October 19, 2012

TANSTAFAAFL (Otaku edition)

A few weeks ago (on Drudge I think) there was a story about how Internet service providers were getting astoundingly efficient at tracking people who log into sketchy download sites like Mediafire and the sites that link to them heavily, but that they didn't seem to be doing anything about it and it was unclear what they were up to. I'll be damned if I can find it now, but I thought of it when I read this.

Under the new copyright alert system, Internet service providers (ISPs) will send a series of alerts to subscribers whose accounts may have been used to illegally distribute music, movies or other entertainment content via file-sharing. If the subscriber does not respond to the first set of alerts, which will include educational material on protecting copyrights and the consequences of illegal file-sharing, the Internet service provider may temporarily slow down their Internet speeds, direct them to an online tutorial when they try to access popular websites or implement other penalties--called "mitigation measures."

This is to be implemented over the "next couple of weeks" so those of you who are torrenting be aware that now might be a good time to go straight.

If you're reading this in Japan then there is a little extra incentive...

Internet users in Japan who illegally download copyright content will face new penalties after a change to the law. They will now face up to two years in jail or up fines to two million yen (US$25,700).

 This might explain any slowness in torrents appearing.

Now, it is true that the Japanese AV media model is indeed made of fail and unsustainability. It is also true that these rather non-proportional penalties indicate a desperate attempt to keep that moribund business plan afloat. But something needs to be done, and especially given the  sense of entitlement to free downloads expressed by many fans and the state of the US anime industry (which is due at least in part to piracy) my first instinct is to be OK with this despite the crazy penalties.

However, the lack of proportionality in the penalties would seem to indicate a very heavy handed approach, that might not recognize things like fair use or parody.... or image macros.

UPDATE: Japan has had US style fair use exceptions since 2008 so that final paragraph was inaccurate.

It should also be noted that the penalties for UP-loaders are rather more severe..
...uploaders of copyright infringing music and videos face a maximum penalty of a 10-year prison sentence and a 10 million yen fine (US$128, 318 ), said BBC news.

..so what I meant by " This might explain any slowness in torrents appearing." is those of you who depend upon Anime gods in Japan uploading shows to torrent may find the torrents slow to appear for download as said anime gods ability to do so may be somewhat inhibited in the near future.

 Haruhi's sense of entitlement takes a hit.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:33 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 497 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Clear (nee ClearWire) already slows torrents.  It can even tell which traffic is which, slowing my torrents while allowing YouTube to run full speed.  "Yeah Clear, tell me again how 4 am is peak usage time".

And when the class action lawsuit comes through, I'm gonna be getting a pretty tidy credit.

Posted by: Mauser at Sat Oct 20 03:29:16 2012 (cZPoz)

2 I'd love to see the class action suit that would result from this.  "They provide the service we pay for except that they inadequately facilitate our theft!"

I don't think a judge is likely to find the argument compelling.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Oct 20 10:20:10 2012 (e9h6K)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sat Oct 20 11:41:27 2012 (+rSRq)

4 It's a bit of Topic drift, but the lawsuit was over them advertising high speed wireless internet, promising that you'd never be throttled ("Unlimited" they said), and that you could watch video on it, but especially for NetFlix subscribers, they got totally killed by the throttling (the algorithm was VERY broken when they implemented it.  An hour of heavy use could knock you down to sub 56K modem speeds for a week).  Plus they had HUGE cancellation fees.

Posted by: Mauser at Sun Oct 21 00:10:22 2012 (cZPoz)

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