News

Rogers: We’re Concerned With the ACTA Negotiations and Three Strikes

Rogers Communications appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and was asked by NDP MP Charlie Angus about their position on ACTA and ISP liability.  Ken Englehart, Senior VP Regulatory, left little doubt about the company's concerns with ACTA and the possibility of a three-strikes and you're out model coming to Canada:

We are concerned, as many ISPs are, about the ACTA negotiations. It's supposed to be about counterfeiting, but it seems to have gone way past counterfeiting to talking about issues of ISPs and the downloading activities of our customers. We don't think ISPs should be put in the position of being traffic cops to decide what is legal and what is not. We really hate any idea that we would have to terminate our customers' service on a three-strikes policy. We do not want to do that at all. I have a great deal of sympathy for the copyright holders who feel that their content is being stolen. It's a big problem. But I don't want to see this done by putting ISPs in the position of having to disconnect their customers or aid in the conviction of their customers.

When asked to expand on how ISPs and copyright holders strike the balance, Englehart focused on the effectiveness of the current notice-and-notice system, arguing that "those types of mechanisms should be exhausted before any kind of more Draconian measures are imposed."

77 Comments

  1. Michael T says:

    WOW!
    Gd news coming from what I have perceived as one of he worst in the biz. Great news!

  2. I have a crazy idea.. We could give the duties of deciding guilt and dispensing sentences to some sort of unbiased third party. Perhaps we could even create some sort of organization that answers to the people that specializes in this sort of thing?

  3. Good Business
    Engelhart’s concern makes sense, to me. If monitoring customers in a guilty-until-proven-innocent context becomes the norm, it is reasonable to expect their customer base to start looking at alternatives to their business; if a sound alternative presents itself, a reduction of use by “acceptable” customers would certainly follow. He acknowledges the difficulty copyright holders are facing, but recognizes that they are only one facet to the market Rogers serves. If I were in his shoes, I also would be wary of a special interest group looking to control my customer base and make me accountable for their discipline.

  4. Dean K Owen says:

    Strictly business
    The fact that Rogers comes out and publicly denounces ACTA etc is a good thing – Canada’s major ISP lobbying power may be greater than the RIAA’s lobbying power. But the reason behind Rogers stance is most likely based on the potential of losing busineses and customers versus the fundemental rights of internet users. Add to it the costs of implementing and monitoring such a program and ACTA could be very expensive for ISPs. It would make more sense to just charge more (metered billing anyone?)for traffic with a little bit of usage cap thrown in.

  5. @ Dean
    A publicly traded corporation’s motive is always only self-serving profit.

  6. pat donovan says:

    grunt
    at 7.50 -11.25 per incident, rogers is desperatly trying to get out of being net (cop, priest and judge)
    customer service medic is tough enough, eh?

    the conservatives are downloading the costs on enterprise, (again).. since they’ve tossed their values that much already, the worst is yet to come.

    a 200 reward instead of a 20,000
    dollar fine would make THAT real enough.

    packrat

  7. In this plan, the copyright holders are cop, priests and judges (and jury), the ISPs are just supposed to be their bitch and do exactly as they say.

  8. strunk&white says:

    wait…
    Are you telling me that a giant, for-profit media corporation is publicly advocating for looser regulation?

    Has the sky turned green? Is up now down?

    Next you’ll tell me oil companies don’t want to be forced to have workable contingency plans for offshore leaks.

    Such great news!

  9. Or the oil companies don’t want to be forced into paying for automobile accidents caused by them providing gas to run cars.

  10. Anonymous Coward says:

    Wait a minute . . . .
    Are you telling me that a giant, for-profit media corporation is publicly advocating for tighter regulation? Of the internet? The MPAA and the RIAA?

    Has the sky turned blue? Is up still up?

    Next you’ll tell me a really poorly thought out analogy.

    Such useless news!

  11. strunk&white says:

    Is it in the copyfight drone playbook to simply repeat what someone else has said with slight modification to make it look like an actual criticism? It must be. And Captain Hook no doubt wrote the playbook.

    I don’t wish to accept your analogy. Look at the better analogy I have created from your faulty analogy.

    This is “open source” debating right? No wonder you guys (decidedly, inevitably “guys”) can’t work up any respect for original creativity. You don’t know what it is.

  12. Captain Hook says:

    Oh yeah, and I’ve had the copymaximalist handbook figured out for a long time now. In its entirety.

    Cheap shot, dodge, redirect.

    Rinse, repeat.

  13. ISPs should not be charged to polics, preside and judge, but why are they so afraid to be confidential informants. That’s really all that is needed. I don’t feel the onus should be theirs – to impose a punishment, but certainly is not beyond reasonable expectation for them to share what intelligence they already have. With regards to the ISPs and the fiscal imposition this would carry – this is trivial and a very weak argument. I won’t be losing sleep for Rogers Communications Inc. after they post $11.7B revenue (2009) and $1.4B profits (same year).

  14. I, in fact, am not surprized to hear this. As crade put it well, the notice and takedown setup of ACTA, and in general holding the provider of a service responsible for the illegal actions of its users is bad for the bottom line.

    Notice and takedown, as implemented in the US (from what I can see) appears to have the safeguard that the complainant can be charged with perjury for a knowingly false claim. Of course, this is wide open to abuse, and makes the complainant accuser, judge and jury. The ISP is the executioner, which is an unenviable position to be in, since they are the closest to the customer and therefore the one who will be viewed as the bad guy. Cutting the service will inevitably increase the workload of the customer service folks, meaning that they’ll need to hire more people to deal with irate customers, and cut into the company’s ARPU since they will no longer be able to charge for the service they aren’t providing. They would potentially get hit twice, since I would expect that not only would cable internet be chopped, but so would wireless data plans be cut off (in particular since computers can be tethered via the cellular phone).

    At least with notice and notice the accused has the opportunity to defend him/herself against the charges before the axe falls.

  15. Rogers should be concerned. ACTA will be a totalitarian nightmare. People love torrents, pcs that never get turned off, built in microphones, cameras. An operating system that upgrades itself. This stuff couldn’t lead to monitoring, surveillance, control, blackmail, criminal prosecution, could it?

  16. Data Sharing
    @Justin
    Perhaps the reasonable argument is that an ISP shouldn’t be allowed to record such detailed information, then?
    The distinction you make between enforcement and informant is very fine. I think, no matter how you slice it, the ISP is part of the chain of enforcement, in the proposed circumstance. What I get, from Englehart’s statement, is that they want nothing to do with this all-encompassing paradigm shift (does their anticipated role in the market seem suddenly subordinate to the copyright holders?). Rogers just wants to move data, and I suspect it is because they anticipate the financial fallout of the alternatives being drawn up for them. How their current profits render that argument “weak and trivial”, I’m not really getting.

  17. Rogers and Harper are powerless to stop ACTA. Take any controversial issue, if the 3 main leaders in Ottawa support support it, we should expect to see a large majority of Canadians supporting it too, right? If not, that’s when you see the hidden hand of the puppeteer.

  18. strunk&white says:

    Oh Hook, I just love it when you pounce in trying to score a point and in doing so just illustrate exactly what I’ve said.

    Thank you, again, for making my argument for me.

    I hope everybody is tweeting the Ministers! They can’t ignore you if you all send the same message.

  19. strunk&white says:

    Here’s a helpful tweet:

    Help corporate ISPs avoid responsibility. Say no to ACTA!!!!

    There’s room for 80 more exclamation points if you really want to be dramatic.

  20. Anonymous Coward says:

    What responsibility is avoided?

  21. Captain Hook says:

    That’s great whitey I do like it when I can do things to please other people.

    I must compliment you on how well you illustrate my point as well.

    Actually I think the the ISP’s should be monitoring our email as well. And the phone companies should be monitoring our conversations. With all this technology available to them, think of how much crime they could prevent. Really, I mean they should have a responsibility to do this to protect society. Don’t you think?

  22. Videotron welcomes Three Strikes
    Not so long ago, Videotron promised it would terminate its customers:

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/3706/125/

    As for Robbers, this is all pure bizniss.

  23. RE: Stunk@Stupid
    “wait…
    Are you telling me that a giant, for-profit media corporation is publicly advocating for looser regulation?

    Has the sky turned green? Is up now down?

    Next you’ll tell me oil companies don’t want to be forced to have workable contingency plans for offshore leaks.

    Such great news!”

    Doesn’t change the fact that their Internet service is vastly outdated and their throttling practices are completely wrong. Also doesn’t change the fact that Rogers and the other Canadian Telecom/Television monopolies are hindering the Canadian economy in many different aspects. Sure, its nice that they apparently are against ACTA, but at the same time the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. I have no doubt that Rogers’ move is completely profit motivated, and this alone tells me that they are still part of problem almost as bad as ACTA and much closer to home.

    But by all means whitey, keep grabbing for those grains of salt and dreaming of a credible argument.

  24. I haven’t participated in anything that could be construed as piracy in quite a few years (not since I was a teenager), but I swear if they pass anything like this 3 strikes legislation here in Canada I think every person in the country, including me and my family, should go ahead and torrent their bandwidth out until we’re all shut down. I’d like to know how the government would feel about stripping every household in the country of Internet access for a year (or however long it would be).

  25. 3strikes and terminate
    The first locations to be hit will be the hotels, coffee shops, internet cafes, etc that offer internet access to their customers.

    Yes, Rogers (and telus and bell and shaw et al) are concerned about customers, but they are more concerned about customers that pay big bills not small ones.

    I’d estimate about 1 in 10 hotel customers check in and start downloading or doing P2P sharing. They keep it running until they check out. A lot of these “customers” are senior executives that simply do not want to miss their favourite TV shows.

  26. strunk&white says:

    “I must compliment you on how well you illustrate my point as well.”

    Oh, it took me this long to respond because I was on the floor LMAO. You just can’t stop yourself can you, Hook? You know, they might have a pill for your premature comment problem.

    Oldguy, what’s the source of your estimation? Do you secretly monitor hotel internet usage? If so… ick.

    C’mon folks, even you true believers have to recognize irony, occasionally. Here is a major corporation with a proven track record of “upsetting” its customers, and Geist holds them up as some sort of indication of how folks feel about ACTA. I guess a corporation is only “corporate” and “bullying” when they are not speaking the party line. And I guess a lobbyist is only at “lobbyist!” when they support artists.

  27. Anonymous Coward says:

    Copyright infringement is not counterfeiting
    What does counterfeiting have to do with the internet and three strikes? If you’re caught counterfeiting three times you get kicked off the internet? That doesn’t make any sense.

  28. Captain Hook says:

    Yup, you go ahead and LYHO whitey. Maybe some day you’ll even figure out what the joke is.

    You know, it’s not as if Geist or the cable company, or anyone here is being the least bit inconsistent with previously held convictions.

    You see it as ironic when Geist and the cable companies, who so frequently disagree on issues, have this one issue in common? Perhaps it is rather more of an indication of just how bad this treaty really is. I guess in your simple mind your enemy is your enemy and if there is ever something you agree with, then there must be something wrong. I’ve even seen Geist agree with you at times. Perhaps that means you should change your opinion. Don’t you think?

  29. “Oldguy, what’s the source of your estimation? Do you secretly monitor hotel internet usage?”

    Actually, yes. I am paid to do so as part of supporting their guests. Brings in nice change in my retirement years. I can’t monitor the content of what they are doing, but I can make a good guess if they are downloading from limewire or doing P2P sharing based on experience. I have no idea if it is free content or copyrighted content, but I can see the “usage patterns”. I also talk to the guests when it “isn’t fast enough” for their tastes. Most admit to downloading or using P2P, especially the more “important” they are in their own eyes (high level exec). They download MORE when they are away from home, and often comment that they would gladly purchase it – if it was as easy (and cost effective) to purchase as it is to download.

  30. Canadian Hacker says:

    If they introduce any new copyright law, I am going to do full time what I already do part time, use a hacked modem to download music and movies, funny considering I download mainly music from the 50′s to the early 80′s, Classical, and old classic movies, stuff that no longer has any copyrights left on it. They do this, I guarantee people will remember what the conservatives Did, and they wont win an election for many years to come, just like when Mulroney introduced GST, how long did it take canadians to get the nerve up to vote Conservative again. Next Election I am voting for the Pirate Party !!!!!

  31. strunk&white says:

    Yes, Hook, this late in the game we’re all supposed to start seeing the subtlety of the political position over here. Meanwhile, you are still dressed like a pirate and yelling “aaar.” Very subtle indeed.

    oldguy — really? In private conversations you have no proof of, high ranking members of society admit to your exact position on copyright? That’s authoritative. Seems to me you have great motivation to want consumers to respect copyright, seeing as how your retirement income depends on legal usage. Of course, your income would flow much more smoothly without restrictions on P2P, so you advocate against restrictions. Nice… and ick.

  32. Same old
    Why do you guys keep feeding skunkstripe&white with material for his rhetoric filled blog?

    Ignore him. All he ever does is try to bring the topic off topic and into his dark little friendless corner of the world.

    Ignore the little boy who never adds anything of value.

  33. RE:strunk
    Hey whitey! It’s nice to see you are not responding to my post and its perfectly valid point. Since you do not contest it, I’ll take it as evidence that even you believe your moronic viewpoint is biased and emotionally-based and has no business in this debate.

  34. We don’t want to confuse things that people would naturally support like making companies responsible for their own actions and internal operations with things many people wouldn’t naturally support like making companies responsible for the actions of others when using their service or product.

  35. acta is really about 911. before you say ‘wrong blog dude’, ask yourself, if you were behind that crime wouldn’t you want to cover it up? msm wont touch it, but on the net it’s viral. the net is presently beyond the control of the ‘elite’ who have controlled all news media for over 100 years, so whether it’s piracy copyright cyber terrorism, national security- they have to control the net. they underestimated it at the get go, now its catchup clampdown time

  36. @crade
    Well put. Do we hold the province, or the operators of a toll highway such as the 407 in Ontario, responsible for deaths due to vehicular manslaughter when there is an accident on the road (assuming the roadway was in good condition)? Why, therefore, should an ISP be held liable for the actions of their customers? The precedent has been set. This is a direct comparison. Physical “highway” vs information “highway”.

    At the end of the day, requiring the ISPs to block any SUSPECTED infringing material will have seriously negative effects. I say suspected because if the ISPs are to be held liable, they will need to block anything which could be infringing or face a potential lawsuit. This is not unlike the problems that occurred a few years ago when Internet content filters were blocking health material that was being sought.

  37. @strunk&white
    Authoritative? I would say the copyright consultation itself is as close as you are going to get.

    The ISP won’t/can’t do a breakdown on the category of customer notices they send out. The closest you are going to get is observations like I have. I get a lot of queries from the hotel management about notices – and what they can do about it. Short of doing content analysis (and the myriad of problems with that), locations like this can’t manage “what” their clients are doing. There are legal and technical limitations to what they can do. Technology isn’t the answer here. Laws that transfer responsibility for private client behaviour to the supplier are inherently unenforceable. This applies all the way down the line.
    When I deal with these guests, I don’t take a position in my discussion, my role is to support them. But I can observe the behaviour and the reasons for it.
    No matter what you believe, content monitoring technology and unenforceable laws aren’t the answer. The world has changed, we have to adapt. What worked for limited availability printed books does not work for unlimited availability digital content.

    Actually, my support role would be easier without P2P or downloading to contend with. But I am a realist, and recognise that it is part of the changing world. The same technology that makes it possible to stay in touch while “on the road”, also allows these people to continue their normal entertainment as well. I don’t begrudge their niceties or their constant communication, I spent enough time “on the road” before the internet and envy their options, while also recognizing that being constantly in touch means they are rarely “away from the office” anymore. The digital world has changed all aspects of their work/play lifestyle. The rate of change is accelerating.

    Downloading in the hospitality industry isn’t limited to execs. The execs seem more likely to admit that they are downloading copyrighted content than others, and willing to voice their reasons why. It has very little to do with “free” and tends to focus on ease and timeliness. They would pay a reasonable amount if it was available easier and/or more timely. Extrapolate to others.

    What I do for a little extra retirement income isn’t my only source of observations. But it does illuminate a major problem with a “3 strikes” policy in the hospitality industry. These locations are limited in what they can do, technically and legally. They can’t control individual guest internet behaviour, and would be the first causalities.

    We have to be very careful how we craft any “solutions” to the impact the digital world has had on copyright. It’s a different world, and requires a completely new look at the balance between rights holders and society members. There are “rights” on both sides of the scale, technology has shifted the balance point of that scale. Copyright laws and industries needs to adapt, or become irrelevant. Attempting to turn normal human behaviour into criminal actions through fiat, simply will not work.

  38. “Attempting to turn normal human behaviour into criminal actions through fiat, simply will not work.”
    Very well said. Just look at prohibition.

  39. Big Brother will be watching
    Orwell only had the year wrong…it’s coming, just in a more hi-tech reality than he could have conceived in 1949. However, under privacy laws, isn’t it still illegal to monitor encrypted traffic in Canada? In reality everything possible should be encrypted, whether it’s legit traffic, or something of a more questionable nature. If such measures as this and ACTA, DCMA are allowed to take a global foothold, the Internet will be extremely crippled. Everything will have some sort of intelectual copyright and/or liability attached to it…everyone will be looking for a pay-day for their thoughts. Internet content will become as fragile and almost as useless as egg shells. Well…at least egg shells can be used as plant fertilizer.

  40. Captain Hook says:

    @Eric
    Ummm, while yeah, I agree with you completely. But we’ve been down the prohibition road with whitey before.

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4664/125/

    According to him prohibition only affected gangsters and their sympathizers. Not real people. I’d recommend against this road with him. It’s a dead end.

  41. strunk&white says:

    Hook, you’ve kept a scrapbook of our fights? I’m touched, I guess. And here I was assuming you had some sort of life beyond this blog.

    While it’s beautiful that you can refer back to things I’ve said in the past, try to get them right. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    Civil disobedience vs. criminality. If you don’t do the first one properly, you excuse the second. I know, it’s a tricky point. Take some time with it.

  42. Paul Dufour says:

    How about they make it this way. After 3 warnings, if the user does not comply we send the police in, they catalogue every piece of software/movie/music pirated. The person now needs to purchase everything they didn’t pay for + plus a basic fee for paying the cops time and investigation time, perhaps in hundreds of dollars. I think that’s fair for everyone.

  43. Captain Hook says:

    strunk, you flatter yourself. With Google, it only takes a few keystrokes to find a piece of reverence material. Perhaps some day you will learn to use a computer and the internet, and may then be able to talk from a position of some authority. Perhaps some day you will learn to use references in your arguments so that you don’t just end up talking out of your ass.

    That’s right all those people that frequented speakeasies were nasty hardened criminals weren’t they! All because they didn’t throw themselves at the law and offer themselves as martyrs.

  44. I have patented my idea to have a special organization that is answerable to the people responsible for deciding the guilt and punishment of accused lawbreakers instead of private corporations with a conflict of interest.

    When I pitch this idea to the government, I will suggest they call it “Crade’s department for determining guilt and deciding punishment of accused lawbreakers”. Catchy eh? Doesn’t it just make sense that a group that isn’t associated with either the accuser or the accusee be responsible for this? It would be more fair right? I Can’t believe no one has thought of this before. I’m going to be rich.

  45. strunk&white says:

    Freudian slip there, Hook. You call my past writing “reverence material.” You are secretly in love with me, I think.

    Let me try to let you down easy. I only date people who understand the difference between Al Capone and Martin Luther King Jr.

    Sorry dude.

  46. Captain Hook says:

    You know, when I noticed the typo in there after I posted, I thought you might go after it, but even I’m surprised by this response. You really are full yourself aren’t you.

    I’m glad you understand the difference between Al Capone and Martin Luther King. What I think you’ve missed is the difference between Al Capone and speakeasy customers.

    I’m not really sure there is much point in rehashing this topic. You already demonstrated your blinkered view of the world quite well last time. Are you sure you want to do it again?

  47. Hindgrinder says:

    atta;boy Mr Rogers
    Ted would be proud.
    ACTA would totally change the relationship they have with their customers….
    It isn’t how their forefather built the business.
    Good job Rogers. Next please stop throttling all encrypted traffic to annoy file sharers – it’s bad for PR and Net Neutrality.
    kthxbye

    HG
    http://www.pirateparty.ca – Support real e-copyright for real e-people.

  48. Throttling all encrypted traffic
    I didn’t realize ISPs were starting to do this….irratating!!! What’s the justification? How can they legally do this?

  49. Hindgrinder says:

    tisk tisk
    http://www.thestar.com/article/203408
    MG was talking aboot this as far back as 2007.
    Don’t get mad…
    Vote for someone who understands the interetherwebinfohighway net thingy ping.
    http://www.pirateparty.ca

  50. re: tisk tisk
    I only recently started following MG, so I would have missed this. I live in a rural setting and only have access to Internet through wireless, which I pay quite handsomly for. I know there’s no mention of such practises in my ISP contract. I haven’t noticed any issues but it is certainly something to keep an eye out for, and will go after them if problems with encrypted traffic start arising. Especially if my work mail, VPN or remote desktop suddenly start puking…not to mention Torrents, which I keep encrypted for all legitemate as well as the more shady downloads.

  51. Hindgrinder says:

    Pardon me MG – got vid?
    Any chance there is a video clip of this?
    I’m a huge Angus fan.

  52. encrypting traffic
    There are lots of different ways to apply encryption to your traffic, at various level and with various restrictions at each level.

    The simplest is probably “payload” encryption where the actual data is the only thing encrypted, while the headers and “protocol” are openly visible.

    The next level is where the entire packet is encrypted, with simply a tcp/udp header describing where the packet is to/from. The protocol is obscured inside the packet encryption. This has almost completely replaced “payload encryption” in file sharing, and is commonly used in banking and other types of ssl based. From an outside perspective, you can tell they are connected “somewhere” but you have no idea what is happening through that connection.

    The last level of encryption is a “VPN” connection. This sets up a complete tunnel through the internet to another system somewhere. Inside that tunnel you can transfer a multitude of connections. Those connections can even “pop out” the other end and head for other connections on the internet. Create a “maze” of these VPN connections through which any data can pass, and it effectively becomes impossible to know “where” a particular packet is from and to without being an active part of that private maze – worldwide. This technique is already being used by large corps, banking industry, and others.

    From an ISP carrier perspective, you can detect and manage the first type of “P2P encrypted connection”, but you can’t tell what the content is. You can detect the second type of connection, but you can’t tell if it is P2P or VPN or a banking transaction. For the third type, you can only tell there is a connection happening between 2 systems, and how much data is being transferred. You can’t “track it” beyond the 2 systems involved, and you can’t tell how many connections are within that connection. Darknet.

    The technology is there. You can’t stop it being used. To do so would effectively shut down the internet completely. You can’t really be selective in what you are throttling without impacting other applications as well.

    The sooner the politicians and the copyright industry advocates realizes that they can’t win this war with technology solutions, the sooner we will get some compromise. Enforcing unpopular laws is impossible, when the people with the most knowledge of how to “go underground” are the ones you are up against. The answer isn’t in enforcement, it’s adapting to a new world.

  53. ISPs lose big here
    ISPs stand to lose a huge amount of money here. Not just in the forced monitoring, if it comes to that, but in lost business. Think about it. If I can’t download my missed TV shows and I refuse to stream them because the quality SUCKS on anything larger than a tiny window, why do I need my high bandwidth $60/mo account? I might as well, downgrade to the el’cheapo $20/mo just so I can read mail and the news…mind you, it’s getting to a point where we’re going to have to pay for news as well, so it gets to a point where one begins questioning the viability of the Internet. Soon the only thing you’ll be able to do without paying for it is e-mail…as long as you don’t get caught quoting someone in the e-mail body!!! This is almost at the point of silliness the copyright discussions are getting to. Like oldguy, I’m quite capable of burrowing in and finding a nice niche in the underground, there are all kinds of ways, not just encryption, but in this day and age WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!!! …and I probably wouldn’t bother to for a few TV shows anyway, which is all I ever download anymore since little kids aren’t condusive to watching TV at a prescribed time. WHEN it comes to that I just won’t watch TV, other than Treehouse, Playhouse and YTV of course, and perhaps pick season packs up from bargain bins as they go on sale.

  54. Hindgrinder says:

    oldguy = best smartguy
    I’ve rather enjoyed your contributions to this thread but I feel bad for derailing it.
    Pretty please with sugar on top – come visit us on http://www.pirateparty.ca forums.
    I don’t want to troll Rogers here…I’m an MG, Angus, Ted and JR fan.

    HG

  55. They don’t seem too concerned with enforcement anyway. Most of the laws they want to put in are more concerned with changing the boundaries of what is covered by copyright to squeeze a little more out of the legitimate paying users than they are with combating infringment. The 3 strikes is the only real part that is actually trying to deal with enforcement, and it requires sacrificing so many principles and has such a bad track record in places using it that I don’t understand how anyone who understands what it means could get behind it. If they are really concerned with fighting piracy, focusing on legislation that will help shut down the distribution hubs and commercial retailers I think would make a much larger dent much faster than trying to go after the end users.


  56. It’s easier to try and scare the end-user in to submission than it is to track down and shut down the hubs. Scare tactics worked SO well in the great “US of A” didn’t they? OH, OH, OH, wait, let me try and mask my sarcasm a bit better……………..

  57. LOL
    56 comments, must be a strunk&white thread :P

  58. RE:Paul Dufour
    “How about they make it this way. After 3 warnings, if the user does not comply we send the police in, they catalogue every piece of software/movie/music pirated. The person now needs to purchase everything they didn’t pay for + plus a basic fee for paying the cops time and investigation time, perhaps in hundreds of dollars. I think that’s fair for everyone.”

    Not really, since all that money would probably still not benefit creators, nor does it take into discontinued products, price gouging, fair use purposes, and a whole bunch of other serious factors. Not least of all, it would still be a privacy issue. ISPs should be exploited as a spy tool, EVER. The result of your proposal would probably no better than the exorbitant lawsuits the MPAA/RIAA currently engage in or the current levies on certain storage medium. It would still push the digital economy backwards I’m afraid. Some things just sound better in theory than in actual practice.

  59. “56 comments, must be a strunk&white thread :P”
    Like I said before, his sole purpose is to further attract more people away from his viewpoint. ;)

  60. exploder says:

    Sorry to be late, an alternative to three strikes:
    Components to add together for a reasonable solution:

    1. ISP’s have deep packet inspection / traffic analysis, so they can detect most P2P file sharing activity (apparently for example well enough to throttle it).

    2. They are already set up for passing notices and implementing per-user policies.

    3. Content holders are already out there policing the interwebs and sending notices of complaint.

    4. Important side issue: generic P2P throttling is badly discriminatory against legitimate P2P uses, but ISP’s bury that complaint by saying it’s mostly piracy anyways, an unprovable allegation.

    Sooooo, big issues with three strikes include: the drastic measure it represents, the lost business and negative role to ISP’s, how to fairly balance the proof of guilt and accessibility of defense against the potential gravity of the penalty.

    Here’s a possible solution:

    IF content holders complain about file sharing infringement,

    AND ISP logs can verify candidate P2P activity on those accounts that corresponds to the time of subsequent complaints (P2P activity would be logged on a monitoring probation after the first notice),

    THEN after three strikes within a year, the user’s P2P protocol access would be blocked for a year.

    Sauce. Not a 100% disconnection, just a P2P block to forcibly prevent further abuse. No more devastated families, no more lost business for ISP’s, much less concern over serious consequences for accidentally open wireless, etc.. And, it would justify the general de-throttling of P2P, which shouldn’t be a big traffic hog since it’s supposedly a minority, and the guilty majority would be removed with semi-proof. And, it would reduce the penalty to a point where most guilty parties would just accept their reasonable lumps.

    Now, if you want even more useful, realize that this kind of system could operate closer to real time: block P2P for 1 day if a complaint comes in, and immediate checking shows corresponding P2P usage in that time. Log everything short term, say 2 hours, and make the content holders deliver their complaints in near real time. This would help content holders squelch hot P2P user pools in near real time, with very little risk of serious abuse leading to seriously unjust and long lasting consequences for innocent users. Then make longer term P2P blocking be a penalty for many more violations over a longer duration. And force a certification process with high standards for fair practices for anyone who wants to file the complaints to ISP’s; should result in a new IP monitoring industry that will have to carefully verify what it files ISP complaints about, in order to protect its own license, thus greatly reducing spurious IP enforcement abuse.

    Cheers, and extra-special props to oldguy, Canadian-Hacker, and HG

  61. P2P is only currently often used for infringment because it is convenient. If it were made to be not convenient, something else would be used instead.

  62. strunk&white says:

    You’re welcome.

    Geist should be paying me. I hope he’s adding up the comment numbers and using them to show support for his campaign.

  63. P2P blocking only
    @exploder
    While your suggestion seems relevant at the moment, it seems rooted in the notion that P2P protocol will not evolve. How would you (monitor and) block something that uses, say, a combination of encryption, email attachments, false http URL referral links, and embedded data in live webcam feeds? It also doesn’t account for something like, local wireless filesharing LANs – people gathering once a week/month and running an unhindered P2P net for a few hours. IMO, condoning any kind of internet monitoring policy (even current deep-packet inspection) is a step in the wrong direction. P2P used for non-copyrighted material has to be distinguished from copyrighted material, and all that P2P traffic has to be separated from from personal data. But as the data becomes more indistinguishable from each other, a deeper inspection of all of it will become necessary. I, personally, am uncomfortable with some corporate monitoring body sifting through my email and websurfing habits because I’m sharing the “Why Copyright?” video and an Ubuntu ISO.
    Having said that, I don’t think I can suggest a better alternative to either partial, or full, disconnection, if this is the disciplinary path being defined. It seems difficult to find a middle ground between consumer’s rights and copyright holder’s rights, as either side knows the other is going to leverage the law to their maximum advantage; neither seems to have respect for the other (generally speaking). I suspect all Moore and Harper can do is a bias toward one group or the other, and then cope with the consequence to that bias. A contingency plan seems the best bet, for either side. As a consumer, perhaps an uncontrolled alternative to the established internet needs to be considered – an ad-hoc wireless LAN run on repeaters plugged in at homes in the neighborhood(s), for instance. As a copyright holder, the discontinuation of digital products may be the best contingency plan.

  64. ISP throttles
    Some issues with your comment.

    1. ISP’s have deep packet inspection / traffic analysis, so they can detect most P2P file sharing activity (apparently for example well enough to throttle it).

    - If a client is using unencrypted P2P sharing, or “payload encryption” as I described above, they can use deep packet inspection on to detect P2P sharing signatures. For full packet encryption they might be able to make a “guess” based on the amount of connections that are made, but packet inspection cannot determine if these connections are really P2P or something else. In the case of a VPN connection (possible darknet), they can’t even detect the amount of connections.
    A “guess”, even an experienced one, isn’t very useful in a court of law.

    2. They are already set up for passing notices and implementing per-user policies.

    – Yes, based on complaints from copyright holders.

    3. Content holders are already out there policing the interwebs and sending notices of complaint.

    – Yes, but this is being done on a totally different basis. They aren’t doing real time monitoring of a user’s connection, they are doing it by exploiting the current “networks” of P2P sharing. IE: they are becoming part of the sharing network themselves and analyzing which systems are “P2P sharing”. This isn’t very effective in the overall scheme of things, but it is the only avenue they have.
    In the case of a VPN darknet with known members, they can’t even “join” the network to be able to detect the sharing systems. If the darknet is cross connected to the internet, they will falsely accuse someone in another part of the world of doing file sharing – and forensic analysis of that person’s system will exonerate them.

    I could go on with many other countering techniques to add to this. They aren’t anything special, just not normally used for something like P2P sharing. But they have been implemented, and more techniques are being added with every release of P2P sharing tech. Mostly of these have been done to counter ISP throttling, but many of them also have an adverse effect on the ability to monitor P2P sharing by the copyright industry.

    I’ve been around this industry longer than ARPANET and TCP has existed. I’ve watched all these technologies evolve. I know their capabilities and limitations. Whatever I can conceive, I find there are often even smarter people that have already done it.

    The bottom line. P2P sharing technology is already implementing techniques that mask their actions to the ISP and the copyright holders. The techniques and claims you mention are describing yesterday’s technology, not today’s. Never mind the tech that is just around the corner.

    If a “solution” to the problem involves technology, it won’t work. The challenges with copyright and the digital world is a social issue, and has to be addressed at that level.

  65. @Dan
    “an ad-hoc wireless LAN run on repeaters plugged in at homes in the neighborhood(s)”

    Good idea, but you aren’t thinking big enough. How about custom coded routers that transparently implement a VPN darknet? Your “neighbourhood” is now the world.

    And before you ask, it has already been done.

  66. Owners
    @oldguy
    Yes, a darknet is all well and good, but in the context we are using, a darknet is still using wires and servers controlled by people who want to monitor traffic. A darknet might work for a while, but all it’ll take is another rule and they will be declared illegal. The ability to shrug off the established network itself, is the stronger hand to be played, at this table, I think. I’m not suggesting that it would replace the internet overnight. I suspect it would almost certainly be built and shaped by the filesharing crowd, but it is reasonable to expect it to be populated with webservers for local businesses, mail servers, and news servers – an ad-hoc network might be able to serve the local needs (of say, a small town) better than the internet can. Consumers considering this contingent would have to think small (neighborhood and municipal) networks, first, and worry about the greater network if demand warranted it.
    Don’t want to get too hung up on the technology, here. I think this is a circumstance that Rogers anticipates – a grassroots network that excludes them and leaves them subordinate to another industry’s demands.

  67. exploder says:

    ^ Dan and oldguy
    Thanks for the feedback, and I’m well aware of all the points you made (been a diehard techie since the mid 80′s and BBS’s). Fact is though, the current legal thrust is to allow random companies to file honestly arbitrary complaints, 3 of which later and voila, no more internet for you. Looks great for greedy mega-corps, the absolute shits to us peons. Presumably these complaints will be mostly P2P detections by content holders, and we all know how perfect the science of precise identification and punishment by IP is ;) My suggestion is in the spirit of an 80% solution, maybe good enough to protect most of the public and ISP’s, and appease current IP interests, since they seem especially hot to trot with The Final Solution these days.

    On the tech side, a clarification: I WOULD NEVER advocate for deeper inspection, and fully grasp the limitations. I just noticed that the current DPI / traffic analysis schemes could form at least a rudimentary verification that something like the accused infringement might have actually been happening. Focusing on this use could be a welcome deflection from the currently unchecked and IMO abusive blanket P2P throttling schemes that we currently see.

    Real time option: Content holder makes near real-time complaints (they see their file on P2P @ your IP, they squawk right away), and the penalty is your ISP gives you a P2P block for a day. This is a many sided blade. Validity of complaints and chances for just resolution become dangerously trivialized. But quick action by rights holders might give them better ability to actually squelch damaging sharing pools (new / pre releases), while minimizing big damages to the little people. It might be a good and more useful substitute for Three Strikes or ugly litigation.

    Finally, I deeply agree that the only real solution is in the social realm. Computers and networks are implicitly fundamentally and immutably data copying machines. What did they expect, that we would all buy PC’s and rent fast network access, and not use it for ourselves? No, IP can no longer be used as coercion going forwards in history, it is a doomed proposition.

  68. “the penalty is your ISP gives you a P2P block for a day”

    Not possible without packet inspection, and full packet encryption defeats this, never mind a VPN darknet. The best you might hope to do is slow them down a trifle – until the P2P client automatically finds more full encrypted connections to other P2P clients.
    This is the reason you often see people using unencrypted (or simple content encrypted) P2P connections. The P2P “download and sharing” for a particular file starts up faster. But this is the type of connection and data transfer that the ISP can reliably detect as P2P with packet inspection. If the ISP attempts to go further, they start impacting innocent applications.
    An encrypted connection is an encrypted connection, it doesn’t matter if it is an online banking session, or https to purchasing, or a VPN to work, or an online game.
    The standard “service ports” can’t be used either. You can’t depend on port 80 to be an unencrypted web service, or port 443 to be an encrypted one. I have seen web services hosted on ports ranging from 27 to 62000, encrypted and unencrypted. Same with corporate VPN networks. Same with private mail servers. And I’ve seen P2P hosted on all these ports as well.

    There isn’t a reliable way to block full packet encrypted P2P, and only P2P. If there was, you can bet ISP’s would be using it. Especially the low bandwidth “wireless” ISP’s. Hotels would be using it, and lots of other providers. If someone came up with one, they would be a millionaire the following week. And the week after that there would be a new set of encryption for the banking and corporate networks, and the week after that – the P2P applications would be using it.

    You are still trying to offer a “technical solution” to this problem. It won’t work, except with the most unsophisticated of users. Even then a quick search will present them with a dozen different ways to circumvent it.
    The answer to this dilemma can’t depend on “technical” in any way. The P2P applications are already way beyond this level, with even more capability coming down the pipes. When users start changing their default settings (or the defaults are other than wide open ones), then the bar moves even higher for an ISP or copyright hunter. And there are other things in the wings. Keep in mind that all of these techniques are already in use, just not applied to the P2P world. There is nothing magic or special about it.

  69. “A darknet might work for a while, but all it’ll take is another rule and they will be declared illegal.”

    Then prepare to shut down corporate, government, and banking intra-nets worldwide. No more VPN from home or the hotel to work. No more secure remote server maintenance. Lots more.

    A VPN is just a “class” of application, like a web browser. There are many different techniques you can use to implement one, and many already exist. Even simple https protocol based VPNs (embed a packet into an https stream). For your “rule” to work, you would also have to shut down ATMs, debit and CC card terminals, online buying, online banking, the works.

    The examples I have described are simply another application of existing technology. Even the application isn’t all that unique in structure, just that it is applied to P2P sharing. I have picked technology examples that are critical to many major applications and services on the internet.
    There are layers and layers to this stuff. P2P and darknets are built upon the same layers that the rest of the internet is built on. You can poke it once in a while but, just like one of the fundamental design tenets of the internet, as a system it eventually “routes around damage”. I’ve watched it happen over the years.

    I’m not saying your neighbourhood wireless network isn’t a good idea. I’m saying that attempting to shut down darknets (as a class) would disrupt most of the internet security measures and functionality. Not gonna happen.

    The only answer from an ISP perspective, is usage based billing across the board. The way things are heading, eventually most of the packets flowing across the internet will be fully encrypted anyway. Packet inspection will be useless. Application throttling will be meaningless.

  70. exploder says:

    oldguy, yes absolutely.
    I’m with you on all of that, been around too. Please don’t think I am deluded enough to suggest that my idea would actually stop piracy or anything. The ultimate fail of all technical solutions is one of the reasons to push for something inane like this. If we get stuck with three strikes, it will suck badly wherever it actually gets (mis)used. If we could stuff a more benign piece of poop in that slot, like my suggestion, it would do less harm, and maybe even some good (justify stopping the sloppy blanket P2P throttling).

    Ultimately, I am just eager to see 100% encryption as the norm for everything. It’s our best guarantee of public security going forwards.

  71. @exploder
    Ah.. I think I see..

    Replacing a piece of essentially ineffective legislation that has a high potential for abuse, with another one that has a much reduced potential for abuse while still being equally ineffective.

    Yes, I can see the attraction. I suppose if given a simple choice between them, I would obviously take the second one as well.

    But both of them leave the ISP “on the hook” to implement some kind of technical measures that will be ultimately ineffective. It doesn’t solve anything, it just creates a scapegoat for the copyright content industries.

  72. exploder says:

    oldguy, deflections…
    OK, now we’re on track. So the way I see it: it’s a bunch of suits driving this IP shit, ’cause it sure as hell ain’t us tekkies in the trenches who actually know the score and make it work. We know that tech cannot solve such matters, and know that the future is far far different from anything we’ve ever seen before (tech changes all)(moar!!!). We understand that the technology will route around any censorship / malfunctions / limitations, because it is us who will make that happen, and ve haz ze technology. The suits don’t even grasp the ironic fact that in their greedlust for $$$$$, they hire us to build it, and this is what they get!

    We need to figure out ways to distract these money monkeys in suits. I am fighting on the political front too, that’s where we need real honest solutions (in almost every topic these days), the key word being honesty. I know that’s the heart of the problem. But look at the big fat fucking lies that propagate in political circles, forming the basis of policy and new law, and handed down from on high as though we are some kind of banana republic. (cursing was required in that context, sorry;)

    I am saying that it’s time for those of us who can see the truth here, to start lying too. Just enough, and strategically, to harmlessly short circuit these jerkoff issues, so we can get on with life in peace and sanity, until the future makes them irrelevant (which is coming down the tunnel faster than any frieght train ever has before).

    As for the ISP’s and the filtering, it was them who rolled out the DPI gear in the first place, to throttle us. Deflection; I just want them to put it to more sensible use. I thought it was probably because they want to get in on the digital video rental stuff themselves, and P2P would be the public’s primary competition to them (no way can we be allowed to use our own gear and do it for ourselves while they feel like scraping a buck off it). I always found it breathtakingly ironic that big ISP’s whimper about bandwidth out one side of their mouths, while rolling out video on demand over IP on their own tightly held back channels. Tell me which of those is the bandwidth hog eh? 60GB a month internet data caps? My fat ass, it’s a big big lie my friends. At least Telus isn’t throttling or applying their 60GB/month data cap, they have the policy in place but seem to be holding back with better than usual prudence so far.

    Cheers.

  73. Hindgrinder says:

    somebody set us up the exploderer
    Interesting insight. Couple comments:

    “” At least Telus isn’t throttling or applying their 60GB/month data cap, they have the policy in place but seem to be holding back with better than usual prudence so far. “”

    This likely has a lot to do with their competition offering a faster service with a larger and softer cap. Shaw doesn’t bill for overage. Telus has also dumped a huge chunk of cash into trying to roll out TV over DSL but it hasn’t worked out well for them at all – ultimately leading to negotiations with Bell to offer a rebranded dish solution. Having lost landline customers in the 100′s of 1000′s to competition – they really need to hold on to their existing cx base.

    “””I am saying that it’s time for those of us who can see the truth here, to start lying too.”””

    I can see how you might feel this way but I’m not down with it.

    HG
    http://www.pirateparty.ca – No need to lie – just VOTE and SHARE.

  74. exploder says:

    HG, forgive me for I have doubted…
    … whether truth can really defeat the abounding lies. Sometimes, in my dark moments, I wonder if we might need to design cleverer kinder lies instead, because it feels like the truth is losing, and to the worst of lies. I hope that we would not come to love the evil through our own transgressions, however well intended. But I promise I would only entertain such thoughts as an unfortunate but perhaps necessarily twisted path to the greater good and truth for ALL. Forgive my doubts.

    AAAGGGHHHRRRR Maytee.

  75. Hindgrinder says:

    Sharing forgiveness
    On behalf of the Open Source Religion “Cryptoinfocyberfreedomology” you are hereby declared forgiven. Bless yourself to an upgrade of Rogers 50mb. Go forth young downloader and share freely! (Now you can claim p2p is part of your religious freedom.)

    HG
    http://www.pirateparty.ca – Spirituality through ISP duality and file sharing reality.

  76. Concerned
    Is their any website thats covering this bill as it moves along. News stations are not covering it and I need to know more. What can I do?

  77. ads
    i have not seen them myself but was told today by a friend that telus has ads on the torrent sites.. and they advertise on the tv “get high speed internet and download huge files fast”. for the average person, other than tv shows, movies, or music, what huge files are they downloading fast? aunt mary’s latest photos from her cruise or a recipe from a cooking site?

    let’s be realistic here. if this was stopped entirely, i would think the isp’s would suffer in the wallet when people reverted to the old slower (and cheaper) internet connection.

    it’s really too bad that the people driving this bulls**t are not intelligent or savvy enough to realize that they can’t stop this easily. and to have the isp’s rat their customers out to the feds is like having the corner store guy call the cops every time somebody comes in to buy cigarette papers.