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Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:20 am
by Jimmy76
Hi !

I just saw this news...I think the result of the suit will be very interesting for the future of NG

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i66abf6954df1d43f75ac96b95a3324c4

Labels Sue Usenet Service
October 15, 2007 - Legal and Management

By Susan Butler, N.Y.

Major record companies have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Usenet.com, Billboard.biz has learned.

The suit claims that the usenet.com service sells access to content that includes millions of unauthorized music files and "touts its service as a haven for those seeking pirated content."

Typically, a usenet system is made up of a large number of computer servers that communicate with each other. An individual user reads and posts messages to a company's local computer server. Messages are stored on that server and then exchanged with other servers, often globally.

The complaint, filed late Friday in the federal District Court in New York, alleges that Fargo, N.D.-based usenet.com enables and encourages its customers to reproduce and distribute millions of the labels' recordings without permission.

Specifically, the complaint alleges, usenet.com loads online bulletin boards or "newsgroups" obtained from the usenet network onto its server. It then sells access to the newsgroups that it has chosen to host on its usenet.com service. The suit claims that many of the newsgroups that usenet.com chooses to offer "are explicitly dedicated to copyright infringement."

Users post copyrighted recordings to these to the newsgroups on usenet.com's servers, the suit says, identifying them by artist and title. The works are then "propagated worldwide," allowing millions of users of the usenet network to copy "with ease and anonymity," the complaint alleges.

The suit also claims that usenet.com "boasts" that "its service is the best way to get 'free' music now that 'file sharing websites are getting shut down...'"

On the usenet.com home page visited by Billboard.biz , the site states: "Shh... Quiet! We believe it's no one's business but your own what you do on the Internet or in Usenet. We don't track user activity."

The labels claim that thousands of recordings, including some not yet released, are infringed every day on the usenet.com service.

The suit claims that usenet.com has been repeatedly notified by the labels to remove infringing recordings from its servers, but it refuses to remove them and continues to carry infringing newsgroups.

The plaintiff labels are Arista Records, Atlantic Recording, BMG Music, Capitol Records, Caroline Records, Elektra Entertainment Group, Interscope Records, LaFace Records, Maverick Recording, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Virgin Records America, Warner Bros. Records and Zomba Recording.

The labels seek an unspecified amount of damages, an injunction and a declaration that the company is infringing copyrighted works.

Usenet.com could not be immediately reached for comment.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:24 am
by abou105
wow, im surprised that the Music labels were the first to hit Usenet... Im pretty sure that the movie and games industry are hit harder by Usenet than the music side. Well this is the one to watch, we will see how deep the Usenet providers pockets are now. Also will the Usenet providers form a coalition of their own?

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:47 am
by azitler
I think they'll have to form some sort of organisation of their own. Giganews and the rest can't allow Usenet.com to be taken out while standing idly on the sidelines because once the precedent is set it will make it that much easier to go after them.

Some points on the complaints though. Saying that some newsgroups are explicitly there to carry pirated content is rubbish. Just because the name may say something it doesn't make it exclusively about that - after all it's possible to create a group and call it what you like. I could create a group called alt.binaries.downloadthiscopyrightmovieforfree and then fill it full of pictures of my cat.

If they did boast about being the best place for free music, then that is a rather stupid thing to do. We've all seen other sites and networks go down after using phrases like this in their marketing so usenet.com should have known better.

However, how they can claim that saying that your privacy will be respected and your activities unmonitored is a sign of illegality is beyond me.

Final thought on reading this again - are they saying that the original posts of material are made to usenet as a whole by people using usenet.com's servers? If so, how do they know this? If not, this is an attack on usenet's 'common carrier' status and the internet as a whole (whither google caches for instance?).

Whatever, this is a fight neither side can afford to lose. Whoever does will see their industry die.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:04 am
by jimmy90
This should be interesting.

If a web site can be asked to take down hash links explicitly identifying copyrighted content then can a Usenet provider be asked to take down newsgroups explicitly containing copyrighted content?

I think Usenet may be in for a hard time.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:33 am
by gorlov
jimmy90 wrote:This should be interesting.

If a web site can be asked to take down hash links explicitly identifying copyrighted content then can a Usenet provider be asked to take down newsgroups explicitly containing copyrighted content?

I think Usenet may be in for a hard time.



Usenet providers are already required to, and does, remove infringing content that receives DMCA complaints.
That doesn't include taking down whole newsgroups though.

Regarding the case in itself.. well, it's worrying. We don't advertize access to all kinds of music and movies as the reason to sign up, but some providers do that. Usenet is so much more than that, so it's stupid.

--Goran

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:46 am
by Overnet User
http://www.usenet.1a.to whats that?

usenext.to

usenext.info

are all these the same as the one above?

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:49 am
by ShawnSpree
Reminds me of the kazaa case and limewire.. Long as you dont boast about downloading illegal content or encourage it with FANCY words on the World wide web.. etc. 'GET ALL THE FREE STUFF YoU want and dont want to pay for." type message.. Then there fine. They could easily start blocking IP addresses to their servers from known media companies and possibly start keeping stuff on their servers for 7 days.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:51 am
by altpdend
THIS is one the RIAA maybe over reaching It is pretty well established as far back as 2001 aslong as a provoder complies with dmca takedown process they fall into safe harbor. The Riaa better hope it does wim this because if not usenet will become more popular than ever after the media attention.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:16 am
by Hodejo
Since Napster was first sued not one of the RIAA's legal victories have achieved their intended goals. Even the big win in the Supreme Court two years ago in MGM v.Grokster did nothing to stem file sharing. Is there any reason to think the recent victory over Jammie Thomas will serve them better? Why the label's continue this failed strategy is a mystery.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:24 am
by azitler
""The suit also claims that usenet.com "boasts" that "its service is the best way to get 'free' music now that 'file sharing websites are getting shut down...'""


I can't see anything like this anywhere on the site. It's possible they may have had it up somewhere in the past and have since removed it, but otherwise usenet.com don't appear to be using free movies or music as a selling point in any of their literature.

If the argument is against them hosting specific groups, and that argument actually holds up in court, then what is to stop stuff being posted randomly into any group you want? Binsearch and other indexers will still find it for you and NZB sites would still list them - it just makes it a tiny bit trickier is all. You could even spread the rars over multiple groups.

The more I think about this, the more I reckon that the only way of killing usenet would be to insist that all providers keep logs of who downloads what and are forced to hand them over to copyright holders as a matter of course on a daily or weekly basis. Otherwise, as long as usenet providers don't promote copyright 'theft' (as the RIAA/MPAA like to put it) and comply with any DMCA takedown notices (the US providers anyway) then how can they be touched?

The only other scenario is making all of them responsible for everything posted to usenet and propagated to their servers, and if you pass a law like that then you also have a green light to go after google, youtube or any other search or networking site and it's bye bye internet as we know it.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:40 am
by altpdend
azitler wrote:
""The suit also claims that usenet.com "boasts" that "its service is the best way to get 'free' music now that 'file sharing websites are getting shut down...'""


I can't see anything like this anywhere on the site. It's possible they may have had it up somewhere in the past and have since removed it, but otherwise usenet.com don't appear to be using free movies or music as a selling point in any of their literature.



I have seen it before when searching google on info about usenet. I think it was posted around 2003 but how long ago won't matter in the eyes of court. USENET.COM only hope on this point is that usenet,com was under different owners at the time I am not even sure that will be much help.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:50 am
by JolietJake
This is like suing an ISP because you can access a warez site through them. There are plenty of legitimate uses for usenet, binaries weren't even an original part of it. The most they should be able to do is force them not to carry certain groups or force them to remove specific files.

I knew this would be coming one day and it makes even less sense than i thought i t would.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:56 pm
by MrFredPFL
altpdend wrote:THIS is one the RIAA maybe over reaching It is pretty well established as far back as 2001 aslong as a provoder complies with dmca takedown process they fall into safe harbor.



did you read the article?

The suit claims that usenet.com has been repeatedly notified by the labels to remove infringing recordings from its servers, but it refuses to remove them

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:07 pm
by ShawnSpree
Way i understood this is that is in binaries.. Its in codes and its all spread everywhere. Its the end user who has to use a newsreader to assemble and pull pieces of the code from each server.. Some could be into 32 parts or more. I cant see them winning. The only thing that could happen is that they block access to complete_cd and a few others. But then again.. Music gets posted on binaries4ever =0)

Re:

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:10 pm
by altpdend
MrFredPFL wrote:
altpdend wrote:THIS is one the RIAA maybe over reaching It is pretty well established as far back as 2001 aslong as a provoder complies with dmca takedown process they fall into safe harbor.



did you read the article?

The suit claims that usenet.com has been repeatedly notified by the labels to remove infringing recordings from its servers, but it refuses to remove them



HERE is link to a cnet artical
http://www.news.com/2100-1023-862849.html

The case was appealed in 2004 the court said aol was partly lible because aol did not register it's DMCA infomation with the us. copyright office had done that it would have been 100% not liable.

The second part about the riaa dmca claim what the riaa is claiming is they did not remove speffic groups and ths't not how dmca works it has to have the name of file the time an so on it it does not have that takedown notice is not vaild.

Re: Re:

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:22 pm
by MrFredPFL
altpdend wrote:The second part about the riaa dmca claim what the riaa is claiming is they did not remove speffic groups and ths't not how dmca works it has to have the name of file the time an so on it it does not have that takedown notice is not vaild.


can you cite support for that (what you say the RIAA is claiming) ?

specifically, can you show that they did not issue proper DMCA takedown notices, in addition to other claims?

Re: Re:

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:36 pm
by altpdend
MrFredPFL wrote:
altpdend wrote:The second part about the riaa dmca claim what the riaa is claiming is they did not remove speffic groups and ths't not how dmca works it has to have the name of file the time an so on it it does not have that takedown notice is not vaild.


can you cite support for that (what you say the RIAA is claiming) ?

specifically, can you show that they did not issue proper DMCA takedown notices, in addition to other claims?



i jUST read the music billboard article and thats what it implies. I don't think usenet.com would be so stupid not comply but I guess it's possible.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:43 pm
by MrFredPFL
ahhh, implication is a wonderful thing ;) however, that wasn't what *I* thought the article was implying ;)

i got the impression they were claiming to have sent valid DMCA notices, which were ignored, in addition to any demands about the groups themselves. it will be interesting to see what really did happen as this case develops.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:42 pm
by venussuz
This one definitely doesn't worry me, as taking down alt.binaries.mp3.complete_cd or whatever other groups will accomplish nothing as the content will then be posted to alt.binaries.buttmonkeys or whatever group people choose to put new releases in. With the standard of posting in multiple groups, a person can grab whatever they want from any of 12 different groups, most of the group names having nothing to do with specific content. Yes, it could conceivably force name changing for group names, but finding the same content is not difficult.
Unless they're looking to go after the entire news server industry - good luck as many aren't based in the U.S. and thus not subject to the same laws - there seems little impact it can have on the format as a whole. Yes, it could set a dangerous precedent, meaning other companies will have to try harder to comply with DMCA. Good luck on that one as the act was being changed, last I heard.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:45 pm
by JolietJake
The thing is that, even if they forced usenet.com to stop carrying a group, it wouldn't make a difference to anyone using a different service. Groups aren't contained on any one server or with any one company. Forcing one carrier to drop a group would just drive users to another company. Same thing with individual files, if people start noticing posts are missing with usenet.com they'll drop them and go elsewhere.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:57 pm
by LANjackal
JolietJake wrote:The thing is that, even if they forced usenet.com to stop carrying a group, it wouldn't make a difference to anyone using a different service. Groups aren't contained on any one server or with any one company. Forcing one carrier to drop a group would just drive users to another company. Same thing with individual files, if people start noticing posts are missing with usenet.com they'll drop them and go elsewhere.
Yep, and not all services are as stupid as some providers that advertise themselves as an alternative source for copyrighted content, so suing them would be quite a problem.

The MPAA learned this lesson when it tried the route of taking down NZB sites. Didn't work. As it turns out, thanks to search sites, pre-generated NZBs are hardly necessary for downloading anyway :roll:

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:21 am
by Wham
Amazing, simply amazing! If ever an industry was on a self-destruct course, it has to be the Music Industry represented by the RIAA. What a waste!

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:56 am
by azitler
Ok so they did boast about being able to access illicit files:

http://www.usenet.com/articles/free_download.htm

and so all I can say to that is "IDIOTS" :roll:

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:29 am
by grubbymitts
Straight from the page.
What Exactly Can You Download in Usenet?
Anything and everything. Literally. There are movies, mp3s, cartoons, wallpapers, sounds, videos, pictures, warez, games, software and much more. The files (also known as “binaries” in Usenet) are organized by subject in the so called “newsgroups,” which makes it really easy for everyone from the inexperienced user to the expert to find what they are looking for. You can search the newsgroups in Usenet by using keywords. All you need is a piece of software called a newsreader which Usenet.com offers to members for free and you are ready to start downloading. And you can download as much as you want if you get the right membership plan. Forget about the disadvantages of file sharing software. Meet Usenet, the new place for free downloads!


Whilst not implying that any of these are illegal downloads (all of them can be legal, of course), it does make enough of a case for the RIAA to take to court.

Re: Labels Sue Usenet Service Usenet.com

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:16 pm
by el33tcrew
Only takes "one" idiot to f*ck it all up for the rest. :pissedoff: