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Citing increased pressure from piracy enforcers, operators call it quits

Within the last week, two popular BitTorrent sites began blocking users located in North America: Isohunt.com’s trackers now block users in the United States; and Demonoid.com blocks users located in Canada.
 
Starting last week, Canada-based Isohunt posted a notice on its front page, stating that it has disabled access from users in the U.S. to the BitTorrent trackers at Torrentbox.com and Podtropolis.com, which are operated by Isohunt.  Isohunt elaborates, “This is due to the U.S.'s hostility towards P2P technologies, and we feel with our current lawsuit brought by the MPAA, we can no longer ensure your security and privacy in the U.S.”  Isohunt, which only indexes the torrents posted at other trackers like The Pirate Bay or TorrentBox, then asked U.S.-based users to add and use other, unrestricted trackers in its search results.
 
Shortly afterwards, Demonoid.com – also based in Canada – went offline, and many speculated that the site had either been taken down by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), or suffered major server failures.

With rumors flying, P2P news site ZeroPaid.com received an e-mail of indeterminate source which confirmed the server troubles, and that the site was indeed undergoing a rebuild. However, because the e-mail could not be verified, and Demonoid’s operator “Deimos” never officially commented on Demonoid’s status, ZeroPaid’s e-mail was not posted until today.
 
Regardless, Demonoid’s tracker was up by September 29, 2007. The website followed, resuming operations on September 30.  Unfortunately, the return has a catch: due to interference from the CRIA, Canadian users are now blocked from Demonoid’s website and its trackers. 

Instead users are now redirected to a web page with the following message: “We received a letter from a lawyer representing the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and we need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this. If you reside in Canada, [this] is the reason you are being redirected to this message. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry for any inconvenience.”
 
With the rising popularity of BitTorrent, piracy enforcers are giving the protocol increasing amounts of attention. Recent e-mail and source code leaked from MediaDefender indicate that the firm seems to devote the most attention to BitTorrent, which, according to a widely-quoted 2004 study, accounts for at least a third of all internet traffic.

While sites like Demonoid and Isohunt appear to have caved in to these pressures, others choose a defiant path and turn pressure into mockery: The Pirate Bay’s legal threats page posts dozens of takedown notices and their humorous replies, and MiiVi.org advertises itself as a “tribute to the fall of MediaDefender,” hosting an open tracker sponsored in part by The Pirate Bay, Suprnova, Mininova and others.


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RE: MPAA sucks
By Misty Dingos on 10/1/2007 8:32:34 AM , Rating: 4
The possible penalty for copyright infringement from the Feds.
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/...
Copy more than ten albums in a six month period and you can find yourself looking at 5 years in prison and be fined $250,000. Or conversely you can infringe on the a single work worth more than $2500 and Get the same penalty.

The possible penalty from simple theft from the Feds.
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/...
If you steal over $60,000 worth of property you are likely to get the interest of the Feds, if they have some jurisdiction. Less than that and they are not even likely to notice.

Is it just me or do the Feds take copyright infringement more seriously than theft?

Not a sweeping conclusion here just a simple fact. Feds don't want copyright infringement to get stupidly out of hand. Oh wait it already is. Because people think that downloading an album or movie isn't stealing.

You know when people justify downloading music they always claim that the RIAA is just trying to strangle the musician for a few more cents. They are just screwing us for a buck more at the store for the CD. Well let's put this in terms we can all deal with. CD sales are what 20% down? Well that means that one in five of the people that run the CD printing stations are now looking for a job. That is the cost of large scale uncontrolled internet based music piracy. Some poor shlub that is just trying to make enough to make a car payment or rent this month is looking for a job.

Before you all jump on me like I am the press guy for the RIAA, let me say that nobody is clean here. The RIAA and their friends have made so many blunders in this that it is hard to justify their existence. But the guys that know they are profiting from piracy are not doing anyone any good either.

Stealing someone’s work is still stealing. Whether it is your neighbors weed eater or a downloading a copy of Britney Spears latest crap fest they call an album.


RE: MPAA sucks
By Targon on 10/1/2007 9:05:36 AM , Rating: 4
Without knowing the inner workings of the FBI, it seems that the FBI shouldn't be overly worried about the really small crimes going on out there. This is why(from previous posts) they won't go after people who are downloading less than $60,000 worth of material.

On the flip side, distribution that crosses state lines(Internet) WOULD be a crime the FBI would get involved with. Most local crimes that do not cross state lines should stay within the confines of local and state police. Crimes that cross the country and are larger scale operations are where the FBI could/should get involved.

Then, you have common sense when it comes to the MPAA and RIAA. In the case of the MPAA, a movie costs what, between $10 and $25 in most cases. Considering seeing a movie in the theater costs $10 per person, buying a movie on DVD really doesn't seem to be that expensive, and since the quality of the DVD is higher than most versions available for download, it really doesn't make much sense to download for MOST people.

The RIAA on the other hand has less of a case in the court of public opinion. A CD doesn't provide quality or material that is higher quality than the highest quality downloaded music. In addition to this, since you can download music at under $1 per track, most CDs sold should be marked down to at least match the price of $1 per track to make the purchase of the CD worth the price. This is the key to why there are so many issues, and why people download music, both legally and illegally. Costs to buy a CD really are much too high for what you get in most cases.

If the RIAA really wanted to stop people from doing illegal downloads, they would focus on a way to improve the quality of CDs where it is WORTH it to buy rather than download. That's the key, where is the increased quality of a legally purchased product that would make it worth the purchase price?

Then, you also need to look at what the MPAA and RIAA are really there for. The MPAA is there to protect the movie studios, and the RIAA is there to protect the music recording/distribution companies. Since just about every movie that people want to buy/download are made by the studios that are represented by the MPAA, the MPAA really does represent the people who are making the movies we want to watch.

The RIAA on the other hand does NOT represent the artists who make the music we want to listen to. This is a big difference, and is the reason why the RIAA is desperate enough to sue everyone they possibly can. The RIAA is obsolete when the artists have the ability to get paid directly by those distributing on-line. Why go to the big names in the recording industry to make and distribute CDs when any advertising firm can be used to get the word out about new music groups and artists? The execs at the big music publishers don't really DO anything for those making the music at this point, it is the other people who handle the recording studios who do the real work for the artists.


RE: MPAA sucks
By Misty Dingos on 10/1/2007 10:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you that much of the recording industry is antiquated and in desperate need of renovation or replacement. And that this would do much to remedy some of the piracy.

But I am not sure that a major movie studio could not argue that the cost to them for a pirated film before it is released to secondary sales is much greater than $60,000. If someone had the opportunity to sell or distribute a pirated copy of the movie 300 before it released on DVD or other format then the cost to the studio is the lack of real revenue from ticket sales in theaters. The top grossing film this week was making an average of $8500 a theater and grossed over $20 million. One half of one percent of that take was $100,000. It would not take a Boston Legal lawyer to make the case that a pirated film released when it is hot in theaters could meet the $60 K benchmark.


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