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Not a story topic, but interesting

Switch Blayde

This is in the Author Hangout simply because there isn't a place for it since it doesn't have anything to do with stories or writing.

I assume y'all have cable or satellite or Netflix or Apple tv or something to watch movies and TV. It seems like Internet streaming is putting a dent in cable and satellite. But you have to pay for that service.

A neighbor showed me an alternative. It's a legal box that's basically a computer that searches the Internet for movies, TV programs, sporting events, etc. Like ALL the episodes of All in the Family are on it. And even movies that are currently playing in the theaters.

People load the stuff on servers around the world which the box searches. The only thing I found on it using Google is an article discussing it's legality in Canada. The article said it's legal since you aren't downloading anything, but the people putting it on the servers are violating copyright laws.

My neighbor has two different boxes. One is called ISTV and the other ATVB 4K Media Streamer. They both operate about the same. All you need is an HDMi connection to your TV (and an AC outlet). Each has a one-time cost of $399.

Does anyone have one? Does anyone know anything about them?

Replies:   Bondi Beach  REP
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


The article said it's legal since you aren't downloading anything, but the people putting it on the servers are violating copyright laws.


I don't know anything about the boxes, but it occurs to me this is the equivalent of helping yourself to a piece of candy someone stole from a store and put out for anyone to enjoy.

EDIT TO ADD: Like one of your books that you charge for but someone else offers for free, for example.

Aside from the moral issue, I see a couple of technical hazards.

First, what's the quality of the files you stream? In other words, is it worth it to watch an eye-straining copy of "All in the Family" where the only way to distinguish Archie from Edith is the voice? "Free" movies are often, not always, not worth the price you pay.

Second, what's the risk of malware infection? Or do the sites make all their money from wholesome ads?

Another thought: Are these boxes basically designed to deliver torrent stuff, I wonder?

bb

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

In some countries watching such services is unlawful thanks to all the law changes the US State Department pressured the governments of other countries to put into place due to the pressure of RIAA and the MPAA. In many countries, now, watching a pirate film is a crime, even if you don't download it.

Before you start using such a system I'd be asking your local lawyer first.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

In many countries, now, watching a pirate film is a crime, even if you don't download it.


It is impossible to watch a film (pirated or otherwise) on the internet without downloading it.

Switch Blayde

@Bondi Beach

First, what's the quality of the files you stream?

The TV shows are the same quality as you'd see on Netflix. The old ones like All in the Family weren't recorded in HD and don't use the whole screen like they do today. But the quality is fine.

Movies come in three qualities. 1) HD, which is BluRay quality. 2) Camera, which is awful -- someone filmed a movie in a theater off their video camera. 3) something between those two -- somewhat grainy. I believe it's the same with Torrent.

Second, what's the risk of malware infection? Or do the sites make all their money from wholesome ads?


I believe the software in the boxes protect you against malware and pop-ups.

Yes, it's stealing. I don't want to discuss the moral issue. And some day they may not work. I was wondering if anyone heard of them. I hadn't. And I can't find anything googling it. All that comes up are things like Apple TV, Roku, Netflix, etc., the subscription services.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

It is impossible to watch a film (pirated or otherwise) on the internet without downloading it.


With some of the modern media boxes you don't go through what the laws see as a download process if you only stream it and immediately play it on a TV. Because you don't have an electronic copy saved to the system somewhere the law doesn't regard it as having been downloaded, just watched.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

It is impossible to watch a film (pirated or otherwise) on the internet without downloading it.


Someone has to download it, but you can watch it from there without downloading it. Just like you watch videos on youtube.

There are sites you can stream movies from, but they're notorious for pop-ups and viruses. Someone once told me about one called yestmovies.to, but I never went there. These boxes don't have the pop-ups or viruses.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Someone has to download it, but you can watch it from there without downloading it. Just like you watch videos on youtube.


When you watch a video on Youtube, even though you don't save a copy on disk, it is being downloaded to your machine. It couldn't be rendered on your monitor and speakers otherwise.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


It couldn't be rendered on your monitor and speakers otherwise.


That's because you need to have the system convert it to render it to suitable code for the computer. However, when you stream TV video you don't need to download it because there's no need to convert and render it properly for the monitor, as it's coming in with the code to display directly onto the TV.

edit to add: part of what a lot of the set-top boxes include is the software to render the incoming code on the fly when streaming a video that's not in the right coding for the TV - but it still doesn't do a download to the system to save it in a cache like a normal browser does with the html etc.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

Just like you watch videos on youtube.


Your comment is a bit confusing SB.

It sounds as if you are saying youtube videos can be watched without downloading them. That is not true.
The video is on the youtube server. For you to see it, it has to be downloaded. The video's progress bar shows 2 things: how much of the video is downloaded and how much you have watched.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

However, when you stream TV video you don't need to download it because there's no need to convert and render it properly for the monitor, as it's coming in with the code to display directly onto the TV.


That's bullshit. every pixel of every frame and every bit of the sound track still has to be transmitted to your computer, whether the codec conversion is done locally or remotely.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

That's bullshit. every pixel of every frame and every bit of the sound track still has to be transmitted to your computer, whether the codec conversion is done locally or remotely.


The same is true of normal TV transmission, which is why, in an earlier post, I mentioned the legal position on what a download is.

From both a technical and legal viewpoint if nothing is saved to the system as a direct file or cache but is dealt with on the fly in a live stream it is technically, and legally, a transmission reception and not

REP

@Switch Blayde

ATVB 4K Media Streamer.


I think my neighbor has this unit. He said the resolution and audio was excellent. It pulls in TV shows and movies to include newly released movies. To me it sounds a lot like stealing something from someone without their permission and knowledge.

There was a similar thing back in the 80's. Companies were transmitting movies via satellite to viewers who paid to watch the channels. The signals were not encrypted so any one with the proper receiver could tune-in and watch the movies. I had such a receiver and watched the movies. To me the airwaves were free, but then the Companies started encrypting the signals.

This device does a similar thing but it is different in that it finds the servers and then takes the digital data; it isn't just receiving data that is being transmitted.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@REP

There was a similar thing back in the 80's.


We were overseas for much of the 80s and had a "friend" in Florida who was happy to record OTA, cable and satellite broadcasts for the cost of the tape and postage (and a small fee, I think).

bb

REP

@Ernest Bywater

when you stream TV video you don't need to download it


Downloading is the transmission of a file from one computer system to another, usually smaller computer system. From the Internet user's point-of-view, to download a file is to request it from another computer (or from a Web page on another computer) and to receive it.
http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/downloading

You will note that downloading does not require the data to be saved as a file; it can be stored in memory.

Streaming is downloading.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

You will note that downloading does not require the data to be saved as a file; it can be stored in memory.


Streaming is not downloading because to stream using a media box does not save anything to memory anywhere, it simply receives and displays the exact same way as a television does. If you stop a media box stream in mid-transmission you will not

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP  Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Streaming is not downloading because to stream using a media box does not save anything to memory anywhere


Sorry, computers don't work like that, if it's not in memory, the video card can't display it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

using a media box


A media box contains a dedicated computer that downloads digital data and converts the digital data to a video signal. The downloaded date is saved in its internal memory until the conversion is complete and then it is overwritten.

Streaming is downloading.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

the video card can't display it.


Without going into detail about what graphics cards can and can't display via a direct stream to the card and not through the computer memory, such as DMA, you need to check what the thread is about.

The subject under discussion is two set-top box units that connect to the Internet and the TV to pull video off the Internet and stream it direct to the television without the use of any graphics display card being involved anywhere along the way.

BTW ISTV is blocked access from Australia.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

The subject under discussion is two set-top box units that connect to the Internet and the TV to pull video off the Internet and stream it direct to the television without the use of any graphics display card being involved anywhere along the way.


If it's connected to the internet, it has a computer in it and anything it sends to the TV from the internet is at some point in that computer's memory.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

As DS and I said - media boxes have computers in them. The computer downloads the digital data off of the internet and routes it to a conversion circuit.

Streaming is an application specific term for downloading video data. So when you stream a video from a server, you are downloading digital data.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

The video is on the youtube server. For you to see it, it has to be downloaded. The video's progress bar shows 2 things: how much of the video is downloaded and how much you have watched.


I watch YouTube on my TV without a computer. If what you are saying is true, where is it downloaded to? And how can we watch digital TV without downloading it?

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@REP

Streaming is downloading.


The article I read about Canadian copyright laws said otherwise. It said streaming from the Internet is not protected by copyright because you are not downloading it (which would be against the law).

So I guess it's the legal definition of "download" when it applies to the Internet that determines whether it's legal or not.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

BTW ISTV is blocked access from Australia.


Interesting. I wonder if that's going to happen to all of them.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

ISTV is blocked access from Australia.

The ISTV site also blocks access to it via proxies. Anyone who buys one of these boxes may find them useless if their government instructs ISPs to block to site.
Also, I find it hard to imagine these boxes could contain enough hardware to justify a price of more than about $39, not $399.

Bondi Beach

@Ross at Play

Also, I find it hard to imagine these boxes could contain enough hardware to justify a price of more than about $39, not $399.


Because they're pretending the box is a kind of TiVo?

bb

REP

@Capt. Zapp

is it downloaded to? And how can we watch digital TV without downloading it?


TVs designed to interface with the Internet have the computer inside the TV.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@REP

TVs designed to interface with the Internet have the computer inside the TV.


So is watching it downloading?

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I have read a lot of articles written by "Experts" in a field. You can find conflicting articles written about specific topics. At least one of the Experts is wrong. Who wrote your article, and what did the conflicting articles say?

From a different perspective, I live in the US, not Canada. What Canadians do is their business. Here are two quotes from LegalZoom about the transfer (i.e. download) of copyrighted intellectual property that has been digitized and stored on a computer system:


Whether or not you can legally download music from the Internet depends on whether you have permission from the copyright holder to do so. In most cases, free music downloads are illegal.


http://info.legalzoom.com/copyright-laws-downloading-music-20333.html


Copyright protects creative intellectual property like fiction and non-fiction writing, stage and screenplay scripts, musical compositions and arrangements, and works of visual art including paintings, sculptures and photographs. The copyright holder has the exclusive right to copy or distribute the creative work, or to make derivative works, such as a sequel to a novel or movie, or posters made from a painting. . . .


http://info.legalzoom.com/knockoffs-copyright-protection-20844.html

In the first quote, the article clearly states that downloading copyrighted music without the copyright owners permission is illegal.

The second article clearly states that "The copyright holder has the exclusive right to copy or distribute ..." copyrighted intellectual property.

Transferring copyrighted intellectual property from a computer system to a second computer system (commonly referred to as downloading) is illegal according to US law. In the definitions of download, some definitions indicate that the second computer system is usually smaller than the first. That second computer system can be located in a wristwatch, an iPad, a phone, or other similar device. Just because you are not aware that a device has a computer in it, doesn't mean it doesn't. The wafer on which some small computer systems are built can be smaller than the nail on your little finger.

edited to clarify a statement

REP

@Capt. Zapp

So is watching it downloading?


No, but the transfer of the digital data to your device so you can watch it using your device is downloading.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@REP

No, but the transfer of the digital data to your device so you can watch it using your device is downloading.


So if I record it to a (gasp!) VCR (Yes, I still use one and I can record from my TV's output), it's downloading?

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

find it hard to imagine these boxes could contain enough hardware to justify a price of more than about $39, not $399


You're not paying for the hardware. You're paying for the service.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

The article I read about Canadian copyright laws said otherwise. It said streaming from the Internet is not protected by copyright because you are not downloading it (which would be against the law).


I find that very frequently laws concerning computers and the internet are based on false beliefs about how these technologies work.

The law may not consider streaming to be downloading, but from the perspective of the technology, that is complete nonsense.

Switch Blayde

@Capt. Zapp

So if I record it to a (gasp!) VCR (Yes, I still use one and I can record from my TV's output), it's downloading?


That is definitely downloading. Copying is worse than downloading.

I have an analog DVD Recorder. I used to watch a movie on HBO and, while watching it, record it to the DVD Recorder's hard drive. Then I'd burn a DVD from the hard drive.

One day recently that second step stopped working. I can record it on the hard drive, but when I try to burn a DVD it says I'm licensed for only one copy (the copy on the hard drive).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


BTW ISTV is blocked access from Australia.


The device or the website?

And is that true for the ATVB 4K Media Streamer at www.ATVBStreaming.com?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I have an analog DVD Recorder.


No such animal exists. CDs and DVD are inherently digital media. In point of fact, DVD stands for Digital Video Disk.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

No such animal exists


It uses RCA cables (remember the red, yellow, and white ones) not HDMI. So it records in analog, not high def (HD).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So it records in analog, not high def (HD).


Sorry, but the physical structure of a DVD does not permit analog recording. It is physically only capable of storing digital data.

Not being high def does not mean not digital.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Sorry, but the physical structure of a DVD does not permit analog recording. It is physically only capable of storing digital data.


Okay, it uses analog cables so it's analog quality. The point was it's not the quality you'd get with a store-bought DVD.

Switch Blayde

I finally found an article on it:

There is now some legal cases being brought against those that misuse Kodi as well.

"People who are misusing Kodi boxes could be targeted by piracy fighters, according to Echo. "Users of the service - as well as other set-top box software - will find themselves at the middle of a new battle against piracy."

It added: "But, worryingly for users, a trader is being hauled to court in a potential landmark case over their legality. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said approximately half of its current investigations centred on the devices. It said boxes which are configured to receive premium content for free are illegal."

If you're using Kodi you definitely want to make sure you're using it legally, as the powers that be are starting to clamp down on those that abuse the service.

Any add-on that let's you watch HBO shows, movies that are still in the cinema and anything that's exclusive to Sky – sports, movies, TV Shows – is strictly off limits.

You can of course access all of these things on Kodi, but you do so at your own risk.

Oyster

At a glance it looks like a heavily modded KODI (formerly XBMC) box that accesses legal and (probably) illegal content to stream them to your TV.

I have no experience with the mentioned products, but there are alternatives to them and if you have a second PC (that has enough power) just sitting around you could easily build (or set up) your own streaming machine.

As to the legal aspects...that depends on your location and local laws.
In Austria it's nearly impossible to get slapped for copyright infringement.
In Germany streaming is usually viewed as a grey zone and allowed as long as the source is not an obviously illegal one. Uploading via torrents on the other hand will net you nice cease and desist letters and the lawyers will want about 800€ per movie/episode from you when you're caught by their software.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Oyster

Uploading via torrents on the other hand will net you nice cease and desist letters


You are the firs person I have ever heard or seen describing C&D letters as "nice". More often they are referred to as nastygrams.

Replies:   Oyster
Oyster

@Dominions Son

That was sarcasm, especially since the lawyers managed to turn them into a nice multi-million € business in Germany.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

The device or the website?


The website for ISTV is blocked, while the other's home page is visible I never went any deeper.

Dominions Son

I checked out both web sites and did a Whois lookup on them.

ISTV's contacts page and their domain registration give an address in Scottsdale Arizona.

ATVB 4K Media's website does not give a physical address and their domain was registered through a proxy.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that they haven't been sued into oblivion yet.

Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

Found this on ISTV's FAQ

Is it legal? Yes, provided you use your ISTV media player as intended. Like your home computer, you have access to much media content via the Internet. Our ISTV TV Box is a mini-super computer, just like the one you have been using for years at work and at home. A sofware application on our TV Box goes out to the Internet and indexes links from various websites and puts that information in a easy searchable format just as Google does with its search engine. By giving you direct links to content from these websites, its much safer than trying to find these websites on your own.


In other words, it the user is using it to access commercial content without paying for it, that's on the user, we didn't tell them they could/should do that. All that despite a home page that heavily advertises free access to commercial films.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

In other words, it the user is using it to access commercial content without paying for it, that's on the user, we didn't tell them they could/should do that.


I agree.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

ISTV's contacts page and their domain registration give an address in Scottsdale Arizona.


Yes, their office is actually around if not next door to where my wife used to work. The person who showed me their box bought it there. They bought the other one at some sort of fair, like a home and garden fair.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

In other words, it the user is using it to access commercial content without paying for it, that's on the user, we didn't tell them they could/should do that.


Their problem, if they ever get noticed by the MPAA will be that all their advertising is predicated on accessing commercial content for free, something you can't do legally.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son


That's bullshit. every pixel of every frame and every bit of the sound track still has to be transmitted to your computer, whether the codec conversion is done locally or remotely.


Agreed, where the difference may lay, and actually applies to the US as well to some extent, while the Distribution is clearly illegal. Being the consumer and end-user may be perfectly legal and acceptable.

As the Constable said(paraphrased) in Casablanca. "I'm shocked! Shocked to learn that illegal activities are happening in this fine establishment!"

Replies:   REP
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

Streaming is not downloading because to stream using a media box does not save anything to memory anywhere, it simply receives and displays the exact same way as a television does. If you stop a media box stream in mid-transmission you will not


Depends on the application in question, and the client used. I know of a number of "streaming clients" that DO save at least significant portions of the audio/video stream to memory if not the hard-drive directly(and that isn't getting into the OS Swap File), if it doesn't just download/save the entire file outright(or give the option to do so).

I know Amazon's streaming service(Amazon Prime) will do this("stream"/download a file) with the right hardware/clients, as I've done exactly that.

YouTube will do this to some extent as well, it just doesn't make saving the download easy, usually requiring third party clients to download.

Not_a_ID

@Capt. Zapp

So if I record it to a (gasp!) VCR (Yes, I still use one and I can record from my TV's output), it's downloading?


If you're recording it "over the air" then it isn't downloading, it's "fair use" and perfectly legal for you to do with as you please. So long as you don't distribute it outside of your household.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Oyster

Uploading via torrents on the other hand will net you nice cease and desist letters and the lawyers will want about 800€ per movie/episode from you when you're caught by their software.


Due to the nature of how the Torrent system works, while it is theoretically possible to "only download" in such a system, most torrent (coordination) systems actively work against people who do so(they're called "torrent leaches").

As the whole point is mutual exchange. You download a chunk of a file with the expectation that you'll then upload that same file chunk to someone else should someone else ask for it. ("Pay it forward" as it were)

Which is how it becomes a "bit torrent" As instead of distributing things at a trickle to one person at time, the person with a complete copy will give a piece the every person in line. Then everyone in line will in turn trade with each other(and multiply the availability of said bits) until everyone has all of the pieces.

So uh yeah, "Uploading via torrents" in most cases, in particular for the people running on default settings on a broadband connection... Means they're probably going to upload more data relevant to that file than they pull down(download), unless they're actively managing it. Which most people don't.

Edit: So they're actually uploading when they think they're only downloading.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

So if I record it to a (gasp!) VCR (Yes, I still use one and I can record from my TV's output), it's downloading?


No, because you are receiving a one way EM analog transmission.

The term downloading is specific to the internet and all video streaming services* run over the internet.

*Unless you define streaming so broadly as to encompass broadcast analog TV.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

So if I record it to a (gasp!) VCR (Yes, I still use one and I can record from my TV's output), it's downloading?

No, because you are receiving a one way EM analog transmission.


I was referring to recording YouTube (or other) videos via my TV's 'video out' jacks.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
StarFleet Carl
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

Due to the nature of how the Torrent system works, while it is theoretically possible to "only download" in such a system, most torrent (coordination) systems actively work against people who do so(they're called "torrent leaches").


Which still doesn't matter one way or the other, if the torrent you're downloading has a tracking hash in it such that it automatically tells your internet provider. And said internet provider can then turn your service off with no notice or warning.

Apparently my son was doing that last night ... took me a while to diagnose that it wasn't any hardware problem, and had to call my provider this morning to get things turned back on.

EDIT: And they could tell it was just streaming, not actually being torrented.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Capt. Zapp

I was referring to recording YouTube (or other) videos via my TV's 'video out' jacks.


It's a "grey market" but potentially falls under "fair use" under the "analog hole" provisions of the FCC. So long as you don't distribute those recordings outside your home(and you don't professionally entertain with them at home). Not sure about online services specifically. But legal precedent exists within the Cable/Satellite Companies and networks like HBO.

It's the "has always been digital" stuff that gets muddy due to the Nth generation capability to make copies, where N is incapable of being solved for and is essentially infinite.

You actually have a stealth-tax (industry settlement imposed by courts) on Optical Drives and Disks alike to "reimburse the impacted industries" for revenues lost due to the piracy such digital recording media enables.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  madnige
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

Which still doesn't matter one way or the other, if the torrent you're downloading has a tracking hash in it such that it automatically tells your internet provider. And said internet provider can then turn your service off with no notice or warning.


It isn't the hash itself, unless it's one being specifically monitored by a group like the MPAA or the RIAA. What gets people "flagged" by ISP's when it comes to torrents, legitimate or otherwise, is traffic on certain standardized ports, and certain internet traffic patterns that tend to be rather unique to torrent users specifically. So they have network monitoring tools watching for those conditions to be met.

Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

It's a "grey market" but potentially falls under "fair use" under the "analog hole" provisions of the FCC.


So are the boxes I asked about in the OP legal if you simply stream the movies from the servers where they were downloaded illegally?

Replies:   Dominions Son
madnige

@Not_a_ID

You actually have a stealth-tax (industry settlement imposed by courts) on Optical Drives and Disks alike to "reimburse the impacted industries" for revenues lost due to the piracy such digital recording media enables.


-- so you're paying for the copying, but if you actually do it, you're committing an offense‽

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So are the boxes I asked about in the OP legal if you simply stream the movies from the servers where they were downloaded illegally?


The box is probably legal to own, but per ISTV's own FAQ, using it to view pirated content would not be legal.

REP

@Not_a_ID

Being the consumer and end-user may be perfectly legal and acceptable.


The following should be blatantly clear to you by now, but evidently you do not want to accept the reality of your position. What you said – "... Distribution is clearly illegal." is true.

So, you (or your device/application) go out on the Internet and find a copyrighted video that you want to watch/record. You select that video and the Server sends it to you over the Internet. You have knowingly downloaded the video to your device (e.g. set top box, desktop computer, TV, iPad, Notebook, or other). Since you knowingly downloaded the video's file to your device, you were a party to the commission of an illegal act (i.e., you are complicit in the Distribution of Copyrighted Intellectual Property). This is no different than the Plagiarist Hooriya Ahmed downloading Ernest's book "The Day of Blood" and selling Ernest's story as hers at on-line bookstores with the exception of: she profited by receiving money from her selling Ernest's book and you profited by not having to pay for the video you downloaded.

You can call your recording of the stolen video by recording the output of your TV's signal to your VCR an innocent act. The reality of that is you are making a permanent copy of stolen property.

I acknowledge that you may not have considered your action in the above terms and may not have considered your actions to be those of a thief. You can continue to lie to yourself, but that is what your actions mean.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Switch Blayde
Not_a_ID

@madnige

-- so you're paying for the copying, but if you actually do it, you're committing an offense‽


Yup

Not_a_ID

@REP

The following should be blatantly clear to you by now, but evidently you do not want to accept the reality of your position. What you said – "... Distribution is clearly illegal." is true.


That gets into splitting other legal hairs, including the definition of "distribution" in this case. If all you do is download(which won't be true if you're using a torrent client operating on default settings), you're not distributing, as that would require you to give someone else a copy of the item in question.

But that isn't to say that other laws couldn't be invoked on you all the same. Such as knowingly receiving stolen goods or services.

However as the MPAA and RIAA have shown, their efforts are aimed at discouraging the end-user, while they go after the distributors instead. Which circles back to default torrent settings, as that is how most "end users" are getting caught and prosecuted.

Because they're often on a high-grade broadband connection and they don't aggressively manage their torrent client activities. So that download of 50 Shades of Grey via BitTorrent is allowed to attain a share ratio of 5:1 or some other high number, and it isn't just 50 Shades, it's Passengers, Fast and the Furious, and so on. Each one x5 in this example. So then the MPAA comes along and nails them for distribution of hundreds of (partial) copies of copyrighted materials.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Not_a_ID

If all you do is download(which won't be true if you're using a torrent client operating on default settings),


You are still lying to yourself.

With regard to the Internet, downloading and uploading refer to the transfer of data packets from and to a computer system. In the case of a video, the data packets contain the digitized video and audio data.

You can call it a Torrent Client or anything else, but it is still the transfer of data packets over the Internet. When Copyrighted Intellectual Property is on the host computer's system without the permission of the copyright holder, then that is Distribution of Stolen Property. If your device receives those data packets, then you as the owner of that device are receiving Stolen Property.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


When Copyrighted Intellectual Property is on the host computer's system without the permission of the copyright holder, then that is Distribution of Stolen Property. If your device receives those data packets, then you as the owner of that device are receiving Stolen Property.


And once again, receiving stolen property is not the same thing as distributing it.

If I knowingly go to a dodgy pawn shop and buy an item I'm highly suspicious of being stolen property, the police and local prosecutor could make an attempt at nailing me for knowingly receiving stolen goods.

However, as for the charge of distribution of those goods, that's on the Pawn Shop. At least so long as I didn't likewise resell the "suspect" item to someone else.

That a particular string of bytes had to pass through 16 layers of backbone switches and routers to get from "the point of distribution" to my computer doesn't make me "a distributor" anymore than I'm a distributor because I bought something at Wal-Mart because that product passed through numerous warehouses before getting to the store.

I'm only legally responsible for what happens to the data after it enters a system I directly control, be it my computer at home, or a server sitting in a datacenter somewhere else. Backbone switches and routers aren't my legal responsibility. If all my equipment does is receive, and so long as I(and "my household") remain the only users of "the received goods" I am not a distributor of stolen goods, I'm a receiver.

As once more, in order to be a distributor, I have to engage in distribution. Which means I have to allow someone else to obtain a copy of it through use of my personal resources(my copy in this case).

Not_a_ID

@REP

If your device receives those data packets, then you as the owner of that device are receiving Stolen Property.


...And my previous post ignore this specific part. So getting to this one specifically. Yes I am, but the legality and the ability to enforce it in many cases tends to be rather grey.

Going back to the MPAA and the RIAA. Their efforts are almost exclusively focused on the distribution side(and the underlying tech) for a reason. Going after the end user of the "stolen IP" is typically a dodgy proposition at best in court, and generally not worth their time.

Unless we're talking about a decently sized organization using pirated copies of Windows on their systems for example. So it goes into that grey area, because you're also dealing with people who have legal copies of the material in question(and can show a legal right to use said material), even if the specifics of how they're using it may be dodgy. For the most part, this is stuff the powers that be don't exactly want to test it either. For fear they might end up with yet another "fair use" ruling against them.

So it goes back to: While it might be illegal for an End-user to use a particular thing in the manner they're using it. They still have a better chance of having a 6 digit or larger lottery win than they do of ever being prosecuted for doing so.

At least so long as they don't get involved in distribution of content to others. Which is why I brought up bittorrent as an example. It was their (unwitting) "distribution" through their uploading of said content via bittorrent that resulted in their prosecution, not their possession of the illegal copy, although the one obviously led to their becoming aware of the other.

Replies:   REP  REP  REP
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


The following should be blatantly clear to you by now, but evidently you do not want to accept the reality of your position. What you said – "... Distribution is clearly illegal." is true.


As I said earlier, for this discussion I'm not talking about the moral question. If someone watches a sporting event through a hole in a fence they're not paying the ticket price. They're basically stealing, but they won't be prosecuted. Now if they film it and charge people to see it, that's a whole different legal case.

I was just wondering if watching copyrighted movies and TV shows from the servers that illegally downloaded them is against the law. The Canadian article I read said it's not, but I don't live in Canada. The U.S. article I quoted from said it is.

I was just curious because before reading the Canadian article I would have said it was illegal.

But maybe there are two answers.

1. You are not breaking a law when you stream a movie.

2. But you can be sued by the copyright owner if you do.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@Not_a_ID

MPAA and the RIAA


I will post my reply as a series of posts due to the length of what I have to say.

The following has been extracted from the Summary of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) and it includes the subsequent revisions. You can read the full summary at: http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/summary_berne.html

The Berne Convention deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. It is based on three basic principles . . .

(1) The three basic principles are the following:

(a) Works originating in one of the Contracting States (that is, works the author of which is a national of such a State or works first published in such a State) must be given the same protection in each of the other Contracting States as the latter grants to the works of its own nationals (principle of "national treatment") [1].

(b) Protection must not be conditional upon compliance with any formality (principle of "automatic" protection) [2].

(c) Protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work (principle of "independence" of protection). If, however, a Contracting State provides for a longer term of protection than the minimum prescribed by the Convention and the work ceases to be protected in the country of origin, protection may be denied once protection in the country of origin ceases [3].

(2) The minimum standards of protection relate to the works and rights to be protected, and to the duration of protection . . .

the right to make reproductions in any manner or form (with the possibility that a Contracting State may permit, in certain special cases, reproduction without authorization, provided that the reproduction does not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author; and the possibility that a Contracting State may provide, in the case of sound recordings of musical works, for a right to equitable remuneration), . .

(c) As to the duration of protection, the general rule is that protection must be granted until the expiration of the 50th year after the author's death. . . .

[1] Under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), the principles of national treatment, automatic protection and independence of protection also bind those World Trade Organization (WTO) Members not party to the Berne Convention. . . .

[4] Under the TRIPS Agreement, an exclusive right of rental must be recognized in respect of computer programs and, under certain conditions, audiovisual works.

[5] Under the TRIPS Agreement, any term of protection that is calculated on a basis other than the life of a natural person must be at least 50 years from the first authorized publication of the work, or – failing such an event – 50 years from the making of the work. . . .


I suspect that you know that the United States is a Contracting State and complies with the Bern Agreement. What the above means is that the movies you download are copyrighted Intellectual Merchandise.

REP

@Not_a_ID

Extracted from the NO ELECTRONIC THEFT (NET) ACT. You can read the Act at https://www.congress.gov/105/plaws/publ147/PLAW-105publ147.pdf.

PUBLIC LAW 105–147—DEC. 16, 1997
NO ELECTRONIC THEFT (NET) ACT . . .

An Act
To amend the provisions of titles 17 and 18, United States Code, to provide greater
copyright protection by amending criminal copyright infringement provisions, and
for other purposes.

. . . SEC. 2. CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHTS.

(a) DEFINITION OF FINANCIAL GAIN.—Section 101 of title 17,
United States Code, is amended by inserting after the undesignated
paragraph relating to the term ''display'', the following new paragraph:

''The term 'financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation
of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other
copyrighted works.''.

(b) CRIMINAL OFFENSES.—Section 506(a) of title 17, United
States Code, is amended to read as follows:

''(a) CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT.—Any person who infringes a
copyright willfully either—

''(1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private
financial gain, or

''(2) by the reproduction or distribution, including by
electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more
copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which
have a total retail value of more than $1,000,
shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, United
States Code. For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction
or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be
sufficient to establish willful infringement.''. . . .

* * * * *

Not_a_ID,

You are focusing on Copyright Infringement as distribution of copyrighted material.

What you are overlooking is that the NO ELECTRONIC THEFT (NET) ACT modified Title 17 to define Financial Gain as: ''receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.'', and Section 2, subparagraph (1) indicates that "Any person who infringes a copyright willfully for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain" has committed the criminal act of Copyright Infringement.

REP

@Not_a_ID

Not_a_Id,

I know how I would feel if a Plagiarist infringed on the copyright of my stories by downloading any of my stories and selling it on-line.

The individual(s) using the pennames of Hooriya Ahmed and Martin Ycaza stole the copyrighted stories of the following SOL Authors: 8Seconds, Al Steiner , Any Pseudonym, Argon, Aroslav, Barneyr, Dak, Ernest Bywater, Gary Johns, Greg Younger, Lazlo Zalezac, mysteria27, niteowluk99, Quinn, raplucknett, Renpet, and Stultus. If they are still around and see this post, I will let them tell you how they feel about having their copyrights violated.

I imagine the copyright holders of the movies you downloaded and recorded feel much the same way as the SOL authors.

Yes, you are correct in that MPAA and the RIAA go after the distributors of copyrighted works rather than the recipients of those works. The reason for that is very likely that going after people like you is a pointless waste of their time and money. It would cost more to prosecute you than they would ever get in compensation, and it would have no noticeable effect on the theft of their property.

The distributors are a different story. By prosecuting them, the copyright holders may be able to obtain suitable compensation and also stop the distributor's criminal activities.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I was just wondering if watching copyrighted movies and TV shows from the servers that illegally downloaded them is against the law.


I think my above post to Not_a_Id answers that question.

The moment those downloaded packets reach his home, he is guilty of copyright infringement. However, I doubt his actions will ever result in him being charged and tried in a criminal court.

Actually, I think he is guilty of that crime the moment he requests the movie be downloaded to his home from a website that illegally maintains copyrighted material on its servers. Title 17 describes the download as illegal if the downloader knows or has reason to believe that the website has uploaded copyrighted material to its server without permission of the copyright owner.

Regardless of how Not_a_Id tries to evade or justify his actions, they are still illegal.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Not_a_ID
Switch Blayde

@REP

However, I doubt his actions will ever result in him being charged and tried in a criminal court.


My recollection of people downloading music didn't end up in criminal court. The Music industry sued and collected for every song downloaded. And they went after everyone, including kids. They even went after a grandmother and made her life miserable until she proved she didn't own a computer so she couldn't download anything. They got her IP (or something) mixed up with the real downloader.

But what if those people who were sued didn't download the songs? What if they simply listened to them from some server (and not a server they hacked, but one that freely gave them access)?

I think it's a fascinating question.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

My recollection of people downloading music didn't end up in criminal court.


Some of them have ended up in court, and in some countries where MPAA and RIAA got the laws changed to how they like, a few have ended up in prison for short terms. They still spend much more effort and time attacking the recipients than they do chasing after the ones posting the files, but they do chase both.

docholladay

@Switch Blayde

They even went after a grandmother and made her life miserable until she proved she didn't own a computer so she couldn't download anything.


Now that would make for a lovely counter suit. I am surprised a lawyer didn't offer to represent her on the standard percentage basis of any money won. A jury for example would have had to award a ton of money (regardless of currency) to her.

REP

@Switch Blayde

But what if those people who were sued didn't download the songs? What if they simply listened to them from some server (and not a server they hacked, but one that freely gave them access)?


You can't listen to a song that is on a server.

To listen to the song, you have to download and play it on your computer or one of its peripherals.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@REP

You can't listen to a song that is on a server.


You are forgetting all those radio stations which now offer their broadcasted music online free.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP
Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

My recollection of people downloading music didn't end up in criminal court. The Music industry sued and collected for every song downloaded. And they went after everyone, including kids. They even went after a grandmother and made her life miserable until she proved she didn't own a computer so she couldn't download anything. They got her IP (or something) mixed up with the real downloader.


Most of the "downloaders" did so using some variation of a torrent client. Which meant they were uploaders as well. By uploading, they became distributors. If you dig into a lot of those press reports, you'll find almost every single one of those prosecutions involved the use of a torrent client derivative.

Not_a_ID

@docholladay

You are forgetting all those radio stations which now offer their broadcasted music online free.


They're paying licensing fees to do so. At least in theory.

Also, when you're streaming a radio station, you don't hear anything until after the relevant data has been downloaded so that the electronic processor in your device knows what sounds to reproduce and how.

Not_a_ID

@REP

The moment those downloaded packets reach his home, he is guilty of copyright infringement. However, I doubt his actions will ever result in him being charged and tried in a criminal court.


I stick to the legal side. The only place I go grey is in regards to home recordings that are generated within my own home. But they don't get redistributed. I know the MPAA doesn't like the idea of recorded CableTV programming with near infinite shelf-life, but they can suck a fat hairy one on that count.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


But maybe there are two answers.


There are two answers, but they aren't the ones you think.

1. It's technically legal in Canada.

2. It's illegal in the US, but it's a tort, not criminal, so the copyright owners would have to sue the user.

The RIAA in the US tried filling mass John Doe suits to use court discovery process against ISPs to identify targeted users, then launching mass lawsuits with dozens of individual defendants.

The RIAA and their lawyers were eventually sanctioned by the US courts, but not because the users were legally in the clear.

They were sanctioned because:

1. filing a single lawsuits against many unconnected defendants was improper and an abuse of the courts.

2. They did a piss poor job of identifying down-loaders.

2.1 More than a half dozen of defendants were elderly women with neither a computer nor internet access.

2.2 Suing people who downloaded files with names similar to copy righted songs without even trying to verify the content of the file.

2.3 Suing over copyrighted content that didn't belong to an RIAA member.

They were doing such a piss poor job of due diligence before filing suit that the courts finally told them to stop.

Replies:   REP
REP

@docholladay

You are forgetting


I don't think so. SB post that I responded to indicated that he could listen to the song without downloading it. When someone listens to those radio stations songs, they have to download the songs to listen to them.

Replies:   docholladay
REP

@Dominions Son

but it's a tort, not criminal,


Check out my post to Not_a_Id again regarding Title 17. It is a crime if you are downloading the files that on the server for download without the copyright holder's permission. The crime is called Copyright Infringement and it is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine, or both.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


It is a crime if you are downloading the files that on the server for download without the copyright holder's permission.


I'm no lawyer, but I do not believe streaming would fall into that category. Even if the technology requires the data to be downloaded (moved from a server to a buffer) for the TV to display the video/audio, the "downloaded" data is never saved so I believe the courts wouldn't say it was downloaded.

I believe the bigger risk is to be sued and have to pay for everything they know you viewed as someone said happens in Germany.

ETA: This is the part of this discussion I'm finding fascinating (which is why I wanted to keep the moral side out of it). When many laws were written they had no clue of what changes the Internet would bring.

Replies:   REP
docholladay

@REP

don't think so. SB post that I responded to indicated that he could listen to the song without downloading it. When someone listens to those radio stations songs, they have to download the songs to listen to them.


Which means that the listener can save that music to disk in one format or another. I wonder how many do that now.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I do not believe streaming would fall into that categor


You missed the point of the Title 17 change. The change in (1) has to do with the receipt or expectation of receiving the copyrighted video, not how it gets to you home. Besides, streaming is a specific approach to downloading.

''The term 'financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.''.

Ross at Play

As I understand it, the legal status in the US has a range of options when the copyright owner has not given their prior consent for copies to be made.
* At one end there are "fair usage" provisions that allows copies for non-commercial uses, and only when the original was legally obtained, for example free-to-air TV broacasts.
* At the other end there are criminal penalties (jail) for commercial uses without consent beyond certain thresholds.
* Everything between falls into the category that allows copyright owners to sue. Mere streaming may make it harder for copyright owners to prove a case against you, but it is not a protection.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


Check out my post to Not_a_Id again regarding Title 17.


You should re-read it yourself, particularly the last paragraph.

the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000


I added emphasis so you can see the important bit. It only becomes criminal when you hit enough copies to reach $1000 retail value in a 180 day period.

Looking at Walmart, DVD and Bluray prices top out at a little over $20 per movie. Typical feature films are around 2 hours. so to hit $1000 that's around 100 hours or a little over 4 days of movies in a three month span.

I rather doubt the typical video streamer gets anywhere close to that.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

so to hit $1000 that's around 100 hours or a little over 4 days of movies in a three month span.

180 days is a six month span, not three months.
Over 100 hours in 180 days, is anything more than half an hour per day.
I think the majority who do stream would do so for more than an average of half an hour per day.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ross at Play


180 days is a six month span, not three months.

Over 100 hours in 180 days, is anything more than half an hour per day.

I think the majority who do stream would do so for more than an average of half an hour per day.


Depends, also in the picture is the mix of legal streaming services they may be using. If they can obtain it by legal means at little to no cost, why go through the hassle/risk of using the pirated channels?

It's the one side of things the MPAA/RIAA alternates on getting right and wrong. Where some times it is easier and more convenient to pirate their content than it is the use it legally use it. The RIAA seems to have caught a clue in many respects(as getting legal and unencrypted mp3 files of music is trivial), but the MPAA is still off in crazy-land on the video side.

Edit: Back on point. If they use Hulu, and have either Netflix or Amazon Prime, as we're talking the U.S. here, much of that same content is likely to be legally available to them anyway. Which means that if they're smart(and not all of them are), they're not generally going to be anywhere near that $1,000/6 months benchmark.

This also ignores that many of those same pirates will subsequently go out and buy legal copies of what they downloaded. Or otherwise engaged in legal consumption in addition to their piracy. The "piracy only" grouping is rather small, and typically college students who likely couldn't afford to buy it in the first place.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

The RIAA seems to have caught a clue in many respects


As I mentioned up thread, the RIAA tried suing users of on-line pirated music, but they made a mess of it, trying to do it on the cheap and the courts hit them with a pretty big clue stick.

On the other hand, the MPAA members produce content with a much higher per unit retail value and have avoided the outright stupid mistakes the RIAA made in going after users.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

If they use Hulu, and have either Netflix or Amazon Prime, as we're talking the U.S. here, much of that same content is likely to be legally available to them anyway.


There are also fan films and other legal free content.

REP

@Dominions Son

You should re-read it yourself, particularly the last paragraph.


Title 17 establishes 2 sets of conditions in with a criminal charge can be filed. You are addressing the second condition in Title 17. I am looking at the 1st first condition, namely item (1) in the following quote:

''The term 'financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation
of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other
copyrighted works.''.

(b) CRIMINAL OFFENSES.—Section 506(a) of title 17, United
States Code, is amended to read as follows:

''(a) CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT.—Any person who infringes a
copyright willfully either—

''(1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private
financial gain, or


When you replace the term financial gain in item (1) with its definition you get:

for purposes of commercial advantage or private
receipt, or expectation
of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other
copyrighted works.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

for purposes of commercial advantage or private
receipt, or expectation
of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other
copyrighted works.


That would cover some one trading one pirated work for another. It would not cover a one way download of a pirated work with no exchange.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

That would cover some one trading one pirated work for another


Not true DS. Nowhere in item (1) is there any mention of trading.

What the statement means is if Person A goes to Website B and requests that a copyrighted movie be sent to them, then they can be charged with copyright infringement under Title 17 if the copyrighted movie is on the website and being distributed without the permission of the copyright holder.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP


What the statement means is if Person A goes to Website B and requests that a copyrighted movie be sent to them, then they can be charged with copyright infringement under Title 17 if the copyrighted movie is on the website and being distributed without the permission of the copyright holder.


You need to revisit the definition of "financial gain" you provided previously. Not having to spend money (to obtain it legally) doesn't fulfill the criteria of being "for financial gain." Even if you could successfully argue opportunity cost and a slew of other things.

If all they do is download, it fails to qualify.

If they (illegally) trade a copy of Resident Evil in order to obtain an (illegal) copy of Deadpool then it fulfills the expectation of "financial gain" as defined under the law and can be prosecuted under that law for receiving their copy of Deadpool. Of course, they're also already qualified for prosecution for distribution because they shared an illegal copy of Resident Evil in the process. So basically this is just an amplifier/compounding penalty in play here.

As that law was specifically geared towards addressing that kind of piracy ring that have been all too common in years past. I knew a number of people in High School and earlier who had parents that were involved in such schemes involving VHS tapes and other media back in the day. Dominion's Son is correct in his assessment on the first clause.

So long as all Person A does is go to Website B and ask for it, and has no expectation, and provides no such expectation, that they're going to be sharing anything as well. Then Person A is in the clear.

But the "fun thing" here is the law is keyed to an "expectation" which means a prosecutor would need to prove intent which is going to damn near impossible without a large mountain of supporting evidence. So in other words, it's only likely to be the particularly blatant(or stupid) pirates that see prosecution as private/home consumer, as per that second clause.

Otherwise the first clause is aimed more at a small(or larger) business owner who decides to show pirated movies at their business venue in order to obtain more business. (Which could also take the form of using improperly licensed music/video/imagery in ad campaigns as well) Which is why it states "Commercial advantage" as the first item, and private financial gain as the second, as many small businesses are unincorporated and business finances and personal finances are highly intermingled to the point where "commercial gain" and "private receipt" may very well be nearly one and the same.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

So long as all Person A does is go to Website B and ask for it, and has no expectation, and provides no such expectation, that they're going to be sharing anything as well. Then Person A is in the clear.


Maybe clear from a criminal aspect, but can we agree he could be sued by the movie industry for all the movies he streamed?

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Maybe clear from a criminal aspect, but can we agree he could be sued by the movie industry for all the movies he streamed?


Not with out information on exactly what was streamed from what site by whom.

Was the streamed content actually something the movie industry owns? Determining this requires looking at more than just the filename.

Did the site that was streaming it have a license (explicit or implied) to do so? There was a case a couple of years ago where a Movie or TV studio sent at take down notice to Youtube for a clip that it turns out was posted to Youtube by said studio's marketing department as part of a promotional campaign, complete with sign off by top level executives.

If it's streaming from a site that allows third party content like Youtube, can the poster be identified accurately?

Around a decade ago, the RIAA tried going after music downloaders and got censured by the courts because they repeatedly failed to do proper due diligence in answering these questions across dozens of cases.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Around a decade ago, the RIAA tried going after music downloaders and got censured by the courts because they repeatedly failed to do proper due diligence in answering these questions across dozens of cases.


From what I understand, people load servers around the world with copyrighted material, from movies that are currently in the theaters to every episode of Modern Family. An article I read said there were like 40,000 of these servers.

The boxes I asked about run Kodi with apps on them. Some access legal stuff. Some of the apps access these copyrighted stuff. The ISTV people say users of their box have to use it responsibly even though it comes with those "illegal" apps installed on it.

So it all comes down to how the courts see streaming. That was why I started this thread. The Canadian article said downloading and making a copy is illegal, but streaming isn't. The U.S. article, I think, said it is illegal or at least in violation of copyright.

I guess the answer is, we don't know. And maybe no one will know until there is a court decision.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I guess the answer is, we don't know. And maybe no one will know until there is a court decision.


There are plenty of court decisions on this in the US.

Both downloading and streaming are copyright violations if the site you download or stream from doesn't have a legal right to make it available.

The problem is that whether or not it's legal in any given case is fact intensive. There are a number of on-line radio stations that do free music streaming, but they pay for the rights to do so the same way that broadcast radio stations do.

Theoretically, someone could establish an on-line live streamed TV station and pay for content the same way broadcast and cable networks pay for content.

If the MPAA were to do proper due diligence in identifying defendants they would have little problem successfully suing users of these boxes in US courts.

That is unlikely to happen because thanks to precedents established in the RIAA cases they would have to individually sue each user and the cost of doing so is likely to exceed even the high value of statutory damages.

It's much more cost effective for them to go after the streaming / file sharing sources.

Replies:   REP
docholladay

@Switch Blayde

I guess the answer is, we don't know.


The major problem as I see it is "Proving the intentions". Unless they can prove the downloader intended to steal or has a history of stealing copyrighted materials. They will probably lose against individuals who request a jury trial. With a jury just one person has to doubt the evidence for the defendant to win.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP
Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

So it all comes down to how the courts see streaming. That was why I started this thread. The Canadian article said downloading and making a copy is illegal, but streaming isn't. The U.S. article, I think, said it is illegal or at least in violation of copyright.


Canada is in a unique place in regards to copyright law as they haven't allowed the MPAA and RIAA to dictate them. As such, last I heard, they're on the "naughty list" so far as the U.S. is concerned regarding piracy of IP. In that respect, it's very likely it is explicitly legal in Canada while explicitly illegal in the U.S.

The issue the U.S. has is explicit or not, interpretations and practicality tend to result in other outcomes. Particularly when the courts keep overthrowing laws in the name of "fair use."

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Canada is in a unique place in regards to copyright law


Canada is one of the countries to still apply a uniform and intelligent application of the copyright laws, unlike the USA, and those the USA government has bullied into financing profits for the US entertainment media industries. Piracy is the term introduced by the MPAA and RIAA because they like the old emotions it introduces, but it is not the correct term. Piracy in any other usage require the theft of something by force of arms. What RIAA and MPAA call piracy doesn't require any force of arms, and the great majority of those they chase calling pirates don't actually steal anything.

In the normal course of law for something to be the crime of theft it requires certain main aspects:

1. Intent to deny the rightful owner the use, pleasure, or profit from the stolen item,

2. Intent to take the item without permission or proper recompense,

3. Knowledge they are taking the item without proper authority or approval.

In normal law to be charged with receiving stolen good it needs to be proven the person receiving the goods knew them to be stolen.

Theft of copyright should need to meet the above before a charge can be made, and for printed copyright theft they do and are proven, but thanks to the politicians in the USA being bought and sold by RIAA, MPA, and others, that is not the case for electronic copyright theft, because the US laws do not require any of the three proofs above, and the USA government has forced such laws down the throats or many as part of trade agreements.

Print example - Fred knowingly prints copies of Jim's copyrighted book and sells them or gives them away. The buyers or recipients have no way of knowing Fred stole the copyright. The authorities don't charge the buyers, at the most they may confiscate the books. In most cases the retail buyers are allowed to keep the books, but Fred is charged and forced to pay royalties and compensation to Jim.

NB: The above is also how the software industry handles the unlawful copies of software discs, despite them also being electronic goods.

Electronic example of what should happen. - Fred knowingly makes available an electronic copy of Jim's copyrighted book and sells them or gives them away. The buyers or recipients have no way of knowing Fred stole the copyright. The authorities don't charge the buyers, at the most they may confiscate the copies. In most cases the retail buyers are allowed to keep the books, but Fred is charged and forced to pay royalties and compensation to Jim.

Electronic example of what does happen. - Fred knowingly makes available an electronic copy of Jim's copyrighted book and sells them or gives them away. The buyers or recipients have no way of knowing Fred stole the copyright. The authorities charge the buyers, and also charge Fred if they can identify him. In most cases the retail buyers are forced to pay royalties and compensation to Jim.

.....................

In some cases those receiving the unlawful copy know the copy is stolen, but in most cases they do not know the copyright is stolen. The reason MPAA and RIAA go after the end user is because it's a much more lucrative for them to locate and attack 100 end users than 1 copyright infringer uploading the material. It's also easier to locate the end user than it is to locate the uploader.

To further confuse the issue you have the fact the US laws on copyright expiry are different to the bulk of the world. There are materials that are in the public domain in the US but copyrighted outside of the US and the reverse is true, too. Today there are things that are more items in the public domain in the rest of the world while still copyrighted in the US.

edit to change one word.

Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

Maybe clear from a criminal aspect, but can we agree he could be sued by the movie industry for all the movies he streamed?


Not really. In a "simple case" the answer is yes.

The not so simple complications are:
Did the person know that the specific file was illegally available?
Was it their intent to violate the copyright?
Do they already have legal rights to that content by another means? (And just happened to use the illegal one because it was more convenient for them at the time? --This ties back to "fair use")

So while yes, they could be prosecuted in a civil case for having engaged in piracy. The odds of success for the plaintiff isn't so clear cut at the onset. Which cycles back to why their efforts have shifted towards going after "the distributors" rather than the recipient.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@docholladay

The major problem as I see it is "Proving the intentions". Unless they can prove the downloader intended to steal or has a history of stealing copyrighted materials. They will probably lose against individuals who request a jury trial. With a jury just one person has to doubt the evidence for the defendant to win.


Only in Criminal cases can one juror accomplish that, as that is the only place where "beyond a reasonable doubt" applies as a standard. For a civil case, they just have to demonstrate that it is "most likely" that the plaintiff's case is correct, and only requires a majority vote from the jury, or more likely, judge to decide in their favor. (That and jury trials in civil cases are comparatively rare)

The compounding factor is if they go before a jury in a civil case, then the MPAA/RIAA has to convince that same jury to throw the book at the defendant, and if it happens that the defendant is dirt poor and easily demonstrated as being such. Even if they convinced the jury they're guilty, the award isn't likely to be much at all comparatively speaking.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Did the person know that the specific file was illegally available?
Was it their intent to violate the copyright?


For a civil suit for copyright infringement intent would not matter.

REP

@Not_a_ID


So long as all Person A does is go to Website B and ask for it, and has no expectation, and provides no such expectation, that they're going to be sharing anything as well. Then Person A is in the clear.


Obviously you overlooked one key point. When Person A clicks on the "Request" button, he expects to receive a copyrighted video. Receiving a video that has financial value for FREE, results in a net financial gain for the person receiving the video.

I haven't looked into the courts response to the cases previously filed by RIAA and MPAA. They can file a criminal complaint against anyone who violates the 1999 revision to Title 17. That complaint will be investigated and processed by Federal Authorities, not the RIAA/MPAA. A civil suit can also be filed by RIAA/MPAA. The courts admonishment of them does not stop them from filing a Tort action; expecially when they do the homework, which would be supported by the findings of the criminal case.

If MPAA goes after the recipients of illegally distributed videos as vehemently as Dominions Son and others have indicated, then there is a chance that they and the Federal Authorities will be in contact with you. That will be your problem. I doubt that they will accept your interpretation of Title 17 and your actions.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID


Only in Criminal cases can one juror accomplish that, as that is the only place where "beyond a reasonable doubt" applies as a standard. For a civil case, they just have to demonstrate that it is "most likely" that the plaintiff's case is correct, and only requires a majority vote from the jury, or more likely, judge to decide in their favor.


O.J. Simpson will agree with that statement.

Murder - criminal case - innocent
Wrongful death - civil case - guilty

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@REP

They can file a criminal complaint against anyone who violates the 1999 revision to Title 17. That complaint will be investigated and processed by Federal Authorities, not the


The Federal authorities can also choose to ignore the complaint because they have limited resources and bigger fish to fry.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Not with out information on exactly what was streamed from what site by whom.


If someone wanted to press the issue, it would not be difficult to do; it would be time consuming and expensive.

For example: MPAA discovers Website A is violating the rights of its members. They can file a criminal complain against the distributor. The Federal Authorities could obtain a court order to shutdown the website and examine its server and storage mediums for evidence of wrongdoing by the website owner, employees of the website, and anyone who participated in the copyright infringement by downloading/streaming an illegally distributed video.

The website's storage medium and any backup copy of the medium's content would probably have information on some or all of the people who received videos from the site. The information that could be retrieved would include the IP address and the MAC address of the computer initiating the request along with the routing information that would be in the request message's header information. That information plus court orders would permit identification of the person that owns the computer used to send the request and the court order would allow the authorities to examine the computer for evidence of that and other illegal use of the computer.

The main question is how far would the RIAA, MPAA, and authorities go in their investigation and prosecution of people who violated the criminal and civil laws.

REP

@Dominions Son

It's much more cost effective for them to go after the streaming / file sharing sources.


I agree. If I were in their shoes, I would go after the owners of all the websites that are involved in copyright infringement.

Before anyone goes there, yes there are many websites, radio stations, and others that distribute videos and music legally. I am only focus my statement on those who do it illegally.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@docholladay

Unless they can prove the downloader intended to steal or has a history of stealing copyrighted materials.


Title 17 does not require proof of intent to steal. In a criminal case, the prosecution would have to prove the person expected to receive the video from the website. The transmission of the video to the recipient would not have happened if the recipient had not selected the video and clicked the button that initiated the transfer of the video. The prosecution would also have to prove that the recipient had reason to believe that the video was on the website illegally. That would be more difficult to prove, but it could be proven.

There has also been a comment that if one juror votes no the defendant would be found not guilty. That is not accurate. In a capital case that is true, but this would not be a capital case and the jury would not have to be unanimous in their decision.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Switch Blayde

Murder - criminal case - innocent


They did not find him innocent. They found him Not Guilty. Not Guilty means the jury did not believe there was enough valid evidence to return a verdict of Guilty.

REP

@Dominions Son

can also choose to ignore the complaint


That is true. What they would probably do is assign it someone and tell that someone to expend all of their time on the more important cases. They could end up in a lot of trouble if they refused to act on the complaint.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

There has also been a comment that if one juror votes no the defendant would be found not guilty. That is not accurate. In a capital case that is true, but this would not be a capital case and the jury would not have to be unanimous in their decision.


You are mistaken. SCOUTS has ruled that the 6th amendment requires a unanimous verdict for all federal criminal cases, but while this rule has not been applied to the states, only two states, Oregon and Louisiana allow non-unanimous guilty verdicts in any criminal cases.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/24/non-unanimous-criminal-jury-verdicts/?utm_term=.c6a44f000835

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

I must have been thinking of civil cases.

Switch Blayde

@REP

If I were in their shoes, I would go after the owners of all the websites that are involved in copyright infringement.


What if the servers were in countries that aren't cooperative with the USA?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Dominions Son

@REP

They could end up in a lot of trouble if they refused to act on the complaint.


Not true at all. Prosecutorial discretion is absolute and unreviewable. Which means no court anywhere in the US will consider an attempt to appeal a prosecutors decision to not pursue a case.

Unless the President and or the Attorney General decide a particular case is a priority no US Attorney or assistant US attorney will get in trouble for either ignoring or rejecting the complaint.

Then there is the issue of the DOJ's interpretation of the relevant provisions.

I have never heard of any criminal copyright prosecutions for individual downloads. I rather suspect that the DOJ's interpretation of the law is closer to mine than yours.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


What if the servers were in countries that aren't cooperative with the USA?


Didn't stop them destroying Mega Upload

Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

if it happens that the defendant is dirt poor

Rule 101 of Business Law: Never sue an empty pocket.

REP

@Dominions Son

Not true at all.


There is legal trouble, and then there are other forms of trouble. Social pressure can lead to legal action.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Switch Blayde

What if the servers were in countries that aren't cooperative with the USA?


If they signed and ratified one or more of the 5 multilateral international copyright treaties, they are obligated to support the US's efforts to take legal action. There are also bilateral treaties (treaties between only two countries) that may apply.

A list of the countries that have signed one or more of the International Copyright Treaties can be found at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_international_copyright_agreements

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

If they signed and ratified one or more of the 5 multilateral international copyright treaties, they are obligated to support the US's efforts to take legal action.


The general rule under International agreements like the Berne convention is when a citizen of Country A violates the copyright of someone in Country B the authorities in Country A treat it the same as if it was a violation of the copyright in their country, not as per the laws of Country B. That's how the pre-digital cases were handled, and the early digital cases too. Then when RIA and MPAA were able to purchase the change of the laws in the USA they found they had to convince the USA Dept of State to pressure other governments to make similar changes top their copyright laws or other concessions to allow the US to deal with people in other countries in the same way their new copyright laws did. That's why so much copyright crap ended up in the trade agreements. Some countries didn't stand up to the USA some did. That's why the ongoing situation with the Mega Upload case.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play



Rule 101 of Business Law: Never sue an empty pocket.


IS often ignored by the RIAA and MPAA lawyers because they feel if they don't beat every horse to death one may sneak away on them.

Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

Rule 101 of Business Law: Never sue an empty pocket.


...Unless it allows you set up a precedent in court that you can use to pursue a bigger fish in turn.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Obviously you overlooked one key point. When Person A clicks on the "Request" button, he expects to receive a copyrighted video. Receiving a video that has financial value for FREE, results in a net financial gain for the person receiving the video.


Not for the purposes of that (portion of the) law. Yes they benefited from it. But once again, the way that portion is written, the "financial gain" is that they make money off of having done so. If all they do is personal use, there is no profit.

To be more clear on that specific provision: The copyrighted material is distributed under different varieties of license. You have the basic "end user" Consumer tier, and then you have a number of "commercial tier" licenses as well.

In the heyday of VHS, a prime example of this would have been the VHS tape the video rental store purchased for rental("financial gain"), vs the VHS tape you'd buy at a store.

If you just went out and purchased a bunch of VHS tapes at the local general store and decided to open up a video rental store and started renting those videos out, the MPAA could pursue criminal charges against you for copyright infringement. THAT is what that first provision is talking about.

A more present day example would be a Sports Bar that has a Satellite TV Feed, except they had it installed as a Residential service. That too is a "pirated video" and subject to prosecution under that provision because use of that Residential Feed in a Commercial Setting is a violation of the copyright license they were granted. As they had a "financial gain" from showing that Football Game on the TV Screens at that bar, since that brought in more customers who came to watch the game.

Likewise, THAT is the standard the MPAA and Feds would be using for you DVD and Blu-Ray collection as well. You cannot go down to Wal Mart, purchase a $10 DVD, setup a projection screen and sound system somewhere and go about charging people for admittance to watch the movie. It exceeds the license, gave you a "financial gain" and likewise turns you into "a pirate" as far as these laws are concerned.

The "financial gain" provision is about using the IP in order to obtain further resources deemed to be "of value" apart from the IP in question. Be that by direct("charging/trading" for the ability to watch) or indirect means(the sports bar example). It has exactly jack shit to do with "you got something for free so you could spend your money elsewhere."

REP

At this point, the thread seems to be about nothing more than personal opinion and personal interpretation of the law, my posts included; so unless someone has something worthy of me commenting about, I will forego further posts. However, you may find the following links of interest. The first article was posted around 3/17/17 and the second was posted on 3/10/17:

http://www.broadcastbeat.com/hollywood-studios-win-legal-challenge-to-shut-down-notorious-film-piracy-site/

http://deadline.com/2017/03/movie-piracy-lawsuit-pubfilm-mpaa-1202041391/

* * * * *

To summarize my beliefs and opinions:

1. Downloading a copyrighted video from a site that you know is or suspect of distributing it illegally is a crime, regardless of whether you are ever charged with or sued for Copyright Infringement.

2. The MPAA is pursuing criminal and civil action against what they call Pirate websites. Pursuing the recipient of the downloaded/streamed video is not worth their effort financially, but they can do so if they desire. Perhaps a few cases should be brought against wealth people who decide to save a few dollars by getting their videos from Pirate Websites.

3. A person who goes to extreme lengths and squirms like a worm on a hook in justifying their actions has a guilty conscious. They probably believe their actions to be immoral, unethical, and/or illegal, and do not want to admit it to their self and others. Yes Not_a¬_Id, I am thinking of you and anyone else that fits the description. As you clearly stated in an earlier post that you don't care if you get your videos from a legal or illegal website. You can claim that your actions are not illegal because you won't get caught and prosecuted, but that belief does not make your actions moral, ethical, or legal.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@REP

There is legal trouble, and then there are other forms of trouble. Social pressure can lead to legal action.


There is exactly zero social pressure for those kinds for criminal prosecutions.

docholladay

@Ross at Play

Rule 101 of Business Law: Never sue an empty pocket.


Used to set a precedent since the empty pocket defendant will probably lose in opening arguments. No lawyer to defend them properly. Quick turn over for the big outfits with minimal cost per case.

Not_a_ID

@REP

As you clearly stated in an earlier post that you don't care if you get your videos from a legal or illegal website. You can claim that your actions are not illegal because you won't get caught and prosecuted, but that belief does not make your actions moral, ethical, or legal.


I did? Where did I say that. I made comment in regards to "fair use." The MPAA/RIAA tries on a regular basis to redefine piracy in a wide number of ways. Many of which I find objectionable on moral/ethical grounds. Others I just find retarded on their end.

If the MPAA/RIAA had their way, you'd have to buy a license to use their product on each and every device you may want to play it on. Remember, for them, ripping a CD and encoding them into MP3's (still is) in their view, a form of piracy. Even if you still own the physical CD.

Obviously, the RIAA has had to back off on that stance considerably, largely due to "fair use" rulings. But the MPAA is still pushing a comparable position. They're just having a hard time getting the laws to line up for it.

Have a movie on DVD or Blu-ray, and want it to be easily accessible? You better not use anything that'd "rip" that content and allow you to store it on a network drive where it would then be accessible for playback by other devices on your home network. In the world of the MPAA, your DVD or BluRay is only supposed to ever be a DVD or BluRay.

This actually remains a bit of a grey area at present, which is why I essentially said "f--- them" on it. The courts recognize a "fair use" right for consumers to maintain a backup copy of legally obtained purchases, even for videos. What makes it "grey" in this case is the change in type of media involved. The MPAA's solution is that you go buy yet another copy of the movie, only the "digital version" this time, c/o Vudu, Amazon, or whomever else.

This isn't getting into content providers also wanting to encrypt everything provided over Cable/Satellite TV and make it virtually impossible for third parties to introduce themselves into the Set Top box market for those venues. Certification is very difficult to get, and each attempt is insanely expensive. Then there is their wish list of "die by" dates for DVR recordings.

"You haven't watched _____ within 30 days of it being aired? Too fucking bad, we're deleting it from your DVR for you. Better luck next time."

F--- that.

As to "the retarded stuff," that is still largely hard to call. There is no shortage of studies that indicate that piracy has actually benefited most of the groups that have been on the receiving end of more than its hurt. It's free advertising.

Yes, there are some cheapskates out there that will refuse to pay for anything unless you put a gun to their head. But that doesn't seem to be most people, even the pirates. They'll pay for what they're able to buy when they're able to. What the (earlier) forms of piracy did was provide those people a "free" means of access to content they wouldn't have otherwise paid any attention to, because it would have cost them money(they probably didn't have) to find out if they liked it or not. Which is an adventure many people tend not to undertake very often.

I don't have a NEED to pirate in any overt way. Amazon Prime and other commercial venues do a decent job of providing all the streaming "free" content I need at this time. Being legal is something I can afford, and presently is easier than bothering not to be. But as happened with the RIAA and MP3, some of that is happening despite what the industries involved want, not because they want it. MP3's are as freely and legally available right now because most consumers were perfectly content to become pirates in order to get around the multitude of restrictions the RIAA tried to impose on music availability. Video just hasn't had its day yet, and not do so now.

Replies:   REP  Centaur
sharkjcw

Everyone THINK about what has been said here then check this out

http://storiesonline.net/d/s2/t2134/stolen-books

stealing is stealing

REP
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


I did? Where did I say that.


Not_a_ID ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2017‎ ‎11‎:‎20‎:‎33‎ ‎AM

@REP

If your device receives those data packets, then you as the owner of that device are receiving Stolen Property.


...And my previous post ignore this specific part. So getting to this one specifically. Yes I am, but the legality and the ability to enforce it in many cases tends to be rather grey.


Going back to the MPAA and the RIAA. Their efforts are almost exclusively focused on the distribution side(and the underlying tech) for a reason. Going after the end user of the "stolen IP" is typically a dodgy proposition at best in court, and generally not worth their time.

Unless we're talking about a decently sized organization using pirated copies of Windows on their systems for example. So it goes into that grey area, because you're also dealing with people who have legal copies of the material in question(and can show a legal right to use said material), even if the specifics of how they're using it may be dodgy. For the most part, this is stuff the powers that be don't exactly want to test it either. For fear they might end up with yet another "fair use" ruling against them.

So it goes back to: While it might be illegal for an End-user to use a particular thing in the manner they're using it. They still have a better chance of having a 6 digit or larger lottery win than they do of ever being prosecuted for doing so.


At least so long as they don't get involved in distribution of content to others. Which is why I brought up bittorrent as an example. It was their (unwitting) "distribution" through their uploading of said content via bittorrent that resulted in their prosecution, not their possession of the illegal copy, although the one obviously led to their becoming aware of the other.

Edited to add Bolding to specific phrases.

Ernest Bywater

@sharkjcw

Everyone THINK about what has been said here then check this out

http://storiesonline.net/d/s2/t2134/stolen-books

stealing is stealing


As one of those affected, I agree. However, I disagree with RIAA and MPAA and everyone who downloads is knowingly stealing. In the Hooriya case anyone buying the stories would have had reasonable grounds to think ti was legal until after the reviews on it being theft were put up. But, according to RIAA and MPAA anyone who got a copy before then was also stealing, even if they paid. That is where I disagree with the Music and Film Industry Association (MaFIA). I see the thief as being Hooriya, while the MaFIA regard the buyers as the thief.

Replies:   sharkjcw  REP
sharkjcw
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Sorry Ernest

@ EVERYONE
OKAY!!!!

So it is alright for the authors and readers here to jump up and down and yell and scream and try to find a lawyer to try and stop people who knowingly take their works and possible earnings. BUT it is NOT alright when other groups try and do the same thing!!!!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@sharkjcw

Sorry Ernest

@ EVERYONE
OKAY!!!!

So it is alright for the authors and readers here to jump up and down and yell and scream and try to find a lawyer to try and stop people who knowingly take their works and possible earnings. BUT it is NOT alright when other groups try and do the same thing!!!!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????


Stop trying to twist what's said. In an earlier post I set out what the way the law used to be until the 2000 and how it still is for print copyright infringement.

In every case the person who knows they have no right to the material who takes it is breaking the law. But the main culprit is the one who makes the copy available. There are many ways a person can be getting hold of an infringing copy without knowing it is an infringing copy, so they aren't knowingly breaking the law and shouldn't be treated as a thief.

If someone goes to a website that says "We steal copyrighted material and make it available for you' then they

REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

In general, I agree with you Ernest, and the situation is complex.

There are websites that legally upload songs, videos, and books and then offer them for sale or free. Perfectly okay as long as the copyright holder gets paid.

Then there are the websites that knowingly upload a copyrighted song, video, or book and sell it or give it away for free without the copyright holder's permission.

Then there are the people who download copyrighted items. If they know that the website is a Pirate Website, then they have reason to believe that downloading anything from the website will probably violate the rights of the copyright holder. They may not be 100% certain that they are stealing, but they suspect that they are so these people are thieves.

The people who are not aware they are on a Pirate Website are still taking something that the website owner has no right to give them. I wouldn't label these people as thieves.

Then there are the companies that post advertisements to Pirate Websites. I personally feel they are complicit in some fashion, but I am not aware of any laws being broken by their placing an advertisement on that type of website.

There is no clear cut answer to how to solve this mess.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

as the copyright holder gets paid.


Or the copyright holder chooses to make it available for free.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@sharkjcw


So it is alright for the authors and readers here to jump up and down and yell and scream and try to find a lawyer to try and stop people who knowingly take their works and possible earnings. BUT it is NOT alright when other groups try and do the same thing!!!!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????


False equivalence, largely. You're comparing an apple to an orange. I'm actually in Ernest's camp on this(for the most part).

You have the people who are knowingly engaged in theft, and then you have the people who have no clue that they're party to a theft. (Part of why I made mention of a Pawn Store previously. The Pawn Shop operator may or may not know they're dealing in a particular item with "a dodgy history" as to where it actually came from. The pawn store customer however, may be completely oblivious, or part of a "laundering process" of shuffling money and/or illegal goods around.

The MPAA and RIAA would have you believe that every person who visits said pawn shop is a member of the criminal underworld. While we're going "not so fast" on that front.

In the case of the plagiarist, people had no reason to believe they were party to a copyright theft until warnings were posted on the relevant pages. As such, the thief wasn't the person who purchased the story in good faith, it was the plagiarist who was attempting to sell that work as their own.

Which is where the legal side gets messy quick, because there actually is a (grey) "fair use" basis for people to potentially use a "dodgy site"(or pawn shop) to download a copy of a given program(or buy & sell things).

So long as they already own a (potentially damaged) copy, under the guise of being allowed a "backup." But they'd have to be careful about not uploading in the process, or else they become a distributor.

Which is where the distribution service previously mentioned makes things particularly messy. If I own the Blu-ray version of all seasons of House, am I really "a pirate" if I use that streaming service to pull down a copy of Season 4 Episode 2? Even if it didn't come from MY disk, or my "backup copy" of said disk?

MPAA would say yes it does. Personally, I'm not so sure I'd say so.

Replies:   sharkjcw
Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

Then there are the companies that post advertisements to Pirate Websites.


Very likely the number of companies choosing to place ads for their products and services on the pirate websites is zero.

Internet advertising doesn't work that way. It doesn't work like TV advertising where you buy add time for a specific network or show.

Internet advertising is a three party process.

Advertiser

Add Service

Website.

The advertiser contracts with an add service. A web site operator contracts with one or more add services and gets widgets that they code into their web pages.

Then when the page is displayed the widget displays an add selected by some algorithm. This algorithm can take into account information about the web page and whatever information the add service has about the user. For example Google Adds takes the users Google search history into account, selecting adds based on past searches by that user.

Each time a given add is viewed, the advertiser is charged a small amount of money and the web site is appears on is paid a small amount of money.

The Advertiser has no way of knowing what sites the add will appear on and the web site operator generally has at best limited control over what adds it's visitors will see.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Internet advertising doesn't work that way. It doesn't work like TV advertising where you buy add time for a specific network or show.


Not even all TV Advertising works that way, it should be pointed out. ;)

There are bulk/generic advertising buys that happen for TV as well. It just doesn't happen much on popular programs because they're popular enough that the bulk-rate would never be sufficient to "buy in" on air time for that program. In which case a specific buy is made. Such as with the Super Bowl.

sharkjcw

@Not_a_ID

False equivalence, largely


So you are saying it is ok for an author to complain and try to enforce a copyright on a stolen work, But it is not ok for a record company or a movie production company to complain and try to enforce a copyright through their trade organization. Why?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@sharkjcw

So you are saying it is ok for an author to complain and try to enforce a copyright on a stolen work, But it is not ok for a record company or a movie production company to complain and try to enforce a copyright through their trade organization. Why?

Go back to the pawn shop example. MPAA is doing the equivalent of treating every person who uses a pawn shop as a criminal. We're objecting to that approach. We don't deny that a lot of criminals either run or make use of pawn shops. However, that doesn't mean a person who makes use of one is a criminal, even if they walk out of the store with a product that had been stolen prior to the pawn shop buying an reselling it.

Likewise, just like the purchaser may not be a criminal, the pawn shop owner/employees may not be criminals either. But in the eyes of the MPAA, that doesn't matter, they were involved in the transfer of stolen goods, so they're criminals. Even if they had no way of knowing the item in question was stolen.

The morality of such a stance is highly dubious at best.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Internet advertising is a three party process.

Advertiser

Add Service

Website.


Some people do lodge ads direct. but very few.

However, the ad services should be held accountable if they provide payments to recognise pirate sites - yet they aren't.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@sharkjcw

stealing is stealing


I wanted to discuss the impact technology has on laws, not whether it's okay to steal a copyrighted movie.

Someone mentioned the boxes to me so I did some research. I found conflicting articles from someone in Canada and someone in the U.S. I found the subject of streaming (not pirating) fascinating.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Very likely the number of companies choosing to place ads for their products and services on the pirate websites is zero.


Actually, there are websites from where you can stream movies illegally that have a ton of pop-ups (ads) (and viruses, btw). I can't give you a name of any, but I know they exist.

Maybe people don't pay for their ads to be on those sites, but rather the webmaster gets paid with clicks on the ads so he just throws them on the site. Or maybe the pop-up ads are from questionable companies.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

However, the ad services should be held accountable if they provide payments to recognise pirate sites - yet they aren't.


Perhaps, but I read the comment I was replying to as referring to the actual advertiser, not the add service.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Actually, there are websites from where you can stream movies illegally that have a ton of pop-ups (ads) (and viruses, btw). I can't give you a name of any, but I know they exist.


Yea, and even those are mostly going through a third party add service. I've seen adds like that occasionally slip through the cracks at the more reputable add services and end up on reputable web sites.

Centaur

@Not_a_ID

There is no shortage of studies that indicate that piracy has actually benefited most of the groups that have been on the receiving end of more than its hurt. It's free advertising.


Yup and here is a quote from one

To quote Bill Gates' from as far back as 1998:

"Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though," Gates told an audience at the University of Washington. "And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Perhaps, but I read the comment I was replying to as referring to the actual advertiser, not the add service.


And I addressed both situations with the first paragraph about the direct advertising - some companies do direct advertising to websites, while some don't.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I found the subject of streaming (not pirating) fascinating.


I'm curious what you find interesting about streaming. I know a little about it but not everything. As the saying goes: A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

I'm curious what you find interesting about streaming.


Not streaming itself, but how it impacts things like copyright laws. For example, is it downloading or not?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP  Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

Not streaming itself, but how it impacts things like copyright laws. For example, is it downloading or not?


It's a case of the technology being ahead of the legal system(and society, from which the law is an extension, in theory) and it's ability to assess and address the situations it creates.

In this case, Intellectual Property rights of the creator and or owner(not always the same thing), and the IP rights of the end user(Where RIAA/MPAA would prefer them to have none).

Further compounding it is that it can be claimed that "digital theft" is inherently different from "physical theft" in regards to there being no direct tangible loss, and as such could be asserted as "victimless" as no direct material loss happened.

Instead the victim of a "digital theft" has to assert opportunity cost, and theoretical lost sales. While a stolen physical product would be able to assert production + transportation costs already incurred on the item at the time of theft at a minimum. As well as a much easier time asserting a claim of a potential lost sale due to said theft, as you cannot sell what you don't have. (Having a finite quantity of stolen items also makes this more reasonable. The problem with digital goods is that there is no practical upper bound in either instance. The stolen physical good has a (quantity) value of "1" for both parties. While the digital good is infinite for all practical intents.)

I'm ignoring counterfeiting, fraud, and plagiarism as that's a digression from where I want to go.

Getting back to the "consumer rights" vs "IP Holder Rights" is where things get screwy, particularly in a digital setting. Where does one end and the other begin? Such as my example previously of Owning an entire TV series on Blu-Ray. Which at this time would mean I own a "right to access" for that content in its probable penultimate form. (UltraHD/4K not being that commonly used in production just yet)

As such, with what technology enables us to do. Does it really matter what digital path I take for utilizing that "right." Or am I ethically and morally required to go out and buy yet another copy when I want to watch a given episode, but it turns out I left the disk at home 600 miles away?

20 years ago, the choice would have been simple, you do without, or hope you find somewhere local that might have it, as unlikely as that might be. Today though, you can go online and potentially obtain access to that episode without too much trouble(if you know where to look), be it legally(and re-purchasing) or otherwise. The focus previously was on the legality, but what about the morality side at that point? Legality and morality are not always the same thing.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Switch Blayde


Not streaming itself, but how it impacts things like copyright laws. For example, is it downloading or not?


Technically the download of a file is the transfer of the file from one computer to another or to a computer controlled device.

In the context of watching a video, download is used to define watching the video after the file transfer is complete. Streaming is used to mean watching the video while the transfer (i.e. download) is in progress.

What many people are not aware of is that at the end of a streaming download, the computer automatically saves the downloaded file to its hard disk as a .tmp file. If the .tmp file is not TOTALLY removed from the hard disk then a Computer Forensic Analyst can find and recover it. Many users think that deleting a file removes the file from the hard disk. That is not true. As we all know, the are applications that can be used to undelete deleted files if they have not been overwritten.

Replies:   REP
REP

@REP

I forgot to add that copyright laws are gradually changing. I believe that as the people who write and enact those laws gain a better understanding of technology, the laws will be updated to close the current loopholes that people use.

I should also add that prior precedents were probably set because the people prosecuting the copyright infringement cases did not fully understand the technical aspects of the technology used to commit the offense or they were unable to convey that information to the judge and/or jury in a way that allowed them to fully understand what the defendant did.

As new cases are brought, new precedents may be established concerning the illegality of improper use of technology. Then there will be precedents that support the plaintiff in cases of copyright infringement.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

Getting back to the "consumer rights" vs "IP Holder Rights" is where things get screwy, particularly in a digital setting. Where does one end and the other begin?


I haven't checked how much the law was changed because one of our PM's bowed to the pressure from the US State Dep't to let a piece of garbage copyright law change be part of a trade agreement. However, as the technology was introduced in previous decades the law in Australia adjusted to have a nice balance, and it was still in place a decade ago.

If you have a legal copy in one format you were permitted to media shift the copy for personal use, but had to retain the original copy too. This allowed me to make tape copies and later mpeg copies for my own use of what i bought as a 45 record, LP, or CD. Same applied with films, buy a VHS copy and I can make a digital copy for my own use. I could not give copies to anyone else and if I gave or sold my original copy I had to destroy the personal use copy. However, having a legal copy of one version of the material did not mean I had a legal right to a later version.

Example 1: Say I have a legal copy of Gone With the Wind in black and white theater film version I bought as an antique. That gave me a legal right to make a VHS copy of it, and even a digital copy of it. However, it did not give me a legal right to a copy of the remastered color version when it came out or a 4K digital version when it came out.

Example 2: I bought a VHS copy of the Star Wars Trilogy when it was first released. That gave me the legal right to a digital copy of it. However, it did not give me a legal right to the Directors Cut version when it was released or the much later remastered version with deleted scenes added. Nor would it give me a legal right to a new 4K digital version because the original wasn't 4K.

I'm fairly certain this aspect of our laws haven't changed, but I've not gone digging to check.

Not_a_ID

@REP

I forgot to add that copyright laws are gradually changing. I believe that as the people who write and enact those laws gain a better understanding of technology, the laws will be updated to close the current loopholes that people use.


I'm more inclined to take a little from Column A and some from Column B. The problem we have at present, although not quite as pronounced as we had in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

In that we were dealing with corporate leadership that didn't understand the technology involved. Which caused them to react in inappropriate ways, which in turn involved a lot of political leadership that also didn't understand the technology involved, and then between them, they involved a bunch of judges who also didn't understand the technology involved.

Fortunately, many of them are now long since retired, but there are plenty more of them to work through just yet. The politicians and judges being the last ones "to transition" into the technology age. For SCotUS, this is all abstract, they don't actually use most of this stuff. Rest assured the Circuit Courts aren't much better.

Thankfully, as the Corporate side happens to be one pushing most of this, they'll also be the first group to finally obtain leadership that understands what they're dealing in. Because the companies that don't get it won't last very long, likely being bought up by one that does.

I think you'll find the MPAA and RIAA continues to back off on pursuing end-users and instead focus on the distributors as the years go on. We're probably another 10 years or so away from this, but I strongly suspect that there are going to be some changes made in about that time frame that is going to liberalize a lot "fair use" circumstances, possibly even codifying a fair bit of it, rather than having it be a judicial construct. While likewise cracking down on other aspects of (digital) copyright abuse, in particular the for-profit variety.

Oyster
Updated:

The EuGH (highest European court) stated in 2014 that streaming only makes transient and incidental copies which are integral to the process and are thus exempt from copyright protection.

(see: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?docid=153302&doclang=EN )

Does anyone have any definite case law from America and its rodent corporation overlords?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

For example, is it downloading or not?


That varies with the laws, and the techs explaining it.

To an ISP all traffic on your service is a download.

From a technical point it varies with the type of technology involved and how it's processed by the technology at your end. A classic example of the non-download side is receiving a radio or television broadcast that's immediately converted to local audio and video by your system. Some system do the same with streaming data, some save it locally in a cache and process it before you get to hear and see it. On the other end is the full file transfer and save to play process.

In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain. Thus thumbnail, cache, and streaming content aren't legally a download under those laws.

If RIA and MPAA had there way listening to a friends radio or CD player while at a scout campfire would be a copyright violation because it isn't your device and you didn't buy the music you're listening to.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

If RIA and MPAA had there way listening to a friends radio or CD player while at a scout campfire would be a copyright violation because it isn't your device and you didn't buy the music you're listening to.


And thank god they haven't found a way to codify that into law just yet.

REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


A classic example of the non-download side is receiving a radio or television broadcast that's immediately converted to local audio and video by your system.


Not true EB. In order to convert the broadcast to audio and video, your computer has to first download the broadcast's digital file.


In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain.


What is overlooked is that while the user may not tell the computer to save the file, the computer saves it automatically as a .tmp file. That .tmp file is easily accessible by you if you were to search for it. If you delete the file there is also the possibility of it being undeleted.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@REP

Not true EB. In order to convert the broadcast to audio and video, your computer has to first download the broadcast's digital file.


Particularly with the digital broadcast streams. As each broadcast "Frame" can contain references to frames either before, or after the current one depending on the compression format used. So unlike the analogue version, the digital variant is at least buffering the content for the purpose of error correction and decompression. It's still done in near real time, so a human observing it probably wouldn't know the difference.

However, REP is wrong about needing to "finish the download" where a stream is concerned. You only need enough data in order to render the frames in question. Whether they're audio, video, or both. Just some devices have "longer memories" than others.

In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain.



What is overlooked is that while the user may not tell the computer to save the file, the computer saves it automatically as a .tmp file. That .tmp file is easily accessible by you if you were to search for it. If you delete the file there is also the possibility of it being undeleted.


This is also a difference between a computer and a purpose built device. The device may very well just download into (volatile) RAM and play it back from there. So no lasting "digital fingerprint" remains on the device after power is shut off. Possibly sooner than that depending on other factors.

Now if it records it a non-volatile memory space, then yes, it could potentially be recovered. However, I think you'd find that EU courts(and Canada it seems) would say that as long as the user doesn't intervene in the process, it isn't piracy. Now if they do anything to circumvent the download being a "short term" and "transitory" thing, the moment they do so it does become piracy.

However, it still remains at that point that the download itself wasn't piracy(unless they had the intent to circumvent it), it was trying to retain the file after viewing it which makes it piracy. So the streaming service itself is then understood to be in the clear, as they were simply providing a service to people who they believed to have a "legal right" to have access to the material, and didn't know about the illegal intentions.

A number of streaming services will also attempt that line basically citing an "honor system" approach("Yes we made it available, but we made clear in our TOS that they're not supposed to view it unless they already own it" or other such claims), although that's one the MPAA/RIAA and company could easily tear apart in various ways(insuffcient verification, et al).

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

Not_a_Id,

I am trying to decide if you are a total idiot or just someone who is trying confuse the issue.

For example:

Ernest posted:


A classic example of the non-download side is receiving a radio or television broadcast that's immediately converted to local audio and video by your system.


I understood EB to say watching/listening to the entire broadcast, which requires the download of the entire file, so I posted:


Not true EB. In order to convert the broadcast to audio and video, your computer has to first download the broadcast's digital file.


If EB is streaming that broadcast file, he can watch/listen to the file as his computer downloads it. If EB watches the entire broadcast file, then that means his computer downloaded the entire file.

Then you try to confuse the issue with comments about how the broadcast file is formatted and how it is reassembled at the user's end. True statements, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the broadcast file was transferred to the end user. You then say I'm wrong for an end user only needs part of the file to view it. Yes, the person can start watching /listening to the file before the transfer is completed. However, the person cannot watch the entire broadcast if the entire file is not transferred (i.e.downloaded) to the end user.

* * * * *

The second part of my post addressed EB comment:


In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain.


I reminded, EB in my post that:


What is overlooked is that while the user may not tell the computer to save the file, the computer saves it automatically as a .tmp file. That .tmp file is easily accessible by you if you were to search for it. If you delete the file there is also the possibility of it being undeleted.


Then you argue that I am not correct by addressing purpose built devices that do not use long-term storage. Yes there are devices like that.

However, what you do not want to address are the computers and purpose built devices that have long-term storage and save the video files to that storage medium.

Furthermore, I am discussing illegal downloads, not the legal downloads that you want everyone to focus on.

So tell me Not_a_Id, are you an idiot or just someone who is trying to muddy the waters by using misdirection?

edited to fix quotes.

Replies:   REP  Not_a_ID  Not_a_ID
REP

@REP

Since I'm riled up Not_a_Id, let's examine your Pawnshop Analogy.

Most Pawnshop owners are honest businessmen in that they do not knowingly buy or sell stolen property. One of the main reasons for that is they know the police come around and check their merchandise for stolen property and they don't want the reputation of being a dodgy pawnshop owner. That would result in the police being all over them causing them a lot of problems. I suspect Dodgy Pawnshop owners call it harassment.

An Honest Pawnshop Owner takes a number of actions to prevent them and their business from getting that type of reputation:

1. When a customer offers to sell them something, they ask for proof of ID - no ID, no Sale.

2. If the customer provides suitable ID, the proprietor has the customer fill-out a form to document the sale. In the meantime, the owner takes the ID and merchandise into the backroom to make a copy of the ID and check the merchandise out. Part of what he does is to check the police website to locate for a serial number or description of the property that may indicate that the merchandise is stolen. If he thinks it is stolen, he contacts police and delays the customer so the police have time to arrive at the shop.

Honest Pawnshop owners usually have surveillance systems that monitor what goes on in their store, and they have the appropriate notifications posted that allow the authorities to use the recordings as evidence in a court of law. One of those surveillance cameras is focused on the area where the owner interfaces with the customer when he is buying merchandise.

3. If the police find stolen merchandise in the owners store, he has the customer-completed form associated with the sale and the video of the customer selling the merchandise to him to substantiate who sold the merchandise to him. That in addition to his statement about checking the police website keeps him out of jail and helps him to maintain a reputation as an honest businessman.

It is totally ludicrous to try and compare a customer going into an Honest Pawnshop where the customer has a reasonable degree of confidence in the merchandise not being stolen to an end user going to a Pirate Website where most of the merchandise is probably stolen.

Did you know that MPAA and other firms that represent copyright holders maintain websites that provide a listing of Honest Websites where you can legally download copyrighted items. Since you are the type of person who prefers to take a little from Column A and some from Column B, then ensuring that you only download from honest websites probably doesn't appeal to you.

Using your analogy, a Pirate Website is analogous to a Dodgy Pawnshop. When a customer does business with a website/shop that has a reputation of dealing in stolen merchandise, then they do so knowing that they are very likely to end up buying stolen merchandise.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

One of the main reasons for that is they know the police come around and check their merchandise for stolen property and they don't want the reputation of being a dodgy pawnshop owner.


It's not just the reputation they don't want. If they do turn up stolen merchandise, even if the Pawn Shop's owner doesn't get charged with receiving stolen property, the stolen property gets confiscated by the cops.

The pawn shop is out the money they paid for the stolen merchandise but they don't have the merchandise to sell. They lose money on the deal.

Pawn shops get checked regularly in most cities. Any fence for stolen merchandise that uses a pawn shop as a front is an idiot.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I agree 100% DS.

However, if the pawnshop owner has a copy of the seller's ID, the form they filled out, and a legally obtained video of the sale hopefully with audio, then the pawnshop owner can get a bit of revenge by giving the police copies of that information. Hopefully the seller will be arrested.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Ernest posted:

A classic example of the non-download side is receiving a radio or television broadcast that's immediately converted to local audio and video by your system.



I understood EB to say watching/listening to the entire broadcast, which requires the download of the entire file, so I posted:

Not true EB. In order to convert the broadcast to audio and video, your computer has to first download the broadcast's digital file.



If EB is streaming that broadcast file, he can watch/listen to the file as his computer downloads it. If EB watches the entire broadcast file, then that means his computer downloaded the entire file.

Then you try to confuse the issue with comments about how the broadcast file is formatted and how it is reassembled at the user's end. True statements, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the broadcast file was transferred to the end user.


No, you were getting technical, so I got technical too. I just happen to seem to know a bit more about how the technical end works than you do.

With the advent of NTSC Broadcasting over the air going away, all over the air broadcasts(Which is I presume Ernest was referencing when he was talking about TV/Radio broadcasts rather than streams for TV are happening over ATSC. With the encoding format currently being specified as Mpeg2, which also happens to be the encoding format used for DVDs.

Mpeg2 is specification which utilizes compression, when you have a bad signal and things start getting blocky and weird things starting happening on the screen? That's when the particular frame(s) you're seeing be put to the screen both:
1) Failed Error correction.
2) Had portions of the screen reference something to which the processor had no data with which to reference.

So no, it isn't confusing the matter, it's describing how a format specification works.

In the case of Mpeg2, the standard is typically "15 frames" if you want to remain standards compliant.

When you get into h.264 and h.265(which is most online streaming services these days, as well as most newer blu rays) they can reference specific frames from several minutes in the past up to several minutes into the future. Which is part of how h.264 files can obtain significantly improved compression ratios in comparison to mpeg2.

But you're also ignoring how things are (capable of) being used. When playing in the digital world, you can now access things one of two ways. You don't just have one option.

You can access it "as a stream" much like you tune into something on an AM/FM radio where you only really truly have a small portion of the streamed content in memory(of any kind) throughout the course of viewing.

Or you can access it "as a file" which is the version you're alluding to. Where you start at point A, download the file to completion, and can then watch/listen to the file through to completion at your leisure. And yes, many streaming services do utilize this approach as well(as it provides a faster response so you don't have to wait to re-download the content), but it isn't anything close to the locked in paradigm you want to portray it as. Many streaming devices don't have the capability of holding a several gigabyte file in any form of memory native to the device itself. It'd built to minimum spec, and only retains enough memory to display what it supposed to be getting viewed just then, and handle people trying to do "random access" within a given program very poorly(as it constantly needs to redownload/refresh its buffers relevant to the new location in the file).

It is how the technology does what its doing.

You're also ignoring I was commenting on someone else's comment on the EU's position on the matter, and how it made sense technically in at least some circumstances.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP


A classic example of the non-download side is receiving a radio or television broadcast that's immediately converted to local audio and video by your system.

Not true EB. In order to convert the broadcast to audio and video, your computer has to first download the broadcast's digital file.

In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain.

What is overlooked is that while the user may not tell the computer to save the file, the computer saves it automatically as a .tmp file. That .tmp file is easily accessible by you if you were to search for it. If you delete the file there is also the possibility of it being undeleted.


REP,

In the post where I said broadcast I meant broadcast - as in television or radio transmission where my television or radio plays the signals it receives - neither of which have any storage system at all. Everything is converted from the signal to a presentation format on the fly.

In the second quote you left off the key part in the second sentence about the laws not recognizing certain files such as cache files - which is what the .tmp files are. Also, I was speaking about what the law recognizes and defines as a download, not how a system handles a file.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

I think that technically you are downloading the movie when you stream, legally it's not the same as actually downloading and saving it. At least from this guy's opinion: http://addonhq.com/kodi-legal-illegal-safe/

He does have the following, though:

Disclaimer: None of the information here should be considered legal advice. AddonHQ is not responsible for how you decide to use this information, or what you stream through Kodi.


I'll copy some sections without bothering to put them in quotes or use the quote tag.

In the United States, Canada, India and the European Union it's currently completely legal to watch both licensed and pirated media streams.

If you don't download anything or host the content yourself, you aren't doing anything illegal.

In the United States, a bill called S. 978 attempted to make the act of streaming copyrighted content a felony offense. S. 978 died back in 2011 after getting reported to committee, though.

Sometimes the RIAA and the MPAA hire copyright lawyers (aka "copyright trolls") to go after individuals and demand payment in the form of hefty out-of-court settlements.

Replies:   REP  REP
REP

@Not_a_ID

Everything you say about the encoding format, compression, CRC encoding/decoding algorithms, and the other things you discussed are part of creating a digital file and playing it. I don't dispute the validity of what you are saying about creating and playing the video file.

I am and have been discussing the transfer of that fully formatted video file from the host server on a website to a computer in the end user's home.

In case you are not familiar with that process, the following is an abbreviated description of the process. It may help you understand what I am saying:

1. The overall process starts with the end user establishing a communication link with the website's server.

In establishing that link, the two computers acquire each other MAC addresses and the routing information necessary for the two computers to talk with each other. A MAC address is a unique code that is burned into a ROM chip and the chip is mounted on a computer's motherboard. Every computer manufactured has a different MAC address.

The website owner may want to send spam to their customers, so they save the IP address of end user's ISP and the end user's MAC address as part of their customer data file. Due to ISPs normally using DHCP protocol, the ISP needs the MAC address in order to route the spam to the proper customer.

The MAC address is an important piece of information when prosecuting people who commit Internet crimes. When a court order shuts a website down, the investigator can retrieve that customer data file and use it to find all of the website's customers, if that is desired by the prosecutor.

2. The server sends its webpage information to the end user and their computer displays it on their computer monitor for viewing.

3. When the end user selects one or more videos for download, and clicks the button to initiate a transfer request, their computer formats the request and sends it to the server.

4. When the server receives the request, it divides the fully formatted video file(s) into multiple video data segments. Header and footer information is added to the data segments to create formatted data packets. Some of that header/footer information identifies the sequence location of the data segment (i.e. where the segment is to be placed when reassembling the video file.

5. The website server sends the data packets to the end user's computer.

6. The end user's computer receives the data packets and extracts the data segments. It uses the sequence location information to rebuild the video file. When the entire video file has been rebuilt by the end user's computer that is the end of the data transfer process. That video file is typically saved to the computer's hard disk in the Temporary Internet File folder.

If the video file is being streamed to the end user, their computer transfers rebuilt video file data to a buffer file while the computer continues to rebuild the video file. Once sufficient video file data has been added to the buffer file, the computer retrieves the video file information from the buffer file and converts that information into video images that are sent to the monitor and audio signals that are sent to the speakers.

If the end user's computer does not receive a data packet or if the data packet was corrupted beyond recovery, the computer requests that the data packet be sent again. The time necessary to get a replacement data packet is one of the causes for why a streamed video will stop.

Now that is an abbreviated technical description of how a formatted video file gets from a webserver's hard disk to your computer and how you can watch and listen to the video while the video file is still being downloaded to your computer.

I will remind you that you cannot watch the entire video if the entire video file has not been transferred. If you watch that video to the end, you can guarantee that the transferred video file has been saved to your computer's hard disk.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Then you argue that I am not correct by addressing purpose built devices that do not use long-term storage. Yes there are devices like that.


And those devices provide a basis for a legal entity (like the courts in Europe) to decide that they do not qualify for consideration in regards to (end-user) piracy.

However, what you do not want to address are the computers and purpose built devices that have long-term storage and save the video files to that storage medium.


I'm pretty sure I very explicit about that when I said that while such devices exist, and that in other less purpose built devices(like full fledged computers), such streaming would qualify as potentially under the same rationale.... so long as they don't try to circumvent the files being temporary. How long the data structure actually remains viable in the system(in that it could technically be recovered and reused) at that point is moot, so long as they make no effort to make further use of it after the streaming service "Deleted"(removed) it from the file system. Once they do try to recover the file, it's back to being piracy.

Furthermore, I am discussing illegal downloads, not the legal downloads that you want everyone to focus on.


I wasn't aware many of the types of downloads I was talking about were actually legal in the US. I seem to recall commenting that they're somewhat grey. There are legal based arguments as to why they should be legal, but there are other legal interpretations(such as by the RIAA/MPAA), that would declare it to be piracy, and they'd have a decent chance in court because of how some of the laws are written.

So tell me Not_a_Id, are you an idiot or just someone who is trying to muddy the waters by using misdirection?


No, and this is something else I previously mentioned. Just because the declares something to be illegal doesn't make that certain thing immoral. Likewise, because a law says something is legal, doesn't mean its moral. I was providing examples where the answer isn't clear cut. (Thus "confusing the issue" as you complain about here) It is an issue that is going to take a couple decades before it fully settles out on where the scales will be balance in terms of Content Creators/owners vs Content consumers. As it stands, I think the MPAA in particular is sitting on some particularly unethical ground, and the RIAA would like to be right there with them.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater


In the post where I said broadcast I meant broadcast


Just to clarify things, there are TV and Radio broadcasts that go over the airwaves, and then their are broadcasts that go over the Internet. I believe you are talking about Internet broadcasts.

Unless you have a TV and Radio that connects directly to the Internet, you must be routing the Internet broadcast through your computer. If that is true, then the above post to Not_a_Id applies to your Computer-TV-Radio configuration with the addition of your computer is routing the digital file data from the buffer file through your TV/Radio interface. If your TV/Radio has a direct internet connection, then it includes a dedicated computer system which may have a long-term data storage capability.

* * * *

All right EB, you are right that I used the wrong file extension and as to your statement about laws, your full statement was:

In some laws it isn't a download unless your system keeps a copy you can easily retain. Thus thumbnail, cache, and streaming content aren't legally a download under those laws.


As to whether a video file or a TV/Radio broadcast that is streamed from a website's server is saved as a cache file to your computer, consider this extract from a VideoCacheview ad:

One nice thing about the browsers are they store everything in the cache. If you visit any website, watch any movie, view any picture, or watch any video, all the entire data stores inside the browser cache (except you watch it inside incognito mode). And one good thing is you can always extract videos, audios, and image from cache with the help of third party tool known as VideoCacheview.


http://www.blogtechnika.com/how-to-view-copy-extract-videos-audio-images-stored-in-browser-cache/

Since TV/Radio and video files are saved as cache files to the computer's hard disk in its Temporary Internet File folder, they satisfy the requirements of the laws you are referencing as a download in that they are stored and easily retain on your computer's local hard disk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_Internet_Files

As stated in the link to Temporary Internet Files, cache files are one of the sources of evidence that the police gather for using in a computer crime trial. So, if the police seize a computer before the cache file is deleted, the cache files can be used as evidence.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
REP

@Switch Blayde

In the United States, Canada, India and the European Union it's currently completely legal to watch both licensed and pirated media streams.

If you don't download anything or host the content yourself, you aren't doing anything illegal.


The problem with those statements is that when you watch a media stream, the media files are saved to your computer, and according to Title 17 it is illegal.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Switch Blayde

In the United States, Canada, India and the European Union it's currently completely legal to watch both licensed and pirated media streams.

If you don't download anything or host the content yourself, you aren't doing anything illegal.


The problem with those statements is that when you watch a media stream, the media files are saved to your computer, and according to Title 17 it is illegal.

REP
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

Think of it this way: my personal belief is that transferring a copyrighted video file that is on a webserver illegally to your computer is stealing, and I consider the actions of a thief to be immoral, unethical, and illegal.

We shall see who is right about this topic during the coming years.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Just to clarify things, there are TV and Radio broadcasts that go over the airwaves, and then their are broadcasts that go over the Internet. I believe you are talking about Internet broadcasts.


I was talking about the broadcast by television and radio - I've heard of Internet Streaming but not an Internet broadcast, because, put simply, to get anything on the Internet it has to be a select cast and not a general broadcast.

Police use of of cache or temp files of any sort varies with the laws, some allow them while some don't. It also varies with the jurisdiction. Some laws don't recognise any sort of system created temporary file as a valid file for legal purposes, while some do. It comes back to what it's about and intent - the whole issue has been made harder due to browsers reading ahead and downloading pages in advance, thus some laws don't recognise browser temp files as showing valid activity.

Then, on the TV transmission issue, if I have cable TV service that's a digital file sent to the cable service box. It may or may not have any storage, the only one I've seen open had no memory capability beyond its ROM program chip. The system converted the signals on the fly.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Since our conversations up to now was about Internet service, I overlooked the possibility of you meaning cable service; that is totally different than Internet service. Your correct in that cable TV set top boxes do not have long-term memory devices like a hard drive. I interpreted your use of broadcast to be in reference to something like a TV broadcast that can be downloaded and viewed when requested. Same term - slightly different meanings.

You are also correct about the laws varying in different countries. My response was focused on the short paragraph you provided. As you said, certain cache files do not prove improper action on the part of the computer user. However, a cache file that was created to store a video file that was illegally downloaded from a website serve would be proof of illegal action for it would not have been downloaded if the computer user had not requested the file be downloaded.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@REP

However, a cache file that was created to store a video file that was illegally downloaded from a website serve would be proof of illegal action for it would not have been downloaded if the computer user had not requested the file be downloaded.


...unless the courts in that particular jurisdiction have ruled that in that specific case, the presence of said cache file does not qualify as a breach of the law. So long as it remains as "only a cache file." Which is what I was saying earlier. You have to remember, there is the letter of the law, and then there is the interpretation of the law. The courts in some locations(Europe, Canada) have evidently gone for an interpretation that differs from the literal reading.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I think where your confusion came in is Switch started the thread, and ti soon digresses into a sub-thread on the Internet activities. Then Switch went back to the basic point he wanted to discuss, so I came back in on the discussion of generic copyright laws and how they're applied to non-print media, and it's one of my responses on that which you started to respond to, and dragged it back to the Internet download issue.

Not_a_ID

@REP

Unless you have a TV and Radio that connects directly to the Internet, you must be routing the Internet broadcast through your computer. If that is true, then the above post to Not_a_Id applies to your Computer-TV-Radio configuration with the addition of your computer is routing the digital file data from the buffer file through your TV/Radio interface. If your TV/Radio has a direct internet connection, then it includes a dedicated computer system which may have a long-term data storage capability.


And such creatures do exist, much to the annoyance of the MPAA, and the courts and FCC alike say their existence is legal. So long as the only person(s) using said capability are persons who live at that location.

If you attempt to commercialize it in any way, or make it publicly available, you're then in violation of copyright law and can be prosecuted according in Civil and Criminal courts.

This applies to both Over the Air and Cable/Satellite TV service. Further the FCC has additional stipulations on things the Cable/Satellite TV providers shall allow its users to do. Which includes the ability to record programming, and to use "3rd party programs" to do so. This can take the form of allowing an "analog hole" from which people may record programming, to use of a CableCard(which is godawful expensive to get certified as compliant with on the "Copy Once"/restricted tier), or more recently, use of an "App" on a common platform that is widely available(Android/iPhone).

This is where I was ranting earlier about the MPAA wanting to lock things down to the point where not only could they flag it "copy once" but also flag a recording to auto-delete after so many days, and make it the default. (FCC has held them back to a large extent so far)

Over-the-Air of course has its own special caveat to go with it however because it was transmitted using "the public airwaves" so there are all kinds of legal precedents regarding recordings made of "over the air" content which tends to swing wildly in favor of the end-user, so long as they don't try to use those recordings commercially, or otherwise redistribute them.

Switch Blayde

@REP

The problem with those statements is that when you watch a media stream, the media files are saved to your computer, and according to Title 17 it is illegal.


That's the difference between what the technologies of downloading and streaming are (even if to stream it must download).

Remember the following from the article? "In the United States, a bill called S. 978 attempted to make the act of streaming copyrighted content a felony offense. S. 978 died back in 2011 after getting reported to committee, though." If streaming was considered downloading there wouldn't be a need for a new law.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

If streaming was considered downloading there wouldn't be a need for a new law.


And that's where you get into the legal definitions. One of the major parts of what constitutes most crimes is intent and the lack of intent negates the charge. Where intent is listed as a factor the prosecutor must show and prove the intent to do the criminal activity. Thus a lot of the laws do not regard system processing and temporary files in the various cache areas as evidence in many cases because the system creates them, not the user, thus there is no clear intent shown by them. Deliberately saving a file to your system so you can use it again later shows an intent to keep it, but watching it while it streams doesn't show and intent to keep for later use.

Intent is often an aspect required for criminal prosecution of copyright, thus the usual laws will likely include an intent component as a required proof or the case fails. I doubt they could get the intent aspect removed from the general copyright laws without totally destroying the copyright laws. Thus ti include digital streaming where there is no clear intent of mis-use would require a new law that set out very specific parameters to justify a charge.

Which brings us back to what I said back at the start - there are differences between what the laws call a download and what the ISP calls a download, and what the techs call a download.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Oyster

Whelp, America, you've done it again.
Once Donny signs the bill to negate any protections that the FCC and Obama put in place (and that was just passed) all your ISPs will be allowed to sell your search history, browsing habits, etc. to the highest bidder.
If I have it right then the owners of those streaming boxes (and everyone else) will be in a world of financial hurt if they continue using illegal streaming options.

I don't care what your other positions are, but those Republicans who voted for this bill should be removed during the next elections to send a strong signal to all politicians who should be representing the people and not their corporate donors.

REP

@Switch Blayde

If streaming was considered downloading there wouldn't be a need for a new law.


I know SB, and that is the problem.

The reality is that when someone streams a video the video is being downloaded.

The public's perception of streaming is that streaming does not require download of a file. People see downloading a stolen video as a crime, but steaming a video is not a crime. This perception is reinforce by the claims of people who know they have stolen someone else's intellectual property, but do not want to admit it. It is in their best interests to confuse the issue, so they can continue to steal.

I know I am "jousting at windmills", but I abhor thieves.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Oyster

if they continue using illegal streaming options.


Personally, I think we would be better off without Trump and support his impeachment.

However, which part of seeing that a thief is punished do you have a problem with?

Replies:   Oyster
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


The public's perception of streaming is that streaming does not require download of a file. People see downloading a stolen video as a crime, but steaming a video is not a crime.


I think people who download copyrighted material or stream that same material from a piracy site know they are stealing. And according to the article I last posted, the majority of the people doing it are educated.

ETA: Here's the actual quote from the article:

Young, Educated Men Are More Likely to Pirate Content

Studies indicate that future generations will be more comfortable with sharing and viewing copyrighted content. In both Europe and the US, young people and people with a high level of education were more comfortable with downloading and viewing copyrighted content compared to the general population.

Oyster

@REP

Jay Cantrell's Travis Blakely in "Runaway Train" has nearly the same views on that as I do (had to throw that in as we're on a story site here).
Here the cliff notes version:
Most people who stream something would not have bought or rented the material. The astronomical numbers that the industry likes to throw around to show their financial losses are overinflated and have nearly no basis in reality.
Someone else quoted Gates' healthy view on that situation.
The music and film industry would be better off writing off those who stream their works as advertising "costs" and instead invest in good, easy and affordable on demand solutions for all their works. Netflix, Hulu et al. are a step in the right direction.
I have absolutely no problem with them going after those who profit from running those streaming sites, but "punishing" those who stream is either not proportional to the "crime" or are otherwise not cost-effective.

I added that part about streamers being in a world of financial hurt as it fit this discussion, there are worse things that this bill can (and probably will) lead to.
Donny will sign this bill, but you have to remember that he neither wrote nor passed it.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@Oyster

Once Donny signs the bill to negate any protections that the FCC and Obama put in place (and that was just passed) all your ISPs will be allowed to sell your search history, browsing habits, etc. to the highest bidder.


I just saw the WH Press Secretary mention that. According to him, companies like Google could do it today, putting the ISP companies at a competitive disadvantage. He said the repealing what Obama did equals the playing field.

Replies:   Oyster
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Oyster

Once Donny signs the bill that was just passed, ISPs will be allowed to sell your search history, browsing habits, etc. to the highest bidder.

UNBELIEVABLE!

If I understand you correctly, customers have signed on to ISP services with the expectation ISPs would only act as a delivery service for packets of data (perhaps some limited exceptions to satisfy government requirements or to the extent needed to check customers are adhering to the terms of their contracts).

It now appears ISPs will be entitled to inspect all your traffic, collect whatever information they want, and sell that as information about you to others. The ability to sell information about EVERYTHING you do is VASTLY different to what happens now, where sites collect information on what you do at their site.

I cannot see any difference between that and the Postal Service becoming entitled to open all of your mail and use whatever they can find in whatever way they please. I trust that comment won't give them any ideas about how they might finally manage to make a profit.

And there are no rioters in the streets!?

REP

@Oyster

but you have to remember that he neither wrote nor passed it


Then maybe it will be a good bill. :)

Someone else quoted Gates' healthy view on that situation.


I don't know who Gates is, perhaps the founder of Microsoft. We all have opinions, and we don't all agree.

What Gates said is probably good advice from a fiscal point of view. However, I find it difficult to consider his view as healthy; especially for our society. Personally I prefer the attitude of "I don't care about the cost, I want to see all of the thieves' hides nailed to my barn door. If I run out of nails, I'll buy some more."

The article SB quoted "Young, Educated Men Are More /Likely to Pirate Content" is a perfect example of the changes our society's social conscious has undergone. It used to be that a thief who stole anything was looked down upon with disgust and punished in what society felt was an appropriate manner. Today our society just says "Oh well, it doesn't matter. That is just a gray area in our legal code."

Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

Deliberately saving a file to your system so you can use it again later shows an intent to keep it, but watching it while it streams doesn't show and intent to keep for later use.


Alternately with a different context: Shopping in a store without a cart or basket, your hands are full and you place some store product in your pockets. You don't become a shoplifter until you leave the store without paying for the item in question, and even then, you may get an out if you claim that you "honestly forgot" you had the stuff in your pockets when you paid for the other items.

I've known people who've done this, and they went back into the store to pay for the stuff upon realizing they'd done so. Obviously no charges filed, loss control/prevention wasn't chasing them down(store didn't have anyone working that job anyhow, at least, back then).

Not_a_ID

@Oyster

Once Donny signs the bill to negate any protections that the FCC and Obama put in place (and that was just passed) all your ISPs will be allowed to sell your search history, browsing habits, etc. to the highest bidder.
If I have it right then the owners of those streaming boxes (and everyone else) will be in a world of financial hurt if they continue using illegal streaming options.


As Abraham Lincoln is attributed:

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.


Otherwise, not particularly thrilled at the news, but they're also correct in that Google, among others, is already doing that. If you use their DNS servers, they've been doing it with a fair degree of detail for some time.

Oyster

@Switch Blayde

And you trust what Spicer says?

With that dig out of the way I'll point out some problems with Spicer's statement and some more issues with the bill and how far-reaching it is.

Comparing Google (when it is not acting as an ISP) with ISPs is comparing apples and oranges.
One does not need to use Facebook, Youtube, etc. and in some cases one does not even need an account to view those sites. Now if one does not have a static IP, does not login at these sites and does clear cache/cookies often (or uses the incognito mode that some browsers have) one can visit them quite anonymously. Yes, it does render some/many functions unusable, but that's the price you pay.
The ISP on the other hand can have all your data saved as it all goes through them and it can be much more difficult to switch ISPs, especially in low-income or rural areas. Besides: Most sites/apps offer their services for free whereas you have to pay quite a bit for Internet services.
Yes, there are ways to hinder your ISP from getting too much info about your habits (VPNs for example) and local wire-tapping laws should stop them from snooping too much, but that was only part of the proposed rules:

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341937A1.pdf

Personally, I especially like the last two points about customer and data security.

Probably the worst thing is that this is a "Congressional Review Act" and not just a "normal" bill. Once this passes the FCC will not be allowed to reissue any (!) regulation or rules that cover this issue in substantially the same way.
So instead of amending the rules and getting the FTC on board to get the same rules for websites/services as well they are going to scrub them.
On a side note: Facebook, Google, etc. were urging the Republicans to repeal those regulations as well.
Why? They feared it would set a precedent that could be applied to them as well.
Less rights for consumers, less protection and more money for the corporations.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Oyster

I don't know the details of this bill and am not disputing what you said.

One facet that you may be overlooking is:

If your ISP maintains a database on its customer's activities, all of their customers are in it. If you were to click a link to view such a website, your ISP's server will automatically extract your current DHCP IP address, and your MAC address, and the website's information from the data packets it receives from you, because it needs that information to transfer data packets between you and the website. All of this information is in the header of the message your computer sends to the website. You don't have to log into the website for your ISP to gather this data.

If your ISP is one of those that maintains a database on its customer's Internet activities, your contacting the site is in the database, although the details of what information was exchanged is probably not included.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@REP

If your ISP is one of those that maintains a database on its customer's Internet activities, your contacting the site is in the database, although the details of what information was exchanged is probably not included.


They have point of origin and destination. They may even have if it was TCP or UDP, as well as the "port" that was being used. But not a whole lot else. Even the logs for just that would become quite large rather quickly, without trying to capture anything else.

Using a VPN Tunnel does, of course, help considerably in masking activities that the ISP can be aware of. Because all they'll see is the (encrypted) stuff entering their network, and that it all seems to go to the same place(where the VPN is), at which point it exits into the internet at large, encrypted or not, as the case may be.

Of course, that isn't to say the ISP for your VPN isn't likewise selling/using that same data.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

Of course, that isn't to say the ISP for your VPN isn't likewise selling/using that same data.

Choose a VPN located in the EU.

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