Is it legal for ISP to shut me down for file sharing?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by the_cooke, Oct 22, 2003.

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  1. the_cooke Registered Member

    Messages:
    10
    I just got a call and email from my ISP threatening to shut me down if I get caught file sharing again. I live in Canada, but it was a US agency that somehow tracked someone uploading a program from my computer. Is this legal?

    Here is an excerpt from the email:

    Attn : xxxxx

    Greetings,
    The Abuse Team has received a complaint indicating that someone,
    using your login, was connected to the Internet via High Speed connection
    and offering access to 1 or more copyright files. Relevant details from the
    complaint are included below. If there are copyright materials available via
    your computer, we request you take action to prevent further complaints from
    arriving. Please note further complaints may result in immediate
    disconnection of account.

    Such copyright material will usually be available via a peer to peer file
    sharing program like Kazaa or Morpheus and it is possible that you may not
    know it is there. If you are running one of these programs and do not know
    how to move or delete files, then it would be advisable for you to uninstall
    it in add/remove programs in your control panel.

    Thank you for your consideration. Please reply to this message so we know
    it has been read and understood.

    Regards
    Policy Administrator


    *********** BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE ***********

    On 10/21/2003 at 4:48 PM Copyright <copyright@bsa.org> wrote:


    RE: Unauthorized Distribution of the following copyrighted computer
    program(s):

    xxxxxxx

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and The Canadian Alliance Against
    Software Theft (CAAST) has determined that the connection listed below,
    which appears to be using an Internet account under your control, is using
    a Gnutella network to offer unlicensed copies of copyrighted computer
    programs published by the BSA's and CAAST's member companies.

    Site Details:
    ----------------------------------------------
    Date Found: xxxxxxx
    Network: Acquisition
    IP Address: xxxxxxxx
    IP Port: 6346
    Protocol: Gnutella
    UserName:

    Content being offered:
    ----------------------------------------------
    xxxxxxxxxxxx


    The above computer program(s) is/are being made available for copying,
    through downloading, at the above location without authorization from the
    copyright owner(s).

    Based upon BSA's and CAAST's representation of the copyright owners in
    anti-piracy matters, we have a good faith belief that none of the
    materials or activities listed above have been authorized by the
    rightholders, their agents, or the law. BSA and CAAST represent that the
    information in this notification is accurate and states, under penalty of
    perjury, that it is authorized to act in this matter on behalf of the
    copyright owners listed above.

    We hereby give notice of these activities to you and request that you take
    expeditious action to remove or disable access to the materials described
    above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of
    pirated software via your company's network. As you know, illegal on-line
    activities can result in 50 million people on the Internet accessing and
    downloading a copyrighted product worldwide without authorization - a
    highly damaging activity for the copyright holder.

    We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Please advise us regarding
    what actions you take.

    Yours sincerely,


    John R. Wolfe
    Manager of Investigations
    Business Software Alliance
    1150 18th St NW Suite 700
    Washington, DC 20036
    http://www.bsa.org
    http://www.caast.org
    E-mail: copyright@bsa.org
     
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  3. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

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    6,698
    Yes it is and they should. No matter how much you hate the corporate "man" you are still stealing.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,353
    Yes. Breaching copyright is illegal. If you are sharing copyrighted files without permission from the copyright owner, you can be prosecuted. So can the ISP who allows you to use their network, which is why they've asked to you remove the files in question. Their next step will most likely be to cut you off their network, if you continue to share illegal files.
     
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  7. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    24,066
    na ja...the BSA are little babies though. We never complained that software companies and such have been stealing from us for years. How else could Bill Gates have become he richest man on earth? Because he did not overcharge for his products? How much money does a man need to live? Certainly his demands have been excessive. The same is probably true for other software companies.
     
  8. Bachus Registered Senior Member

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    1,271
    If you don't like the cost find alternatives or don't use it. The fact that it is too expensive doesn't mean you can steal it. Hell ferrari makes expensive cars but i do not go around stealing ferrari's.
     
  9. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    24,066
    are you saying that you don't have anything illegal on your computer? Never copied a CD that didn't belong to you?
     
  10. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,429
    I agree with spurious. The initial 'thiefs' are people who know how the tech works, so that's not merely their fault (and ours), but also a tech fate.
     
  11. A4Ever Knows where his towel is Registered Senior Member

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    1,234
    Suppose that in 500 years time a device is developed with which you can create a structure from the atoms up, starting from the scan of an example.

    Say you use this machine to scan a Porsche, which is parked on the street. You just move the machine over the car (without even touching it) and three days later, the machine has built you a copy of this Porsche in your garage.

    Is this the same as stealing the Porsche? No, it is not. In Belgian law, stealing is: "taking away the object that is property of someone else with the intention of keeping it" (letting out a few unimportant details)

    Did you rip off the Porsche company? No. A Porsche is too expensive. You would not have bought one anyway.

    We have such futuristic machines already available for music files. They're called cd-rippers and mp3-encoders.

    Why should the use of these tools be considered as theft?

    Of course, in copyright, there are other laws than the normal laws for stealing.

    But maybe it is time to reconsider them. If so, they can always use my example in parliament

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    __________

    Note: yes, the ISP is responsible when they know that illegal activity is taking place on their servers and network. So yes, they will shut you down and yes you are in violation of the law.
     
  12. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,429
    excellent example, if I may say.
     
  13. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Yes, but those aren't designed so you can use them for unlawful purposes. There use is not illegal because it is perfectly legal to convert your selection of CDs that You bought to mp3s on your HD......sharing it over a p2p network where others can copy it at their leisure is Illegal and, no matter what you call it, stealing.

    No matter what you call it, in the end you are still getting something for nothing. Just because it is in Digital format does not make it any less wrong.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    30,353
    A4Ever,

    Imagine you spend 2 years of your life writing a book. The day after you publish it, somebody prints off 3 million copies and starts selling them, taking all the profits for themselves. You get nothing.

    I guess you'd have no problems with that.
     
  15. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member

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    2,429
    That's why I also called it tech fate.....
     
  16. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,996
    Stealing is the deliberate removal of an article from its rightful owner with the intention of permanently depriving its rightful owner of that property.

    Bill Gates will always own Windows no matter how many people "steal" however many "pirate" copies.

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    Regarding mp3, todays so called music is so crap who in their right mind would want to steal it?

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  17. Bachus Registered Senior Member

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    1,271
    Haven't said that

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    Hell if I could get away with steling ferrari's I would do it

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  18. Angelus Son Of House Ravenhearte Registered Senior Member

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    431
    I write software, all the software i ever write will always be available under the gnu public license. Information should be free.
     
  19. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    13,101
    My view is very simple, I can understand an individuals right to protect their Intellectual property, and even to go so far as make money from their idea.

    But to keep their idea for themselves and be the sole selling entity it becomes a Monopoly, and Monopolies inhibit fair trade.

    Consumers have the right to try and find the cheapest alternative for purchasing, This works out in the long run since it means the Consumer can purchase two things cheaply rather than spending out on one thing because of some greedy pop singer.

    "Money is like manure, Nothing would grow unless it's spread about" - Anon

    Another angle was something mentioned on the television over how certain Stars (who's fame is only derived from the hoards of mundanes purchasing their warez) can just walk into a coffee shop in a high street and turf paying patrons onto the floor to gain seating.

    Now I feel if I'm going to find myself shifted from my seat by large bouncers surrounding someone *yawn* famous, I'm sure as hell going to make sure I get payback, and what better way then Copying their warez illegally. (and your best doing it before they start having a cat hissy fit and claw at your face and pull hair.)

    However I can understand why people should get arrested and fined if they are running large copying rings where they make money from other peoples labour. It's just I know that most people that tend to be copying through file share networks have no more intension that placing a recording on an MP3 player or play a game for themselves, not creating a Wax copy for cutting millions of fake CD's.
     
  20. A4Ever Knows where his towel is Registered Senior Member

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    1,234
    For your reading pleasure, I will transpose my ideas to your book example. Seems the Porsche example wasn't clear after all

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    Stealing is one thing, but what you describe would be fencing. I never said anything about that.

    A good legal solution would be to allow copies for personal use. In my country, such laws already exist for books and copies of them on paper. (They say it is legal to copy parts of a book for educational or personal use. "Parts" means: all the text, but leave out that first blank page

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    )

    So going back to mp3's, I think it should be allowed to have copies of music you didn't buy for private use. As far as I am concerned, selling a copied cd to someone should be punished hard.

    Exactly my point.
     
  21. Davearchy Guest

    i don't share files, i just dl them

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  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    <i>So going back to mp3's, I think it should be allowed to have copies of music you didn't buy for private use.</i>

    Where would you get these copies, if "fencing", as you call it, is immoral? Even by your own opinion, somebody is doing something wrong in supplying your copied music.
     
  23. A4Ever Knows where his towel is Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,234
    I would get them at the public library and lend them from friends, who bought the original disc. I would in return lend them one of my many cd's.

    Also, there's a distinction you don't seem to make. Your example about the book and the 3 million copies is about selling stolen goods. Kazaa is sharing stolen goods. Add to that my previous explanations, and I think I have a pretty coherent view on the matter.

    In general (not necessarily directed to you, James) I hate the way people who defend private copying are being looked down on by other people. There always seems to be an undertone of judgement: don't be cheap and buy what you want. Damn! I have tons of cd's and I plan to buy a ton more. That doesn't stop me from argumenting against the man.

    The reason why I call it "fencing", is because I was assured by the Webster site that it is a proper word to express what I wanted to say:

    Main Entry: 2fence
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): fenced; fencĀ·ing
    Date: 15th century
    transitive senses
    1 a : to enclose with a fence b (1) : to keep in or out with a fence (2) : to ward off
    2 : to provide a defense for
    3 : to sell (stolen property) to a fence
     
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