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Thread: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

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    News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Filesonic stays up for owner file retrieval and ceases all sharing services.
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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    A massively irritating development as I have a decent number of things backed up to dropbox. Who knows who will blink next.

    Guess I'd best look at the offerings from people too big to take on - google & apple.

    /sigh

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by roachcoach View Post
    A massively irritating development as I have a decent number of things backed up to dropbox. Who knows who will blink next.

    Guess I'd best look at the offerings from people too big to take on - google & apple.

    /sigh
    Dropbox is fine as you cannot search for content on the internet.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Filesonic didn't have a search function either, afaik. Link aggregation was by scraping forums etc as I understand it. Hell even megaupload didnt have a search function

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by roachcoach View Post
    Filesonic didn't have a search function either, afaik. Link aggregation was by scraping forums etc as I understand it. Hell even megaupload didnt have a search function
    That's one reason why HEXUS forums are careful about what we allow. Discussion of the nature of copyright, piracy, etc, is fine. How-to's or links to copyright materials, especially file downloads, are not. Even then, it's impossible to absolutely prevent any and all links to copyright material, as that could include people using a picture in a sig, or block-quoting an entire BBC (or whatever) article(s) rather than linking to it. In many, probably most, such examples, the person doing it probably doesn't even realise the copyright issues. And we're not experts either.
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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Maybe I'm being horribly naive here, but surely the DoJ should rightly be chasing the folks submitting/sharing the copyrighted materials rather than the method used to "carry" them?

    Also, what happened to the idea of clearly bunging a bit in the Terms Of Service that "storage and sharing of materials protected by copyright without the consent of the copyright holder is prohibited". My impression was that if Joe Public had to sign up to this when taking out the service from Big Slab O' Disk Corp, then BSOD Corp were regarded as another victim (since Joe Public had violated the ToS) and couldn't be prosecuted - or at least had the defence that they were merely an innocent carrier and it was the evil user that was to blame.

    Parting shot - can't see the point of a file sharing service that only allows you to share files to yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Discussion of the nature of copyright, piracy, etc, is fine. How-to's or links to copyright materials, especially file downloads, are not (allowed). Even then, it's impossible to absolutely prevent any and all links to copyright material, as that could include people using a picture in a sig, or block-quoting an entire BBC (or whatever) article(s) rather than linking to it.
    Didn't realise that block-quoting was a no-no - thought it was okay to do "if you go to http://don't-click-this-its-a-dummy you'll see it says..." and then include a snippet. After all, the link is giving due attribution etc.
    Last edited by crossy; 23-01-2012 at 11:24 AM.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    It was only a matter of time before Megaupload got shut down and the reaction happened. I'm sure more ways to share files will pop up to replace "cyberlocker" sites though.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Maybe I'm being horribly naive here, but surely the DoJ should rightly be chasing the folks submitting/sharing the copyrighted materials rather than the method used to "carry" them?
    I don't think they can - copyright is, by and large, a civil matter - however if they can show profiting from it (a-la advert income or similar) then they can claim 'criminal' copyright infringement and bring enforcement to bear. Which is why the sites have been targeted.



    One thing oddly absent from these recent events is the mention of if there is (or is not) significant non-infringing use. That saved the VCR from this nonsense 20-25 years ago. Of course, one must then work out what metric to apply...filesize? users? Still, it seems to be an untouched discussion - but one which may prove key as time moves on.

    If one 'profits' from piracy yet has significant legitimate uses....can one be charged? If so, that's a hell of a path to start down.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by roachcoach View Post
    Filesonic didn't have a search function either, afaik. Link aggregation was by scraping forums etc as I understand it. Hell even megaupload didnt have a search function
    The search function is called Google!!

    Megeupload had sites such as megavideo and megaporn too.

    Serious,DropBox and Box.net are not like other sites. It is more orientated towards file backups and sharing files between friends.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    <---snip

    Parting shot - can't see the point of a file sharing service that only allows you to share files to yourself.
    There is no problem sharing files that are not subject to copyright. You can share files that contain work you created with who you like - you own the copyright.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Didn't realise that block-quoting was a no-no - thought it was okay to do "if you go to http://don't-click-this-its-a-dummy you'll see it says..." and then include a snippet. After all, the link is giving due attribution etc.
    Tricky one, quoting from an article or a book with attribution is probably OK - quoting a whole book or article may not be. The presumption is tht by publishing you are placing work in the public domain, but that does not give you the right to profit from that work, or deprive the author from profiting from that work.

    So if you quote from a work and attribute it to someone, I might see the quote and then buy the book - which rewards the author. If you quoted the whole book, I might just read that - so no reward for the author. And if you posted lots of works on a website that generated traffic and revenue from advertising, you would be profiting from the work of the authors.

    Academic work is treated slightly differently, and the copyright act in UK law addresses that explicitly.
    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post

    It's kind of like having some nice comfy slippers, and Microsoft are telling me that my slippers aren't comfy. Well, they have done that in the past but now they offer me free slippers, and that is nice but the free slippers are tartan with pink spots and embroidered unicorns which I'm sure I could wear but isn't really me. Besides, my feet are in these nice plain blue slippers and they are warm and cozy. But now I am being told that tomorrow any feet that aren't in spotted unicorn slippers will smell. Well, washing feet isn't the job of slipper manufacturers, and I prefer blue

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    I am expecting them to go the same way though.

    Once Kim Dotcom has been found guilty, the precedence will be set and the heavy-handed approach of shutting down everyone that hasn't already stopped file sharing will begin.

    So many useful (and completely legal) links have gone dead and I am sure it's only the tip of the iceberg
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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Well the problem with megaupload is that the company wasnt exactly running a 'legitimate business' behind the scenes. The case was built against them over a number of years using intelligence gathering. They didnt attack the actual nature of file locker websites, they attacked them on the grounds they where using it to nefarious ends.
    I dont pretend to understand how much or what has happened behind closed doors with regards to the american courts and legal system in order to bring this case to trial, but given the size and wealth of the organisation im going to make the safe assumption there is enough evidence to win without too much backfire.

    Filesonic and most other similar sites are clearly scared, personally this tells me that they are aware their companies might be under similar kinds of observation as far as the law is concerned AND they are likely to be aware of some of the slightly less legitimate operations within the business itself. If their business model was genuinely legitimate, they would have nothing to be scared of.

    Rapidshare, as an example of a site who hasnt changed any of their operation, has won mulitple court cases of similar nature and has issues an official press release stating they are not worried in the slightest. This is probably not only because they are a European based company in a country with slightly better laws for this kind of thing, but also because they have taken steps to ensure that the company itself is squeeky clean with regards to their intentions for the site and their treatment of customers with regards to copyrighted material.

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    ....

    Didn't realise that block-quoting was a no-no - thought it was okay to do "if you go to http://don't-click-this-its-a-dummy you'll see it says..." and then include a snippet. After all, the link is giving due attribution etc.
    I was trying to avoid a detailed treatise on copyright, But I did say
    or block-quoting an entire BBC (or whatever) article
    Note the bold. I wasn't talking about a "snippet".

    But you're right, to a point. You can use small portions of a copyright work, depending on the use, and clearly, attributing it helps.

    There are a whole series of exemptions from the basic presumption that a copyright work is protected, of varying scope. For example, the Crown has some protections, such as in court cases. So does the academic world, and so do journalists for news reporting, review, etc.

    But copyright, essentially, says that protected works can't be copied, unless either the rights owner gives permission, or a statutory exemption covers it .... or the copyright has expired. The extent of a portion that can be used within a statutory exemption is a contentious point. Is it a few words? A few paragraphs? A few chapters of a book? What about music "sampled"? A bar? A minute?

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with quoting a para or two, to make a point, especially if it's attributed. But what I was getting as was those posts that block quote an entire article, and then say "Found on the Daily Mail", or Telegraph, or wherever. Should that go before a court (which is, in my opinion, very unlikely) the argument would (or could) be that by quoting it, complete and verbatim, you remove the need to visit the originating site, which adversely affects their visitor stats, prevents any advertising they may have from being viewed, and denies the owner's site from benefiting from the value of that visit by not making it necessary.

    Of course, that is a civil issue not a criminal one, and the money involved is so small the chance of legal action is absolutely minuscule, but technically, it should be a small portion that's quoted, not an entire article.
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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The search function is called Google!!

    Megeupload had sites such as megavideo and megaporn too.

    Serious,DropBox and Box.net are not like other sites. It is more orientated towards file backups and sharing files between friends.
    Maybe so, but maybe not. Ironically, its user dependant. If say, tomorrow, all the pirates flipped to a legit service (by all accounts filesonic seemed to have strong safeguards in place granting them safe harbour) then that service and its owners are at risk.

    Best to have multiple redundant layers if the backups matter to you I guess (Yes, this is obvious, but using a cloud storage company is an attempt to mitigate a lot of that up front)

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    There is no problem sharing files that are not subject to copyright. You can share files that contain work you created with who you like - you own the copyright.
    My comment about filesharing sites that don't allow you to share your files to anyone but yourself being useless came about because of the comment in the article that says: "Filesonic, ..., with currently only existing users able to access their own uploads for retrieval" - which I took to mean that Filesonic now operates in a similar manner to DropBox, i.e. merely as a way of storing your files offsite, rather than a means to provide group access to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    I was trying to avoid a detailed treatise on copyright, But I did say Note the bold. I wasn't talking about a "snippet". [snipped]
    Nice explanation. Not that I'd want to reproduce an article - much easier just to put in the URL, although I forsee problems perhaps in reproducing content which is normally subscription only - like the Murdoch empire's infamous "paywall".

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    Re: News - File-sharing firms clamp down in fear

    Quote Originally Posted by roachcoach View Post
    ....

    One thing oddly absent from these recent events is the mention of if there is (or is not) significant non-infringing use. That saved the VCR from this nonsense 20-25 years ago. Of course, one must then work out what metric to apply...filesize? users? Still, it seems to be an untouched discussion - but one which may prove key as time moves on.

    If one 'profits' from piracy yet has significant legitimate uses....can one be charged? If so, that's a hell of a path to start down.
    It wasn't just the significant proportion of non-infringing use that saved VCR manufacturers, or indeed, audio cassette manufacturers in, what, the 60s?

    The cassette and VCR situation is somewhat different in that, and take this as a whole, not piecemeal, there is a genuine, non-infringing and legitimate use, and the manufacturers have NO WAY to know what users do with equipment, once bought. So they have no way to even assess the extent of infringing versus non-infringing use, let alone any control over what buyers do.

    For example, the primary purpose for a lot of people, for many years, of a VCR was time-shifting and that is a legal exemption in the copyright laws, at least, for personal, domestic purposes. In the early days, VCRs were expensive enough to buy if you bought one, let alone if you bought two, and you needed two to make copies other than a single recording off-air.

    The same argument applied to CD writers. The first CD burner I had cost about £4000. IIRC, the burner itself was about £2500, and the software (DOS-based Personal Scribe, IIRC) was another £1500. If you had one, you either had a business use (as I did) or were wealthy, or both. In my case, it was on loan. But there were people that bought them to copy, and sell, pirate discs. Usually, it was small scale, but some did it on an industrial scale.

    Now, however, it's hard to buy a PC without a DVD writer built-in to the spec. And they have numerous non-infringing uses, including back-up. But still, the seller has no idea what I use my DVD burner for, and no way to find out.

    On Megaupload, though, they do have a way to find out, and the accusation is that they not only knew that vast amounts of the uses were for infringing copyright, but were actively complicit in encouraging it, from everything from site design and the entire business model, to personal actions on the part of the accused.

    The (70+ page) indictment goes over this. Under the DCMA, there are "safe harbor" provisions for civil copyright infringement, which, it alleges, were not met because ....

    - the defendants were wilfully infringing copyright themselves
    - have actual knowledge that the materials were infringing (or know facts or circumstances that make it apparent)
    - receive financial benefit directly attributable to infringement where they control the provision
    - have not removed, or disabled access to, known infringing material on servers they control.

    The emphasis is mine, and the above is a paraphrase, not a quote.

    The actual indictment makes interesting reading as to the actions the authorities allege, and the basis of their actions. Of course, it's allegations at this point, and the trial is still to come. But if they can make their claims stand up, then it;'s clearly differentiated from things like VCRs, or even DVD/Bluray burner sales.
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