Dale Dietrich
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Who Needs Kazza or eDonkey when You Have Google?

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P UsersDRM Arms RacePiracy

The recording industry has successfully shuttered several peer-to-peer networks of late. To what end? This recent Digg.com entry demonstrates how easy it is to find and download almost any music without DRM restrictions using a simple Google search. What's more, there is no way that I know of for such downloads to be traced by the means currently employed by the RIAA. No P2P application installations are needed, no attendant spyware, no messy port forwarding, no TPM circumvention is involved, just a simple Google search and download.

Dale's Comment: The RIAA can feel self-satisfied that it is successfully shuttering P2P Networks and ratcheting four digit settlements out of hapless P2P users unwilling or unable to fight the thousands of recent RIAA lawsuits, but until the content industries realize that they need to provide a fair way for honest users to purchase downloadable content, there will always be alternative ways for end users to pirate DRM-free content. The content industry needs to realize and accept the fact that there will always be some amount of piracy. Once it accepts this fact, it can turn its attention to providing first-rate and fair download services that meet the legitimate needs and expectations of honest people. Until they do, there's always Google, AllofMP3.com or the next new thing. Here's a terrific and topical EFF Article: The Consumer is Always Wrong: A User's Guide to DRM in Online Music.

Source: Digg.com

Web Sites that Automate this Google Search: CyberWyre | G2P Tyoogle

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eDonkey Settles for $30M and Shuts Down after Adverse Ruling

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisionsSettlements

After a judge in New York's southern district ruled that eDonkey facilitated illegal activity by allowing users to swap copyrighted material over the eDonkey2000 network, MetaMachine Inc., the firm behind eDonkey, Overnet and their P2P variants, has agreed to cease distribution of their P2P software and to pay the RIAA $30 million to avoid a copyright infringement suit. The company also agreed to take measures to curtail file sharing by existing eDonkey and Overnet users. Despite the shutdown and settlement, existing users of eDonkey, and an open source version called eMule, will likely go on sharing files unabated. While BearShare, Kazza, Grokster and others have settled with the RIAA, Warez P2P, Limewire and Soulseek are examples of major P2P services that have not settled. The judge must approve the final terms of the eDonkey settlement.

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Sources: ars technica | CNet | San Jose Mercury news (AP) | MP3.com | Slyck | CDfreaks.com | PC World | Mac World | Playfuls | PC Pro | BetaNews | The Register | Syndey Morning Herald | DRM Watch

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German Police Charge Thousands in eDonkey Raids

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersPolice ActionsPrivacy

German authorities searched over 130 premises of alleged eDonkey pirates in Cologne and Bergheim on Tuesday. Police have charged thousands of eDonkey users alleging they were sharing up to 8,000 copyrighted works. The individuals face large fines of up to $19K and even jail time.

Sources: BBC | Slyck | Register | ZDNet | Reuters | MP3.com | United Press Int’l | Mac World

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Spanish Police Target BitTorrent & eDonkey Sites

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersPolice Actions

The global campaign against BitTorrent and eDonkey2000 indexing sites continues. In apparently the first Spanish action of its kind, Spanish police arrested 15 administrators/owners related to 17 BitTorrent and eDonkey2000 indexing sites. While the sites themselves are located outside of Spain, the Spanish-resident operators were the target of the arrests.

Sources: Slyck  |  Addict 3D  |  CD Freaks.com  |  Asociacion de Internautus (Spanish)
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Hollywood Hails eDonkey P2P Shutdown

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCasesPolice Actions

Swiss and Belgian police have shut down a major component of the eDonkey file-sharing network, used mainly to trade copies of copyrighted movies and music.

ZDNet | MSNBC | The Register | Reuters | Inquirer | MP3.com | CD Freaks | TG Daily | PC Pro | ITWorld | afterdawn.com

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Google Torrents

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P UsersDRM Arms Race

As the RIAA systematically works to shut down Torrent Sites around the Internet, some enterprising person at Digg Torrents found a way to use Google to search for and download torrent files. Torrent files are small files containing the data used by BitTorrent clients to locate the specific content (ie: a video, a document, music etc.) available for downloading from other BitTorrent users at that particular moment in time.

[Nov 18 Update: Since I first posted this, the service has changed its name from Google Torrents to Digg Torrents and moved to the new URL linked-to below. The name has changed but the use of Google to find torrents has not.]

Sources: Digg Torrents

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IFPI Launches 8,000 New Lawsuits in 17 Countries

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P Users

Following the recent successful conviction and settlements against North American P2P Providers, the IFPI has filed 8000 new lawsuits in 17 countries and P2P users using all the major peer-to-peer services, including BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX. While most of the new law suits were filed in Europe and South America, suits have also been filed in Argentina, Austria, Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany, plus others like Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Holland and Portugal. The IFPI claims that more than 2,300 people had already been fined or had paid compensation averaging about $3,100.

Dale’s Comment: The thousands of suits launched to date have not made a dent in file sharing. I wonder why these folks continue to think that suing their customers is a better idea than providing a fair way for honest people to purchase music online

Sources: Silicon.com | Herold Tribune | London Times Free Press | L.A. Times | Inquirer | PC World | ars technica | BBC | Reuters | CBC.ca | ABC | Red Herring | Toronto Sun | AfterDAwn | TechWeb | The Jurist | MP3.com | P2PNet | PC Pro | CNet | Business Week (AP) | MacWorld

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StreamCast Loses District Court P2P File Sharing Case

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisions

Text of Decision
In attempting to apply the Supreme Court's new "inducement" doctrine from MGM v. Grokster, District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, the same judge that in an earlier ruling had cleared StreamCast of infringement charges, found "…evidence of StreamCast's unlawful intent … overwhelming", held StreamCast liable for inducing Morpheus users to infringe on copyright and granted the plaintiffs summary judgment. Subject to any successful appeal, StreamCast is liable for up to $150,000 for each copyrighted song or movie shared with Morpheus which, of course, trends towards a damages value of $infinity! :)

The rather unclear Supreme Court doctrine of inducement requires a "clear expression or other affirmative steps" beyond mere distribution of P2P software to find infringement. Judge Wilson held that the test was met because: (i) Internal e-mails by StreamCast executives showed their awareness of users' infringements, they were eager to insure the supply of copyrighted content on the network, (iii) they implemented features that made it easier to infringe, and (iv) they failed to implement technology that could have deterred some infringements.

After MGM v. Grokster, Sharman Networks (Kazaa), Grokster, iMesh (Bearshare), eDonkey, Qtrax, Mashboxx and others settled. StreamCast was one of the few that decided to fight on. A StreamCast spokesperson said the company may appeal. LimeWire remains the only other large P2P Player still fighting on.

Sources: Ars Technica | EFF | New York Law Journal | Kathy Kirkman | L.A. Times | Chron.com (AP) | Daily Tech | MP3.com | Internet News | The Register | Slyck | Reuters | P2PNet | techdirt | Wired (AP) | cbc.ca | RIAA Press Release | DRM Watch

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Music Industry Sues Limewire

Categories: BigMedia v P2P Providers

Text of Complaint
Text of LimeWire’s Counter Claim
Like Napster, Kazaa, Grokster, Streamcast, Bearshare and others before it, the music industry has set its legal sights on LimeWire, a leading P2P content distribution service. In a suit filed in Manhattan federal court, the record companies accuse LimeWire of profiting from illicit downloads of their music, saying “the scope of the infringement is massive”. In the complaint they are accused of contributory copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement, and, uniquely, common law copyright infringement. In September of 2005, Limewire and other P2P software providers were served with cease and desist letters. Since then BearShare, eDonkey and WinMX all ceased operations as a result of the letter. LimeWire continued.

Sources: CNet | Slyck | L.A. Times (AP) | DRM Watch | ZDNet | Silicon.com | Afterdawn | CD Freaks | Reuters

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Music Industry Releases New Wave of Lawsuits

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is launching nearly 2,000 new legal actions against individuals accused of sharing copyrighted music over P2P services, including FastTrack (Kazaa), Gnutella (BearShare), eDonkey, DirectConnect, BitTorrent, Limewire, WinMX, and SoulSeek. Here we go again.

ars technica  |  Red Herring  |  CNet  |  ZDNet  |  BBC  |  silicon.com  |  The Register  |  PCWorld  |  Fox News  |  PC Pro  |  Reuters  |  PC Magazine  |  Top Tech News  |  ifpi press release
Dale’s Comment: Oh Goody! And we’ve seen how successful the RIAA’s suing thousands of its customers has worked over on this side of the pond now haven’t we?

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Paramount Sues Man for Piracy – But Can’t Find any Evidence

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCasesWiFi Access

Paramount traces an eDonkey user to a specified IP Address but searches of the user's computers reveal no evidence of piracy. Man claims anyone could have used his unsecured wireless connection to use eDonkey.

Sources: Channel 5 Cincinnati | P2PNet

Note: While this story highlights the potential perils of leaving a WiFi Router open for use by neighbours, leaving an Internet connected WiFi router open to public use may set up an affirmative defence to piracy allegations.

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The BitTorrent Effect

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

Hollywood movie studios launched new legal action Tuesday against operators of sites that help connect people to movies on three major peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The MPAA also targeted operators of servers for the eDonkey and Direct Connect networks. The group’s actions include criminal complaints and cease-and-desist orders issued to ISPs on four continents. Acting in cooperation with the MPAA, French law enforcement authorities took related action Monday, and actions by authorities in Finland and the Netherlands followed Tuesday.
Source: Wired

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