As the old saying goes...
... the Internet see censorship as corruption and works around it
To our Irish cousins, the phrase you need to Google is 'proxy server'. That is all.
Eircom, Ireland's biggest internet provider, has agreed to block access to any website the music industry says is responsible for illegal music-swapping. In a letter sent to ISPs across the country last week, the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) disclosed the deal and warned others to follow suit or face legal action. …
If state run censorship (examples of which are net filters as proposed in UK & AU) is considered as a pretty bad thing by most ppl and needs a firm democratic process, and a subsequent law, I think that we are looking at an illegal situation.
Pity that Eircom apparently has not been willing to take it to the courts, if not the Irish than the EU courts.
What's next, the fast food industry ordering the providers to block nutritional websites because it hampers their sales?
First Ireland, soon UK?
Usually after this , all the other companies follow on. I certainly hope a UK ISP doesn't adopt this policy, because others will almost certainly follow on especially with the record companies taking out lawsuits! Do they not know that torrent sites and "illegal" music sharing sites are not just for "Illegal" sharing, there's alot of open source content and Creative Commons licensed works on these websites.
Steve represents the Music industry in general (with iTunes and the like) , Evil Steve = Evil Music Industry
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As a customer, I would be arguing that an Internet service with forced (non government mandated) filtering is not in fact the Internet that I'm paying for, and that they are breaking the contract that I made with them (were I an existing customer, or they failed to document this in future contracts).. I'm not sure about the law in Ireland, but in Australia, consumers would then have (at least) the right to break the contract early without penalty.
If consumers let an ISP get away with this, you will effectively be rewarding them financially for introducing censorship (since they will experience reduced traffic because average Joe doesn't know how to get around the filtering).
"IRMA - which represents the "big four" labels; EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal and Warner - will compile a list of websites the group claims harbors illegal music sharing."
So, we shall expect to see Google, Yahoo, Ask.com etc on these lists will we? Because funnily enough, If I type "free music torrents" or any variation of that into any of those search engines, I can be taken to a place where I can locate and download copyrighted music, for..... FREE... (much to my delight) and that is somehow different?
I switched to BTIreland a while back. Some problems with the line being dropped every now and again and not automatically re-establishing the link but I don't give a toss because 24MBit is good 1.5MB/sec downloads of a CD in 5 minutes makes me happy. Eircom are a bunch of fucking weasel bastards they already route all Irish telecoms through to GHCQ, this latest atrocity is the final straw.
I am no friend of the file sharers, who lets face it leech bandwidth off everyone else, but in order to stave off threats of legal action of questionable validity from the music industry, Irish ISPs are going to defraud their entire user base instead. People pay for internet connectivity, not access to a restricted internet subset. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts one there are a few cases over the failure to provide the services actually contracted for.
Having had the misfortune to be an Eircom customer in the past this doesn't surprise me. Under Eircom Ireland have enjoyed some of the highest call charges in Europe and up until recently the poorest broadband saturation in the EU.
I don't think this move by IRMA will have a long lasting affect. By their logic every search engine should also be blocked. People will either defect to other ISPs or come up with a work around [a la TOR / Proxy Servers] . PB are hardly the only indexing site out there.
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Most ISPs in Ireland all connect up to Eircom at some point as 90% of the infrastructure is Eircom based. There are some that are not, Magnet Networks for example.
As for blocking sites, need we point out the TPB does not actually host anything bar torrent files? Once again Eircom showing lack of knowledge.
eh? read-up on proxies first then come back here to comment. You're not seriously suggesting the ISP would restrict all internet access to its customers through their own proxy and then take further steps to prevent daisy-chaining proxies??? As many people around the world prove everyday the government can't really stop you doing anything.
This is a violation of civil rights and a blow to free speech and democracy. There is no way they can justify such an action. None of the sites they are banning are illegal. A torrent is not illegal, so banning a site just because someone can post a torrent of an alleged illegal file is utter bollocks.
Considering the tech guys in ISP's are the biggest warez and porn addicts in the world, I find this quite ironic in some respects.
Anyway.. Stop the planet... I want to get off.
So Sorry, but I've got to toss another in the Steve = EVIL column.
Had a bit of a problem with my Itunes library files (apps only, no music) and wanted to download the whole thing again. Can't. So I popped off a message about the problem to Apple's own support form and waited to hear back.
More than a week later, I get a bloody SURVEY asking how my support experience suited me.
Not well, I'd wager! I asked for support, and Steve's minions didn't answer b/c I didn't desire to simply re-buy all my already-paid-for (they were all free) apps? Bugger off then! See if I buy any more from CRapple.
Except it doesn't. Even China, where they do try this on a national level (the "Great Firewall of China" forces all outbound connections through censorship boxes, which forge a connection reset if they see content or sites they don't like).. if a site doesn't load, people "know" they aren't supposed to go there. But there's trivial ways around it. If a gov't really wants to stop you, they still can't.
Proxies are just the beginning of ways to get around blocks. Any ISP which requires you to use their proxy these days is hardly an ISP at all, since so many protocols just don't work like that. You'd be blocking all online gaming for one thing. And unless an ISP / government started whitelisting hosts / domains as being OK to access, it'd still be relatively easy (not free) to get yourself a VPN to a nicer country. And then you've got all sorts of clandestine tunneling and protocol obfuscation to look at.
@ the spectacularly refined chap
File sharers actually pay for their internet access most of the time. Unless you've let one of them steal your wifi, then you're paying for your internet connection and they're paying for theirs. It's the ISP's buisness how to charge for it, and you can bet they'd charge you just the same whether theri network was at 3% utilization or 90%. You're the kind of person that'd probably be in favor of pay-per-use tiered access, but even those plans would end up costing more for you, even to get the lowest tier. You're getting cheated by your ISP, and file sharers have nothing to do with that.
You have to wonder whether this ISP will be like the rest and just drop blocked sites from their DNS. We all know how easy that sort of thing is to foil.
One of these days I'll get around to deploying a nice little dark net and all these silly little ISP / Government problems will go away.
I can't believe this is happening in a country which is believed not to be very much corrupted, and believed to be democratic also.
Private organisations with narrow commercial interests will now decide what content to allow, what not to allow, and also will decide if citizens will have access to the Internet or not, if they decide to issue 3 warnings and then cut the line. No courts needed to diconnect the Internet (and this rule will expand to electricity also, if the electricity was used for TV that was used to watch illegal movies more than 3 times). I cant believe this is happening in EU country!
If courts and legal system are not needed anymore, then I issue the new Internet Freedom Law effective immediatelly: each thinking citizen of the Republic of Ireland must throw 1 (one) penalty stone into Eircom management windows for each 1 (one) day of Internet censorship applied to that citizen. No courts needed to enable this "equal legal level response" behaviour, because the decision where stones must fly are based on the recommendations from my commercial advisors (not yours).
Seriously, I suggest all customers must leave such an "Internet provider" as fast as they can, and as soon as TPB is blocked, stop to pay for the service and register the Internet problem, because then the service is not provided. It is completely legal to read the TPB legal news web page and if its not displayed then there is no Internet service, give the money back or return the service.
Competitors must be happy to use such a mistakes of the rival.
Of course it is possible to block access to a large degree. The problem is that you will certainly really annoy a lot of people and break a lot of things you didn't intend to.
Law rarely works when it doesn't have at least the passive support of the people being governed.
ISPs really need to look away from phorm and hold up their "common-carrier" shield. Do telco's get sued for providing telephones to drug trafficers or fraudsters? These people do much more harm than any file-sharer, but no-one suggests holding the telco's responsible for drug-deals. That's even for criminal acts rather than civil-law disputes.
ISPs don't "host" data which is held on customers' equipment, that is hosted on, well, customers' equipment. Even the ISP-assigned IP address is rarely on a device holding infringing data. Any infringing data has to cross the customer's network, the border gateway and the telco WAN-link before it even begins to traverse the ISP's own devices.
I'm afraid that if your business model depends on getting non-customers to stop doing something, you've got serious problems far beyond what this action will fix, even if its successful. You can't distribute a digital product and expect that other people won't do the same. The days of monopoly based on the distribution of digital media are over.
Perhaps the solution is for the big labels to stop milking the cash-cow by forcing co-writing etc, as described in previous Reg articles and concentrate on investing in quality. Piracy is rife in the computer games industry, but people still pay big money for games because they perceive value in them and want to support the games studios. You have to ask why the same people don't perceive value in the music industry's product. Maybe its because the product is a bit rubbish.
When was the last time we saw a new band like Dire Straits or Foreigner? Most of the male singers these days sound as though they are in excruciating pain and are trying to share it. The female singers are uniformly good in the audio and visual departments. They are just all rather uniform in general. Since the money is in the song-writing rather than performing, making sure they only do cover-songs may be profitable for Idol, but the audience has been trained to bore of them very quickly. People buy whatever is sold to them, so there is an expensive media blitz to sell as much as possible very quickly, but as soon as sales begin to tail-off, a new new product has to be found.
And then there are computer games. These suck out disposable income like never before, not only in direct sales of the games but in frequent hardware upgrades. Add in group-gaming and music interferes with rather than enriches free-time activities. What if Blizzard's customers are those who are file-sharing? If Blizzard starts losing a lot of customers because of music industry action, the music industry is going to be in for a fight it simply doesn't have the financial muscle to win.
The problem is that the only other big operator (of which I am aware) that can challenge Eircom in the broadband market is the cable company NTL/Chorus (owned by UPC), which is probably the most inefficient company in the country. They spend so much time trying to sign up people to their services that they neglect their current subscribers and have horrendous customer service.
If the severely corrupt Music Industry officials get their own way and start "banning" whatever websites they see fit, where will this all end?
Even worse, the "rules" of this new game are designed so the ISP is unable to question these demands then its even more grim than you can imagine. But wait its too early for April Fool....?
Whether you are for _or_ against the "root cause" this is REALLY BAD NEWS...
I predict hundreds (if not thousands) of websites being blocked BUT WHERE DOES IT END?
What next? Copyright recipe pages being blocked? News Articles about the Music Industrys dirty tactics being removed? Forums being closed down that mention/link to these websites
Maybe they will BAN TheReg for being critical and spelling out the obvious that the horse has bolted and no matter how many times you lock and relock the stable door the horse has GONE FOREVER. In the UK they closed ZAVVI because when people have no money they think Hmm buy CD's or buy FOOD today?
IF MY ISP bans anything the only thing I will surely do is PESTER them till ETERNITY on their help desk saying bannedwebsite.com doesnt work, its broken, raise me a ticket, Im not hanging up till its fixed... waste so much call centre time by ringing up every day they wont be able to cope.
Failing that drop the scumbag censoring ISP and go with ANYONE else who doesnt censor even if it means paying more.
We cannot let this happen under ANY circumstances, this ISNT about filesharing its about parts of the internet being switched off willy nilly without any accountability whatsoever.
If these corrupt Music scumbags can switch off sites who else? There aint gona be much internet left to look at in years to come.....
It is for this reason why I find their censorship actions so apalling.
If these 1000's of so called "illegal" websites are illegal then SUE them ALL.
But the thing is, most are NOT illegal because theyre still up.... and up legally from what I can tell....
Dirty bastard tactics by dirty bastards.
So when TPB win their court case and are found to be operating legally under Swedish (and EU law?) then can we file a class action suit against the fatcats at the record labels, for the following actions
1. Harassment of individuals
3. Harassment of ISPs
4. Making threats
I can't wait!
for testing this nonsense first. I sincerely hope you manage to put Eirecom out of business along with any politicians who didn't immediately take steps to protect your interests over the RIAA's.
If it's a big enough fiasco, hopefully Australia's censorship zealots will take note and piss off back to their spider holes before they, too, do something equally stupid.
Is this legal?
As others have said, I'm paying for an internet connection- that's what the I in ISP stands for, for crying out loud!
So give it a couple of months and I'll be restrictred from NNTP, IRC, P2P, vast swarthes of the WWW and probably non-standard email servers "to help stop spam".
A philosophical question: When you start cutting "live" chunks out of the Internet, when does it stop being The Internet?
The answer is as soon as the first byte is blocked it's not. Legally shut down, fair enough- they did something illegal enough to get shut down. They can stay shut down or can move somewhere where it's legal. But nothing should be blocked.
When they start blocking websites and protocols, surely that makes it more "The Tiscalinternet" or whatever- a vendor-specific implementation of parts of the whole package?
We need a lawyer's advice now, damnit!
While I don't think the blocking of access to sites is a good thing, I can't get over the people here who think it's their right to break the law.
Downloading copyrighted material you don't already own a copy of is ILLEGAL.
When was the last time a car manufacturer was taken to court for producing a car that can exceed 70MPH. Just because they provide the facility doesn't make it better. The government install speed cameras and Police, and we all take our chances when we choose to BREAK THE LAW.
Eircom, RIAA, etc will soon discover the futility of their actions. There will always be a cat and mouse to break the rules. Get over it, and get on with it. The life of Bittorrent in it's current incarnation may be limited, but it will be re-born to get round the rules.
So it's the 'music' companies that say which sites to ban - on their say so.
The music companies already (try to) dictate what we should be buying, nothing to do with music just money - if they didn't we wouldn't get the Brits and bloody Duffy shoved up our noses.
Nah, it's merely them trying to maximise profits by flogging the same old dead horses like U2.
Does Eircom have 0800 support lines???
Ring them 24/7/365, stick diallers on them, anything, maybe even run some DTMF random number generators on them too if they're IVR. Presumably they own the lines & numbers so it doesn't cost them like it'd cost you or me to have someone call your 0800 number but it'll be a huge pain in their arse.
How's that for an idea?
That's what this comes down to. Music industry has been doing over all the little artists and record labels for years and now they have lost their stranglehold on the industry meaning it's not as lucrative. Tough shit I say move with the times or die. Rather than bitching and moaning make it so I can download an album which I will pay for but if my PC crashes don't make it so I have to buy it again because I won't I've bought it once I'll get it for free. I mean look at Steam it works a treat people download full games and everyone is happy.
So they are saying that even if the court application is obviously never going to "win", they will still concede?
And, like everyone else, I would just change ISP...
mmm, pay an extra £5 a month (just a guess, I'm suggesting price doesn't matter that much) or pay for £100 of DVDs a month that I probably would have never bought anyway.
Orange UK are already blocking access to several file sharing/torrent sites, such as Demonoid and a fair few others. No warning, no announcement - one day the sites were just unavailable. I know this to be true as I can still access my Demonoid account via my work PC which has a different IP.
Another example of my countrymens' inept fucking idiocy. Funny thing is that if a UK comedian told this joke the nation would be up in arms about 'racism'.
Also, SMH @ the description of ireland as 'supposedly democratic and not corrupt' - seriously, read up on our 15 year corruption tribunals sometime.
Hardly suprising that a country whose constitution was drawn up by a quasi fascist stooge of the catholic church, and has been run as a haven for childmolesters and terrorists for the first 60 years of its existence should bumble around like a retarded child in this fashion.
And before anyone gets sensitive I'm very fond of my country and its people. I simply cannot stand the revolting stink of weakness and corruption from our successive corrupt administrations.
I suggest torrenting 'banana republic' by the Boomtown Rats. Should be our national anthem.
Back in the day, getting gear off t'interweb required skill and knowledge. Now any old twonk can do it. At least if they (wholley illegally) implement basic site blocking, it will then be only those who know SSH tunnels, proxies and basic encryption left to download which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Having said that, I'd much rather let the retards download than let any sort of All Powerful Bunch Of Cunts govern what we are allowed to see on the web. In short, when can I expect to able to emigrate to Mars plzkthx??
... Eircom ads were turning up on TPB last year ....
but mainly I am worried that this sets a trend where commercial interests can limit access to information at odds with those interests.
It has to be said that for the average "joe" in the street this will not make an ounce of difference.
YET!! But this is the thin end of a wedge.
How long before you try google "annomous proxy" (HINT) and this gets blocked as well?
I work in IT. I know how hard it is to stop people looking at websites that the business does not want them to see. Its almost IMPOSSIBLE. If someone has the brains to use torrents then they will probably have the brains to get around this corporate bollox.
Interesting idea for a business though - take alot of years to build up your customer base, and then tell every one to go away, just as the economy crashes. Any bets on when Eircom will start laying off staff because "our revenue stream has dried up?" If this happens I'll guarentee that the "big four" are no where to be seen.
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Once they have a working method of implementing this then it will spread everywhere. I am sure there a lots of organisations who would like to block access to stuff.
Regarding ORANGE UK
They block SMTP in all it's usual ports including the secure ones, so you are stuck with their SMTP which means they can read what you are sending on another ISP's email service.
Everybody knows Eircom is shite! Most people have been quietly moving to other providers without telling anyone , and a lot of people have been moving to sky( as UK customers... a " friend" with a uk address gets a sky dish , and ships it over, along with the box & card ... far cheaper)
The problen is ,a satellite has a very finite amount of bandwidth.
So, what we REALLY need is a dedicated encrypted proxy server up in the six counties, and a few dedicated land lines/ private mesh networks in the major cities. And more satellites.
Good business opportunity for someone?
... ... Download your music and movies faster with Eircom broadband ... ...
Which is why I have a 7meg line with them and nowhere in the literature that they sent out to me contains a list of sites that I can download from.. so when they ask me to appear in court.. I'll ask them to show me my terms and conditions that I verbally sign on their phone system. and at the same time ask to see the full board of management who sanction the use of these adverts.. how am I a mere user be expected not to download music and films when it's part of the adverts...
I left Magnet Broadband because their adverts proved to be false when I signed up, found out one day when I was wondering about line improvements .. Contention free internet..
<<The jolly roger because it's time to bring back the Phacks..
Let's face it, chaps, the only people who are going to be affected, and thus notice, this change are you and I - Volume downloaders who have a degree of technical understanding of their internet connection capabilities. We are not representative of the average user no matter how much we would like to believe we are. I'd estimate that 95% of users are not "plugged into the net" to the same degree that we are.
Add to that understanding the widespread (techie) belief that ISPs are oversold, leading to bandwidth throttling, traffic management and port blocking (perhaps even the end of "Net Neutrality") and we can see a clear tactic on the part of the big providers (I don't know how big Eircom is, but judging by the posts above I think they are fairly sizeable)
ISP: Omigod, we've offered huge broadband and we're overwhelmed with users, and because some of them are REALLY hammering it (with torrents! shock! gasp!) we can't provide the service we've promised without upgrading!
INVESTOR: Upgrading? Thats money right?
ISP: Yep, we need to invest in infrastructure.
INVESTOR: Nope. No more money. Cut costs instead, don't you know there's a Crunch on?
PRESS: Oi! these ISPs aren't providing what they are selling us!
LEGAL PEEPS: Really? *peer*
ISP: Oh...no...we CAN provide it, honest! It's all these PIRATES bringing us down! Honest!
ISP: (whispers) if we throttle the ports and protocols most used by the high usage mob, then they'll go away and everyone else (the clueless users) will see a big improvement! Let's do it!
...and so it was that the ISPs throttled, blocked, censored and banned, upset us hardcore users and we went away.. ..allowing the ISPs to appear whiter than white, meet their commitments, not upgrade their infrastructure and plan their next false promise....
And there you have it. They drive 'us' away and their problems are solved. After all, most of them are claiming that they need such measures (FUPs by label) because "5% of users are using 75% of resources" - get rid of that 5% by underhand tactics and the issue is solved without needing to invest in infrastructure!
One Last Thing: If we want to teach the music industry a lesson, I have some advice for you - Pick up an instrument and learn to play it, record a demo, distribute it freely on the net and then charge people to come and see you play live! In the modern era that is, by far, the best business model for a musician - it keeps the music live and fresh, prevents the 'big labels' from taking 80% of the profits, reduces the amount of "plastic fantastic pop" that gets vomitted by "stars" and shows them that music CAN be shared freely and STILL turn a profit! (to be fair, there are one or two major labels already realising that they can make more money from live performance than they can from record sales).
Anyway, thats my rant for the day! ta!
So they think that we are all pirates and can censor my internet. I don't actually use torrent sites , download movies or any of that stuff but I don't see why large corporates think they can dictate to me so I will not be buying any products from any of these companies or any of their parents/subsiduaries. EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal and Warner. I won't be buying a stereo, PS3, movies on dvd, watching movies at the cinema, cds from these companies. The only freedom that I as a consumer have is the withdrawal of my business (see how that fits into their business model)
"Everybody knows Eircom is shite! Most people have been quietly moving to other providers without telling anyone , and a lot of people have been moving to sky( as UK customers... a " friend" with a uk address gets a sky dish , and ships it over, along with the box & card ... far cheaper)
The problen is ,a satellite has a very finite amount of bandwidth."
Sky supplies broadband to it's customers via land-line, and not via it's subscription TV service. They bought Easynet out in the UK to give them a major infrastructure to do this, and to supply TV on demand, but they do not use their commercial TV offerings to pump broadband, nor is a sky digibox capable of this., so this would not be a solution to the current pedicament in Ireland.
What needs to happen, is Eircom needs to get a spine and tell the IRMA to go feck themselves, unless it really is (as some people here think) trying to run itself into the ground. Maybe thats the plan all along. Maybe they think the corrupt Fianna Fail government will bail them out... Too late Eircom, they spent all out cash on bank loans and bailouts.
Perhaps people and especially the music industry should read about the "industrial revolution". There's actually a very good article on Wikipedia about it.
Lots of miners and workers were left without jobs when steam power was invented and introduced. Lots of peasants were no longer needed when machines replaced them when time came to gather crops off the field and make ballots of hay.
Lots of textile workers lost their jobs when automated machines replaced them doing the job hundreds of times faster.
Heck, even the printing industry was revolutionized when machines were invented to do typography much faster than a normal people could have done before.
All of these industries above fought and influenced governments to make laws to protect them but in the end they all died, but people simply got other jobs and went with the new times.
Maybe it's the time for the music industry to leave their own (and profitable) business model and adapt with the new times, the revolution will happen in the end with or without them.