BitTorrent study finds most file-sharers are monitored
posted by Keito
2012-09-04 20:24:42'Anyone using file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release is likely to be monitored, UK-based researchers suggest.
A Birmingham University study indicates that an illegal file-sharer downloading popular content would be logged by a monitoring firm within three hours.
The team said it was "surprised" by the scale of the monitoring.
Copyright holders could use the data to crack down on illegal downloads.
The three-year research was carried out by a team of computer scientists who developed software that acted like a BitTorrent file-sharing client and logged all the connections made to it.
BitTorrent is a method of obtaining files by downloading from many users at the same time.
The logs revealed that monitoring did not distinguish between hardcore illegal downloaders and those new to it.
"You don't have to be a mass downloader. Someone who downloads a single movie will be logged as well," said Dr Tom Chothia, who led the research.
"If the content was in the top 100 it was monitored within hours," he said. "Someone will notice and it will be recorded."
Less popular content was also monitored although less frequently, the study indicated.
The research identified about 10 different monitoring firms logging content. Of these, a handful were identifiable as copyright-enforcement organisations, security firms and even other research labs.
But about six of the biggest-scale monitors were harder to identify, as the companies behind them used third-party hosting firms to run the searches for them.
Why such firms wanted the massive amounts of data was unclear, said Dr Chothia.
"Many firms are simply sitting on the data. Such monitoring is easy to do and the data is out there so they think they may as well collect it as it may be valuable in future," he said.
Some firms alleged to be carrying out mass-scale monitoring have been accused of selling the data to copyright holders for marketing purposes.
"The data shows what content is popular and where," said Dr Chothia.
The study also revealed that so-called blocklists, used by some illegal file-sharers to prevent monitors from connecting to their computers, might not be much use.
"Many of the monitors we found weren't on the blocklists so these measures to bypass the monitors aren't really working," said Dr Chothia.
Some copyright owners in Europe and the US are using IP addresses gathered by monitoring firms to apply for court orders obliging internet service providers to hand over the physical addresses associated with them.
They are then writing to individuals seeking recompense or warning of the possibility of court action.
But Dr Chothia doubts evidence gathered in this manner would stand up in court.
"All the monitors observed during the study would connect to file-sharers and verify that they were running the BitTorrent software, but they would not actually collect any of the files being shared," he said.
"It is questionable whether the monitors observed would actually have evidence of file-sharing that would stand up in court," he added.
Lawyers have previously cast doubt on whether evidence collected from an IP address can be used in court because such an address pinpoints the internet connection used for downloading rather than a specific individual.'
Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms
posted by Keito
2012-08-29 20:24:36'The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) endangers the Internet and digital freedoms on par with ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA, and it does so in two significant ways: First, its intellectual property (IP) chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedoms and innovation, and second, the entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy. The TPP is a major threat because it will rewrite global rules on IP enforcement and restrict the public domain.
As of now, corporate lobbyists are the only ones who have been officially invited to contribute and access the negotiating text. The Bush administration initiated TPP negotiations back in 2008, but closed door sessions over this powerful multi-national trade agreement have continued under the Obama administration, led by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Governments are characterizing this as a free trade agreement, but its effects will go far beyond trade.
We are fighting back.
Activists, scholars, and individuals around the world are speaking out against the TPP’s onerous intellectual property chapter and the threat it poses to our digital freedoms. Americans and Canadians are protesting at every negotiation round; the Japanese are growing more disaffected; and demonstrations have also occurred in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia. Law professors from around the world and over 130 US representatives have raised alarm over the TPP in letters to Representative Ron Kirk, the head of the U.S. delegation.'
Check the article below to see how you can take action against this proposed legislation...
Branded - Official Trailer
posted by Keito
2012-08-29 19:48:29Release Date: 7 September 2012
Cast: Anna Abonisimova, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Mariya Ignatova
Directors: Aleksandr Dulerayn, Jamie Bradshaw
Writer: Aleksandr Dulerayn, Jamie Bradshaw
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Set in a dystopian future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population, one man's effort to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with hidden forces that control the world.
BitTorrent Bonanza: Monitoring File-Sharers Forbidden in Norway
posted by Keito
2012-08-28 20:55:03'From today (25th), file-sharers in Norway can download pretty much whatever they like without facing any consequences. Pirates were effectively given the green light after the only law firm in the country permitted to monitor file-sharing networks lost its license and were denied a new one.
For more than half a decade the Simonsen law firm has been obtaining licenses from Norway’s data protection office which enabled the company to monitor file-sharers and collect their IP addresses.
There have been difficult periods though, such as in 2009 when the company’s license expired in the midst of a debate over what licensees can and cannot do. Now, three years later, Simonsen face another crisis.
Simonsen, which is home to famous pirate-chaser Espen Tøndel, became unlicensed in March this year after the Privacy Appeals Board rejected the law firm’s appeal against the Data Inspectorate’s decision not to issue a new license on data protection grounds. The effects of that rejection are now being felt.
“As of today no hunting of file-sharers is allowed in Norway,” said Cecilie Rønnevik, senior advisor to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate.
Simonsen, who work on behalf of clients such as the MPAA, says the decision is a blow to rightsholders.
“When no one is authorized to process personal data in order to stop copyright infringement, it weakens licensees’ ability to pursue violations happening online, and thus their ability to protect their interests. We hope and believe that this problem will soon be solved,” the company told TU.NO in an email.
There is a suggestion that one way around the problem would be to form an anti-piracy group to represent rightsholders, such as those that exists across the border in Sweden.
“We have been asked if we could accept an organization on the licensee side, a bit like Antipiratbyrån in Sweden,” said Cecilie Rønnevik from the Data Inspectorate. “We will consider it if we get an application for a license.”
No application has yet been received, so until one is – and a license is granted – Norwegian file-sharers can download whatever they like without any fear of repercussions. Whether that green light will have any effect on their habits remains to be seen.'
Oatmeal: I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened...
posted by Keito