Halt your download
Written by Joel Fernandez - Summer Arg
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
New agreement means tighter regulation on illegal downloading if passed
Courtesy art From left to right, row by row: uTorrent, currently the most downloaded torrent client. Vuze, another torrent client. The Pirate Bay, one of the most visited torrent sites. Limewire, an all-in-one p2p downloading and sharing client. BitComet, another popular torrent client. Demonoid, a torrent downloading site similar to The Pirate Bay in terms of visitors.
Obtaining illegal downloads, from new motion pictures to music to the latest computer software, is common with the college crowd but a new law could make it so you end up in jail or with a $50,000 fine on your hands.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a effort from the Europen Union, United States, and several other nations to battle the giant portions of counterfeit goods distributed through the global economy. ACTA was created and is continuing to be negotiated by these participating international governments. A large part of the agreement dicusses illegal downloading.
As the official release dictates, new laws would require Internet service providers to “police” the streaming connection of traffic, and determine through inspection if it is from a legitimate source. If not, the act would enable local authorities to acquire one’s personal identity through the Internet Service Provider, to issue thousands of dollars in fines or a warrant for arrest.
Going too far
There are a few methods of illegal downloading but the primary source is peer-to-peer transfer. The program picks up a little piece of information that enables a student’s program to send and receive packets of data. The packets form a song, movie or other form of digital media when pieced together. When a student downloads, they are connected to a world of hosts and seeds that hand out little pieces of the digital work the student acquires.
Students using the University of Idaho ISP can find out what UI thinks of illegal downloading at www.uidaho.edu/p2p. In the declaration, the ITS department encourages students and faculty to abstain from peer-to-peer program usage because if the software “has value, and you got it for free, there is a high probability copyright law was violated.”
Abusing copyright law can lead to disciplinary action both through the school and copyright holder. The ITS department recommends students do not share digital media to protect them from unknowingly giving copyrighted material away.
Off-campus students are also at risk because there is a chance their ISP has similar policies that may be strict. Any ISP could disconnect service without warning upon discovery of illegal downloading in one’s traffic.
John Sandoval, a senior, said he hadn’t heard about ACTA, but still doesn’t illegally download media.
“I buy my music,” Sandoval said. “I download it off Amazon but I purchase it. I used to illegally download in high school, but when I came to the university I couldn’t illegally download in the dorm(s) safely.”
He said software required for his major can add up and, if he had to, he would illegally download.
“I’d rather be able to eat than go hungry with legal software,” Sandoval said.
Architecture student Mark McCarney said he’s heard of ACTA but mostly about its previous implications that tried to prevent counterfeit medicine and cosmetics.
“I heard about downloading sites, torrents and then I started to familiarize myself with them,” McCarney said. “And really when you download a program, it’s so easy to just click and you have the information. It’s become really tantalizing.”
McCarney said his experience has been limited to mostly music but he’s heard of people acquiring whole programs illegally, though that is more complicated to do.
He said he feels illegal downloading does not affect the original artists and creators as much as people think.
“(Digital) information is something that is contrived, and once you turn something into a data package, its just information, its something that can be shared so easily,” McCarney said. “Yet it doesn’t cost money to actually duplicate, so when people share it or download it from illegal sites, it really is not costing them any money. You’re not hurting anybody.”
McCarney said people are only depriving the businesses and corporations who sell the digital information money that could have been made from a marked-up price at a retail outlet.
He said he would have to budget for legitimate software and it would not be worth the risk of a $50,000 fine to download a program valuing $600, such as an architecture software suite.
Affect on students
A student who has acquired one song through illegal downloading has already broken enough copyright laws to warrant the standard punishment of a $50,000 fine. If the ACTA is implemented, the possibility of downloading counterfeit software without being caught will be slim.
Today, as long as a student is not making trouble with their ISP, then everything is fine until the agreement is implemented. When it is passed and a student continues illegal downloading, they could be prosecuted. If a student can’t afford the latest software suite for their major they could schedule time
As we read this we couldn't help but wonder are torrents coming to an end? What is the next way to share files both legal and illegal. Or are we going to have to go old school and distribute them by hand. But how will we do that when big brother will be watching us on the street to, after all he is watching us online next will probably be our houses street and every aspect of our lives.
comment share thoughts and for more as always please go to torrentz news
talk on there too comment ect.