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Author: TMFOrangeblood Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 919  
Subject: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 6/12/2001 11:55 AM
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Should ISPs be responsible for copyright violations on Gnutella? It's an interesting question that spreads much further than file-swapping software. eBay, for instance, has been very successful in avoiding liability for items sold on its site. AOL and other ISPs have won court cases in the past.

So I would say no.... ISPs should not be held responsible.


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Could ISPs end up paying for Gnutella's sins?

June 12, 2001 12:00 AM ET
by Ryan Tate

It is costing Napster a pretty penny to enforce copyrights on its network. Just to create the necessary filters, it has licensed technology from three companies and bought a fourth.

Now, everyone else on the Internet may have to ante up for copyright enforcement, as well. As Napster's popularity wanes and the distributed Gnutella networks grow, Internet service providers are under growing pressure to clamp down on alleged peer-to-peer music piracy.
http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/story?id=3b2568a759f
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Author: Ascalon Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 819 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/18/2001 5:07 AM
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Internet service providers are under growing pressure to clamp down on alleged peer-to-peer music piracy.

Is that enforceable? I mean given the simplicity of changing a #.mp3 filename to #.txt or #.htm or #.anythingelse how are enforcers going to recognise what type of file is being transferred? To any observer there are simply strings of ones and zeroes shuttling backwards and forwards over the web. Are they going to make an assumption that everyone is transferring commercial sound recordings?

Meanwhile, surprise surprise, not much activity from record companies in using the web to distribute their intellectual property. And that's still contrary to the spirit of copyright legislation which is primarily intended to encourage creation and distribution of artistic works for the benefit of the general public. Copyright in this brave new multimedia world has become all about restriction and control.

As an aside, I think the trouble with the web as a commercial platform is that so many describe it as a new economy for large producers to reach many consumers when really it is more about multi-point to multi-point communication, education, information and entertainment. Desire for the former has not changed the reality of the latter, no matter how great the desire to exploit a perceived opportunity has been.

Ascalon



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Author: TMFOrangeblood Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 821 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/18/2001 11:48 AM
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Internet service providers are under growing pressure to clamp down on alleged peer-to-peer music piracy.

Is that enforceable? I mean given the simplicity of changing a #.mp3 filename to #.txt or #.htm or #.anythingelse how are enforcers going to recognise what type of file is being transferred? To any observer there are simply strings of ones and zeroes shuttling backwards and forwards over the web. Are they going to make an assumption that everyone is transferring commercial sound recordings?


Hi Ascalon,

I don't think it's enforceable, especially for the ISPs. There's just no way they can do it, and I don't feel it should be their job to do it. If AOL, Earthlink, ATHM, etc. had to take responsibility for every file that passed through their lines, they would all come to a screeching halt.

Cheers,

orangeblood

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Author: BioNigel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 822 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/18/2001 12:19 PM
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Ascalon:
>And that's still contrary to the spirit of copyright legislation which is primarily intended to encourage creation and distribution of artistic works for the benefit of the general public. Copyright in this brave new multimedia world has become all about restriction and control.<


Copyright law is intended to allow the creator to retain control over their intellectual property. This encourages the creation and distribution of intellectual property by allowing the creator to derive economic benefits from the distribution of their property.

Copyright law is not intended to benefit the general public but is intended to benefit the creator of intellectual property. It is simply property rights.

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Author: Ascalon Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 823 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/18/2001 8:22 PM
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Copyright law is not intended to benefit the general public but is intended to benefit the creator of intellectual property. It is simply property rights.

The idea of giving the creator certain rights is to encourage them to produce more artistic works. This in turn benefits the public. The law was not set up primarily for corporations to prevent access to works but to primarily to encourage proliferation of art. This was seen as of benefit to the community as a whole and it is a subtle yet very important distinction. Here's an article by TMFOak which is a useful starting point in any exploration of the purpose of intellectual property:

http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2000/foth000814.htm


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Author: BioNigel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 824 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/19/2001 11:44 AM
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Ascalon:
>The idea of giving the creator certain rights is to encourage them to produce more artistic works. This in turn benefits the public. The law was not set up primarily for corporations to prevent access to works but to primarily to encourage proliferation of art. This was seen as of benefit to the community as a whole and it is a subtle yet very important distinction<


I agree that the *result* of copyright is the encouragement for the production of further material.

Of course, the act does not spell out its intent. All we have is the act itself. It states:

Subject to sections 107 through 121, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

From this, I stand by my original post that the act is about property rights, not the betterment of society. The community benefits are simply a side effect.

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Author: Ascalon Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 825 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/19/2001 5:25 PM
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From this, I stand by my original post that the act is about property rights, not the betterment of society. The community benefits are simply a side effect.

All law is about benefit to society. It isn't a side effect. Laws which benefit only certain sectors of society and harm the majority are the worst possible bad laws. If the majority are denied access to artistic works by corporations--not artists, mind--controlling intellectual property rights, then that is contrary to the spirit of the law. Certain sectors of the entertainment industry think the law is about helping them to operate a cartel. It isn't. It's about encouraging a two-way interaction between artists and public.

Ascalon






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Author: BioNigel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 826 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/19/2001 10:45 PM
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From US Constitution, Article 1 Section 8:
Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;


From US Copyright Office Circular 1a (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/docs/circ1a.html):
It is a principle of American law that an author of a work may reap the fruits of his or her intellectual creativity for a limited period of time. Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations.


As I said. Copyright law is about property rights.

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Author: Ascalon Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 827 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/20/2001 2:22 PM
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From US Constitution, Article 1 Section 8:
Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;


To promote... for the public benefit. There it is.


As I said. Copyright law is about property rights.

...for the creator in order to benefit the public as a whole. Not for a whole business to be set up to create cartels that prohibit creation, exhibition, distribution and copying of artistic works in the name of 'exclusivity' which is the way a large chunk of the entertainment industry actually operates.

Ascalon



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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 828 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/20/2001 4:15 PM
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I don't think it's enforceable, especially for the ISPs. There's just no way they can do it, and I don't feel it should be their job to do it. If AOL, Earthlink, ATHM, etc. had to take responsibility for every file that passed through their lines, they would all come to a screeching halt.

Sorry to jump back up to the beginning of the thread, but it may be possible for the ISP's to limit the non-centralized file-sharing programs. Some time ago I was having a discussion about Napster with a more tech-saavy friend of mine, and the conversation turned to Gnutella. He said that the Gnutella file transfers (not the files themselves) have a detectable "signature" which can be detected by the ISP's, if they choose. The implication was that the ISP can preclude those programs from operating over their networks, if they so choose.

They might not so choose, of course - but some might. AOL/TWX in particular might have enough of an economic interest already to want to toss a spanner into the gears of file-sharing. The cooperation of the other major ISP's could certainly be bought, if the price were right.

Albaby

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Author: TMFOrangeblood Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 829 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/23/2001 9:56 PM
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He said that the Gnutella file transfers (not the files themselves) have a detectable "signature" which can be detected by the ISP's, if they choose. The implication was that the ISP can preclude those programs from operating over their networks, if they so choose.

They might not so choose, of course - but some might. AOL/TWX in particular might have enough of an economic interest already to want to toss a spanner into the gears of file-sharing. The cooperation of the other major ISP's could certainly be bought, if the price were right.


If I follow you (and really, how often does that happen? ;)), you're saying an ISP can detect when -- or possibly just if -- a file transfer occurs... and possibly only via Gnutella (or maybe each service has its own unique signature and they could detect them all). So, the ISP simply does not allow Gnutella/BearShare/etc. to run?

Hmmmmmmmm. What about all the legal file transferring those programs facilitate? I'll admit there weren't a whole lot of legal transfers via Napster, but that was just music, mostly. Gnutella and the others have a lot of videos, many of which, I assume, are legal.

I guess the ISPs could choose to only block MP3 files, if that's possible, but then we get back to Ascalon's question... why not just change the .mp3 extension to .txt or something?

Sorry this is rambling and disjointed, I typed before I thought it out well.

orangeblood

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Author: BizDani Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 830 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/23/2001 10:06 PM
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What about all the legal file transferring those programs facilitate?

Indeed. If suit is filed against them, it won't be for the legal aspects of theior business. But it would be reasonable for a court to require Gnutella to remove the pieces of its product which facilitate illegal activity for others.

On the subject of enforcing and/or tracking Gnutella users,... I have heard the argument that it can not be done because there is no central server, but the way I see it is,... If I can find another Gnutella user using the Gnutella program, how hard can it be to find the bulk of the user-base. Generally speaking, if it can be found, it can be stopped (especially if it isn't hiding in the first place.

Just some random thoughts.

Dani

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 832 of 919
Subject: Re: Napster, Gnutella, and ISPs Date: 7/24/2001 9:49 AM
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If I follow you (and really, how often does that happen? ;)), you're saying an ISP can detect when -- or possibly just if -- a file transfer occurs... and possibly only via Gnutella (or maybe each service has its own unique signature and they could detect them all). So, the ISP simply does not allow Gnutella/BearShare/etc. to run?

OB, I have to confess - I'm not really much of a tech head, and I'm relating this second hand, so I'm not really sure how this would work in practice. I think Dani pretty much nailed the theory - decentralized file-sharing programs have to communicate to each other in recognizable ways, so I suppose you could target those signals. Either block 'em or something. My tech buddy was pretty confident it could be done fairly easily, but I have no way of verifying that.

WRT differentiating between legal and infringing files - I don't expect that the content companies would approach this via the legal system. Rather, it would be a multi-pronged voluntary approach. The content providers would try to negotiate with the major ISP's and reach some sort of anti-pirating cooperation agreement. I suppose the major impetus would come out of AOL/TWX, a nice combination of the largest ISP and a major content owner.

They might also make a nice, free firewall patch for the universities, which were the sweet spot for Napster - young music consumers with blazing internet access. The patch would queue file transfers and compare them against the digital signature database being compiled for Napster enforcement - legitimate files come through. Offer the software for free, and ask them politely if they would implement it. I imagine that a large number of the universities might say yes - why fight to preserve the ability of your students to clog up bandwidth on files that don't advance their studies? Heck, many universities might be willing to impose an outright block, since academic files probably constitute a tiny fraction of P2P exchanges.

Between locking out the top 5-6 ISP's and the university systems, the content providers can make free file sharing just inconvenient enough to get folks to use their own proprietary systems. That's all they need.

Albaby

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