back to article One week left before US faces clamp down on piracy

As Americans settle in for the Thanksgiving weekend of food and family, filesharing traffic traditionally shows a modest rise. But those downloading content may look back on this holiday as the last golden weekend of piracy if the major ISPs have anything to do with it. Next week AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable …


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  1. Are the British Coming??!!??

    These companies can blow themselves

    As far as I'm concerned......Comcast has better Internet than Verizon. They both are a pain in the ass to deal with. I can't seem to upload much more than 100KB/s.....I'm tired of seeing the same damn commercials FiOS versus Xfinity. Screw your BS marketing. Both companies need to come by and clean up their wired mess that's a dangling eye sore, but they're more concerned with television that I don't watch or want and telephone service that is fucking pathetic. 60 dollars a month Verizon charges and I can't make a "long Distance" call. This is not 1912....

    what up england?

    1. g e

      Re: These companies can blow themselves

      $60 a month? Feck.

      I just ordered Fibre upgrade and that's just £20 (~$32) a month for 40MBit plus around £14 (~$22) for the phone line and I have no problems with either the ISP or the phoneline.

      And UK is usually expensive compared to many other countries, to boot. Perhaps not.

      Have a pint by way of consolation.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: These companies can blow themselves

        LOL - I have a "business" connection with COX - $120 per month for 3M/400k ...

      2. Kevin 6

        Re: These companies can blow themselves

        g e but in the US our infrastructure is extremely old, and instead of upgrading it(or the government forcing them) they prefer to rape out pocket books as in most places cause there really is no choice. Out side comcast, and AT&T where I am there is Covad(and like 20 places that resell their connection for more),

        Example(what I really paid) when I was with Covad I was paying $110 a month for DSL 1.5Mb, went to AT&T for $25(back then went up to $45 with low data caps where they socked $5 per 5 gigs in the end) for the same speed, and now am at comcast and get approximately 10X the speed(2MBs) for $30

        Might just have to pay for a newsgroup account again, but then again the stuff I torrent isn't even licensed in the US so it shouldn't effect me unless they start slamming false positives.

        1. Peter H. Coffin

          Re: These companies can blow themselves

          Infrastructure is OLD and DISTANT. There is a lot of territory to cover.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I give it a month or two

      Before the shit hits the fan and it becomes apparent that some people will piggyback off their unsuspecting neighbours wifi to pirate shit.

      Prepare yourself

      Lawsuits are coming

  2. Blarkon

    Legitimate usage

    That would be those hundreds of millions of Linux users torrenting stuff. has a nice tracker of the most frequently torrented files. Pirate Bay has a list of the top 100

    Go to that site and find the first item on that list of the top 100 that is legit. (to save you some time, all of the files are rips of copyrighted materials)

    If you are going to write about copyright infringement - at least do it honestly.

    1. Pooka

      Re: Legitimate usage

      I can't help thinking this is a meaningless statistical comparrison....

      You go to Shady Bob's CD and DVD stall at the local market, and his top 100 DVDs are all pirate copies. Sure, he's got the odd pile of DVDs which aren't pirate - but he's bought a big box or two on FleaBay so that when the police and fair tranders guys come around he can show 'em off, but everyone else knows you go to Shady Bob for the latest pirated DVD - same with pirate bay.

      I could be mistaken, but I vaguely remember someone mentioning that things like World of Warcraft uses a torrenting system for distrubting patches? Surely the XX million sheep who want their latest kungfu panda fix far outweighs the number of people downloading crappyblockbusterthathollywoodsaysisawesome?

      <<< Coat 'cus I need to head into work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Legitimate usage


      OK, let's use your own logic. If you chose (clearbits) or other similar sites as the example, they have loads of music, videos, book, etc ALL of which are downloadable without infringing copyright. By picking these sites rather than piratebay I have proven that 100% of torrents are actually legal copies.

      Obviously I'm just making the point that by picking the piratebay as the only example you are going to get a distorted view.

      To quote somebody...

      "If you are going to write about copyright infringement - at least do it honestly"

    3. Andrew Norton

      Re: Legitimate usage

      Actually we don't. We have the most popular movies each week, but that's a ranking within the set movies, and has no relevance to the overall prevalence of files as a whole.

      And TPB's top100 is also NOTORIOUSLY inaccurate, because like all such lists, it relies on scrapes. Scrapes are incredibly easy to fake. In fact, it was one of the things that really undermined that university study that AFACT paid for for the IInet trial, since the study selected only one site's 'top list' to get the figure of '97% infringing' figure they touted, ending up with a lot of fake torrents (put to sucker in downloaders into jumping on faked/trojaned files or monitored swarms)

      Andrew Norton Senior Researcher

      (also AT&T customer)

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Ho hum

    Turn encryption on in torrent, run peer guardian (or modern equivalent) Turn on SSL on usenet.

    Download away safe in the knowledge they cant prove fuck all.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ho hum

      I don't think peer guardian and turning on encryption is going to help. A good VPN in a more accommodating jurisdiction would be safer. All these anti-piracy measures achieve is that the unskilled noobie completely-freetards get taken out. Well, good! Get off my Internets. And the ones with a little more gumption will just stump up a few bucks for a vpn, ssl usenet, or a swiss based bitlocker account. Welcome aboard the digital Mayflower my little Yankee friend.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ho hum

      Another poor deluded fool!

      You really think SSL traffic cannot be intercepted, traced and tracked? Do you think they don't attach to torrents to see who else is in the swarms and make a note of the numbers. We all know IPs aren't reliable to ID people but this lot couldn't give a rat's arse if they make a mistake, it only costs them a lawyers notice but you're the poor schmuck who's got to prove themself innocent.

      I don't bother with torrents very often these days, just the odd TV episode here and there, it's not worth the bother these days.

      1. g e

        Re: Ho hum

        Which is why I never use torrents.

        Even though I only ever hear of people being nicked for it rather than ever knowing anyone nicked for it.

        Still don't get why the MAFIAA are going after the downloaders rather than the seeders/providers of the files. I guess it's easy to punish customers as they're in the same jurisdiction as you, normally. Is it now an offence to download (C) material as well as distribute it in the USA or if they spot your IP on a torrent swarm do they just punt out a scary letter in the expectation you'll roll over thinking you're bang to rights.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ho hum

          The reason they go for BT is the fact that, as a downloader you are also sharing with others, as it is peer-peer. Therefore anybody who downloads an unauthorised copy is also considered to be guilty of sharing unauthorised copies - which is the illegal part (at least it used to be....).

          You will notice that for non peer-peer solutions (file lockers, usenet) they target the hosts and the service...not the end user.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Ho hum

        Another uneducated commentard.

        Of course SSL traffic can be traced/tracked but they cant identify what it is i'm downloading...Oh i can be part of the swarm, but thats all they can say.....

        Besides what happens in America doesn't concern me at all......

        1. Ole Juul

          Re: Ho hum

          Besides what happens in America doesn't concern me at all......

          It should. The desperate actions of an empire in decline always causes waves.

    3. Wild Bill
      Thumb Down

      Re: Ho hum

      "Turn encryption on in torrent, run peer guardian (or modern equivalent)"

      This does absolutely nothing to hide your IP address from others in the same swarm, it only stops your ISP seeing what kind of traffic is running through your torrent port of choice. Peer Guardian can never guarantee to be blocking all rights holders tracking specific torrents (it's most likely that they would track using standalone lines, as opposed to their corporate masters' IP addresses).

  4. Ole Juul

    People for the American Way?

    Maybe it's just me, but "Civic Media Project at People for the American Way" just sounds a bit creepy and reminiscent of McCarthyism. Regardless of the ethics of downloading copyrighted media, it would seem that "the American Way" would be to do it, so the name could also be be perceived as factually misleading.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I foresee....

    ... lots of spam about "your internet is being monitored, in order to avoid costly lawsuits please kindly send $100 to..."

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: I foresee....

      .. in order to avoid costly lawsuits please kindly send $100 to..."

      That's a great idea, and it looks like it may even be legal.

    2. Tex Arcana

      Re: I foresee....

      AC, this is AmurrriKKKa: they don't ask such thinks nicely.


      Yeah, welcome to the Corporate States of AmurrriKKKa, where we are being sold to said corporations...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't hear you, lala, I'm in a country where downloads are legal, lalala...

    You know, I stay on the legal side, but every time one of such idiots tries to assume the rights of police it really makes me feel like stopping with any legal purchase.

    1. g e


      Buy secondhand.

      Before they make that 'theft', too.

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: Simples

        Sorry, but too late. The copyright holders don't sell you the contents, only the media. You can't sell what you don't own.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Re: Simples

          Sorry, but this has been legally disproved for software, you are not buying a licence, you are buying a product with restrictions. Court smacks Autodesk, affirms right to sell used software

  7. Crisp
    Big Brother

    Due Process?

    What's happened here America? It seems like the RIAA and MPAA have managed to get their laws passed and enforced by their ISP cronies. And now they can sentence you to either reduced internet or no internet.

    Judge, jury and executioner, all in one neat little package.

    1. g e

      One word


  8. Tringle

    And watch the market for music and films shrink

    All this will do is divert the mainly teenage interest into other things. If they can't get the tunes and fillums for nix they just won't bother with them - and they'll no longer go out and buy the ones they really like. It'll take time, of course, and it will be difficult to attribute the declining revenues to stamping on curiosity, but it will happen.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a dent in the culture of piracy, ROTFL

    this quote needs fixing with one word, like, mentioned elsewhere: "it'll put a dent in the culture of UNSKILLED piracy that has become so accepted in some circles."

    there :)

  10. Anonymous Coward

    In other news

    Companies offering VPN services post record profits.

  11. ethicalfan

    42% of ALL US Upstream traffic used to consume media illegally

    US law says that ISPs only have safe harbor from their subscribers illegally distributing content if they have a policy for terminating repeat infringers (17 USC 512 (i). If they were doing this, 42% of all US internet upstream traffic wouldn't be used to illegally distribute music, movies, games, software and ebooks. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that musicians wages are down 45% since p2p technology arrived. US Home video sales (DVD, BluRay, PayTV, VOD, Streaming) are down 25% to $18.5B in 2011 from $25B in 2006.

    The first BitTorrent search engines debuted in 2004. Recorded music is down worldwide from $27B in 1999 (Napster) to $15B in 2011. Video Game revenue (consoles & PC) is down 13% from 2007. In the meantime US broadband revenues grew from zero to $50B a year in the US with p2p as the killer app that drove broadband adoption. Those are real jobs lost that are not coming back until the public realizes that these are your friends and neighbors whose careers are being destroyed by lack of copyright enforcement. Who is destroying these industries? ISPs who ignore the law 17 USC 512 (i) and do not terminate repeat infringers. US Telecom makes >$400B a year, US creative industries less than <$80B a year. Verizon $120B a year, Viacom (CBS, MTV & Paramount Pictures) $14B a year, Warner Music Group $2.4B a year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 42% of ALL US Upstream traffic used to consume media illegally

      Jesus wept, not this argument again. For starters, not every download equals a lost sale. If anything it allows you to sample things you might not have otherwise listened to. And if you listen and don't like, then you've saved £10. Is it morally wrong to do this or is it actually the fault of the entertainment companies who are flogging poor content to the punters?

      And on that subject, whilst there have been some excellent films and albums since 1999, I'm afraid there's also been an exponential increase in crap. You can't blame piracy for a decline in all these areas, we've had a recession for approximately half that period and the various industries seems to have forgotten that there are people who are over 16 years old. With the spate of recent dreadful Hollywood remakes, PG rated action flicks and overblown pop performers, speaking personally there just isn't the choice of good content any more whether it be music, films or video games. I'm still mostly listening to and watching the same things I did 20 years ago, the only contribution I'm making is to upscale formats.

      When people can try before they buy and then realise it's rubbish, of course revenues will suffer. Even highly torrented films can still earn billions plus follow-on home media sales if they're any good. It's easier to blame the pirates rather than looking at your own flawed business model.

      Anon because I know the above post was freetard bait :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: These are your friends and neighbors whose careers are being destroyed

        Not my friends or neighbours.

        Then again, I don't live in Beverly Hills.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 42% of ALL US Upstream traffic used to consume media illegally

      Yawn, etc

      US Movie industry revenue broke records in 2007....and then again in 2008...

      F**k it, I can't be bothered to feed you...

    3. Kevin 6

      Re: 42% of ALL US Upstream traffic used to consume media illegally

      when 99.9999% of the stuff is complete crap that has been released by the record labels, and movie industry they expect profits to go up?

      Lets face it the VAST majority of movies IMO are not even worth pirating. Lets see there are sequels of sequels, and remakes of remakes of remakes of classic movies, or reboots of the reboot of the reboot of a franchise. Hell I have satellite with well over a hundred channels(98% are crap) and I don't even bother watching the movies on it as most suck.

      As for music majority of what I hear for these "musicians" sounds like some auto tuned pile of crap that they just slapped a pretty face on the album saying they "sang" it

      Next we'll have software companies following suit I can just imagine MS, or apple doing this OMG WE LOST PROFIT SUE EVERYONE THEY MUST BE PIRATING OUR NEW CRAP OS

  12. Danny 14

    errr, ok.

    so just use newsgroups then.

    1. Ploughmans Lunch

      Re: errr, ok.

      Or copy your friends DVD / CD.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Short lived

    Like all the other efforts it will be short lived as soon as they hit the wrong user who takes them to court for libel. Insert lots of negative press, a picture of a granny... and watch it all collapse.

    Simple -> Innovate, make a better mousetrap...

  14. Flawless101

    I wonder how long it'll take for the masses to move from torrents to the next big thing.

    I believe if things were more competitively priced, didn't have staggered release dates (waiting 6+ months for your favorite series after the US?), and the companies got a frigging clue piracy wouldn't be wailed upon so much for "destroying the industry". Music industry doesn't seem to be doing so bad these days when you can pick up cheap singles/albums or streaming services.

    Beer, because it's what I spend money on rather than movies.

  15. M Gale

    Distributed Sneakernet.

    Must be a way of doing it. Similar to torrents, with file chunks verified with checksums/hashes, but the nodes are people with smartphones and netbooks wandering around and coming into periodic contact with each other.

    Fire up the node, select your wishlist of known file names/hashes, wander around a heavily populated area for a bit. Think of it like old-skool VHS and and audio cassette-swapping for the 21st century.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Distributed Sneakernet.

      Mesh net LAN party?

  16. Antoinette Lacroix

    I think that's a very good idea.

    They should monitor everything and spend vast amounts of money. After months of stagnating revenues they might finally realize that file sharing has no impact on sales.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go ahead

    OMG, what'll we do if Comcast boots us off the internet? Wash the dishes, take out the trash... save $70 a month... stop ordering crap from Amazon... play music... do sports... maybe even write an OS...

  18. Fluffy Bunny

    I wouldn't mind so much if the system wasn't so full of false positives. I tried using Azureus once - every time I turned it on, I got these annoying accusations of pirate downloads for software nobody in their right mind would download. I use a different package now, but whatever the package you use, these are just robot messages, not something anybody needs to pay attention to. It's actually rather creepy that these people are always trying to spy on me.

    Secured your wifi properly? Just because it was your IP address, doesn't prove it was you. I'm not responsible for illegal actions taken by somebody stealing my bandwidth. I'm limited by the technology in how effective my security is. But I don't want a bunch of accusatory e-mails just because of something somebody else may have done.

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    There's a reason this only covers bittorrent....

    There's a reason this only covers bittorrent, and not streaming services -- it has been solidly decided in the US, that it is the sender making a copy (and so comitting copyright infringement). Viewing streams, the streaming server infringes copyright (if they aren't licensed, or it's not a short fair use clip...) but the viewer does not. Plenty of streaming services have been shut down, so it's not like M.P. Ass. Of America is doing nothing about this, it's just as much as they and the R.I. Ass. Of America are jonseing to go after more of their own customers, they cannot in this case.

    Bittorrent? I've never seen a torrent setup that wasn't set to at least 1:1 ratio (to aviod being a leech). So, with a copyrighted torrent, as soon as your torrent client starts retransmitting it's infringing.

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    My favorite is Mediacom -- they (without telling customers) switched to a 3 strikes system. (They shut off internet on 1 and 2, then on 3 expect people to come in and sign some contract.) The nice part is, the IP<->customer database is SCRAMBLED. So... a few years ago....

    My internet gets shut off. I called in, and they say it got shut off over some file or other. I did torrent it, so I said fair enough, I won't torrent and it was turned back on.

    Few weeks later, Internet gets shut off again. I called in, they didn't claim what file it was shut off for. But I said, well, OK, maybe something "crossed in the mail" from earlier. They turned it back on.

    Third time, I get a piece of mail (misaddressed -- supposedly I was supposed to get something in the mail the first two times too.) It claimed I tried to distribute wrestling (nope) and the IP address listed was wrong (I have a log of the public IP addresses I had, and it matched none of them.) In fact, the address they listed was for the Des Moines market, over 150 miles away. Hmm...

    I came in. They wanted me to sign something. I read it and found it only applied as long as I maintained internet service (otherwise i would never agreed to the ridiculous terms listed). So i signed it, let them waste their time faxing it to their central office, then handed over the cable modem and cancelled on the spot (so the contract only applied for about 45 seconds.) They looked flabbergasted! At my friend's advice (who at that point had an ISP and so directly competed w/ Mediacom) I *didn't* tell them their database is all screwed up -- I figure a company that cooperates with MPAA/RIAA when they don't have to DESERVES to lose customers if they can't even make sure they are doing it right. Sure enough, at my workplace (about 30 people) I started hearing 2, 3, complaints a month from people who were not torrenting a thing getting their service randomly shut off, and several did cancel their service (they never got to "strike 3" they just got sick of the internet randomly failing for false reasons.)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slanted usual

    Iain implies that "casual piracy" is no big deal, except to copyright holders who lose lots of money from tens of thousands of illegal downloads or distributions per year. The ignorance and contempt for copyright laws by some folks is incomprehensible. I guess if someone was to remove ten Euro from their pocket everyday for a year, they might think differently. It's always easy to attack other folks when you have no moral compass.

    As far as six stikes is concerned, I think it's way too many chances. Three strikes is more than enough warning that you are violating law and that you will be severely punished if you continue to do so. It's not like these "casual pirates" are not aware they are violating law. Many of them flaunt their activities because they falsely think they are above the law. There are many prisons filled with people who believe the law doesn't apply to them.

  22. Grogan Bronze badge

    I don't even get why these threats would be effective. If my ISP sent me anything admonishing me for copyright infringement (or any activity for that matter), it would be ME terminating service immediately, and they can shove their 6 strikes right up their gaping arseholes.

    For most people, if they couldn't download the things they want, what would they even want the Internet for? I didn't just make that up, I go to hundreds of homes to provide computer service and most of them use the Internet for downloading music and shows. They would cancel their service in a heart beat if they couldn't.

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