As Boing Boing reports, the MPAA and Bram Cohen of BitTorrent.com have agreed to implement ways to automatically detect DMCA infringements and „expedites takedown actions“. So Bram Cohen tries to be a good guy and to find a way to prevent the death Grokster died.
„If an MPAA member sees their copyrighted content in the torrent search engine at BitTorrent.com, they will now be able to ask BitTorrent to contact the party responsible for the infringing content or tracker in „a more expedited manner“ than previously in place. BitTorrent will also remove the offending item from search returns at BitTorrent.com.“
The article also points out:
„Torrent searches on sites other than BitTorrent.com (for instance, Google) aren’t controlled by BitTorrent.com, so they’re unaffected.“
Hmm. Does these two really go together well? If BitTorrent scans for content on other trackers as well this will absolutely „affect“ these sites.
Another problem I see here: the new „trackerless“ operation mode of BitTorrent uses „routers“ instead of trackers. These „routers“ pass the BitTorrent tracker protocol from client to client where each client also plays the role of a tracker using the concept of a distributed hash table . While these routers could be everywhere in principle, the default location are BitTorrent’s own BitTorrent router servers. So what happens when people pass along DMCA-affected material through these routers? Does BT sniff in here?
The whole announcement is going to affect something else: many people will probably not understand what is actually done and will back down from using BitTorrent no longer trusting the system in general. At least FUD is spread already just by seeing the star of P2P talk to the bad guys. I am still not sure how I should react to this.
I find some difficulty in this transacton as well, for different reasons. As an artist I’m
anti-piracy and find it on both sides of this
deal. Whose worse, sometimes I can’t tell. There
is too much silence about how technology is being
used on both sides.
The film industry has had several interesting lawsuits brought against them in the last several years for copyright infringement and for otherwise ripping off their talent. Of note is the recent protests against reality TV for overworking producers and not paying them, and a lawsuit against studios for not paying writers by the Garrett family. That FACTS brought out in these cases that are rarely talked about in the
industry, finding out the specific events or
facts about abuse by the studios of their artists,
of all artists, makes the lawsuits worthwhile even if they lose!
That the MPAA will woo (or court) the economic interests of Bit Torrent or make a hard to refuse offer is expected. This type of compromise is to be execpted.
The more DISTURBING and broader quetion is
whether the MPAA or other organizations will use these same tactics to further deprive artists of
legitimate rights or interests in their own copyrights. Technology is making it easier for
studios to steal ideas, particularly surviellance
technology – under the radar – and then claim those ideas for their own. Exploitation and
marketing tactics are also a hot issue.
I speak out publically and constantly about
the surveillance technology being used where I live, I am a victim of constant reprisal because
of this and so are some people who attempt to
I react by saying to what depths will you fall when you are asked to make a decision about
an ethical issue that will determine your own
survival, economic or otherwise.