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File-sharers Beware!

Discussion in 'Technical Discussions' started by Digerati, May 8, 2009.

  1. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Changes in anti-piracy laws are making it easier to identify and convict individuals who steal, or who facilitate the stealing of copyrighted materials. They also provide for harsher consequences for the offenders. This is necessary to stop piracy and rampant illegal filesharing of songs, videos, and published documents.

    See Becky Waring's Windows Secret, May 7, 2009 article, ISPs assist in cutting off file-sharing users to see some of the actions being taken by courts and governments around the world.

    This follows on the heals of the conviction and Jailing of the The Pirate Bay Founders - the courts have said providers, such as peer to peer (P2P) sites, cannot establish a venue for illegal activity, then claim they bear no responsibility for their patrons participating in that illegal activity.

    So why is this in the Security Discussions forum? Because CLEARLY a huge percentage of the malware is distributed via illegal filesharing. Malicious code writers thrive on the greed of folks who steal music and videos.

    Illegal filesharing is not just wrong because it is stealing, it is a major security threat to every networked computer around the globe. Compromised computers are used to cause harm, or worse to our personal wellbeing, or that of our family.
  2. broni

    broni Malware Annihilator Techie7 Moderator Head Security

    I feel like I've heard this song before :)
  3. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You did - but before it was all talk. This time, it is real jail time.
  4. broni

    broni Malware Annihilator Techie7 Moderator Head Security

    Not taking sides, but wars like this will never be won.
    Simple history fact: where there is a weapon, soon, antiweapon will be developed.
    Years ago, Napster was the the only P2P program.
    Look what we have now...
  5. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You mean wars fueled by greed and evil? You are right, but we still cannot just give up and let thieves and anarchy destroy our Rights either. Stealing is wrong. As long as there are some folks in this world who think otherwise, the law abiding are forced to build better safes, better locks, better anti-thievery tactics, and better deterrents. Another one of the "costs of Freedom." I see nothing wrong going after those who facilitate crimes, in addition to those who actually commit the crimes.
    And other names for anti-weapon might be a defense or deterrent. A defense, not from a soldier fighting a "just" cause, but from criminals, enemies of law and order and the "Rules of Society". Stealing music and copyrighted materials has been against the law for as long as there have been copyrights and patents. Not just in a few select countries - UN member nations must comply with United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) requirements, based on decades old Geneva Conventions agreements. And deterrent, to set an example to others who wish to profit illegally at the expense of others (and receiving something for free is profiting) by showing the consequences of ripping off others is not just a slap on the wrist.
    I think that's part of the problem. We have to take sides. Stealing is wrong. Even badguys don't like to be stolen from. By not taking sides, we turn a blind eye, in effect condoning stealing. The Napster example merely demonstrates what happens when the authorities look away, and when tax payers are unwilling to push their representatives to fund (maybe raise taxes) for the resources to enforce "existing" laws - let alone new ones.

    But I want to swing this back to computer security as that is what this topic is about. P2P sites that are supporting illegal filesharing are major contributors to the malware problem. This malware, in turn, is used to compromise 10s of millions of inadequately protected systems, then used to send billions of spam, and more malware. If music thieves only infected themselves, it might be less of an issue. But they don't. Because illegal filesharing directly results in stolen identities, compromised computers, lost revenue and potentially the safely and wellbeing of our children, we must unite against illegal filesharing.
  6. broni

    broni Malware Annihilator Techie7 Moderator Head Security

    Well, let me make one thing very clear: stealing is wrong.
    But, this whole situation is not a simple, as it looks.
    Napster, for instance...
    If not Napster, you'd still be paying 20 bucks to buy a whole CD, even, if you're just interested in one song from that CD. How many bands are like this? They make one good song, and the rest is garbage.
    Before Napster, music industry was ripping us off left, and right by selling you a whole CD with just one, or two songs worth your attention.
    They kept saying, there is no damn way to sell you just one song.
    Did they learn quickly, when Napster came up?
    Surely, they did.
    All of sudden, selling just one song, became possible.
    Personally, I consider Napster, at least partially, as a great payback for years of rip offs.
  7. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    I don't know about Napster but I know of a few sources where you can legally get only the songs that you want. Namely iTunes and Amazon among others. Of course you have to pay for them.;)

    Napster was the first popular P2P system.
  8. broni

    broni Malware Annihilator Techie7 Moderator Head Security

    Without Napster, probably, it wouldn't happen.
  9. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    That's an obsolete, and never valid argument. If it was only punishing the big recording company executives, that might make some sense. But it is stealing from the creative talent and hard working people who made it all happen. Don't get me wrong, I have about 450 albums and 600 CDs - there are probably only a dozen or so where I like every song. And I did feel I did not get my money's worth when I bought a new album and only liked the one song I bought the album for. But NO crime was committed and those that "created" the music didn't force me to buy anything - including their next CD.

    I think the oil companies have been ripping me off for years, but I am not going to run off and not pay for my next tank of gas! Stealing copyrighted materials is no different - from a legal standpoint. Little more than shoplifting.

    But from a security standpoint - illegal filesharing is a major security issue - affecting many more than just those that participate in those illegal activities. For that reason alone, it must be stopped.
  10. broni

    broni Malware Annihilator Techie7 Moderator Head Security

    Isn't price fixing, and monopoly a crime?
  11. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Do they justify stealing in return?

    Price fixing is a crime. But again that's an old argument - the RIAA got slammed almost 9 years ago for this, fined hard and forced to lower CD prices. Their own PR and marketing people are really their own worst enemy. Music pricing is now being watched carefully. That said, no one is forcing you to buy or listen to music.

    Monopolies are not illegal. They are all over the place - most often seen in utility and communications companies. There is typically only one electricity, cable, or gas company in a particular area. That's a monopoly, and legal. It is still wrong to steal power, cable or gas.

    It is against the law, however, to push out competition for the purpose of becoming a monopoly. The recording industry is not a monopoly and with more and more Indies joining the market, they never will be.