The idea of copyright was and is a good thing. Being able to temporarily protect your artistic investment is never wrong. The problem comes when the copyright holders get greedy or feel that their copyright grants them special rights and powers. This is the situation we have with the current copyright cartel… I mean groups. They feel that they have powers that are not, in any way, part of the copyright laws and legal protections. They also feel like they exist in a special world that grants them more rights than anyone else.
If you have been following news about piracy, copyright, or indeed almost anything you will know that the copyright industry often employs some rather shady methods to get their way. One of the shadiest methods is the demand letter. If you are not familiar with this term let us explain (if you are bear with us): a demand letter is when a legal firm tries to tie IP addresses they have identified to actual ISP subscribers. They send large numbers of subpoenas to ISPs asking that they put the two together so that they (the law firm) can then send a settlement letter demanding money from the alleged pirate.
According to recent reports The Pirate Bay has suddenly become available in the UK for almost all ISPs. The change happened when the Pirate Bay moved to CloudFlare and turned on HTTPS Strict. Once this was done things turned around for the notorious site. What is interesting is that ISPs that were previously blocking the site do not appear to be scrambling to get it back under control. The exact reason for the sudden reappearance of the site is unclear, but speculation is that using CloudFlare’s HTTPS Strict made all the difference.
Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the internet privately. Although we have maintained that TOR has never been the end-all of anonymity we are surprised to finally see public conformation of techniques that have been around for years. In a report that discusses the use of flow records for detecting users on proxy networks we find that the tools to track you through TOR and many other networks have been right there all along.
The concept of the VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one that is intended to allow people to make a secure, encrypted connection from point A to point B. in most cases this connection is from a remote location back to the home or an office. VPN actually covers a few different protocols that include IPSEC (IP Security), PPTP (point to point tunnel protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and a few other less common ones. In recent years it has also become a method to get around DNS blocking and also as a form of maintaining private/ anonymous communication.
For years we have heard about the high cost of internet piracy, but other than some seriously twisted math we have never actually seen where this “cost” was coming from. At least not until very recently. No we are not talking about any real financial impact on the copyright holders. While it is true that there is a small impact to them in terms of box office revenue the overall percentage is around 1-3%. Where things really get expensive for them is in maintaining the massive anti-piracy campaign.
As you have probably read over the last couple of month, ok really years, ISPs (internet service providers) have really been pushing to offset the cost of maintaining and even upgrading their networks. To be perfectly honest we can see some of their point. I mean maintaining a network that has hundreds of thousands of connections cannot be easy or inexpensive. There is a lot of money and manpower needed to make any significant changes when it comes to many of the ISP level networks out there.
Netflix just can’t seem to stop pissing off ISPs. At a recent panel they took a few shots at both AT&T and Comcast, just for fun. Things got started when Netflix went after AT&T’s paid peering program. This is where content providers have to pay extra to ensure proper service levels to customers on an ISP’s network. AT&T says that Netflix has always paid these, it is just that the name has changed and well they are really not charges anyway.
When last we left our arguing couple Verizon had a few demands for Netflix, including a cease and desist letter that had some pretty strong wording. In the letter Verizon was trying to shift blame from themselves to Netflix and their choice of backbone carriers. On top of that Verizon demanded to know exactly who Netflix had sent messages to and the data that justified them. The message we are talking about is one that claimed “The Verizon network is crowded right now”. Failure to comply with the demands, so the letter went, would result in Verizon seeking legal remedies.
The “debate” over net neutrality has gotten a little heated between two players in the struggle. These two players are Netflix and Verizon and has reached the lawsuit threatening stage. The story goes like this: Netflix decided to change the message they present to customers when there movie streaming needs to adjust. Instead of the usual “we are adjusting the quality” message that was previously used the video streaming company decided to drop in messages that specifically call out the ISPs that they are running over. In the case of Verizon the message stated “The Verizon Network is crowded right now”.