Fed judge rules that a downloader's IP address is not proof of identity




The case involved the B-movie Elf-Man, whose production company have gained notoriety through trollish attacks one [sic] people alleged to have downloaded the movie over bittorrent

I thought these cases went after people specifically for uploading, or “seeding” the media to other users.


It’s good enough for the NSA!


Cool. An IP address is not a human being. Maybe, there’s hope. Someday, they could even figure out that a corporation is also not a human…
nahhh! Too obvious.

Shame, though. Would have been cool if they’d also gotten to the part where mere downloading of a file does not mean you have received that file in a viewable condition, or ever actually viewed it, even if it did arrive in decent condition. Or perhaps, even understand that you many not have any knowledge that it was ever downloaded at all. Because, by some definitions being used legally these days it would have to also follow that if my computer receives a worm or virus, the fact that it hopped my machine for some other was also some kind of proof that I knew it was there and told it to go.

Good start, though. Less ‘gotcha’ laws, more common-sense rulings!


Normally that’s what the big studios do, but this isn’t a big studio, this is a small studio with a big ego (and, evidently, not much sense).


In other news, Judge rules that suburbs are not home addresses, complains about having to rule on fucking obvious logical distinctions.


The way that BitTorrent works is, if you’re downloading, then you’re also uploading at the same time.


Yeah, but you’re not uploading the thing you’re being accused of downloading…?


I wonder how long before they confirm identities of pirated downloads by pulling up a photo taken by an Xbox One at the time of the download?

Microsoft Patent Lets Hollywood Watch You with Camera

Could the NSA use Microsoft’s Xbox One to spy on you?

Microsoft’s Xbox One: Always on, always watching?


Yeah, but only to tag some extra evidence. Microsloth’s product registrations alone …
And the fact that they built most operating systems found on personal computers…

Bill pretty much already knows what you had for lunch anyway.


Yep. As you progress, you automatically upload the pieces that you have already downloaded to others that haven’t gotten those specific bits yet. So when you download, you might be getting the total package from, literally, thousands of different computers.


Interesting. That was a real question, btw. I’ve never used BitTorrent. I understand the concept, but got bored with it all right about the time Limewire was ready to bite the dust. In that setup, you did upload what you had already downloaded - but not immediately. IIRC, it waited until you had the entire file stored.

But, they had a kind of odd way of users protecting themselves concerning original uploads. Files would be named incorrectly, almost universally. Sometimes, it was near genius - you had to stick the genre, and sometimes get the name…not correct, certainly. But you would use a file name that was a real name, and also suggestive of the actual file you were uploading. Like, if you wanted Frank Sinatra, doing Witchcraft, you’d get a file that said it was Dean Martin singing something with Magic in the title. That sort of thing.


Wow. Sounds like a whole lot of barely-controllable traffic. I mean, you’d have to know at all times who was getting what, who all else wanted it, and also somehow manage to snag all the right packets and route them in all the right order? That’s pretty…monumental, actually. The old Limewire stuff just had you sitting as a node, and only voluntarily. You could still use it without sharing drive space and bandwidth if you wanted, but it really wasn’t a hassle unless you didn’t have the bandwidth available to deal with it. If you did act as a node, it would just use spare ram and bandwidth to deliver the outbound files on request. It all worked very well, but they just fell apart when the copyright Gods came after them, because they were a brand instead of just an open source method of distributed file-sharing.

I just think of it now as an extremely valuable lesson in how not to do a file sharing platform. Sounds like BitTorrent solved all those issues. But, does it perform really well? Seems like anything that seriously eats ram and bandwidth would get lots of lag problems and such?


Not really. BitTorrent is a protocol, meaning it’s just a process that different programs use to accomplish the same ends. The most popular programs are actually very small and manage a computer’s resources pretty well. You can also manually set limits to their uploading/downloading bandwidth so that lag is not an issue for other users of your internet connection.


Thanks for the info. Sounds like it was very well done, then. And clearly, I was wrong to refer to it as a platform. Protocol. Gotcha. IIRC, that was the deal with the Limewire stuff - it monitored for slow periods and did its thing as a background app. (I was using a version of Windows Server then, and monitored and logged resource usage quite a lot while I was testing stuff.)


Does this kill the beginning of pirate cinema then o.O?


The Reddit post for this to /r/technology, just got deleted as “wrong subreddit” (lolwat?) when it was at rank #1.

I think there’s some weird stuff going on with the mods over there.


there’s weird stuff going on at reddit in general. That’s what happens when your system gives subreddit control to the first person to pick that name, without an appeals process.

That, combined with the admins reluctance to actually enforce the ToS’s rules against racism, sexism, or any other bigotry that makes people feel unwelcome, results in shit like /r/blackfathers redirecting to a page that says “there doesn’t seem to be anything here” (a “joke” based on the “black dads are deadbeats” stereotype).

closed #19

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