Obama judges, owned by the RIAA

So much for power to the people.  Seems like it is power to the biggest corporations:

BitTorrent Case Judge Is a Former RIAA Lobbyist and Pirate Chaser

Less than a week after her investiture ceremony, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell laid down a landmark verdict that will make it easy for copyright holders to send cash demands to people they suspect of copyright infringement. Many people called the decision into doubt, and the revelation that Judge Howell previously worked as an RIAA lobbyist and as the Managing Director of a pirate-chasing outfit hints at a conflict of interest.

Last week, the freshly appointed U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell gave copyright holders carte blanche to continue their profitable settlement schemes. This verdict weakens the position of thousands of alleged BitTorrent users, some of whom may be completely innocent.

Despite opposition from ISPs and consumer rights groups who described the tactics as “extortion,” Howell decided in favor of the copyright holders. An extremely unfortunate precedent to say the least, and this is confirmed by lawyer Robert Cashman who represents several defendants in similar cases.

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Obama judges, owned by the RIAA

Dis-Information regarding Pirate Bay

Methinks the Register has been given some bad information, or in the more interesting alternative, Google has regrown its spine and will fight this silliness:

Google strips Pirate Bay homepage from search results
by Kelly Fiveash

The Pirate Bay’s homepage and seven other pages relating to the BitTorrent tracker website have been removed from Google’s search engine, following a DMCA complaint.

Anyone attempting to locate thepiratebay.org via Google will be greeted with some results to access the website, but none that point directly at its homepage.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s Bing returns the correct result on its search engine, so it’s clearly not been slapped with a similar DMCA notice yet.

But, checking with the primary sources being covered, I note that when I search for piratebay on Google:

piratebay_via_google

Do the folks who keep trying to repress information never learn? Are they really, really that stupid?

We will see another example of the “09 F9″ effect: when information is suppressed, a community will quickly form to fight that suppression.

Dis-Information regarding Pirate Bay

Mark Cuban does not own the internet

Cuban on bandwidth hogs and tiered broadband gets it all wrong, when accusing P2P users of jamming up “his internet”

When it comes to broadband internet access, you can have speed or large volumes of data transfer. You can’t have both. One certainty in the broadband world is that for those of us with cable or DSL modems connecting us to the internet, there is still a finite amount of bandwidth available. When a user consumes a disproportionate and significant amount of bandwidth, it can and will slow down everyone. I hate that.

If the choice is between your being able to download more movies or other video and my getting the best possible speed from my internet connection, I’m thrilled when you get kicked off. It can’t happen soon enough. Speed is what I need. Take all your P2P downloads and get the hell off my internet.

I have no sympathy for bandwidth hogs. You all are productivity killers for the rest of us. People who are working, people who are trying to play games, people who are in virtual worlds, people who are networking, people who are just trying to watch a Youtube video or their favorite TV show, you all are the reason why we get incredibly annoyed by slowdowns and buffering.

Leave and take your bit torrent client with you.

Well Mark, who appointed you arbiter of what is and isn’t good internet, and why do you think streaming video, the application you are pushing, has such a privileged position? That was probably the same person that decided that the internet was yours, right? If if that were so (and it ain’t) data indicates that streaming video creates more bottle-necks on the internet than bit torrent.

Continue reading “Mark Cuban does not own the internet”

Mark Cuban does not own the internet

Comcast, lying

Here we have Comcast’s own statement regarding Bit Torrent:

comcast_lies.png

And here we have observation by Ernesto over at Torrentfreak:

Comcast Throttles BitTorrent Traffic, Seeding Impossible
Written by Ernesto on August 17, 2007
Over the past weeks more and more Comcast users started to notice that their BitTorrent transfers were cut off. Most users report a significant decrease in download speeds, and even worse, they are unable to seed their downloads. A nightmare for people who want to keep up a positive ratio at private trackers and for the speed of BitTorrent transfers in general.

Now there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth about this all over the place. Some think that what Comcast did was wrong, but don’t think that the solution is to legislate net neutrality. Others, and I would say this seems to be the majority opinion, seem to think net neutrality case has been strengthened here. (I am pretty much in that camp) Ed Felten seems to agree, to a point, but because he thinks actually enacting net neutrality into would be very difficult, he doesn’t advocate that.

There are even a few folks who think what Comcast is doing is perfectly OK, although those people don’t explain why Comcast lied about it, or try to justify their continued evasiveness on this issue. Market forces seem to me to be part of the answer, but due to the very limited choices, many can not vote with their pocket books. The market is not functioning, as there are just one or two suppliers almost everywhere. And Comcast is doing what it can to prevent markets from working: concealing information, information that it’s customers would use to make informed decisions about their purchase of internet services.

I am not a big fan of knee jerk government intervention, so I wonder if there isn’t a middle ground, between enacting net neutrality, as difficult as that is, and doing nothing, as distasteful as that is.

Continue reading “Comcast, lying”

Comcast, lying

In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.

Other titles that I considered for this post were: The RIAA loses, but doesn’t realize it or Boycotting the RIAA has never made more sense, or been easier… because this post touches on all these issues. But in the end, I decided on a snippet from the excellent blog Recording Industry vs The People.

The RIAA ‘wins’ the first case that has gone to trial for illegal peer to peer file sharing. They seem to think that they’ve won a major victory. My grandmother had a saying that went ‘don’t cut off your nose to spite your face…’ As reported on ABC news:

Woman Ordered to Pay $222,000 in File-Sharing Case
Experts Say Verdict is Clear Win for RIAA, Record Labels
By ASHLEY PHILLIPS
Oct. 4, 2007

In the first lawsuit over file sharing to make it to court, a jury ordered a woman who record labels claimed illegally shared songs to pay the labels $222,000.

The lawsuit, filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the record label lobbying organization, accused Jammie Thomas of sharing more than 1,700 songs on the now defunct peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa. The suit contended that Thomas violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by distributing songs for free that belonged to the record labels.

“We welcome the jury’s decision,” the RIAA said in an e-mailed statement following the decision. “The law here is clear, as are the consequences for breaking it. As with all our cases, we seek to resolve them quickly in a fair and reasonable manner.

Hey RIAA, get a clue!  Do you really think Joe Sixpack believes that a $222,000 fine is “fair and reasonable”?

By the way, you have just:

1. Sued your own customer,
2. Made yourself look like a bully,
3. Made the DMCA enormously less popular,
4. Strengthened the case for copyright reform

So just like Dirty Harry said: Go ahead, make my day. The RIAA has engaged in plenty of obfuscation and smoke and mirrors of their own. That is about to end, thanks to the RIAA’s attitude towards their own customers. Thankfully, there are a great many places where you can get great music without supporting the RIAA.

Just who is the RIAA anyway? They really don’t want you to know, as they are engaging in a highly unpopular and undemocratic activity, so they obfuscate. Look at their website for the answer? Do you think you will find that information on their website? surprise surprise–you will not! But have no fear-wikipedia has unearthed the truth (again!)

Continue reading “In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.”

In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.