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The Internet AT&T Patents Piracy IT Technology

AT&T Gets Patent To Monitor and Track File-Sharing Traffic 75

An anonymous reader writes "Internet provider AT&T has patented a new technology that allows the company to accurately track content being shared via BitTorrent and other P2P networks. The company explains that the technology can be utilized to detect pirated downloads and combat congestion on its network. Whether the company is already using the system to track infringing content, or has plans to do so, is unknown."
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AT&T Gets Patent To Monitor and Track File-Sharing Traffic

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  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:22AM (#44140363) Homepage Journal

    "Your users are infringing our copyrights!"

    "You just infringed our Patent."

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "You all infringed our basic human rights"

    • This patent doesn't look like it amounts to much.

      Their "content analysis module" must, according to their diagram, access "illegal" content to analyze it before they can track it.

      Which means: if they use it, they are JUST AS GUILTY of "downloading" as whoever they're tracking. This is the very same problem that has stopped all the other tracking systems in their tracks, as it were.

      The law DOES NOT exempt corporations.
  • Encypted VPNs FTW (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maliqua ( 1316471 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:35AM (#44140393)

    So i guess one should just factor the cost of VPN service into there comparison when deciding which ISP to chose

  • by Molochi ( 555357 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:37AM (#44140397)

    So they patented tracking an easily traceable file transfer protocol. One that everyone knows leaves them open to easily provable lawsuits if they use it to pirate stuff.

    So are they going to sue Comcast over this? Or does Comcast have prior art?

  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:37AM (#44140399) Homepage

    "combat congestion on its network" ...which is more cost-effective than... you know... actually paying for the infrastructure to handle the utilization levels you are selling to customers.

  • Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thor Ablestar ( 321949 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:41AM (#44140407)

    The method is simple: Find a link to torrent, check it for copyright violation and try to download registering IPs of peers in process.

    The technological countermethod is simple too: I2P or VPN. I2P is a CLOSED network, and it means that you cannot download anything from ordinary Internet but VPN can be used traditionally. There are lots of other P2P networks but I just have no info about them.

    The legal countermethod is simple too: Attempt of investigators to download a counterfeit file is a provocation of crime that should not happen without it. And there is no method to ensure that the peer really contains a file except this provocation.

    • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Saturday June 29, 2013 @01:58AM (#44140453) Homepage

      The method is simple: Find a link to torrent, check it for copyright violation and try to download registering IPs of peers in process.

      Alas, not everyone is necessarily sharing, and in many countries just the act of downloading copyrighted material without sharing it is not illegal or constitutes a copyright violation. It is, for example, possible to download from BitTorrent like this, though not many people seem to know how.

    • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @04:46AM (#44140821) Homepage

      Not good enough.

      Confirmed torrent. Confirmed IP's. Did not confirm machine with content. Did not confirm owner of machine.
      Encryption is enabled. Unable to confirm actual data is being transmitted to IP address, unable to determine actual data is be transmitted from the IP address.
      Only method to confirm - Receive and or send copyrighted data to IP to confirm it has or is receiving copyrighted data.

      Crap, provided copyrighted files to people.
      Arrest self.

      There's laws that prevent entrapment etc. Special cases can get special warrents but generally.

      • Entrapment doesn't come into this, because there is no need to take the issue to court either civil or criminal. The main interest from ISPs like AT&T is going to be in bandwidth conservation - all they need to do is find the torrent users, apply a quick whitelist for the 'big legitimate' class like WoW updaters, and throttle the rest to dialup level. It does mean a few false alarms as people downloading the more obscure linux distros and independent films are misclassified as pirates, but the loss of a

    • by Kaenneth ( 82978 )

      Except no actual data transfer needs to take place; the basis is 'Making Available'; just like it's illegal to sell oregano while claiming it's marijuana.

      "But I wasn't actually going to do it!" is not sufficent defense, otherwise noone would be in prison for 'conspirancy to commit...'

      • by johanw ( 1001493 )

        That depends on the local laws. I remember here someone who thought he bought marihuana in The Netherlands was arrested for it when he crossed the Belgian border, but they had to drop the charges when it turned out he was cheated on and had actually bought legal dried vegetables.

    • by Artagel ( 114272 )

      Let's keep a few things straight here...

      (1) Civil and criminal copyright infringement are two different things.
      (2) To be liable for civil infringement, the copyright owner has to enforce.

      I am having real difficulties figuring out why a copyright owner would complain about it if AT&T performed the method. I also have difficulty figuring out why a government would care if the copyright owner did not.

      If it is merely a method to catch the stupid, well, there are plenty of stupid people so it is not pointles

  • here is an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @04:17AM (#44140741)

    quit overselling your network and spend more time developing your crappy network rather than being the media companies bitch

    win win

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you use encrypted connections for your torrent client. What AT&T is doing is a violation of the DMCA...

    Lets get the lawyers on it.

    • No. Other peer makes a crypto handshake with you, and you voluntarily agree to establish an encrypted link with him. After this, you have no "They illegally decrypted my communications" excuse. Then they use the standard Bittorrent protocol to request any part of the file, and you voluntarily agree to send it. They get it from your IP. You are caught.

  • Step right up and get yer patent because the PURPOSE to which data is put , the semantic intention of the consumers of the data is now a distinguishing factor which permits another, new, patent to be applied.

    I'd write more but I am getting a patent on capturing the data stream of people looking for a information used in job searches...

    Fuck, the Dewey Decimal system of categorization is loaded with potential patents one for each topic when people search on. We've barely begun to mine the gold in them yar hil

  • If they patent it, all the others ISPs won't be using this sort of tech to annoy it's users.

  • "Internet provider AT&T has patented a new technology..." The technology is NOT new. As such, it was awarded a patent.
  • Youtube as well... google for it...

  • I think I'll patent for observing drug testing. I'll charge AT&T everytime they think of a new patent.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.