AfterDawn: Tech news

Belgium court orders ISP to block illegal downloads

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Jul 2007 17:19 User comments (36)

Belgium court orders ISP to block illegal downloads A court in Belgium has ruled that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) has the means to block illegal downloads from P2P networks and must begin doing so within six months. Scarlet (formerly Tiscali) had been fighting a case brought against it three years ago by the body representing authors and composers in Belgium, SABAM. The ISP argued that it would be impossible to monitor and filter the traffic of all its users.
The judge decided to bring experts in to determine whether Tiscali's claim was true and eleven different measures were presented on how to block illegal downloads. Technology from Audible Magic was included and appears to be the recommended solution for Scarlet. However, some measures would have resulted in blocking P2P traffic altogether, which could block significant legitimate use.

The Judge decided that there was enough technology available for Scarlet to attempt blocking illegal downloads and has given the ISP six months to implement measures. If Scarlet is defiant, it could face a fine of €2500 per day. While Scarlet has not yet revealed what it plans to do about the court decision, John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), has praised the decision on behalf of the trade body which represents the global record industry.

"This is an extremely significant ruling which bears out exactly what we have been saying for the last two years - that the internet’s gatekeepers, the ISPs, have a responsibility to help control copyright-infringing traffic on their networks. The court has confirmed that the ISPs have both a legal responsibility and the technical means to tackle piracy. This is a decision that we hope will set the mould for government policy and for courts in other countries in Europe and around the world," Kennedy said.

He continued: "We congratulate SABAM on the successful outcome of this case. It has secured a judgement which should help protect music composers, artists, producers and other right holders from the enormous damage done by internet piracy."

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36 user comments

14.7.2007 17:53
OzMick
Inactive

This is just nonsense... All the ISP sees is a bitstream with a few pieces of plaintext in message headers. Show me those "eleven different measures" and I'm sure all of them can be circumvented easily. My money is on the ISP operating for another 6 months, closing up shop as the court order is impossible to execute and then establishing a new business.

24.7.2007 17:54

SO lets close down the net to make the media mafiaa happy....

34.7.2007 18:05

The ISP should just put PG2 on all their servers to block the snoopers ;)

Quote:
The court has confirmed that the ISPs have both a legal responsibility and the technical means to tackle piracy. This is a decision that we hope will set the mould for government policy and for courts in other countries in Europe and around the world,"
This statement is absolutely absurd. It would be like the courts telling my cable company that they are responsible for any f-bombs on live tv and they have to employ filtering technology...

What's next, FTP might be used for uploading copyrighted content... block it! You can send files and song lyrics through MSN and email... BLOCKED!

Here is the filtering tech they are going to use... and is VERY reasonable!

BLOCK ALL 0-79
ALLOW 80
BLOCK ALL 81-9999999

THAT SHOULD DO IT!

44.7.2007 19:08

Quote:

BLOCK ALL 0-79
ALLOW 80
BLOCK ALL 81-9999999
So... I redirect my torrent client to use port 80.

Good deal.

54.7.2007 19:50
fgamer
Inactive

It's a matter of time before the MPAA or RIAA looks at this as an possible solution here in the US. Then they'll pay some Congressman or Senator to jump on board, and we all lose out pretty badly in the end...this is going too far..but it's only the beggining of these heavy handed solutions.

64.7.2007 20:23
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by fgamer:
It's a matter of time before the MPAA or RIAA looks at this as an possible solution here in the US. Then they'll pay some Congressman or Senator to jump on board, and we all lose out pretty badly in the end...this is going too far..but it's only the beggining of these heavy handed solutions.
I think the media mafia has already tried that in the US, but it did not fly. It will not work in another country either. It is VERY STUPID for any court to make a policeman of an ISP! If that happens with mine, they just lose me as a customer! End of story.

75.7.2007 2:54

Originally posted by fgamer:
It's a matter of time before the MPAA or RIAA looks at this as an possible solution here in the US. Then they'll pay some Congressman or Senator to jump on board, and we all lose out pretty badly in the end...this is going too far..but it's only the beggining of these heavy handed solutions.
And within a month nerds will be circumventing this and whatever other solution just like we circumvent DRM... but them DVD's are just soooo safe...

85.7.2007 3:34

I live in Belgium and this decision is just crazy! I use P2P-based technology to transfer files for my job as well as my study group. All of those are legal activities and with these measure, I can stop working and studying altogether then? Pure nonsense!

It's already bad enough that in the so-called 'open' European market, Belgian customers have to pay extra taxes on blank media like DVD-R or CD-R, which are put in a fund to 'compensate' artists and media powerhouses. Customers started buying their media abroad, but still within the EU, to avoid the extra tax, which is perfectly legal since it's an open market. Now they have even forced non-Belgian online retailers to declare all sales of blank media to Belgian customers, so they can force them to pay the tax.

It seems that the free market only works for big corporations who can easily sell their goods and import cheap labor, but for us little consumers we get tackled all the time.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2007 @ 3:35

95.7.2007 5:43
armorthis
Inactive

$10 and everything on my harddrive says that they won't do that in Canada.

105.7.2007 8:40

This is total crap, and what about legit services that use p2p to accomplish their means. Such as Skype. And the gaming service steam uses bittorrent to update, so if thats completly blocked wouldnt that be a breach of contract between the ISP and he consumer. Something to do with censorship.

115.7.2007 12:05

Quote:
Belgium court orders ISP to block illegal downloads

Ahh.. Belgium... I'll drink your beers but I'll never move to your country.

125.7.2007 13:34

two words; DEATH BLOW! this is the event that every warez head knew was comming, but never wanted to admit.

135.7.2007 14:45

Belgium ? mmmm, the country that gave us yummy, sickly chocolates, pretty lace, black beer and that titless deformed dwarf otherwise known as Justine Henin.
I'm sure legislative bodies all over the world will sit up, quake in their shoes and take notice of such a major european powerhouse
( snigger )
Do they still kidnap, rape,torture and imprison ten year old girls in their cellars for 3 years before killing them, dumping their bodies and then wait 6 years for the police to come and investigate ?
Belgian Police were probably too busy chasing real criminals like p2p users, not innocent homicidal paedophiles.

145.7.2007 16:40

Not good news at all. But look why don't isp's just put disclaimers in the contracts that their users have to agree with that is that the isp does not take any responsibility for any illegal criminal action that the user does. Therefore can get them self out of trouble from all this crap.

156.7.2007 9:56

webe123 - they did try this in the united states in Zeran v AOL. Someone anynomous was posting sales for shirts promoting the oaklahoma city bombings using ken zeran's name and phone number. After repeated attempts to get AOL to take away these messages Ken Zeran took AOL to court. The Courts decided that what the users did on the internet was not for the ISPs to police. There are US laws that decree certain things are illegal (ie child porn or hit lists for abortion doctors) but ISPs are not required to moniter what happens through their gateways.

166.7.2007 10:08

Originally posted by pcanisius:
webe123 - they did try this in the united states in Zeran v AOL. Someone anynomous was posting sales for shirts promoting the oaklahoma city bombings using ken zeran's name and phone number. After repeated attempts to get AOL to take away these messages Ken Zeran took AOL to court. The Courts decided that what the users did on the internet was not for the ISPs to police. There are US laws that decree certain things are illegal (ie child porn or hit lists for abortion doctors) but ISPs are not required to moniter what happens through their gateways.
I thought "hit lists" fell under "free speech" because some can involve fictional charatcers and zombie pop stars.

or was their a specific thing to it thats changed, child porn is frown upon world wide,at least int eh open..for most countries LOL...

176.7.2007 10:22

No, the hit lists people were posting contained names and where-abouts of abortion doctors and thier assistents. It also gave out where to find them at home. It went even farther and gave a list of doctors who died, how they died, and stratagies to kill them. Since it posed a viable threat to their safety this speach was not protected under the first amendment (free speech).

186.7.2007 10:48

Originally posted by pcanisius:
No, the hit lists people were posting contained names and where-abouts of abortion doctors and thier assistents. It also gave out where to find them at home. It went even farther and gave a list of doctors who died, how they died, and stratagies to kill them. Since it posed a viable threat to their safety this speach was not protected under the first amendment (free speech).
ah names ok(in general),locations a no no :P

196.7.2007 11:18

Although after writing this zombie hit lists would b ok, but to get back to topic its not the job of the ISPs to moniter content.

206.7.2007 13:39

I'm from Belgium too (I would almost say unfortunatly).
Luckily, I have a different ISP.
But the biggest problem in Belgium for broadband is the prices (top 3 highest in Europe) and the limitations of bandwith and volume.
Our country is to small to have enough ISPs that fight for their peace of the market, so it would be in the advantage of the consumer.
I know a lawyer that works for Scarlet, but I have no clue if he worked on this case though. He mostly handles claims of companies that lso their internet connections etc.

216.7.2007 16:28
cappyx
Inactive

who cares? any more what comes out of hollywood is the equivelent of diareah. not even worth any ones time and expense. besides with hi-def format who wants this crap anyway?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jul 2007 @ 16:30

226.7.2007 18:08

Some say this won't happen in the US but unfortunately that's not true eventually it will big money and power normally ends up winning. They may loose some of the battles but they tend to win the war. China filters their ISP’s big time most people there are VERY limited to what they can surf. We use to be able to record movies and make backups with our VHS's or Beta's, Sony lost that battle, but now if you backup a DVD you're a criminal. There are many examples of this, too many to even get going on, but the facts are the facts and once one city, state, province, country does something everyone tends to follow just like sheep.

236.7.2007 20:44

There is Prey and there are Predators.

Guess which we are.

(And it is not predators.

246.7.2007 21:06

Originally posted by domie:
Belgium ? mmmm, the country that gave us...that titless deformed dwarf otherwise known as Justine Henin.
LMAO!!! Very true.

257.7.2007 3:38

The recording industry and others are prepared to see the cost of using the internet, by ordinary people, rise dramatically to prevent a small drop in their vast profits. The correlation between illegal downloads and lost sales is TOTALLY FALSE. - I guess 90% of people download free music and films just because it is free. It enables them to have vast collections of music that they seldom, if ever, listen to! If piracy were completely halted tomorrow then I would be suprised if their sales went up by more than 5% as a result. On the other hand fewer people would be listening to new bands.

If the music industry want to protect their purely financial interests then THEY should bear the total cost of policing this and pay compensation to any innocent persons affected by their draconian approach


These comments apply to the software giants too - like Microsoft who dont seem to understand that all the removal of illegal copies will do is to drive people towards open source alternatives even faster.

Everyone with an ounce of sense knows that the only way to virtually elliminate piracy is to sell mainstream products like music, films and software at prices that people can easily afford. £15 for a DVD, £12 for a music CD (when you really only wanted 3 tracks maybe), over £100 for an operating system and god knows how much for an office type suite is plain crazy. None of these are really worth what we are forced to pay for them.

Piracy has had a very limited effect on reducing prices - mark my words if they get away with stopping P2P and newsgroup file exchanges etc then we will not only see Internet ISP charges rising but also the greedy industry will push the prices of music films and software back up as well

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jul 2007 @ 3:50

267.7.2007 9:15

It does make sense or nonsense. Depends on who you are.
Name______________
Location____________
Married Y/N
Children Y/N
# of children 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20/21/22/23/24/25
Of course it's nonsense. They want your 25 kids to buy their software.
:)

277.7.2007 9:20

The people needs too take control we give the power too them I just hope it do not happen in the U.S

287.7.2007 9:28

If this happen and P2P becomes unusable then the ISPs will lose out big time who is going to pay for unlimited downloads and superfast speeds if you can't use them. The ISPs need to stand up for their customers or they will lose them.

297.7.2007 10:18
codejunki
Inactive

The "preferred" solution the judge spoke to is a hardware set that sits between the ISP and the user. The problem i see (well, at least one problem) is that the already overworked ISP SysOps are the one(s) who have to program and monitor the filter equipment. It is configurable, however, to warn or delete an individual user (won't that be fun for a major ISP) or block certain IP's from crossing the server.
I for one believe it's a poor choice to make the ISP responsible for client's actions. Kind of like blaming BMW for the guy speeding down the road...

307.7.2007 10:19

Originally posted by kyo28:
.... to avoid the extra tax, which is perfectly legal since it's an open market. Now they have even forced non-Belgian online retailers to declare all sales of blank media to Belgian customers, so they can force them to pay the tax.......

the same economics apply everywhere and to everything

the gas taxes in US are applied not only by National, but also state and local (city and/or county) making the area near cheaper taxes, but in higher taxes just drive a few miles and buy their gas

just install a larger tank and drive 30 miles once a month for HUGE savings (in Chicago, drive 30 miles and gas is 80 cents cheaper a gallon, or about 21 cents a liter) so, replace your 22 gallon tank you fill once a week to a 100 gallon tank you fill once a month and save about $75 a month net for a couple hours drive to the "country"

so looks like time for a DVD CO-OP to send someone over the border to buy a bunch of DVD's
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jul 2007 @ 10:21

317.7.2007 10:25

funny that higher taxes is a liberal idea, and the co-op that circumvents the price inequities is also a liberal concept

327.7.2007 10:28

After reading the article and comments about free radio, today, I hope I am not sounding like a conspiracy nut when I wonder if all this is a subtle means of restricting info(including Ojective news,is you can find it), data(including music, movies shared worked etc.)and input and protest via use of the internet. For example, whether one agrees with the issue or not, the Immigration/Amnesty issue got the politicians attention from the people via radio shows nationwide, some strong local politicians and their comunnities and the internet. We don't see body bags any more from Iraq/Afhganistan. So the sense of outrage has been blunted. The politicians blame talk radio for essentially interfering with their efforts to run the Immmigration/Amnesty bill over and against the will of the American Public. I may be wrong and I that I have "said" my not be relevant to the subject, but pissed and I feel that the Corporate and Governmental tail is wagging the dog(us the people). Sory everyone, I needed to vent!

337.7.2007 14:41
juniorken
Inactive

wtf... in Belgium cd's are really expensive. If they're not at reduced price it's about €15-€20 (21 up to 28$!). If a student or someone else with a low paycheck can choose between buying officially or downloading it illegally the choice is rather easy.
Shutting down p2p won't help a thing, these people can't afford these cd's or dvd's.

So where's the difference in cash for a recordcompany between downloading things illegally or not buying these cd's at all? There isn't any... It's just that the musicbusiness might be over the economical maximumpoint perhaps? I'd rather like that instead of spending money to lawyers they would spend that money in dropping their prices...

347.7.2007 14:53

There will always be freenet. If only it was faster.

358.7.2007 5:56

This the first step of control of the internet and free speech !
we going same way like North Korea and China !
Courts there only to keep the People under theire thumb and keep the rich people rich ! the poor people poor !

368.7.2007 8:10
kuki_
Inactive

typical belgian.
that's why i decided to live abroad.
what's next ? car dealers responsible for speeding clients ?
bartenders responsible for drunk people ?
doctors responsible for patients (not) taking their pills ?
mac donalds responsible for overweighted clients ?

... but i miss Duvel ;)

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