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P2P News Wrapup
February 8, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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The file-sharing landscape was dominated by two entities this week, the ISP and BitTorrent. Danish ISP Tele2 was forced to filter out The Pirate Bay from its network; however, this doesn’t seem to be impeding anyone from accessing their torrents. Is this a sign of things to come?

Monday, February 4th

BitTorrent made the news headlines on Monday with a Danish court ruling that the ISP Tele2 must block The Pirate Bay from its customers. The Danish ISP Tele2 has been forced into a tough position, as the IFPI won yet another legal case against unauthorized file-sharing. The implications of this ruling remain unclear. Although Tele2 began blocking The Pirate Bay on Tuesday, they’ve already indicated an appeal may be underway.

“In this case, we think it is needed to have a clarification of the legal grounds, and that is why we are discussing this with the other companies," said Nicholai Pfeiffer, chief of regulations for Tele2.

Tuesday, February 5th

The implications of Tele2’s block became a bit more apparent on Tuesday, when the Swedish BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay launched “The Jesper Bay". The site is designed to guide users past the block, by providing detailed instructions on using various alternatives such as OpenDNS. If a Danish Tele2 user hops onto OpenDNS, they are then isolated from their ISP’s DNS (Domain Name Service) server, and can bypass the block. Several other methods are discussed, however OpenDNS appears to be the easiest and most streamlined approach.

In other ISP news, Verizon is taking an opposite position to Comcast and AT&T when it comes to fighting piracy. Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs, told the New York Times that his company opposes the idea of content filtering. ISPs are protected by the often harshly criticized, yet now suddenly not so terrible DMCA, which absolves an ISP from any criminal or civil liability for content of information that may transpire across their network. The consequences of giving up this protection could be cataclysmic, opening the ISP to a variety of demands for police work.

“We generally are reluctant to get into the business of examining content that flows across our networks and taking some action as a result of that content,” he said.

Wednesday, February 6th

There’s a new twist in the RIAA’s case against alleged file-sharers. Typically, the RIAA uses MediaSentry, who in turn collects evidence from various P2P networks. The most important piece of evidence is the IP address/date stamp, which gives up the “who” and “when“ of the alleged file-sharer. Whoever two defendants are challenging that in order to collect that information, Media Sentry must have a private investigator’s license. Because of the ongoing litigation, MediaDefender hasn’t indicated to the public whether they have a private investigator’s license. Regardless, the RIAA doesn’t seem to think the statue governing private investigator’s license applies in this case.

“…MediaSentry is not an "investigator" by purposes of the statute and any evidence collected for our program would not be precluded from our complaints,” an RIAA spokesperson told

“Regardless, this question has no bearing on the validity or relevance of the evidence collected.”

Thursday, February 7th

It’s being reported that Vista SP1 has already made its way to BitTorrent, despite a launch date which has been delayed until mid-March. The delay, which was related to misbehaving device drivers, caused mass hysteria among the Microsoft faithful, with some predicting its appearance on BitTorrent. Their predictions were correct, as Vista SP1 is available for anyone who wants it.

“Time to fire up uTorrent, Vista pirates users, the RTM version of SP1 has been leaked to the Pirate Bay,” a poster on Vista’s blog wrote.

The entertainment industry supported college funding billed, named the College Opportunity and Affordability Act, was easily passed by the House of Representative, 354-58, this Thursday. The bill includes language to address unauthorized file-sharing, and dedicates an entire section to the issue. The bill recommends that universities and colleges address file-sharing and copyright issues with their students.

“ annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;

“…[a] description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary 4 actions that are taken against students who 5 engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system; and

“…a description of actions that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on the institution’s information technology system.”

At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any financial sanction mechanisms in place for non-compliance. Critics, however, feel the entertainment industry’s foot is now in the door.

Friday, February 8th

By the way, remember earlier this week when the Interent was abuzz with RIAA chairman Cary Sherman suggesting the copyright filtering may have to start at the end user’s PC? It seems the RIAA wasn’t so attached to that idea, as Ars Technica got in touch with an RIAA spokesperson that stepped away from end user filtering.

"[Cary Sherman]…was simply musing in response to a question that required it. He was not proposing or suggesting anything specific but speaking in the abstract about a few general ideas."

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Copyright Issues
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers
Entertainment Industry :: RIAA

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