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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Copyright Outfit Expressed Doubts IP Address Is Conclusive Evidence

Copyright Outfit Expressed Doubts IP Address Is Conclusive Evidence

Copyright Outfit Expressed Doubts IP Address Is Conclusive Evidence

Added: Monday, November 15th, 2010
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
The Open Rights Group executive was noticed asking the CEO of the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) to clarify the claim that British courts accept an IP address as conclusive evidence allowing them to identify an individual liable for rights violation.

For a long time now rights owners have tried to convince the courts that IP addresses are an accurate way to identify people liable for specific instances of unauthorized file-sharing. In the meantime, the rest of the world clearly understood there couldn’t be anything further from the truth. That’s why many were amazed at the claim by the BPI that an IP address has been admitted by British courts as conclusive evidence that an individual is responsible for copyright violation. Among those doubting appeared to be the executive of the ORG (Open Rights Group), a British digital rights advocacy outfit, who even wrote a letter to the CEO of the BPI and asked him to explain this inaccuracy. Although it was back in September, they haven’t received a reply yet, and the suspicion is that it was because BPI understands the claim is false.

By the way, the ORG executive wrote “urgently” in order to get clarification of the widely circulating rumors related to the evidence of possible copyright infringement collected on behalf of the BPI. The ORG’s website states clearly that their evidence is of a very high standard, claiming that it is actually of the same quality as that was provided in over 100 legal cases at the High Court against end consumers, all accepted by the court. The major part of those cases finally let to settlements. Besides, they say that the evidence of the BPI has never been challenged in any court

Nevertheless, ORG asked the BPI to clarify if any British court has ever treated an IP as sufficient evidence to identify a person as a copyright violator. In case of positive answer, they asked for the references to the cases.

Meanwhile, one can notice that the BPI is making the odd argument, saying that the courts have been accepting IPs as evidence, and at the same time informing that lots of defendants have chosen to settle out of court instead of seeking a true judgment. As you can understand, it can’t be both ways.

Although some may see it as a matter of semantics, it’s quite a real distinction, particularly with thousands of individuals receiving warning letters from copyright owner groups.

November 15th, 2010

Posted by: 

Date:  Monday, November 15th, 2010

Comments (5) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2010-11-15 20:36:16)
conmac863 avatarNice article SaM as always.
IP address are such a poor tool to identify someone. They can be spoofed, VPN's, blocked etc.
What a waste. Why not take the millions of dollars the are spending suing people with and use it to come up with a cost effective delivery system for movies and music.

posted by (2010-11-16 22:58:37)
DEMONLORD avataragree with 1, to much faking of ip address now along with mac addresses to stop it. Until then, download until u drop

posted by Blocked (2010-11-17 03:16:14)
Nodurxshn avataryah it is absolutely rediculous to put blame on owners of Ip addresses because of the major security flaws in wireless networking if you are like me and live in an apartment complex with a wireless adapter you most likely know how easy it is to borrow your neighbors wifi connections ...just another reminder that the people that run things have no idea what they are doing!

posted by Blocked (2010-11-19 07:30:05)
menahunie avatarHere is an article about a bill that is about to become law. Appears the elections didn't mean a thing to these people.
Here is the link to it: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20023238-38.html?tag=rtcol;inTheNewsNow

November 18, 2010 8:59 AM PST
Senate panel approves domain name seizure bill
by Declan McCullagh

A controversial proposal allowing the government to pull the plug on Web sites accused of aiding piracy is closer to becoming a federal law.

After a flurry of last-minute lobbying from representatives of content providers including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a Senate committee approved the measure today by a unanimous vote.

In the last week, support for the bill known as COICA, for Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, broadened beyond groups traditionally active in online copyright disputes to include the Newspaper Association of America, which said the legislation was needed because online piracy "undermines the investments that newspapers make in journalism." Labor unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, argued that American workers "have suffered significant harm due to theft of copyrighted and trademarked goods."

An ad appeared in a newspaper targeting Capitol Hill yesterday signed by groups including Major League Baseball, the NFL, Nintendo, and Viacom. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce pressed Congress to move quickly, and even Rob McKenna, Washington state attorney general, signed on to the effort.

"Those seeking to thwart this bipartisan bill are protecting online thieves and those who gain pleasure and profit from de-valuing American property," Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman, said after today's vote. "We congratulate Chairman Leahy and Senator Hatch for their leadership on this bill and to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its action today." (Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, are cosponsors of COICA.)

The sentiment is not universal: Since its introduction in September, COICA has alarmed engineers and civil liberties groups, who say that it could balkanize the Internet, jeopardize free speech rights, and endanger even some legitimate Web sites. Its wording says that any domain name "dedicated to infringing activities" could find itself in the U.S. Department of Justice's prosecutorial crosshairs.

Peter Eckersley, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote earlier this week that the bill will create a 1950-style Hollywood blacklist with the government deciding which Web sites are legitimate or not. The federal government will be forced "into the swamp of trying to decide which websites should be blacklisted and which ones shouldn't," Eckersley said. "And they're going to discover that the line between copyright infringement and free political speech can be awfully murky."

At the same time, a group of law professors wrote an open letter (PDF) to the Senate saying the law is unconstitutional under the First Amendment and "would set a dangerous precedent with potentially serious consequences for free expression and global Internet freedom."

Someone who knows the Internet Protocol address--the IP address for cnet.com, for instance, is currently still be able to connect to the Web site even if the computer that normally translates a domain name into its numeric address pretends not to know it.

If all copyright- and trademark-infringing Web sites were hosted in the United States with their Webmasters living on U.S. soil, Leahy's COICA would be mostly unnecessary. A straightforward copyright lawsuit of the sort that the RIAA and the software industry have spent years perfecting would suffice.

But that's not the case. Sites like the Russia-hosted MP3Sparks.com are accessible around the world, even though they almost certainly violate U.S. copyright law. ThePirateBay.org in Sweden has not only survived what seem like innumerable attempts to shut it down, but its operators take special pains to mock copyright lawyers who write cease-and-desist letters meant to be both earnest and threatening.

A Web site is in danger of having its domain seized (or having U.S. Internet providers encounter a sudden case of amnesia when their customers try to visit it) if it is "primarily designed" and "has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" offering or providing access to unauthorized copies of copyrighted works. Counterfeit trademarks--that's why Chanel, Nike, Tiffany, and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton also signed the letter--are also included.

The wording is significant. Because the phrase "providing access" appears, that would include specialty search engines including The Pirate Bay that provide links to copyrighted works, even if the actual files are available through BitTorrent elsewhere.

If COICA becomes law, domain name registries such as Verisign, which owns the rights to .com, .net, .tv, .cc, and others would find themselves under new and uncomfortable legal pressure. The .org registry has been run by the Public Interest Registry since 2003. (The law professors' letter says: "For the first time, the United States would be requiring Internet Service Providers to block speech because of its content.")

But registries for top-level domains in other countries would remain unaffected, and The Pirate Bay, perhaps as a precautionary measure, already owns thepiratebay.se. Americans interested in free (if illegal) downloads could switch to an offshore domain name service or visit The Pirate Bay's IP address at, which means that this congressional effort might accomplish less than its backers would like.

One open question: whether the lame duck Congress currently in session has time to enact COICA, which would mean votes in the House of Representatives as well. Even with this breadth of support, the odds are against it.

Update 11:30 a.m. PT: I received an e-mail from Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge, which the RIAA said was "protecting online thieves" by opposing the bill. Sohn said: "And they are willing to throw free speech, International cooperation, due process, and the proper functioning of the Internet in the trash in the hope of shutting down a few bad actors. Their goal could be accomplished in a way that doesn't have those consequences, but the media conglomerates aren't interested."

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20023238-38.html#ixzz15iAXOTnM

posted by Blocked (2010-11-19 07:59:10)
menahunie avatarSorry for the long post; just P**me off when I see more of our freedoms taken away because people won't do anything to stop it.
Here is my take on what will happen when this law gets passed.
Alternate DNS systems like OPENDNS and even better - PRIVATE DNS SERVERS will make pirates TOTALLY UNTRACEABLE. This is the best thing to ever happen to the WAREZ scene. It will take months before pirate sites are discovered by the MPAA - not just minutes. The people who enjoy it today will be able to add a private DNS site to their HOSTS FILE and everything will work just exactly as it did before. Heck - private DNS servers have the ability to add new "unapproved" top level domains and allow free use of copyrighted terms! I really have to laugh. This is the funniest bill ever proposed by the non-technical idiots in congress and in the RIAA and MPAA. They have cut off their noses to spite their faces.

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