First cyber-bullying trial hears how Megan Meier, 13, killed herself after online taunts: “Tech
Central: is lying in cyberspace a federal offence?”
Post from: TorrentFreak
Seven Hollywood studios including Paramount, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros and Disney have teamed up to sue iiNet, Australia’s third largest ISP. iiNet is accused of doing little to stop its subscribers from sharing copyright works via BitTorrent. The ISP denies the accusations.
iiNet, one of Australia’s largest ISPs with over 1,400 staff, was the first company in the country to offer DSL speeds over 1.5 Mbit/s to the regular consumer market, and now offers speeds of up to 24 Mbit/s. These relatively healthy speeds have proven attractive to iiNet’s customers and in common with subscribers at other ISPs, many have been utilizing their bandwidth by sharing copyright works via BitTorrent. Seven Hollywood studios are so incensed they are now sueing iiNet.
Today, through an AFACT (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) press release, studios including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network (the top rated free-to-air broadcaster in Australia), announced that they are to sue iiNet for copyright infringement.
The companies state that they are suing iiNet for ‘failing to take reasonable steps, including enforcing its own terms and conditions, to prevent known unauthorized use of copies of the companies’ films and TV programs by iiNet’s customers via its network.’
Adrianne Pecotic, Executive Director of AFACT said that the studios were forced to sue, since iiNet failed to take action against its customers who the studios claim are committing copyright infringement. Chris Chard, Managing Director of Roadshow Entertainment, claims their titles Happy Feet, No Reservation and I am Legend had all been pirated by iiNet customers using BitTorrent.
The studios want iiNet to disconnect infringers, but up to now, iiNet has refused to do so. Mark White, chief operating officer at iiNet told APC that his company would consult with the Internet Industry Association (IIA) to formulate a response.
‘Our view is pretty straightforward. We don’t condone or support piracy in any form, and people who choose to pirate content should face the force of the law,’ he said. ‘This is an industry issue, and we’ve been talking with the IIA, and we’ll work with them in terms of handling it.’
iiNet’s CEO Michael Malone said that the company disputes AFACT’s claims that they refused to do anything about the problem, telling Computerworld, ‘They send us a list of IP addresses and say ‘this IP address was involved in a breach on this date’. We look at that say ‘well what do you want us to do with this? We can’t release the person’s details to you on the basis of an allegation and we can’t go and kick the customer off on the basis of an allegation from someone else’. So we say ‘you are alleging the person has broken the law; we’re passing it to the police. Let them deal with it’.’
Of course, it is not unusual for movie studios, copyright holders and commentators to skim over the details in claiming that it’s trivial to kill copyright infringement, it absolutely is not. Just this week, Mike Mulligan of Jupiter Research said in a piece entitled ‘Why Music Can’t ‘Just Be Free’’, that all P2P developers (and presumably ISPs in this case) have to do is ‘support their claims off innocence by embedding filtering mechanisms into their apps.’ TorrentFreak wrote to Mike offering to present precise details of his suggestions to Vuze, LimeWire, Shareaza and Morpheus but, unsurprisingly, there has been no response.
The problem is clearly not lost on Michael Malone: ‘I think they genuinely believe that ISPs have a secret magic wand that we are hiding and if we bring it out we can make piracy disappear just by waving it.’
The legal action against iiNet was filed in Australia’s Federal Court on November 20th (today), and the proceedings will continue December 20th 2008.
Comment The times, they may be changing on the internet, but if our Parliament has anything to do with it, that change is unlikely to be for the better. The problem is that far too many MP’s not only don’t get it when it comes to the net, they actively bask in their ignorance of new technology.…
(Via The Register – Public Sector.)
Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen says she wants online service providers to block offensive Web sites. She says it is up to Internet firms to pull the plug ‘immediately’ on child pornography.
The Federal Crime Office is compiling a list of Web sites that post images of children being sexually abused, von der Leyen said. Currently, pictures of tortured children are downloaded from the internet about 50,000 times per month.
‘I want to build a dam against the flood of pictures by blocking access for the users,’ Von der Leyen, herself a mother of seven, said in the interview published Thursday, Nov. 20, in Hamburger Abendblatt.
She added that the amount of child pornography on the Web is spiraling out of control.
‘The numbers are exploding — the distribution of such pictures doubled last year,’ she said. ‘Children’s souls and bodies are being torn apart by brutal rapes.’
One out of three children is under the age of three, said the minister.
Change to media law may be necessary
Von der Leyen, who is from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, said her plans require a change to German media law, but noted that all of Germany’s political parties are in favor of doing so.
Internet providers in Scandinavian countries, in Italy and in Britain already effectively block child pornography sites to a large extent.
According to German criminal statistics, the number of cases of purchase and circulation of child pornography increased by 55 percent last year to more than 11,000; acquisition via the internet doubled.
This year, police investigated more than 12,000 suspected child pornography users, confiscated 2,700 video cassettes, 17,000 CDs and DVDs, and 250 computers and hard disks.
The German child support organization Deutsche Kinderhilfe welcomed von der Leyen’s announcement as a step in the right direction, but urged harsher fines for viewers of child pornography.
Downloading commercial films is punishable with up to three years in prison, the organization says, while downloading sites with child pornography is punishable with up to two years.