Items tagged "Filtering"

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BitStalker: Positives and Negatives

March 11, 2010 Fair Use , Filtering

BitStalker is a good way to get around some of the obfuscatory methods employed by some BitTorrent trackers that are primarily used for infringing content, like the Pirate Bay. It uses some clever data-gathering techniques to avoid falling for some kinds of spoofing (like listing phony IP addresses as peers). I'm glad that some of the people at my old school, the University of Colorado, are seriously addressing the fact that current anti-piracy technology used on the Internet is inadequate.

One thing needs to be clear, though: when the paper claims that "false positives are rare with our active approach," it's referring to false positives as to whether a particular IP address is part of a BitTorrent swarm. That is, if a particular file is known to be infringing, this method is better at identifying the IP addresses that are downloading it.

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ACTA Makes ISPs An Offer They Can’t Refuse

February 22, 2010 DMCA , Filtering , Forum Shopping , International , Non-Discrimination

The leaked ACTA Internet chapter has a footnote that says an ISP can only hang on to its "safe harbor" by implementing certain policies designed to discourage the use of their networks for copyright infringement, and that "An example of such a policy is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and accounts in the service provider's system or network of repeat infringers." Three strikes and you're out.

USTR's claim that ACTA wouldn't "change" US law is plausible (if not comforting). Similar language is already part of US law (17 U.S.C. 512 §(i)(1)(A))–as is the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, of course, which assures that no person can be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." One would hope that, like the existing statute, the ACTA language will be read in the context of the Constitution, which assures that mere accusations of copyright infringement are not enough to kick someone off the Internet. One would also hope that other countries, if they end up agreeing to a version of ACTA with this language, also understand that a "repeat infringer" must have been afforded due process.

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UPDATED: Music Labels Ask Blogs to Post Songs to Promote Artists, Ask Google to Erase Blogs for Post

February 11, 2010 DMCA , Fair Use , Filtering , Network Neutrality , Piracy

Today's news that Google shut down music blogs that were accused of copyright infringement is rightfully getting plenty of coverage. Mostly, it is being held up as another in a long line of examples of problems with the DMCA notice-and-takedown system. This is a great example of a problem with the DMCA because, at least according to The Guardian, the notices that Google relied on to delete the blogs were woefully incomplete. Google should not have acted until it had proper notices from rights holders, including the name of the actual work allegedly infringed. Since many of the notices did not even include this information, there was no way for the bloggers to file a DMCA counternotice. For an update on the DMCA part of this story, check out Wired and Google's own post. Of course, the DMCA confusion does a great job of illustrating the points about filtering below.

It is important that this story is being used to point out problems with the DMCA, and with Google's policies for dealing with DMCA complaints. how complicated DMCA implementation can be. What it equally important, if less commented on, is what it can tell us about copyright filtering.

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U.S. Government Denies that ACTA Mandates Filtering or Three Strikes, But Questions On its Contents

February 10, 2010 ACTA , Filtering , Piracy , Three Strikes , USTR

On Monday, the New York Times added to the increasing media scrutiny of ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This proposed international agreement, which has the potential to drastically change the landscape of copyright law and policy, still remains hidden from the public eye.

Given this lack of transparency, it's no surprise that the substance of the agreement can only be discussed by way of leaks, speculation, and warring sound bites. Among the suppositions on ACTA's contents was the following:

E.U. negotiators, for example, are said to have balked at a U.S.-backed proposal to require Internet service providers to take tough steps against digital piracy.

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Landmark Australian Ruling Deals a Blow to Three Strikes Down Under

February 4, 2010 BitTorrent , DMCA , Filtering , Safe Harbor , Three Strikes

For those of us who believe that the Internet should remain an open, democratic and non-discriminatory platform, with few exceptions, the last two years have brought a steady stream of bad news from Down Under. First, there were rumblings that Australia was seeking to implement a “three strikes” policy toward those accused of online filesharing. Next, New Zealand came close to instituting its own three strikes mandate, though thanks to the efforts of activists, that deeply-flawed law was struck down at the last minute. Finally, after a number of previous, failed attempts, the Australian government announced that it plans to mandate the use of real-time filtering technologies on public ISPs sometime during the next year. Just when it seemed like no one in the Australian and New Zealand governments appreciated the damaging effects of such policies, an Australian federal court judge has ruled that the ISP iiNet is not responsible for the actions of its subscribers. In the landmark ruling (full text here), which will likely have ramifications in the U.S. and elsewhere, the judge rebuffs Hollywood’s attempt to require iiNet to act as a copyright cop, dealing a blow to three strikes in the process. Let’s take a closer look.

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“Three Strikes” and Verizon: Not Happening

January 21, 2010 Fair Use , Filtering , Three Strikes

Yesterday's CNET report that Verizon had secretly adopted a "three strikes" policy towards alleged copyright infringers had our office all atwitter last night – how could a charter member of our ad hoc copyright reform coalition be engaging in such radical activity? Well, it turns out they weren't.

As their misquoted spokesperson explains here, what Verizon employs is a process for passing on warning notices to alleged infringers, but that process does not include automatic termination. My guess is that to the extent that she was talking about infringers having their internet access terminated, she was referring to people who had been adjudicated by a court to be infringing, and as such, they would be violating Verizon's terms of service.

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How to Preserve an Open Internet

January 15, 2010 Filtering , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination

The FCC can preserve the Open Internet with the tools already at its disposal. With a coalition of other public interest groups, Public Knowledge filed comments with the FCC yesterday emphasizing the importance of the Internet, and what can be done to protect it.

Along with the Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, Media Access Project, and New America Foundation, we dealt with the bulk of the issues raised in the FCC's Notice. We filed them in addition to comments that concern the relationship of copyright enforcement to the principles of an open Internet.

Here's what we had to say.

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Hey FCC: Don’t Sacrifice Network Neutrality to Content Owners

January 14, 2010 FCC , Filtering , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Piracy

In addition to our larger Network Neutrality comments, today Public Knowledge, along with Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Home Recording Rights Coalition, and NetCoalition, filed a short comment with the FCC focusing on how copyright fits in with Network Neutrality.

Or more specifically, how copyright doesn’t fit in with Network Neutrality. As EFF has been pointing out with its Real Net Neutrality Campaign, the proposed rules have a gaping “copyright loophole.” They exempt any activity designed to block copyright infringement from Network Neutrality rules.

This is a problem.

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Bono’s “One” Ignorant Idea

January 5, 2010 Filtering , Music

U2 frontman and humanitarian Bono had a page-long op-ed in this past Sunday's New York Times, where he describes what he calls "10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil. Some are trivial, some fundamental. They have little in common with one another except that I am seized by each, and moved by its potential to change our world." So let's look at some issues that made the list…. a twist on cap and trade, fighting the rotavirus, new cancer research, the rise of Africa and… limiting the scourge of file sharing.

Yes, that's right, file sharing, clearly one from the "trivial" category. Bono blames Internet Service Providers for "this reverse Robin Hooding" which he says hurts "the young, fledgling songwriters who can't live off ticket and T-shirt sales…." His "big" idea for stopping the scourge?

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The FCC’s Berkman Study is Clear: Broadband Unbundling Expands Competition, Increases Access, and

November 18, 2009 AT&T , Broadband , FCC , Filtering , Network Neutrality

Public Knowledge just filed comments urging the FCC to pay close attention to a study (PDF) it commissioned on broadband unbundling. The study, written by Yochai Benkler and his team at Harvard’s Berkman Center, examined international broadband regulatory practices.

This was not just another study chronicling the United States’ decline in Internet prowess. Instead, the Berkman Center team examined broadband markets in a number of different countries. They then tried to figure out what types of regulatory policies were the most effective at increasing broadband penetration and access.

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