I thought this was hilarious, figured I’d share:
I thought this was hilarious, figured I’d share:
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (REUTERS / Yuri Gripas)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) launches a second round of attacks in an attempt to censor the Internet.
After trying to adopt Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), both pieces of legislation turned out to be a disaster, causing outrage among Internet giants and ordinary users alike. Congress had to retreat. However it’s determined to get what it wants this time.
After the shelving of SOPA and PIPA back in January Reid stated,“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.”
As RT reported last month, Senator Reid added that lawmakers will“continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the Internet.”
The vote on the anti-piracy legislation was postponed from its January 24date after Wikipedia and other popular websites went dark to protest the draft law.
Now the battle for online freedom continues.
The rebuttal to push Internet-regulating legislation has transformed into a new cybersecurity bill. The particulars of the latest attempt by senators to censor the Internet have not been disclosed to the public.
However some leaks suggest that the bill will grant the authority to crack down on the Internet to the executive branch of power, namely the White House. It looks highly possible taking into consideration that the legislation has to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman.
The same Lieberman who earlier co-sponsored the so called Kill Switch bill that could allow the president of the United States to “declare a cybersecurity emergency,” and practically shut down the Internet.
After outrage from Internet advocacy groups, Kill Switch never made it in the Senate. This time it may be back under a new name.
Okay okay, so there was the whole MegaUpload thing… a-aand… Napster… ahem… But this is an assured victory for the Internet!
Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down
While the file-sharing ecosystem is currently filled with uncertainty and doubt, researchers at Delft University of Technology continue to work on their decentralized BitTorrent network. Their Tribler client doesn’t require torrent sites to find or download content, as it is based on pure peer-to-peer communication. “The only way to take it down is to take the Internet down,” the lead researcher says.
The Tribler BitTorrent client is no newcomer to the BitTorrent scene. It has been in development for more than 5 years and has delivered many innovative features, which have mostly been ignored by the masses.
Today, however, Tribler is more relevant than ever before.
Developed by a team of researchers at Delft University of Technology, the main goal is to come up with a robust implementation of BitTorrent that doesn’t rely on central servers. Instead, Tribler is designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline.
“Our key scientific quest is facilitating unbounded information sharing,” Tribler leader Dr. Pouwelse tells TorrentFreak.
“We simply don’t like unreliable servers. With Tribler we have achieved zero-seconds downtime over the past six years, all because we don’t rely on shaky foundations such as DNS, web servers or search portals.”
So how does it work?
Like many other BitTorrent clients, Tribler has a search box at the top of the application. However, the search results that appear when users type in a keyword don’t come from a central index. Instead, they come directly from other peers.
Tribler’s decentralized search results
Downloading a torrent is also totally decentralized. When a user clicks on one of the search results, the meta-data is pulled in from another peer and the download starts immediately. Tribler is based on the standard BitTorrent protocol and uses regular BitTorrent trackers to communicate with other peers. But, it can also continue downloading when a central tracker goes down.
The same is true for spam control. Where most torrent sites have a team of moderators to delete viruses, malware and fake files, Tribler uses crowd-sourcing to keep the network clean. Content is verified by user generated “channels”, which can be “liked” by others. When more people like a channel, the associated torrents get a boost in the search results.
The latest addition to Tribler is a Wikipedia-style editing system dubbed “Open2Edit,” where users have the option to edit names and descriptions of torrents in public channels. All without a central server, totally decentralized.
According to Dr. Pouwelse, Tribler is fully capable of resisting any pressure from outside, and it will still work when all torrent sites and trackers are gone. It simply can’t be shutdown, blocked or censored, whatever laws politicians may come up with.
“The only way to take it down is to take The Internet down.” Pouwelse told us.
One thing that could theoretically cause issues, is the capability for starting users to find new peers. To be on the safe side the Tribler team is still looking for people who want to act as so called bootstraptribler peers. These users will act as superpeers, who distribute lists of active downloaders.
“Together with software bugs and a code cleanup, that is now our last known weakness,” says Pouwelse.
While the Tribler client only has a few thousand users at the moment, for avid file-sharers it must be a relief to know that it’s out there. No matter what crazy laws may pass in the future, people will always be able to share.
Those who want to give it a spin are welcome download Tribler here. It’s completely Open Source and with a version for Windows, Mac and Linux.
It seems that BTJunkie has decided to voluntarily shut down.
Damn… I never used them personally, but… that all of this nonsense cropping up ever since the MU incident is affecting so many… so many sites going dark, going offline… I can’t say I feel good about it.
BTJunkie was an advanced BitTorrent search engine operating between 2005 and 2012. It used a web crawler (similar to Google) to search for torrent files from other torrent sites and store it in its database. It had nearly 4,000,000 active torrents and about 4,200 torrents added daily (compared to runner-up Torrent Portal with 1,500), making it the largest torrent site indexer on the web. During 2011, BTJunkie was the 5th most popular BitTorrent site.
On 5 February 2012, BTJunkie decided to voluntarily shut down and left a notice on its front web page that reads “This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we’ve decided to voluntarily shut down. We’ve been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it’s time to move on. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!”
Information borrowed from Wikipedia.
If you don’t know what Cheggit was, it was the current biggest porno tracker in the world. In the past, there was PureTNA and Empornium, and both of those went down at the same time. At which time, everyone migrated to the then 3rd biggest – Cheggit. The influx of disembodied users from the two other sides mostly ended up going to Cheggit, and it ended up the biggest porno tracker in the world.
Cheggit has been supposedly under technical maintenance for the past week, but it turns out the Admins were just slapping one another’s cocks together deciding what to do in light of all the legal actions in wake of MegaUpload.
If you hadn’t heard – most file sharing sites have went dark after MegaUpload went down, in fear of the same happening to them. Others, they removed hundreds of thousands of files and banned thousands of users. DDLing for anime, for instance, has nearly screeched to a halt on some popular sharing sites.
Cheggit going away though… that’s a big hit. That was the biggest tracker for porn. In other words, it’s a lot like if Megaupload, Wikipedia, Twitter or Youtube were to suddenly refuse service.
You can see some smug little anti-piracy bastard gloating about it here.
Seems like most people are going to the new Empornium (hell, I didn’t even know it existed), or Deviloid. I’ve been on Deviloid for over a year and I can tell you that it’s not that great. Its search sucks and it has pretty poor peerage. Not very well presentations either. So, if you’re coming from Cheggit looking for a new home… Empornium is probably the place to go…….. again.
Anyways, here’s some info about file sharing sites:
MegaUpload – Closed.
FileServe – Deleting multiple files. Closed affiliate program.
FileJungle – (Owned by FileServe) Deleting multiple files. Testing out blocking some USA IP addresses.
UploadStation – (Owned by FileServe) Deleting multiple files. Testing out blocking some USA IP addresses.
FileSonic – (Owned by FileServe)Sharing disabled. Closed affiliate program. Deleting files and accounts.Testing out blocking some USA IP addresses.
VideoBB – (Owned by FileServe)Closed affiliate program.
Uploaded.to – Banned USA IP addresses.
FilePost – Started suspending accounts with infringing material (doing what Hotfile did)
VideoZer – Closed affiliate program.
4shared – Deleting multiple files.
– MegaUpload – Closed.
– FileServe – Closing does not sell premium.
– FileJungle – Deleting files. Locked in the U.S..
– UploadStation – Locked in the U.S..
– FileSonic – the news is arbitrary (under FBI investigation).
– VideoBB – Closed! would disappear soon.
– Uploaded – Banned U.S. and the FBI went after the owners who are gone.
– FilePost – Deleting all material (so will leave executables, pdfs, txts)
– Videoz – closed and locked in the countries affiliated with the USA.
– 4shared – Deleting files with copyright and waits in line at the FBI.
– MediaFire – Called to testify in the next 90 days and it will open doors pro FBI
-Org torrent – could vanish with everything within 30 days “he is under criminal investigation”
– Network Share mIRC – awaiting the decision of the case to continue or terminate Torrente everything.
– Koshiki – operating 100% Japan will not join the SOUP / PIPA
– Shienko Box – 100% working china / korea will not join the SOUP / PIPA
– ShareX BR – group UOL / BOL / iG say they will join the SOUP / PIPA
Damn, when will this shit stop?
I’m a few days late with this, I know. It’s too bad really, but I have been talking about it. Trust me I have.
So, if you haven’t heard yet – it seems Obama passed ACTA (remember that particularly nasty little trade agreement I mentioned a few posts earlier? Yeah, that one.) by executive order. He completely bypassed the Congress.
What. the. fuck.
This isn’t the first time this RIAA lapdog joke of a politican has done shit like this either. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of his blatant abuse of power, especially its use to usurp our freedoms and oppress our people.
This guy needs impeached. Seriously.
Here, go ahead and check the story out if you haven’t. Here’s a link. Go ahead, there’s not much in there that I haven’t already told you. Blah blah, yadda yadda. That’s what he did. All you need to know, really.
That’s not all you missed though. There has been a major shitstorm going across the world about ACTA. You know, it’s not even elected officials that are passing this shit in most countries. It’s Ambassadors and shit that are accepting these “trade agreements” which alter our very laws. We are having no say in the matter. That guy in charge of the whole thing even, he resigned! Here, check it out…
This is interesting. Kader Arif, the “rapporteur” for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person “appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue.” However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn’t make him very pleased:
I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.
As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”
Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.
This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.
Pretty rare to find such direct honesty in political circles. That’s quite a direct and clear condemnation of the entire process. In terms of process, it will be interesting to see if this has an impact. While the EU did sign on to ACTA today, it still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament (more on that in a little while). Having Arif quit makes a pretty big statement, and hopefully makes it easier for Parliament Members to speak out loudly against ACTA… Still, this is an uphill battle. The supporters of ACTA have been working to get ACTA approved for years. To them, this is basically a done deal.
And here’s the source on that from TechDirt. Not that you’d think I was lyin’ to ya or anything.
Right, so… ain’t that some bullshit?
Anyways, there’s some online petitions to parliaments in EU now to try and stop ACTA, to try and get them to listen to their people. But according to the Poles, that may not even be all that useful.
In fact, the Polish Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks (the same as Anonymous) to protest ACTA. Check it out:
Isn’t that some funny shit? I think it’s cool. But anyways, what they said wasn’t so funny:
“US interferes in internal affairs of Polish parliament. We feel great friendship for US, but there are limits.”
They were basically protesting that they don’t even have a say in their own Parliament. They’re being manipulated, and underhanded tactics are being used to bypass Parliaments and pass the bills without even being voted on by elected officials, never letting the people’s voices be heard. I haven’t found a good English source on that, but here’s the original using Google Translate. You’ll have to bear with the machine translation. I know it sucks.
So anyways, all kinds of bullshit going on with ACTA. These RIAA/MPAA/etc. assholes seem to have gotten serious. Well, fuck them. They need to learn that a government that doesn’t have the support of their people won’t be governments for long. We can’t let shit like this stand.
Oh and just as a footnote… We really need to impeach that Obama asshole. President.. hah! We should have just put an RIAA executive in there. It’d have the same effect.
Time and time again, man… What a prick. I’m gonna be pissed if he gets reelected. I mean, shit, I voted for the guy. But even I take offense to this shit. All his bypassing Congress and bypassing crap with Executive Orders. The power mongering fuckwad… Hell, he was already banned from the 2012 Presidential Ballot in Georgia. heh, I dunno about all that… Here’s the source for that shit. Something about the legal definition as per the Constitution of “natural-born citizen” being a child born by two US Citizens, and whereas Obama’s mother was a US Citizen, but his father was Kenyan, and not a US Citizen, which makes him a US Citizen, but not a “natural-born citizen.” It’s some real finger pointing technical bullshit, but if it’s true then it means he never should have been eligible to have been elected into the office in the first place, and it completely bypasses the Constitution, and I think it’s mostly about upholding that, and not so much about going after him. But let’s all not kid ourselves… It’s all about going after him. I mean, black President… Georgia… Everyone knows the Civil War never ended there. Anyways, whatever. Sorry, no offense to Georgians. Just callin’ it like I see it.
Anyways, Tiff out. I’ll make another post here in a minute about my Political and World Views. You’ll get a kick out of that.
Why was MegaUpload really shut down?
In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of #Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)
I present to you… MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.
“UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings,” MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz told Torrentfreak
Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.
“We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free,” Dotcom outlined. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.”
Source: Shauna Myers – Google+
Now, I dunno what to make of this. But, it certainly gives them a pretty good reason to go after them now. But! They did say that they’ve been planning it for 2 years now, so this may just be some crackpot conspiracy theory. Though, I’m sure it may have played a part. It’s definitely not like the entire 2 years of preparation was with the foresight of this though.
So anyways, there you have it. The plot thickens…
Big business companies like the MPAA and RIAA are hell bent to sue the living shit out of people engaging in acts of digital piracy – Soccer moms and little Timmy included. The reasons they give for this is that they lose substantial amounts of income and stealing is wrong.
Well, you know what? You’re greedy little fucks. That’s what.
These organizations already make massive amounts of profits. They just want even more.
But, alright. Stealing is wrong. Let me explain what the problem with all of this is though… You see, these big corporations and organizations… their problem is that they’re stuck in the past. They’re pushing the same old business models they have for decades now and are expecting to keep doing well. Well, Newsflash: The world changes. You can either adapt to your consumer base or die.
Piracy exists for 2 reasons: 1) Money. 2) It’s in the format the consumers want. Now, I’m gonna go into this a little bit.
First of all, the money aspect. Yes, money. When you get right down to it, these companies are greedy as fuck. We’re in a Recession – is that what they’re calling it? Seems more to me like a Depression to be honest. We’re so far in debt right now that we may never climb out. The amount of money we owe doesn’t even exist it’s so much! Right, right… sorry, getting a little sidetracked here. What was I saying..? Ah, right, money…
Yes well, you see… When you charge $1 per song, and assuming minimum wage is somewhere around $8 (which, let’s be honest… it’s a bit less than that), then that’s about 8 songs you could get per 1 hour worked. Now, these 8 songs… let’s be very generous and say they’re 4 minutes long each (realistically, they may be 2-3 minutes long even). So, these 8 songs… They provide a total of 32 minutes of listening. But let’s go ahead and round down to 30, since we know most won’t be 4 minutes anyways so we have a nice clean figure. Okay, so 30 minutes. For 1 hour of work you get 30 minutes of music. You see the problem here?
Why the hell do songs cost so fucking much?!
I can listen to the radio all day every day – for fucking free! That’s right, absolutely free. And these bastards want to charge $1 per song?! What the hell is wrong with these greedy fucks… No, I digress. That’s rhetorical, and answered in and of itself. They’re greedy fucks, obviously.
The disparity between work and enjoyment should not be so strewn. But okay, that’s just music. I’ll get a little into more of why this is ridiculous a little later.
Movies are up next. Yes, movies. A movie provides about 1-2 hours of enjoyment, probably averaging somewhere around 1hr 30m, correct? I think that’s a fairly safe statement to make. For that, you’re looking at about $10-15 or so. For physical media, that’s fairly understandable. We’re getting closer now.
Games. You pay ~$50-70 for a computer game. Whether you buy the physical media (getting the box, game burned to dvd(s), instruction manual, and what have you), or if you purchase a digital edition and just download it online, that price does not change. Herein lies the problem.
Do you really think they need to charge that much money for a piece of digital media? They have no manufacturing costs, no shipping costs, no packaging costs. Nothing. Maybe bandwidth, but not enough to justify the same price.
This first aspect, the money aspect, is the reason people pirate things. They’re getting fucking ripped off, and we’re in a recession. We don’t have that kind of money to throw around on entertainment. That’s not the consumer’s problem, that’s the entertainment industry’s problem. If you don’t address the problem, then obviously something like piracy will crop up.
Anime. Anime is a big one. The Japanese just can’t understand why their products don’t sell here. They charge about $30-90 per series, and then they wonder what went wrong. Okay, I can watch an anime series in about a day or 2. Say I watch 1,000 series – not that unrealistic, if I did 1 a day it could happen in a couple years. That’s $90,000 – just on a little bit of entertainment!
The worst part is, and this is really getting into our second issue: Format. The companies aren’t even offering what the people want. Anime is a great example. When they go to sell Anime here in the US, they do it with plain yellow subs. When you look at what the people are watching, it’s white subs, sometimes with a stroked border in a color of perhaps the hair of the character that is speaking. Then there’s fancy karaoke/song subs and the text/signs are actually given an effort to blend into the animation itself so it actually looks like it’s a part of it and not just a translation on the screen. That’s what people want.
But not just that, but most people don’t want physical media. They want digital media. They have to charge a large premium for the physical media because it takes so many damn DVD’s or Bluray discs and packaging to be able to distribute it, and there are costs associated with all of that. In the end though, it’s put on the consumer.
Let’s look at it this way… You have Cable, you watch Cartoon Network or Adult Swim. How much do you pay for that channel per month? Like what, $10 a month (but you get not just those channels but a shitload of others too)? Yeah okay, and you can watch that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 31 days a month.
So why is it that we can pay less than $10 a month to watch all of this animated entertainment, 744 hours a month worth, and then we have to pay $90 for about 480 minutes? Do you not see a problem with this? Because I do. That’s about 8 hours by the way. 744 vs 8. $10 vs $90. I mean damn, wouldn’t you expect the prices to be reversed? I sure as hell would, but they aren’t. Cause nobody in their right fucking mind is going to pay $90 a month for 1 TV channel. It gets worse. If we want to match those 744 hours of entertainment by purchasing the series, then we have to purchase a staggering 93 of them. Do you want to know how much that would cost? $8,370. I didn’t miss a decimal place there. 8 thousand and 3 hundred dollars.
Do you even make $8,370 a month? I sure as hell don’t. I make $10 a month though – I could pay that.
And I mean, this is what the problem is… These companies are fucking retarded, and they’re ripping us all off, and I mean bad. I guess we’re still talking about money though, aren’t we?
But I guess these things go fairly hand-in-hand.
The reason they can’t sell, the reason that so many people pirate is because they aren’t selling what people want for the prices people want. Now, don’t try to twists this around like “well everyone wants a Ferrari, should you just be allowed to go and steal one because they’re too expensive?” It’s not like that. This is digital media. There are costs for productions, but bandwidth is incredibly cheap, especially when you look at technologies like Bittorrent.
People want digital media, and they want to pay a price relative to what they’re getting.
You know what? Back in the day, you could watch something on TV or listen to something on the radio, pop in a tape if you like it and record it. Watch it again any time you want, as much as you want. It was quite popular. You know, those things called VCR’s that existed back in ancient times. But now, you do that and oh no, it’s not okay anymore. Now that’s stealing! That’s piracy! Something is morally wrong with you, you horrible despicable person!
I mean, really? Are these people serious?
I tell you what though, things like Netflix where you pay a subscription fee to watch as many movies a month as you want, that’s a step in the right direction.
The problem is, they think that if you do that… you watch the movie once, maybe a few times, then send it back. It’s renting, y’know, or streaming. The problem is, they don’t realize people can use the same methods they did back in the VCR era. We can rip those DVD’s and Blurays right onto our computers into a nice fancy little mkv format and watch it any time we want.
Don’t think people do it? Well lemme tell you, they do. How do you think piracy even spreads? Someone has to be getting this physical media and ripping it in the first place to even spread the digital media. It’s the same thing we as consumers have been used to for decades now. It’s how society has evolved.
The problem is that these corporations and organizations aren’t evolving with the rest of us. They want more money, they don’t want to change.
If there was a subscription service that allowed you to listen to as much music as you wanted every month (and your choice of music too), watch whatever movies you want, watch whatever TV or Anime series you want, do you have any idea how substantially piracy would drop?
Hell, you could even drop it into categories. Movies – $10 a month. Music – $10 a month. Anime – $10 a month. You pay $30 a month. A decent amount, but reasonable enough. People would do this, and it would be fair.
Not only that, but all of these hundreds of millions of things pirated for absolutely no profit to the company at all, they would suddenly be making profits off of all of these people that decided to subscribe to this, because it’s legal and because it’s convenient.
People don’t mind paying for a product when the price is reasonable, it’s the product they want, and it’s convenient for them.
Sure, some people may still pirate things. But a substantial chunk of people wouldn’t feel a need to anymore. And once a system like that is in place, then they could crack down on piracy.
Why? Because it wouldn’t be needed anymore.
The reason why any crackdown on piracy will. not. work. right now is because it is necessary. If they try to stomp it out, it will just pop back up even harder and stronger.
It’s like trying to kill fleas. You can kill them one at a time, you can even vacuum and bomb your house. It may kill them out for awhile, but your pet that walks outside and comes back in with a ton of fleas on it, it’s going to bring the same problem right back.
You have to get rid of the root of the problem to eliminate the problem or it’s just going to keep cropping up. The problem isn’t that people are stealing things. Why do people steal things? They don’t do it for no reason. I just mentioned the reasons it happened earlier above. They fix that, then they fix piracy.
It’s like The Prohibition. You try to outlaw booze, it only makes it even more popular. The harder you crack down, the harder the people fight back. What you have to do is legalize it and regulate it, and that’s what needs to happen with the entertainment industries.
The practice is downloading whatever people want, as much as they want. This needs to be sanctioned and it needs to be at an affordable price. If people could do this with a reasonable price tag then there would be no reason for piracy, just like there would be no reason to smuggle moonshine if you could just stroll down to the corner store and get a pack of Bud.
We’re in a Recession. Just because you have it available doesn’t mean people are going to buy it. You have to take that into account. The price needs to be reasonable, and the format needs to be what the consumers want.
When you offer a product the consumers want with a price tag they can afford, you’ll get your profits. You’ll get your business.
Learn to adapt, evolve. Figure out how the world works.
On another tangent, it would probably be a better idea to take a cue from the Television and Radio industries and instead of having to charge people so much, you can have sponsored advertisements that cover the costs and make you a profit and allow people to get the products and entertainment they want for either much cheaper than it would be, or for free. This could be an alternative to the 10-10-10 a month deal. Either 10-10-10 and no adverts, or you can have a ton of adverts and get it for free, or at least much cheaper. Free sounds nice though, dunnit? Anyways, some food for thought.