legality of the torrents themselves

Discussion in 'General Software' started by NeghVar, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    these torrent sites are nothing but pointers, information. No copyright infringement actually occures on the sites.

    Basiclly its..
    Hello, I'm looking for a pirated copy of Band of Brothers.
    Ok, here's a place that has it and here are the directions to it (.torrent) Have a nice day.

    Then the copyright infringmement happens between the sharer and the downloader. Not the torrent site.

    How many sites out there are there that tell you how to make crystal meth, dirty bombs, grow marijauna, turn a semi-auto into a fully-auto, jailbreak your iPhone, break DRM and many more illegal activities. Why are those still up? Huh?

    Any internet search provider could be sued for allowing a search result to come up that points to a site that has any how-to or where-to-go info for doing activities the violate laws. Like doing a yahoo or google search for a no-CD crack or keygen. Or any forum, chat board or IM that does not block such info. HardOCP has rules against posting such info, but how about IMs AIM has allowed Mr. X to send a link to Priate Bay to Mrs. Y. It passed through AIM's servers and it was not blocked?

    Such laws and court cases could have dire affects that are initially not intended. DMCA for instance has done nothing to prevent piracy. It has only stiffled innovation, prevented legitimate competition and supressed free speech and fair use.
     
  2. Rurik

    Rurik [H]ardness Supreme

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    Under the US DMCA, even directing someone to where the find the illegal content, even if you don't host it yourself, is illegal. Same under the laws of many countries.

    Someone has to be a middle man in crimes, and even if they don't pass product, they are used as an accessory to the crime itself.

    Yes, directing someone to where they can find contraband is illegal in most ways. The sites are still up just because they haven't been targeted yet, or are considered not important enough to bother with.
     
  3. Demon10000

    Demon10000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I believe there is more involved with most torrent sites than just searching. Don't they usually act as trackers, as well?

    I'm not 100% sure what the trackers do (I don't use torrents that often), but it seems that they control how much bandwidth you get and keep track of howmuch you download and how much you've shared. I'm sure it keeps track of a bit more stuff, too.

    On top of that, I'm sure that some of the more popular torrent sites even seed their own torrents to make sure the more popular stuff is available.


    It's very gray area in my book. It's also very different then doing the searching for the terms you specified.

    This may get locked soon, so tread carefully where you take this thread! :)
     
  4. GJSNeptune

    GJSNeptune [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Torrent sites are targeted because we are graced with the existence of the RIAA and MPAA (among others). They have the money and desire to go after this practice.

    Google doesn't block the search results for how to kill someone, how to make a bomb, how to make and sell illegal drugs for lots of cash with which to buy bling and bitches, etc. Can we group Google with torrent sites?
     
  5. Menelmarar

    Menelmarar [H]ardness Supreme

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    "how to make crystal meth, dirty bombs, grow marijauna, turn a semi-auto into a fully-auto, jailbreak your iPhone, break DRM"

    IANAL but these are all documents, publications, and protected by the 1st amendment. You cross the line of limiting what people can publish and it becomes a slippery slope to much worse infractions on liberty.
     
  6. Rurik

    Rurik [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's a very important point. There are multiple facets to a torrent site. While a search engine fringes on legality, a tracker has less "innocence". Without a tracker, the peers cannot communicate. The tracker is, in essence, a black market for peddlers to come together. It is the actual building and land for people to share information.

    One critical issue raised in The Pirate Bay trial was about their tracker. They run a tracker, but the prosecution could not prove that any of the counts against them actually used that tracker. They could not prove that their clients connected directly to that tracker and not through a DHT system.
     
  7. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    It's getting into specifics that could get the thread locked. Listing specific sites vs. acknowledging that that info is available out there. Now listing Pirate Bay is a "duh!" concidering the news it has been making lately. The name is even on the Hardocp homepage when there is news about it vs. in this little corner of the site.

    but the DMCA states anything "capable of." It does not specify a broadness. So if RIAA , etc. wanted to take on Google, the judge or jury would rule in favor of Google because of the fact that it is used for many more legitimate purposes. but say joe blow has a personal website that has been up for years, has millions of threads in his forum and one day someone posts a link to a site that says how to break the DRM of your iPhone. The cartel would have no trouble shutting him down and extorting $3000 out of him.

    So hole in the wall forum run by Joe Blow. Barely living off $35,000 with 0.0000001% of all content about how to break DRM versus incredibly deep-pocket Google with 5% (wild guess) of all traffic involving illegal info. Whose the easier target? The little fly or the M1-Abram

    The Cartel will pick and choose at their own discession
    12 year old girls and elderly women who use Macs are very dangerous to the RIAA's livelyhood right. Right?
     
  8. Rurik

    Rurik [H]ardness Supreme

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    Legal teams will still go after the small guy, but usually just in the form of a cease-and-desist. If that gets ignored, then more drastic actions are taken. It's more of an issue of "We can't fight it if we can't find it". There are hundreds of "illegal" videos on Youtube every day. And there are hundreds of people paid to do nothing but find these videos and report them. Until they find them and report them, they're up for all to see.

    In cases regarding death and drugs, etc, there has to be a person pushing the charges, usually a DA or ADA. Since it would essentially be a big game of "whack a mole", they don't put much effort into it. They would also have to fight jurisdictional and technical issues that could wrangle a single instance in weeks of work. Unlike issues of copyright infringement, where there is a large company pushing the issue for profit, where they have paid individuals do all the research and legwork.

    The RIAA/MPAA could absolutely go after Google if they wish. But, they won't. That's more of a PR battle than a legal one. Since the act of just hosting a search engine for torrents is still on the fringes of legality, there's too much of a risk that they could lose the battle and lose public sentiment in the process. They already took many black eyes in the RIAA civil suits. So, they stick to more black and white cases, of which there are plenty to choose from.
     
  9. Joe Average

    Joe Average Ad Blocker - Banned

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    It all comes down to a point where a court someplace is going to have to lay down a decision that says "You are (or you are not) responsible for <insert type of content or data> that flows over your networks and servers."

    There's no middle ground there, it has to be one or the other. If a court rules that anyone serving up any content or data whatsoever can and will be held responsible for that content or data, then we'll see some serious shit happen as that would affect everyone and every single server on the Internet itself, including Google, and The Pirate Bay, etc.

    This is all about semantics in the long run, it truly is. The guys that run TPB - and most any BitTorrent tracker that does participate in the distribution of software or data that IS copyright protected and not meant for that particular kind of distribution (clarified so I don't get Linux distro content or actual legit torrent content thrown back in my face) - know what they're doing is considered to be morally wrong by most of the people walking the face of the earth today.

    They just don't give a shit, I get that. Doesn't make it "right," doesn't necessarily make it "wrong" because right and wrong are just concepts and they're flexible to fit a given situation like it or not.

    As for going after search engines, even if such a ruling were handed down, I'm sure it would have some type of protective clause that puts Google and such entities into a "grey" area where they're free from prosecution related to such activities. They'd have to be or the entire concept of finding information online would be rendered illegal with a single ruling, at least in the countries that chose/choose to abide by such a ruling.

    In other words, it ain't happening...
     
  10. Rurik

    Rurik [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's a bit of a heavy ruling, because that makes all ISPs responsible for any illicit material that comes over their networks and servers as well, which would lead towards the end of the Internet.

    I don't think it's that the guys at TPB are feeling immoral or rebellious. It is simply legal for them to do what they've done for a large part of what they do. The rest is really a gray area that has never been seen in court. And they really do care, in as much as when a legal authority of law notifies them that there is illegal content on their server, then they remove it. They remove content that is illegal in their country, as they're notified of its existence by law enforcement. They just don't worry about things that are illegal in other countries.

    After all, Youtube is illegal in other countries.
     
  11. Joe Average

    Joe Average Ad Blocker - Banned

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    I did say it ain't happenin', because of what would be required to put it into action and enforce it. We have enough problems in this world, software "piracy" and trading songs and DVD rips... my god, get over it, MPAA/RIAA... find something better to do before you completely go belly up because you can't win, you never could but you're too ignorant to realize it and stupid to actually admit it.
     
  12. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    BTW, many other things that you gave examples of are censored in other countries FYI. Even google will abide by countries rules on what can show up in the results.

    Its all a gray area. I see both side of the points in many cases. The RIAA, etc. does some shit that makes me really hate them, but on the other hand people should not be able to just download other peoples work and it really is stealing in a lot of cases. Many do not feel this way as you are not taking a physical product from a store shelf, but it is still very much so stealing when you download illegal cracked copies of programs and movies/media (if you think other wise, you really need to learn more about IP (and I dont mean Internet Protocols!)).