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IsoHunt Petitions Canadian Court For Copyright Blessing 217

Posted by timothy
from the petition-to-the-courts-not-petition-online dept.
A Cow writes "As an act of self-defense, the popular BitTorrent site isoHunt has decided to file a petition to ask the Court of British Columbia to confirm that isoHunt — and sister sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis — do not infringe copyright. isoHunt owner Gary explains to TorrentFreak: 'Our petition summarizes BitTorrent technology, its open nature and a whole ecosystem of websites and operators that has developed around it, that CRIA does not own copyright to all files distributed over BitTorrent or on isoHunt websites, and we seek legal validation that we can continue to innovate within this emerging BitTorrent ecosystem on the Internet.'"
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IsoHunt Petitions Canadian Court For Copyright Blessing

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  • We have since tried to come to an understanding, but just as with the MPAA in the US, they ignored our offers of cooperation by the take down of .torrent links to their content files, so long as they provide sufficient identification," Gary Fung [of isoHunt] told TorrentFreak.

    Does Canada even have a notice-and-takdown law in effect?

    • by d_jedi (773213)

      No, we do not. The lawsuit is frivolous, and isoHunt's "copyright policy" has no basis (ie. provides no immunity) under Canadian law.

  • Sickening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vertana (1094987) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @06:45PM (#24914695) Homepage

    The idea that an intermediary trafficker can be held accountable for the files and data passing through it is disgusting. By this logic why aren't ISP's held accountable by law for child pornography passing through their servers? I hope IsoHunt succeeds in their endeavor and shows that government the flaw in their logic.

    • by Swizec (978239)
      By your logic why are drug traffickers held accountable?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lord_sarpedon (917201)

        Because drug traffickers are people, and it is easy for said people to determine that what they are selling is illegal.

        There's not a a special kind of bit with "COPYRIGHTED" written on it that is easy to distinguish from the trillions of others.

        I'll also point out that IsoHunt doesn't even _see_ the possibly copyrighted data.
        Keeping with your silly argument for a bit...
        The drug traffickers are listing themselves in the phone book, and some bright people such as yourself want to sue the publisher.

      • by click2005 (921437)

        Drug traffickers are generally fully aware of what they're carrying and its legality. The illegal stuff being transported is also usually the only/primary material. The idea of a common carrier is that they are transporting so much stuff that it would be reasonably impossible to inspect every package.

      • Re:Sickening (Score:5, Insightful)

        by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:27PM (#24915293)

        By your logic why are drug traffickers held accountable?

        A drug trafficker actually owns and then distributes the drug.

        In your analogy, a torrent site would be like you walking up to a guy on the street, asking him "you know where I can buy some weed?" and he tells you "oh.. there's a guy over there I think.. he might not be there anymore... but there's a bunch of these guys around.. umm.. maybe that guy over there possibly." while pointing. He's not moving or selling the drugs, he is referring you to them.

        Furthermore, it is the not the explicit intent of these sites to aid in 'finding drugs', but rather to aid in helping people find what they ask for and relaying the information as to where it is.

        Get it?

        • by Intrinsic (74189)

          OMG, the first post I have seen so far that has some sanity in it. Its it just me? or are more and more people so becoming stupid that can see outside of their own ideologies.. I think the issues is that there are too many people that are looking to blame others instead of take part in the responsibility of where we are today in regards to copyrighted file sharing.

        • by Tim C (15259)

          While I don't know about drugs, for certain crimes that level of involvement may well get you slapped with either "aiding and abetting" or "accessory before the fact". It is generally at best legally and ethically a grey area to knowingly help someone commit a crime.

          Of course the key word there is "knowingly", so no I don't think that the torrent sites et al should necessarily be prosecuted, it really depends on their individual mode of operation.

        • by houghi (78078)

          A drug trafficker actually owns and then distributes the drug.

          No he doesn't. Just like UPS doesn't own the packages, most drug traffickers are just couriers.

          The difference is that the drug trafficker is aware of the content, while UPS is not (or should not be) aware of the content. That is unless you clearly and honestly state that the items you are sending are illegal drugs.
          That way when you send it through UPS, and they catch it, the UPS drivers will not go to jail, while somebody who hides it the goatse

    • Do you think it hasn't been tried? Ask Comcast about what happened in New York [philly.com].
  • I know I'm dreaming (Score:4, Interesting)

    by perlchild (582235) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @06:45PM (#24914697)

    But I'm hoping that in trying this case, the court takes into account the media levy and clarifies the whole thing, pretty far on the side of the consumer.

    • by fyoder (857358) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:39PM (#24915033) Homepage Journal

      But I'm hoping that in trying this case, the court takes into account the media levy and clarifies the whole thing, pretty far on the side of the consumer.

      Unlikely given their current strategy. They aren't trying to justify Canadians accessing copyrighted content without fee, but rather are essentially saying to CRIA, "Hey, guys, we're on your side. Just point out any torrents pointing to copyrighted material, and we'll take them right down".

      But CRIA doesn't want to do that. Perhaps they feel it would be easier to just shut down isoHunt completely, rather than having to monitor it and report every single infraction they find.

      isoHunt would win this one in a rational world. They host torrents, not copyrighted material. Not all torrents point to copyrighted material, and they not only stated, but demonstrated, a willingness to remove torrents which do point to copyrighted material.

      The only argument CRIA could make is that isoHunt should be responsible for policing the torrents themselves, and have been negligent in this duty.

      • by AigariusDebian (721386) <.gro.naibed. .ta. .suiragia.> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:49PM (#24915433) Homepage

        IsoHunt has no way of knowing if:
        1) the torrent contains what it says on the box
        2) if the files in question are protected by copyright
        3) if the holders of the copyright object to such distribution.

        Only if all 3 of the above is true, the distribution of the files in the torrent might be considered illegal (and only by a court).

        IsoHunt has no legal basis to determine any of the above. The copyright holders must monitor the files and notify IsoHunt of any discovered torrents with potentially infringing material.

        They need to provide:
        1) proof of content (actual content of the files in the torrent)
        2) proof of copyright (papers that show that they are the copyright holders or their representatives in this case)
        3) takedown notice (in writing)

        After that is delivered (on paper, with proper signatures, via snail main), IsoHunt can take down the torrent as soon as possible. Due to limited staff time that might take up to two weeks. :)

        • So, what you're saying is that copyright infringers should be given the benefit of current technology to speed the illegal distribution of content they do not own, but the actual copyright holders should be forced to use the most ancient form of currently available technology, thus allowing as much time as possible for the illegal distribution of content?

          Forcing the content owners to send out snail mail letters. You're not even going to let them fax sigend copies, and you'll allow the site owners to take wh

          • by cliffski (65094)

            Excellent post. isohunt do not actually require paper copies, only a very few, very arrogant, and very silly sites insist on that. ironically, one of them is google...

            isohunt does respond to legitimate DMCA take-down requests sent by email. I know this to be true, as I have sent them some, and they complied no problem.
            I wish all bit-torrent sites were as responsible as them.

    • by srothroc (733160)
      It seems like (in my pessimistic worldview) that it's more likely that the whole plan will backfire and that the courts will rule that torrent distribution sites such as isohunt (I mean, their name implies the a search for ISOs, and I'll be that the large number of ISOs available on that site are illegal) exist solely to facilitate the illegal sharing of copyrighted files through legal methods.

      It seems like, to me, a newspaper is allowing drug dealers to take out classified ads (legal) and those dealers
  • by martinw89 (1229324) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @06:47PM (#24914713)

    I noticed they kind of act as though they represent the entire BitTorrent user base. I hope this doesn't cause more harm than good. On installing BitTorrent on a friend's computer, he asked "Is this legal"? My college's anti-getting-their-ass-sued-by-the-RIAA propaganda has already melted the minds of a lot of people around here to thinking that any kind of file sharing, regardless of content, is illegal. I hope this turns out well and doesn't backfire.

  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @06:56PM (#24914773)

    The laws on all this cyber stuff are totally wrong. It should be stated quite simply in the law that:

    If you provide a service, such as a communication service, a file transfer service, a web-based service, or any kind of Internet-based service, and someone else who is using that service is doing something illegal or something they shouldn't be doing, then that someone else should be liable and you should NOT.

    Think of it this way. You are a state. You build roads and freeways. Someone speeding along those roads gets in an accident and kills someone. Is it your fault or theirs? Theirs!

    Another example: You are a state. You build roads and freeways. Someone is transporting illegal drugs around in a vehicle, using your roads and freeways to do so. Is it your fault or theirs? Theirs!

    So why should a service that is based on the Internet be any different? Why should those providing the infrastructure be liable for bad things people do with that infrastructure? If infrastructure-providers were supposed to be liable because they somehow facilitate something bad, then why don't we go back to being cave-men, because anything and everything that we have in the world can be used for some bad purpose.

    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:05PM (#24914839) Homepage

      Another example: You are a state. You build roads and freeways. Someone is transporting illegal drugs around in a vehicle, using your roads and freeways to do so. Is it your fault or theirs? Theirs!

      How about this? You build a road. You brag about how convenient your road is for transporting illegal drugs. You take steps to make it so the police will have trouble catching drug transporters on your road. Shouldn't you bear some of the responsibility for drug transport on your road?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Then it seems that the drugs bought from the bootlegger come without the extra ingredients that prevent you from enjoying them at your leisure and you thank the owner of the road for bringing you high quality produce without the downsides.

      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:13PM (#24914877)

        Another example: You are a state. You build roads and freeways. Someone is transporting illegal drugs around in a vehicle, using your roads and freeways to do so. Is it your fault or theirs? Theirs!

        How about this? You build a road. You brag about how convenient your road is for transporting illegal drugs. You take steps to make it so the police will have trouble catching drug transporters on your road. Shouldn't you bear some of the responsibility for drug transport on your road?

        how about a counterexample to your heavily loaded example:

        you build a road, you place a checkpoint every 5 paces at which a dea agent takes the car apart piece by piece searching for drugs, strip searches all occupants regardless of age in full public view, and reserve the right to take your car to the crusher on the mere accusations of anyone on the road (good luck getting away with that obama bumper sticker if it's in georgia).

        oh yeah.. that's how the law is today.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Thanks for the analogy. Now it's a simple matter of seeing who's is more appropriate for the current situation.

          And the winner is... the GP! He correctly identified that the target was not the ISPs, but in fact bittorrent and other P2P sharing software, and the things he mentioned were analogous to real life actions performed by companies behind certain P2P sharing software (e.g. bragging = advertising). All in all, it was a splendid analogy, and was only loaded because, well, some companies decided to load

      • by kesuki (321456) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:25PM (#24914947) Journal

        since when does isohunt brag about providing illegal, copyrighted works on it?

        try "linux" http://isohunt.com/torrents/?ihq=linux [isohunt.com] wow i didn't know a version of linux had had over 10,000 seeders (parsix, linux by name)

        okay not a fan of formatting and installing, how about a vmware appliance http://isohunt.com/torrents/?ihq=vmware+appliance [isohunt.com]

        yeah, isohunt suggests that you get full iso images, but what full iso images? of copyrighted contet? or of gnu linux isos?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AdamHaun (43173)

          Go the web site. Look at the list on the right labeled "top searches". At the moment, it reads:

          1. axxo
          2. fxg
          3. spore
          4. the dark knight
          5. iron man
          6. prison break
          7. bangkok dangerous
          8. psp
          9. tropic thunder
          10. stargate atlantis
          11. pineapple express
          12. pc games

          • by Intrinsic (74189)

            Golly, I guess that wouldn't be happening if the content industry hadn't stuck their head in the sand and said "This is not happening, digital distribution is an illusion". IF the content industry got off their asses when this started happening and created a digital content distribution system that made it inexpensive and easy for people to purchase content copyrighted file sharing would have never gotten as big as it is now. The content industry needs to take responsibility for their own inaction and the f

            • by AdamHaun (43173) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @11:06PM (#24916179) Journal

              I don't really care what the content industry does. I don't really care who shares what, either. What does bother me is two things. The first is that people try to claim some sort of moral high ground for downloading DVD rips. The second is that they use such shallow, hypocritical, and transparent excuses to justify it.

              Content industry's evil? Then why are you making their product more popular? Why not just not spread it at all? Don't like DRM? Why help push it into existence? Want to support indie artists? Why not make more room for them in the torrent search results?

              And then come the excuses. "What about people downloading Linux ISOs?". Yeah, I'm sure there are *tons* of people downloading Linux ISOs 24/7/365, because *none* of those distributions have auto-updating package managers. "The tracker search sites don't know what people are downloading!". And since they have no idea, they can't possibly organize the torrents into categories, right? Besides, who would actually, you know, *look* at their own web site? "How dare they cap my bandwidth, they advertised unlimited usage!". Except that no resource is unlimited in practice, and a site full of IT people suggesting ISPs design their networks for 24/7/365 full-throttle illegal usage is laughable. "File-sharing increases sales for content-producers!". Do you really think iTMS would ever have gotten off the ground if Napster had spent the last decade alive and at full strength?

              File-sharers will argue every technicality to their last breath, but the moment someone else does so, it's pure evil. What if a company wants to spread your medical records around? Aren't those just "imaginary property"? Why should you get a say in what happens to those bits? What about Russian crackers stealing credit card numbers? Where are the cries of "that's not stealing, nothing was physically lost"? There's no consistency, no compromise, just selfishness. Anyone who can tell their ass from a hole in the ground can see that this silly file-sharing "movement" is really about getting as much free stuff as possible. I'm sick of hearing about it. Bring back the Slashdot that was really about tech news, not ridiculous crusades and libertarian frippery.

              • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

                by Intrinsic (74189)

                Its selfish to have any expectation of return when you create something that the world finds valuable. your fans, or people who value your work get to decide how its going to be valuable to them, and they do that with their actions. If you are someone that cares about the interests of others, and that shows though your work and how you present that work then people will likely feel a desire to compensate you. But when you expect something in return, without trusting people to make that determination themsel

                • by AdamHaun (43173)

                  But when you expect something in return, without trusting people to make that determination themselves, you end up pissing people off and forcing them to act against you.

                  Again, these sorts of arguments apply to far more than IP. The way any sort of trade or barter works is that the buyer and seller both have prices they're willing to pay. If they can agree on a price, they trade, otherwise, they walk away. Those are the valid choices. Following your logic, every paycheck on Earth should be optional. If you'

                  • by Intrinsic (74189)

                    Yes that's what i am saying upfront, if socialism works better than what we have now, that being capitalism then that's the way we should go. People are more important than capital. I don't feel like this is a justification. Just the facts. in the situation of digital distribution, the power is in the hands of everyone. So people that want to sell something are at the mercy of the people that use the system to fit their needs, not the other way around. There is no bargain. You say, "here is what I have to o

                    • by Intrinsic (74189)

                      I just wanted to add, that if you dont like the way the internet works, where people are free to use information that is distrubited on the net as they see fit. You are free to not use the internet to sell your works, if you feel that people are not going to purchase what you have to offer. Nobody is forcing you to use a system that doesn't give you control over your product.

                    • by AdamHaun (43173)

                      Oh, okay. If you're advocating socialism then that's a whole different matter. I don't have enough information to know whether I agree with you or not, but it's at least consistent.

                      I think some form of IP is necessary in a capitalist system, not for media, but for research and development. For example, there's a company called ARM that designs CPUs (you may have heard of them, they're really popular in the embedded space). They don't manufacture anything -- they license their designs to other companies, who

                    • by Intrinsic (74189)

                      I think some form of IP is necessary in a capitalist system, not for media, but for research and development. For example, there's a company called ARM that designs CPUs (you may have heard of them, they're really popular in the embedded space). They don't manufacture anything -- they license their designs to other companies, who then incorporate them into microcontrollers. This works because designing high-end CPUs is a very difficult and expensive thing to do, and many companies would rather not bother wi

                  • Your argument might work in situations where vital goods and services are at stake -- if someone price gouges while selling water during a natural disaster, for instance.

                    No, not even then. There's really no such thing as "price gouging." Since what happens if the vendor fails to raise the price of water is either shortage due to hoarding, or the price rises anyway through grey-market resale of hoarded water.

                    The price that maximizes profit is not gouging. It's efficiency. Any other price also cannot be g

                • by cliffski (65094)

                  "Its selfish to have any expectation of return when you create something that the world finds valuable"

                  congratulations, the most laughable crap I have ever read on this site this decade.

              • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday September 08, 2008 @04:53AM (#24917489)

                on't like DRM? Why help push it into existence?

                That reason is fairly obvious: If DRM never works, there's no point in them using it. And gee golly gosh, now we're seeing music sites dropping it. It's funny what an expression of demand can cause.

                And then come the excuses. "What about people downloading Linux ISOs?". Yeah, I'm sure there are *tons* of people downloading Linux ISOs 24/7/365, because *none* of those distributions have auto-updating package managers.

                I've seen quite a few legit torrents, Linux and otherwise. It's a great way to send >1 gig files. I just purchased Modo today, for example, and I recieved a BT link to over a gig of training videos for it. When Buck Bunny, the Blender-made movie came out, you could not only download the huge-ass HD video, but you could also download all their content to play with. BT has plenty of legit uses and it's growing.

                "How dare they cap my bandwidth, they advertised unlimited usage!". Except that no resource is unlimited in practice, and a site full of IT people suggesting ISPs design their networks for 24/7/365 full-throttle illegal usage is laughable.

                So, in other words, they should never have used the word 'unlimited', right? Incidentally, it's not like 'illegal' usage is going to bog the network down more than 'legal' usage. Thanks to streaming video, there's lots of ways to spend lots of bandwidth. Heck, ask anybody with an XBOX 360. They oversold their capacity, that's not the pirates' fault.

                "File-sharing increases sales for content-producers!". Do you really think iTMS would ever have gotten off the ground if Napster had spent the last decade alive and at full strength?

                How do you think iTunes ever got off the ground? Haven't you ever wondered what made the music industry stop and say "Hmm.. maybe we should give this digital music thing a try?" Well, let me put it this way: They looooooooooved selling CDs. Albums, mind you. They loved charging everybody ~$20 for ~10 crappy songs. Then, one day, millions of people are downloading, ripping, and otherwise getting music onto their computers and eventually their MP3 players. But here's the funny thing, they're not really tightwads. $400 for an iPod, fill'er up.

                You're asking how long iTunes would have been around when Napster was at 'full strength'. I have a counter-question: How long would it have taken for iTunes to get off the ground if Napster had never been around to show the world that a huge market existed?

                "What if a company wants to spread your medical records around? Aren't those just "imaginary property"?"

                What if I download an MP3 file and it stops a full-scale alien invasion? We can invent lots of scenarios, but let's try to keep it on Earth. My medical records going around can actually do me harm. I'd rather not let my enemies know that I'm allergic to peanuts. ;)

                Where are the cries of "that's not stealing, nothing was physically lost"?

                I think an emptying of a bank account would classify as 'physically lost'. In the case of music or movie downloads, the worst case scenario is the potential non-sale. The big question is how is that potential really turning out? GTA4 was a VERY highly anticipated game. Everybody was waiting for it. Arguably, a significant chunk of the XBOX 360 and PS3 populace would know how to download a torrent and burn it. The game was leaked a week before release. It made $500 million dollars. Fascinating. The RIAA claimed that a billion songs a month were flying around the internet without authorization, the implication being that a ridiculous amount of people were busy avoiding spending money on music. Profits are up over the years. Weird. Why is that happening?

                Anyone who can tell their ass from a hole in the ground can see that this sil

              • by skeeto (1138903)

                The first is that people try to claim some sort of moral high ground for downloading DVD rips.

                Remember that the law has no bearing in morals or ethics. Laws artificially provide consequences for certain actions, which helps to either encourage or discourage those actions (not that this is a bad thing). Copyright law (supposedly and ideally) encourages authors and artists to write and create by offering incentives (a monopoly on their works), and discourages people temporarily from copying these works (well, it's supposed to be temporary!) with penalties, like fines, etc. The law isn't about right a

          • by arkhan_jg (618674)

            How do you know for sure they're searching for industry copyrighted content? Plug those same searches (except the first two) into google, and you'll get a whole bunch of material - still copyrighted - but put up by people who want to publish it for free viewing. PSP, pc games and 2008 are pretty generic!

            There are two types of copyright infringement offences, the first is direct infringement. Bittorrent trackers and tracker search engines do not directly infringe copyright, as they do not host that actual m

            • by AdamHaun (43173)

              How do you know for sure they're searching for industry copyrighted content?

              Because I'm not a complete moron? I have a BT client too, and I do know how to use torrent trackers, thank you very much. Remember, their *top two searches* are for groups that only distribute copyrighted content. Also, you're welcome to click on the links yourself and see what comes up. You can sort by number of leechers to see what people are actually downloading (hint: it's full-length movies). I'm not just making this up, you kn

          • by Splab (574204)

            Didn't you just commit copyright infringement by copying their top search list?

            Also, any content is copyrighted, it makes no sense to talk about them providing links to copyrighted content since any search engine is doing that. While I do agree with you, in that isoHunt can't claim ignorance you should be very very careful about the terms used when talking about copyright infringement.

          • Go the web site. Look at the list on the right labeled "top searches". At the moment, it reads:

            Come on. This is a fully automated listing. Should they have a fully *moderated* listing? Human moderation usually increases liability, not decrease it. Time and again, lawyers have told me not to moderate my own forums/chat rooms unless I receive specific requests/notice to take action (otherwise I would be required to moderate them 24/7). If a web site owner/carrier ignores common sense, it is certainly because

          • by Ash Vince (602485)

            Go the web site. Look at the list on the right labeled "top searches".

            I am sure if you looked at googles top searches you would find porn came out very highly, but nobody actually thinks google are pornographers. All isohunt do is spider for bittorrent trackers then query them for results. If you closed down all the trackers that specialise in pirate content, then isohunt would not show you pirated content.

            While your point may have been valid if we were talking about many other torrent sites, a torrent search engine can hardly be found liable for content that an automated sea

          • by kesuki (321456)

            okay, so the top 20 are all copyrighted content, did you bother to check if they're in google's search database too? spore [google.com]
            the dark night [google.com]

            i'd keep going but wow the top 20 all show up on google, with the 'filetype:torrent' prefix, so why isn't google in court for having a 'filetype:torrent' feature which clearly makes searching for torrents with google so much easier? after all your argument is that torrents are primarily for illegal downloaders, shouldn't every search engine that finds torrents be affected

    • But for us to really understand, you need to use a car analogy.
    • by SpeedyDX (1014595)

      Poor example. The State has a responsibility and a duty to maintain the safety of roads and freeways. If they do not do so (i.e., people rampantly exceeding speeding laws and the State not enforcing said laws), then the State is endangering the lives of its citizens. Anyone who gets hurt as a result of such speeding may, depending on the legal system, sue the State for damages. It is the speeders fault for speeding, but the State also has a duty to monitor and enforce speeding laws. If we were to apply that

      • by Intrinsic (74189)

        Your talking about corporations, not people. A company or a corporation is not a person. Making a copy of something and sharing freely hurts nobody accept possible's someones pocket book. If I had to choose between someone sharing a file and someone not sharing a file, as a person, im going to choose the former. Copyright infringement is not more fundamental that freedom of choice to do with what you have in your possession as you will. If you put something out expect that its not going to be used as intend

    • by Tuoqui (1091447)

      The thing is the government doesn't limit the people who can use the roads or freeways. They treat a motorcycle carrying 1 person the same as a transport truck carrying 50+ tons of goods. This is 'Common Carrier' status. However, if the government suddenly decided to start filtering who can go on the roads, say only motorcycles between 3 pm and 6pm. They'll have already made the commitment to check traffic going through their roads and freeways and thus responsible for anything that goes through their roads

      • They treat a motorcycle carrying 1 person the same as a transport truck carrying 50+ tons of goods.

        someone's never seen the diamond lanes

        • by KGIII (973947) *

          Or the signs expressly forbidding certain types of vehicles on certain roads. (Like you can't take trucks over a certain size on some residential roads and you can't take your bike or moped down the freeway.)

        • Neither of those vehicles can use the diamond lanes.

  • Good move isohunt. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrKneebone (911473) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:13PM (#24914879)
    This is an interesting move - good on them! You could easily argue that CDR and DVDR are predominantly used for piracy, but they openly sell them at all the major gorcey and department stores. Obviously becuase they have other legitimate uses too - just like bittorrent.
  • Subscription (Score:5, Insightful)

    by electrosoccertux (874415) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:28PM (#24914969)

    I think media companies are shooting themselves in the foot, in the long run, by cracking down on Piracy.

    Here's what's happened with me-- as I grew up, got to the real world, and started making more money, the cost of buying has been fewer and fewer %points of the amount I make. I feel less and less urge to download. All they'd have to do is offer a direct download service, or pay-for-and-be-reimbursed-some-for-using-bittorrent on their login-requiring tracker, and I'd probably just do that.

    Therefor, the real thing they should be fighting for is a larger, more stable middle class of America, so that more people have disposable income, whatever actions on their part that entails. The easy solution would be to give everybody welfare checks, but then we'd become the Romans, and everybody knows how that worked out for them...

    Second, for their benefit AND America's, they should focus less on fighting piracy in certain markets-- or risk being left behind when these markets take off (China, India, Russia [if their market ever takes off] and any other lower-income-no-middle-class-countries).

    Why? An Italian man I met while in Florence had the absolute best English of almost any foreigners-speaking-English I've met in my [short] life. I asked him how he learned to speak so well, so fluently, and coherently-- he said he eventually stopped watching the English movies with Italian dubbing (terrible voice acting, the English voice acting is so much better he was saying), and went ahead and learned enough of it by watching American Hollywood movies, that he began switching the subtitles off, and simply listened to the dialog and eventually figured it out. What better way for them to increase their market share than let the production quality of their movies (and lets be honest, Hollywood films ARE the best, simply no one else has the capital or skill to pull off mass production of multi-hundred-million dollar movies like Matrix, Transformers, Batman, etc. on the scale that we do) speak for themselves, and once you've got the fish hooked and grown, you can start charging. Until that time though, the spread of American ideals and values (although contrary to the way our government currently operates-- privacy, freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to run business and oust a competitor through sheer technical superiority and efficiency of business-- (for instance, doesn't happen in China, you've got to know who to pay off and how much, when, etc. if you want to have a chance at starting a company)) would be far more valuable to them as a multi-national media corporation. (Because people will begin to see that free-market economics, freedom of speech, freedom to vote, are superior to the alternate methods of doing business and running a country; that we would be perpetuating the "great America" idealogy, "I can make my fortune and future there and then bring my family, and all will be well with me and my family", "democracy", as in a country lead by people elected (usually) by the majority of the people, and similar values, which the furthering of in the world would be good for America, would be spread to the nations and we'd have many more allies, and many fewer enemies.)

    Potentially more valuable to our government as well. I would argue that the government should pay Hollywood a stipend for
    a). them turning a blind eye to piracy external to English speaking countries and
    b). a set number of propogandic films proclaiming the wonders of a free society, free economy, free competition, freedom to love who you choose, not who your parents say, and the benefits that brings to the every day citizens (a middle class, the American dream, a house, etc.), on the grounds that it's good for the government and security of western countries to bring them to our side-- from the bottom up. Want a great way to fight militant Islam? Torture isn't quite it, and force like in Iraq (though it definitely will work in the long run) is expensive, difficult to do, and leaves the surrounding countries envious, bitte

    • Heh, I titled it subscription, but forgot to add that a subscription model would be great-- just by your license or whatever and you could download however much you like. It'd have to be something reasonable, but, unlike music, most people watch a movie and aren't interested in seeing it again. You could still purchase the blockbusters on DVD/Blu-Ray/whatever; but I and I think most people would be happy to have a pay-a-flat-fee-and-see-once-or-twice-service.

      • The problem with that is, eventually record companies would charge for "premium" content and over 10-15 years all the new things become "premium" content while they rack up money by subscription fees. Not to mention that paying an extra fee for downloads is going to make the west head backwards in internet usage as 50-60 year olds aren't going to care about music but still have to pay for it.
    • Re:Subscription (Score:4, Informative)

      by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:37PM (#24915025)

      The easy solution would be to give everybody welfare checks, but then we'd become the Romans, and everybody knows how that worked out for them...

      the romans didn't have welfare, and it didn't fall because of welfare.

      It fell because they didn't have their own citizens serving in their military, because they expanded beyond the capacities of their social structure and economy to govern their territory, and because of internal corruption resulting from too much consolidated power at the top.

      as for the "spread of american ideals and values", I don't know what starry-eyed landscape you're looking at, but i'm here on planet earth where the spread of "american ideals and values", especially in terms of copyright, has plunged the entire western world into an economic tail-spin.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by R2.0 (532027)

        "the spread of "american ideals and values", especially in terms of copyright, has plunged the entire western world into an economic tail-spin."

        A quibble: American policy on copyright has largely followed European policy - see Berne Convention.

        No, I don't blame the Europeans for how the bankrupt American legal system is using copyright laws, but concepts like "life plus XX years" is European in origin.

      • No, they didn't have welfare...they just gave free bread to all of their poor citizens. Totally different...

      • Re:Subscription (Score:5, Informative)

        by nospam007 (722110) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:16PM (#24915925)

        >the romans didn't have welfare, and it didn't fall because of welfare.

        Sorry, but you're way off.

        "When Julius Caesar came to power in 48 B.C., he found 320,000 persons on government grain relief. Temporarily slowing the welfare state bandwagon, he ordered the welfare rolls cut to 200,000. Within a half-century, the rolls were back up to well over 300,000.

        Government Bread

        A real landmark in the course of events came in the year 274 A.D. Emperor Aurelian, wishing to provide cradle-to-grave care for the citizenry, declared the right to relief to be hereditary. Those whose parents received government benefits were entitled as a matter of right to benefits as well. Aurelian gave welfare recipients government-baked bread (instead of the old practice of giving them wheat and letting them bake their own bread) and added free salt, pork, and olive oil. Not surprisingly, the ranks of the unproductive grew fatter, and the ranks of the productive grew thinner.

        Surely, many Romans opposed the welfare state and held fast to the old virtues of work, thrift and self-reliance. Just as surely, some of these sturdy people gave in and began to feed at the public trough in the belief that if they didn't get it, somebody else would. That attitude only hastened the slide into bankruptcy..."

        From http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=3 [mackinac.org]

      • by westlake (615356)
        but i'm here on planet earth where the spread of "american ideals and values", especially in terms of copyright, has plunged the entire western world into an economic tail-spin
        .

        the last time I looked - copyright had little to do with the price of oil. or housing. or support costs for an aging population.

        but media production - books, film, television, video games, et al. - were generating a lot of skilled jobs and export dollars.

    • by Intrinsic (74189)

      *We can argue about this (whether it's really better for them in the end), but I think it would be, just like it was to us (until just recently) in the history of our country-- good people seeking good jobs, a family, a life; and benefits reaped from free economic competition, free voting, free society in general. You have generally good people, and your democracy is set. This is what gets me about the people who think we shouldn't push our "ideals" on people of other countries-- my question to them is "who

    • by Splab (574204)

      Holy crap are you ignorant or what???

      First of all, go see the world, lots of people speak excellent English. Second, Hollywood produces the best movies? Again, go see the world, Hollywood makes a load of crap - yes they top the box office figures, but who gives a fuck, the best movies made are not top grocers.

      And your rant about infiltrating the society - go buy/loan "Legacy of ashes", read the part about how you yanks tried that in Iraq and look at the multiple clusterfucks you have made. We (the rest of t

  • Sad Sad Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by renegadesx (977007) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @09:40PM (#24915731)
    I think its sad we live in a time where someone has to petition a court to say "we are legit".
    Copyright laws have allowed greedy business execs go on witch hunts not seen since the Inquisition.

    RIAA, MPAA and ESA go around bullying anyone they can trying to extort money, patent trolls filing lawsuits left right and center. It is truly a depressing age :(

    Sincerly,
    IsoHunt user
    • by cliffski (65094)

      you do realise that 99.9999% of websites have no such worries, because they don't build their entire business model around distributing copyrighted content...

      isohunt isn't billed as the #1 site for linux distros!!!!!
      Its clearly full of copyrighted content and they know it. No surprise they realise they are one lawsuit away from some heavy shit.

  • Levy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spc01 (1188301) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:04AM (#24917525)

    Yes here in slovenia we have a levy on everything (no exceptions).
    This includes: CD-R,DVD-R,iPOD,Hard Disk, VCR, GSM, GPS (because they can play mp3's), PC's (because they have disk in it), Mac's (because they have disk in it), Printers (because you could have printed some copyrighted lyrics), Photo scanners, fax machines, wrist watches (with disk in it), cameras, photo only cameras, flash cards, USB sticks, routers, Wii, Consoles .. etc etc.. because you just might copy an mp3 on an Canon EOS flash card.

    I think this is just abuse of money .. why should i pay "SAZAS" (slovenian RIAA) money for a GPS receiver because it "can" play mp3's ? or why should i pay some tax on a DVD-R because i might copy a copyrighted content on it ? or perhaps copy whole album of mp3's to Canon EOS 40D flash card ?
    If i pay for this kind of shit i expect something in return - i then have all the rights to copy anything because i payed for it ... so it kinda legalizes the right to copy anything and put it on the net .. or private use.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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