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What makes newsgroups so much safer?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:01 pm
by toasters
What makes newsgroups so much safer than using IRC? I've been reading around and all the similarities are there... what's the difference?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:12 pm
by SlyckTom
Well, Newsgroups are probabaly THE safest way to download anything off the Internet. Much safer than any P2P network.

Probably the biggest reason is because you cannot post large files to Usenet. So they are broken into smaller archives and posted as text. If the copyright industry were to somehow intercept a transmission, all they would get is text. The news reader has to re-encode the file so it is an actual media file.

There's nothing illegal about text, right?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:23 pm
by rvdmark
I'm a very heavy newsgroup user and I tell myself the same thing, but I doubt that argument would hold up in court.

I might be wrong, but the only way they could tell what you were downloading would be by hacking your computer or getting records from your provider.

If it comes to that, I just hope giganews really doesn't keep records of downloads as they claim.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:28 pm
by toasters
rvdmark wrote:I'm a very heavy newsgroup user and I tell myself the same thing, but I doubt that argument would hold up in court.

I might be wrong, but the only way they could tell what you were downloading would be by hacking your computer or getting records from your provider.

If it comes to that, I just hope giganews really doesn't keep records of downloads as they claim.
Can the MPAA do anything based on logs?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:42 pm
by rvdmark
Most premium providers claim they don't keep download logs. Whether you believe them or not is up to you.

But for the MPAA or RIAA to get them they would have to serve your provider with a subpoena.

It's my belief that a premium provider might try to stand up to them. Because if they just handed anything over, it would pretty much spell the end of their business.

In the end, you're taking a risk downloading anything for free, and whatever happens to you happens. Usenet is just a little less risky.

Re: What makes newsgroups so much safer?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:28 am
by HouseCrowd
toasters wrote:What makes newsgroups so much safer than using IRC? I've been reading around and all the similarities are there... what's the difference?



Safe to upload to, or safe to download from?

The thing with newsgroups, unlike other forms of file-sharing, is that those two processes are completely separated.

If you're releasing copyrighted works - uploading them to newsgroups - then you're increasing your chances of getting 'caught', in more or less the same way as uploading copyrighted works on any p2p network. In some ways it's more difficult for them to identify uploaders to newsgroups, but if they do manage to, unlike with p2p networks, it becomes very clear who the releasers are, which may make them all the more determined to find them in the first place.

On the other hand, if you're only downloading, it is very unlikely you'll ever hear from the MPAA or the RIAA. Firstly, newsgroups by their nature make it very difficult for a 3rd party to 'snoop' into what someone is downloading, because the exchange of data is between you and your chosen service provider. Even if logs were surrendered, for whatever reason, it is unlikely you would be targeted just for downloading. Downloading of copyrighted works is a much more grey area than uploading is. For example, you may already legally own a copy of whatever it is that you're downloading, but it got damaged, so you decided to download a replacement, since you're already legally entitled to own it. According to most copyright legislation, nobody should be distributing/uploading copyrighted works without the permission of the owner of those works - Whereas simply receiving/downloading a copy of something for free is not a criminal act per se.