm a very heavy user of bandwidth - 150Gb a month some months, I have absolutely no problems with my ISP, a mixture of VPN, ssh file transfer and BT traffic.

    The reason is I pay for the service - £75 a month, plus VAT for an 8Mb (up to) unlimited connection, with 20:1 contention on my exchange and garunteed zero contention on the ISP's end, no limits and no traffic shaping.

    The majority of the time I get the full use of my connection with little or no contention on my local circuit.

    Most people complaining are paying £9.99 a month or less, and then wondering why they get end up getting throttled.

    Sorry but you get what you pay for.

  46. b166er

    Why it's not price per GB

    Because then, they'd have to provide what they advertise; ie 8Mb/s.

    Obviously they can't do that, so they throttle under the guise of 'unfair' usage.

    If they could provide service at price/GB, then they would.

    @AC 'torrents are only really used to commit crime' and his/her unashamed troll - ROFLMAOBBQ - so are UPS, FedEX, etc then?

  47. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Flame

    Extreamly annoyed

    I admit that the majority of torrents are probably copyright material (even Linux distro's are copyrighted, but the license allows free distribution), and much of that will be illegal use. But those "anonymous cowards" who claim it should be completely banned need lining up and shooting. Banning torrents outright would only mean that other tools would be used. And those people who *DO* use bittorrent it for legitimate purposes (and for what it was originally used before being hijacked) would be the victims.

    And with iPlayer downloads (which are P2P) legitimise use for *SOME* commercial material.

    It will become a constant technological war between RIAA and MPAA through the ISPs to stop illegal distribution of copyright material. Let's seperate this from the bandwidth/contention debate, and encourage the ISPs to sell more realistic services that charges for use. Cap according to purchased allowance, encourage heavy users to take out higher tier packages, and invest the money in ensuring that we get what we pay for!

    Can anybody post links to credible information about traffic use statistics at any representative point on the 'net?

  48. Mark

    "155MB central from BT costs £316200"

    Well in the US it's $5,000 a month.

  49. Mark

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    You want all downloaded "pirated" content to stop, presumably so that the content that WAS pirated should make money.

    Porn is probably the biggest single product distributed over the internet (by volume: spam beats it by far as counts are concerned).

    So therefore you're asking for changes to make porn more profitable.

    (as to prove it isn't, *I* don't use it for that, one poster says it's mostly legal ISO's and Lost [which isn't much compared to linux isos] so most of the BT stuff would seem from these concrete examples to be NOT illegal in the main. Also, two of my sisters play WoW a lot and that patches up over BT. AFAIK, neither distribute pirate material over BT. Are you a massive seeder?).

  50. Mark

    "Contention on dialup "

    The reason, AC, why dialup had a 25-to-1 contention ratio was because dialup was so slow and if your users could not connect most of the time, you lost your customer PDQ. The contention ratio was IN THAT CASE the number of modems per customer. But that's because there was no shared line.

    With packet-switched networks and shared pipes, you never *fail* to connect, so that may be a contributing factor to getting away with a 50-1 contention, since if someone complains about being slow, they'll only notice during a large download. Telling them it is their fault gives the ISP a chance at keeping their customer. All ISPs being the same crud also helps.

  51. Mark

    Re: Simple Answer

    Well another simple answer would be that the ONLY reason to want broadband speeds is to download videos and, since the expense of legal download is so high, you can't afford enough to fill a few gigs a month (see how much it costs to fill an iPod with iTunes content...).

    Therefore anyone asking for broadband is trying to "steal" content. Anyone supplying broadband is trying to profit from someone *stealing* content. Arrest them all and lock 'em up.

    And we all have a guaranteed 56k connection with no contention.

    More than enough to mail Aunt Millie or browse El Reg.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @So now you are against Comcast's network management???

    Dur. There is more than one author writing articles for the reg. Sometimes, they have different opinions from each other. Oh noes!

  53. Dick Emery
    Pirate

    Ban or throttle it if you must

    It won't stop it. It might provide more bandwidth to those that can get around it in fact :) IRC, Usenet and darknets anyone? ;)

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Unhappy

    £1387 per month...

    ... but how many people want/need to download 2.5TB in a month, which is approx. how much you can do with 100% of 8Mb/S line.

    I pay a premium for my line at this speed, and I would like to be able to get the speed I pay for, but only in bursts, and not necessarily during the peak hours. I clearly don't get it.

    Looking at my firewall traffic graphs, it looks like during busy times, I average about 40KB/S, which equates to about 320Kb/S, which is something like 24 times slower than my theoretical maximum. And the peak (averaged out over 15 minute periods) is only 125KB/S, which equates to about 1Mb/S. Still 8 times less than I pay for.

    And now, it is very suspicious that my incoming SSH sessions hang within seconds of me starting them, which looks like VM is doing something antisocial with my traffic.

  56. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Errr Mark.....

    ***"(as to prove it isn't, *I* don't use it for that, one poster says it's mostly legal ISO's and Lost [which isn't much compared to linux isos] so most of the BT stuff would seem from these concrete examples to be NOT illegal in the main."****

    Actually he said:-

    "Aside from Ubuntu Gibbon and Open Office (for Windows) a few months ago, everything I download is copyrighted content - usually tv shows"

    In other words apart from a *couple* of legitimate downloads everything he downloads is in violation of copyright.

    Your argument about porn is spurious, to say the least. Porn is no different to any other type of distributable entertainment. Just because someone cannot get it for free doesn't mean they will go out and pay for it. It doesn't matter whether its porn, a TV show or a mainstream movie.

    And I don't give a flying fart who downloads what. If they get caught that's their tough luck. They could just be a little more considerate and restrict their illegal activities to the wee small hour like the Lost downloader.

    Am I massive seeder? WTF, First you think I'm trying to drum up the porn trade, now I'm supposed to be a 'massive seeder. Your logic is, umm, interesting, to say the least.

  57. Ilgaz Öcal

    Vuze, Bittorrent.com sell copyrighted movies

    Vuze (built on Azureus) and Bittorrent sells copyrighted Hollywood and network TV content to their users. The reason it is possible and cheaper than DVD: There is no need to run/rent a huge datacenter for distributing files over HTTP, a protocol which was NEVER designed to serve that.

    So pirates: Go buy movies, they are offered now.

    P2P haters: There are people who have ethics and download ONLY paid content, public domain content, GNU Linux etc. ISO.

  58. Shakje

    @Oliver Jones

    What about gaming? Plenty of other applications also require inbound ports to be open.

  59. Mark

    @Oliver Jones

    Getting around the comcast fraudulent misrepresentation is easy too. Just ignore all RST packets. A genuine downed connection will timeout after a while, whereas Comcast *pretending* to be the other end of the connection and saying "bye" won't timeout.

    A single line in your firewall config and it's sorted.

  60. This post has been deleted by its author

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It affects more than P2P

    the changes comcast had placed into effect is also keeping VPN connections from being made if you use UDP

  62. Robert T
    Stop

    ISP Bittorrent caching

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. ISPs should be caching bittorrent traffic for the benefit of all their users. They can capture the downloaded packets anonymously, and force feed them to future requesting users of theirs.

    Let's face it - at a large ISP, users are probably downloading and uploading the same single file thousands of times, and costing a lot. A few Linux/Unix boxes and a few TBs of storage are nothing compared to the ongoing bandwidth costs. My guess is that they could reduce their traffic by up to 40% overnight with an effective system. Frankly, I think it's irresponsible of the likes of Bittorrent the company to not have included easy support for caching proxies from the start.

    Additionally, caches are almost always exempt from legal responsibility for copyright infringement because they are indiscriminate about their content, service only their customers, and are for network performance reasons.

    I'd also like to see end user dumb indiscriminate caches & proxies, to provide reasonable deniability in the event of lawsuits. As a point: Onion router users don't normally get successfully prosecuted, unless they're poorly represented or the law of the land is specifically against these kind of services, which most aren't (law enforcement loves onion routers, too!).

    Of course, this potential windfall benefit will not eventuate if most bittorrent traffic starts to be encrypted. They're shooting themselves in the foot in the long term.

    There is one proprietary BT cache that I know of, but they claim to only cache legitimate content...... I don't like the implications of such a statement, even if it is just marketing. But it shows that the technology is out there.

  63. Phil Bennett
    Alert

    Economics

    "According to Ofcom a 155Mb central from BT costs £316200 annually " - this seems a bit steep, but then it is BT. So, lets max this sucker out. 155Mb/s = 19.375MB/s, so over the course of a year you can grab 19.375*3600*24*365=611,010,000 MB of data. That works out at a cost of £0.53 per gig for the ISP, assuming they can saturate their connections. If a heavy user grabs 150GB a month, then they are costing the ISP close to £80 before other business costs.

    The best traffic shaping I've been subjected to is PlusNets (not sure if its been changed since), where if you shifted more than a certain (high) amount in a month in peak hours, you were warned. If you went over again the next month, you got moved onto the "heavy users" pipe, where you still had the same contention ratio, but everyone else on the pipe liked to download too. If you spent a month under the cap, you went back up a level. Simple, easy, and relatively fair.

  64. Carl
    Thumb Up

    @Oliver

    'ISPs aren't likely to shed many tears over people complaining that they can't play Quake III Arena on their mate's game server anymore...'

    Unfortunately, we are currently in an age of online gaming - not Quake III, but XBOX Live and to a lesser extent PS3 - so, yes ISPs may start shedding tears if gamers start walking...

    In fact, I recently had (and have had in the past) an email from Microsoft about special offers for BT Internet / XBOX Live... That seems more like actively embracing gamers rather than not caring...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See both sides

    Several years ago I was the chair of a citizens group that tried to implement Fiber service in our community. Comcast and the local Bell dumped hundreds of thousands into an effective marketing campaign that shut the initiative down.

    But, it got them off their asses and forced them to start infrastructure upgrades in the several communities involved in the effort. So I have little sympathy for the ISPs that let the infrastructure languish for generation after generation until finally forced to institute an upgrade policy because of the potential for third party competition.

    On the other hand, I've suffered at the hands of "shared bandwidth" being "hogged" by the inconsiderate users in my neighborhood. I don't care what services they are using, if they are grabbing a significant portion of the available bandwidth and monopolizing that bandwidth consistently in any given billing cycle, they should be throttled or caps should be put in place and they should be forced to pay for exceeding the cap.

    The same principle can be applied to any shared service like water and electricity. And circumventing the controls that legitimate businesses are placing on the services they provide will only result in everyone getting hit with pay as you go business models.

    But finally, I'm back in the camp with the BT crowd. Although Comcast has a right to do what they want in relation to controlling the product they provide, they should create a policy, publish the policy and enforce it consistently. If they keep trying to backdoor the process, they will continue to be forced to fight a game of one-upmanship with a very determined and capable foe.

  66. This post has been deleted by its author

  67. Robb Topolski
    Gates Halo

    @system Re: Doing everything we can

    Regarding the new BitTorrent extension, I don't get it either. Their overall strategy has not been shared with me, but for the very reasons you have mentioned here -- both the effectiveness and the lifetime of this BitTorrent extension seem to be limited.

    And maybe THAT's the plan. Every time one of these DPI devices needs an upgrade, the Cable-Internet companies bleed. Comcast and its CableLabs cohorts now have no choice but to pony up.

    I suspect that the Cable-Internet industry has relied on DPI for so long to keep their bandwidth costs down, that to ditch it now would mean having to spend the time and unacceptable amounts of money to do the upgrades that DPI has enabled them to "delay." (heh, interesting word, isn't it).

    So by upping the anti in the war for a neutral Internet, perhaps the BitTorrent people really only intend to show them that the industry has left itself vulnerable. By making a minor change on the users end, major outlays have to be made at the ISP end.

  68. Ed

    @Fraser

    Amen. Eventually the bittorrent-ISP wars will end with the ISPs being the victor.

  69. Robb Topolski
    Stop

    @Richard Bennett, Re: Gullible

    "... I don't consider poor Robb Topolski's addle-brained theories 'facts.' ..."

    Why, thank you! Now how about a little substance to your attack -- what theory of mine are you taking issue with?

    "... If he wants to maintain high standing with the private trackers that

    support piracy, he should do his seeding in the off hours when network

    management is not in effect on Comcast's network. ..."

    And precisely what time would that be, Richard? You see, I have run the tests around the clock, and I have monitored that the same rate of interference exists around the clock. It is not dependent upon network congestion.

    I have also explained this to you on more than one occasion. Yet you seem bent on attacking me personally rather than exploring the facts or explaining the findings. After all of this time, one might begin to think that you have more of an interest in advancing an agenda than in finding the truth.

    ... "The new obfuscation scheme isn't going to work, it's simply

    another nuisance that all the ISPs will have to deal with on the way

    to metered pricing."

    Generally, I agree with you that the obfuscation extension is -- if anything -- just another weapon in a cat-and-mouse war. However, I don't see Verizon running toward a metered plan, regardless. At least they know who their customers are.

  70. Morely Dotes
    Flame

    @ Eponymous Cowherd

    "And lets not be under any illusions, here. Despite the whinging about legitimate uses of BitTorrent, 95% + of BT file sharers *are* sharing copyright material."

    I hope your ass hurts terribly after you pulled that number out of it. You have just stated that 95% of BitTorrent users are violating copyright law. It's possible I am mistaken, but I believe that under UK law they can now take you to court for defamation, and you have to *prove* what you said - and further, I believe that UK and EU law permits them to demand your contact information from El Reg, and you have no "reasonable expectation of privacy."

    Lastly, I would point out that ISPs got themselves into this pickle by advertising "unlimited" bandwidth for a flat fee, and frankly, if they can't deliver what they promised up front, I'd be perfectly happy to see them either go titsup and out of business, or see their Boards charged with fraud - or both.

  71. Morely Dotes
    Flame

    @ Eponymous Cowherd again...

    "Never has anyone offered any proof that BitTorrent *isn't* mostly used for distributing copyright material."

    In a free society, the burden of proof is upon the accuser, not the accused. If you want to be able to make accusations and force your victim to prove he's innocent, move to Russia, or France. You imply that it is always unlawful to distribute copyrighted material. This is patently false; all Linux distributions, and World of Warcraft patches (to name two items that come instantly to mind) are copyrighted, and *legally* distributed via BT.

    Disclaimer: Above defenses of "free"societies do not apply when GWB gets involved.

    Now... Since you are making accusations of unlawful behavior, either put up or shut up.

    Personally, I use BT to download (and upload, of course) Linux distros, WoW updates, and videos produced by my son's video production company. Any accusations by yourself to the contrary can only be offered in knowing and willful violation of the anti-defamation laws.

  72. Morely Dotes

    @ Oliver Jones

    "ISPs can simply render encrypted Torrent traffic irrelevant, by firewalling all incoming ports on your internet connection at their network level, thus preventing your PC from being contacted for a Torrent (or any) download. Quick, easy, simple - and it requires no throttling, filtering or packet analysis. In fact, I'm surprised it wasn't done years ago, because it neatly blows a hole in BitTorrent and any other P2P protocol - and it's something that nobody could possibly design around, no matter how much encryption they used."

    Unless, of course, the BT client were so designed that it automatically sought out open ports for bit inbound and outbound traffic.

    An ISP which firewalls port 80 will not last long. Ever heard of AOL? They used to be considered an ISP.

  73. Steen Hive
    Boffin

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    "In other words apart from a *couple* of legitimate downloads everything he downloads is in violation of copyright."

    Is it violation of YOUR copyright? If not, then stuff it where the sun don't shine, sunshine.

    Copyright is a contract between the producer of works and the state, not involving ISPs, their users or you.

    None of which applies to ISPs blatantly flouting trade-descriptions legislation in spirit and probably in letter.

  74. Daniel B.
    Boffin

    @Oliver Jones

    Hm... nice for kicking on online gaming, but you know ... gaming isn't the only thing that uses incoming connections, or UDP.

    Point in case: VPNs. Blanket dropping of all incoming connections and UDP effectively kills any VPN entry point, and well VPN endpoints actually require UDP (not TCP) traffic these days.

    Cable internet operators nationwide (this is Mexico) use NAT, so every single cable internet subscriber has a private IP (the standard class A private network 10.0.0.0/8 range is their favorite) which means they can't play games with non-cable users (if they're hosting), and well with some recent portblocking and traffic shaping that went into effect around mid-2007, p2p is practically dead.

    Telmex's ADSL service, on the other hand, has been stable for some time now, with 1Mbit for residential (and REAL 1Mbit: 1024Kbps) while having 2Mbit and 4Mbit options for commercial lines. I get a real, public and routeable IP, no firewalls, proxies or anything else. Somehow I'd think it would be easier for other telecom giants to be able to provide something like this in the US, UK and similar places.

    Wasn't one of the major reasons behind the dot-com crash the "overexpansion" of backbones over what was really needed? I remember reading something like that, and asking "Gee, if that's true, why do I still have to pay $300/month for a DS0 link?". While most web-surfing wasn't that demanding, my Quake, Quake2 and TeamFortress needs were complaining about 400+ms pings, and the term "LPB" was fairly common. Remember that??? So surely, if you believe that crap, telecoms should have all the backbone they need for the next 10 years (back in 2000, they said 20 years, didn't they??)

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Wondering about ElReg

    http://www.cableforum.co.uk/board/12/33628733-virgin-media-ad-deal-updated-see.html

    Surely they didn't pay your Diamond rate for no coverage. Otherwise right up your street.

  76. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Legal Eagles

    Hmmm, we seem to have a surfeit of legal experts here (Morley Dotes and Steen Hive).

    Shame you are both completely wrong in your assumptions.

    No, I *cannot* be sued for defamation for making comments about filesharing in general.

    No, Copyright is *not* a contract between the producer of the work an the state.

    And crude epithets don't make your arguments any more compelling, BTW, but if they make you fell better, go right ahead ;-)

  77. system

    @Robb

    Doing it in small steps may cause the ISPs to at least invest time in improving their rulesets, but this extension requires tracker admins to implement RC4 into their tracker.

    With SSL, all we have to do is let openssl and the webserver handle it. With the extension, we either have to code in our own RC4 algorithm or call in an external library/program. On a c/c++ tracker, it shouldn't be that big a deal to call in a library, but in a php tracker (think every copy of tbdev) we'd have to make calls to a program with exec() or similar (slow).

    If implementing the extension is more trouble then it's worth, I don't see tracker admins going for it in any big way, especially if they have to do it all again in 6 months.

  78. Edward Dore

    Re: "155MB central from BT costs £316200"

    The BT central connection is the connection from the BT Colossus ATM network to the ISP's network. This is just the handover of traffic from BT to your ISP. The ISP still has to pay for the bandwidth from their network onto the internet, not to mention maintaining their network etc.

    It has been mentioned several times by ISPs that the price BT charge for the "central" handoff is ridiculously expensive but Ofcom refuse to do anything about it.

  79. Richard Bennett

    @Robb Topolski

    One thing you should clarify, Robb, is that the only trackers that care about seeding/leeching ratios are private trackers used predominately by pirates. Legitimate downloads, like Linux distros and licensed content from BitTorrent, Inc., don't care about how much seeding you do. You shouldn't have misled poor Cade about that, he's a trusting soul who admires and respects you. So be honest with him.

    I did another experiment on Comcast with BitTorrent last night, downloading a talking book version of the King James Bible I found in Mininova. After the download completed, I seeded quite successfully all night long. I started this around 8:00 PM and the pure seeding started at around Midnight and ran at 160 Kb/s.. I had no problems at all, and it's on my OGG player right now.

    I've attacked you personally on this issue because I don't think you've been forthright about it, and I'm encouraging you to become a more responsible citizen.

  80. Mark

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    Where are your legal credentials, Coward?

    What methods did you undertake to ascertain the 95%+ figure? Are you accusing ME DIRECTLY of this illegal act? If not, who are you accusing? Nobody? Anyone who isn't listening? Who is downloading all this criminal literature?

    PS copyright is a government grant of right and its terms are an agreement made between the producer and the public (because the government when making agreements are actors on the behalf of the public). You're talking out of your figurative arse.

  81. Eponymous Cowherd
    Heart

    @ Mark

    ***"Where are your legal credentials, Coward?"***

    In a frame on the wall, actually. And its CowHERD....

    ***"What methods did you undertake to ascertain the 95%+ figure?"***

    Its an estimate based on the percentage of files on 10 (most popular) different trackers that are likely to be there without the permission of the copyright holder.

    ***"Are you accusing ME DIRECTLY of this illegal act?"****

    Err, No.

    ***"If not, who are you accusing? Nobody?"***

    Yes, that's right!! Glad we got that sorted.

    ***"Who is downloading all this criminal literature?"****

    I don't really care as long as they do it at 2am.

    ***"PS copyright is a government grant of right and its terms are an agreement made between the producer and the public (because the government when making agreements are actors on the behalf of the public)."***

    Almost correct.

    ***"You're talking out of your figurative arse."****

    Nice! Feel better now?

    A nice heart icon, as you seem rather stressed out and could do with some love ;-)

  82. Robb Topolski

    @Richard Bennett, Re: Private Trackers

    Well, you can ask Cade for verification should you doubt me, but I actually said during this interview -- practically verbatim -- the words that you thought I should say. I also mentioned that the very thought of 'private trackers' seemed antithetical to file sharing. While I have little use for private trackers, they are more popular than public ones. I did not mislead Cade at all. I said those things.

    But neither you, nor I, nor Comcast are in the business of collecting royalties for copyright holders. Comcast's actions are network management to ensure a positive user experience, according to its response to the FCC. It doesn't mention copyright or piracy as any motivation. Neither Vuze, the Free Press, Comcast, or I seem to believe that copyright enforcement is relevant to this conversation. It is an issue that only seems to distract from the issue at hand. This is probably why (I'm guessing) that the subject of copyright does not appear in Cade's article -- it is a distraction from the issue.

    The issue is whether Comcast's actions affect downloads -- and, yes, they do in exactly the ways I described.

    But as for the talking KJV, while the text may be in the Public Domain, the recording is likely covered by an active mechanical copyright. I accidentally run into that myself, from time to time, with some of my downloads -- when the musical composition and arrangement are old enough to be in the Public Domain but the recorded performance is not. Again, it's not relevant and is an easy mistake to make. Mistakes are mistakes and have no nefarious intent -- I'm not accusing anybody of anything. In my case, when I figure it out, I delete the file and move on. (Since it's the Bible, maybe the performer/publisher intentionally avoided mechanically copyrighting the work -- so it might be okay after all.)

  83. Richard Bennett

    @Robb Topolski

    OK, Robb, let's be very clear about what we're saying. You seem to believe that it's impossible to seed on the Comcast network, and therefore BitTorrent downloaders are severely affected across the whole Internet. If this were true, we'd have reports from all over about how Vuze and BitTorrent, Inc. were having trouble delivering HDTV and movies to their customers, but we don't. To the contrary, Vuze said in their FCC petition that they haven't been affected by Comcast in any way.

    And moreover, Linux distros are still moving quite nicely across the net, even inside of Comcast. My last Fedora 8 download ran at 4 Mb/s the whole way to completion. So your argument is obviously lacking substance.

    In fact, there's no relationship between your MIDI seeding and the kinds of transactions that are typical of legal uses of BitTorrent. You've had trouble seeding because you don't have enough of a swarm going to reach the critical mass that BT needs to run really fast. And in fact, BT is not even the appropriate tool for the job you're trying to do. You'd have much better luck putting your music files on your free Comcast web space and letting people download them with HTTP.

    So why don't you do that?

  84. Robb Topolski

    @Richard Bennett, Re: WTF?

    > You seem to believe that it's impossible

    > to seed on the Comcast network

    Nice try at a subject change. Go put words into someone else's mouth. I do not need your abuse. You've pulled this crap repeatedly. As I told you and George the last time we tried this -- it's pointless. You don't want to discuss and examine, you simply aim to "win" (whatever that means) by outlasting anyone who tries to converse with you about this.

    In my neighborhood, using BitTorrent, what I've said was "39% of connections are terminated using the RST flag." And as I've told you both in private and public, I have no problems reaching my desired maximum upload speeds (usually around 16 kB/s - 20 kB/s). I've also told you and the public that I cannot upload at all on Gnutella.

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r18323368-Comcast-is-using-Sandvine-to-manage-P2P-Connections

    Richard, stop being an ass. I've tested this. I've published my results. It's observable and reproducible (and it subsequently has been independently reproduced by the AP and the EFF and finally even admitted by both Sandvine and Comcast itself). You're the only one left -- well, you and George Ou -- who seems to be in denial and deflection mode.

    I'm done with you. I started with a fair amount of esteem for you, but I have none left. You've outlasted me, for whatever that is worth to you.

  85. michael

    @Oliver Jones

    the torrent client I use (I am not saying for what) randomizeses ports every time it oppens unless they block all ports it will work and if they did that they might as well not have a connection I know for a fact that almost every program execpt browsing uses diffrent ports and for yor infomation there are a LOT of online gamers

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just make an 'Encrypted Multicast Tunnel' and be done with it.

    it seems quite simple really if the open coder java developers were to just extend the torrent protocol and just make an 'Encrypted Multicast Tunnel' and be done with it.

    make it an experimental Azureus Multicast plug-in, tell people about it or get it included in the base package, and setup some trials , a simple small 4 to 1 ratio of peers would save masses of bandwidth and you could be happy knowing its Encypted at the same time.

    Encypted Multicast P2p tunnels are good for everyone , just make the thing.

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