Major Labels v. Backbones

A number of major music labels have joined forces and are seeking relief
from backbone providers, see:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=582&e=2&cid=582&u=/nm/200
20816/wr_nm/media_copyright_dc_4

It sounds like the labels are alleging that the providers are, in some
way, contributing infringers.

If there are any legal eagles here, can a Common Carrier be a contributing
infringer?

Could a trucking firm be labeled a contributing infringer if it carries
goods that violate
patent/copyright law? Would Verizon/SBC/Qwest et al be construed this
way if the service
delivered copyrighted material over the voice network unencoded?

Ok here's a question, why are they sueing AT&T, CW, and UU? I see
Listen4ever behind 4134 (China Telecom), who I only see buying transit
through InterNAP. Wouldn't it be simpler for them to sue InterNAP? I guess
it would sure be nice precedent, if they could make some big tier 1
providers do their bidding to filter whoever they want whenever they want.

Might I suggest filtering the websites of the offending "major labels" as
an appropriate retort?

Might just be better to stand aside, and let them be Ddos'ed off the air...for thats whats coming to them...

The problem with BGP is you only see the "best" path more than one hop
away. The network in question is reachable through transit providers other
than InterNAP, such as Concert.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/17/business/media/17MUSI.html

The New York Times says the companies named in the suit are AT&T
Broadband (not AT&T's backbone?), Cable & Wireless, Sprint Corporation
and UUNet technologies.

  "David Farber, a University of Pennsylvania computer scientist and an
  early architect of the Internet, filed an affidavit in the case, saying
  it would be relatively easy for the Internet companies to block the
  Internet address of the Web site without disrupting other traffic.

  "It's not a big hassle," Mr. Farber said. "There's no way to stop
  everybody, but a substantial number of people will not be able to get
  access."

IANAL, but last I looked -- admittedly a long, long time ago -- ISPs were not afforded protection as common carriers (18 USC?), no matter how much they tried to act like them. Has this changed?

  "David Farber, a University of Pennsylvania
computer scientist and an
  early architect of the Internet, filed an
affidavit in the case, saying
  it would be relatively easy for the Internet
companies to block the
  Internet address of the Web site without
disrupting other traffic.

  Dave farber's explanation in his IP list regarding
the affidavit.

From: Dave Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 5:23 AM
To: ip
Subject: IP: Record Labels Want 4 Internet Providers

toBlock

Music Site

Since I provided an affidavit to this filing, I

thought a bit

of explanation
might be illuminating.

I have long resisted and will continue to resist the

attempts of

organizations to block access to the net in an

attempt to restrict the

freedom of speech and the fair use of information on

the internet.

I am strongly opposed to any attempt to control the

fair use access to

music, text, pubs etc. This does not seem to the

issue in this case.

This case was interesting for several reasons to me.

First

the site is an
egregious example of a site that exists only to

hold

copyrighted music and
offers a unreachable contact address and false

advertisements

in an attempt
to look proper. Second, the aim of the case is the

backbone

suppliers not
the local ISPs.

I have always felt that the law we have on the books

should

be followed
until the law is changed by the congress or the

courts unless

there is a
much much higher ethical imperative that holds.

This case seemed to be to be a good case to test

the issues

raised by DMCA
( a law I believe was fatally flawed in concept and

should be

repealed)
part dealing with copyrighted material on off-shore

sites.

I will be happy to send any Iper the affidavit on

request.

The affidavit
addressed a set of technical issues and did so in a

very

They'd probably end up filing suit for that too. I don't believe that
will affect them much. The whole music industry seems to be running
scared of new media. They obviously like the revenue from album sales
and figure that if people buy only a couple of mp3s tracks they will
earn less revenue. Try and buy an mp3 of something from Sony:

http://usa.sonymusic.com/music/catalog.html

File sharing will continue until the recording industry gives people
what they want. It is not about piracy, its about convenience.

In the meantime, you will have to continue to pay your staff, spend
your own time and upgrade your routers to do the RIAA's dirty work for
them. Happy networking.

Tim

I agree that ISPs aren't common carriers in the legal sense, but an ISP's liability under U.S. copyright law is limited for "transitory communications". The following is taken from a December 1998 publication "THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998--U.S. Copyright Office Summary" (page 10, http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf ):

Limitation for Transitory Communications

In general terms, section 512(a) limits the liability of service providers in
circumstances where the provider merely acts as a data conduit, transmitting digital information from one point on a network to another at someone else's request. This limitation covers acts of transmission, routing, or providing connections for the information, as well as the intermediate and transient copies that are made automatically in the operation of a network.

In order to qualify for this limitation, the service provider's activities must meet the following conditions:
   --The transmission must be initiated by a person other than the provider.
   --The transmission, routing, provision of connections, or copying must
     be carried out by an automatic technical process without selection of
     material by the service provider.
   --The service provider must not determine the recipients of the material.
   --Any intermediate copies must not ordinarily be accessible to anyone
     other than anticipated recipients, and must not be retained for longer
     than reasonably necessary.
   --The material must be transmitted with no modification to its content.

>IANAL, but last I looked -- admittedly a long, long time ago -- ISPs
>were not afforded protection as common carriers (18 USC?), no matter
>how much they tried to act like them. Has this changed?

I agree that ISPs aren't common carriers in the legal sense, but an
ISP's liability under U.S. copyright law is limited for "transitory
communications". The following is taken from a December 1998
publication "THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998--U.S.
Copyright Office Summary" (page 10,
http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf ):

  IANAL,

Limitation for Transitory Communications

In general terms, section 512(a) limits the liability of service providers
in
circumstances where the provider merely acts as a data conduit,
transmitting digital information from one point on a network to
another at someone else's request. This limitation covers acts of
transmission, routing, or providing connections for the information,
as well as the intermediate and transient copies that are made
automatically in the operation of a network.

In order to qualify for this limitation, the service provider's
activities must meet the following conditions:
  --The transmission must be initiated by a person other than the provider.
  --The transmission, routing, provision of connections, or copying must
    be carried out by an automatic technical process without selection of
    material by the service provider.
  --The service provider must not determine the recipients of the material.

  One could argue (in theory) that a routing-table lookup
may satisfy this.

  --Any intermediate copies must not ordinarily be accessible to anyone
    other than anticipated recipients, and must not be retained for longer
    than reasonably necessary.
  --The material must be transmitted with no modification to its content.

  Same theory here also, where one decrements ttl, since we are
talking about ip packets here.

but the packets (as a whole) aren't copyright nor are the routers
looking at the data part in most cases except possibly
for load-sharing purposes..

  Either way, this is an interesting test case and I do
hope it receives immediate dismissal. This would be like asking
the phone company to turn off phone service for people that arrange
drug deals or similar. Not something that I see happening.

  - jared

In the meantime, you will have to continue to pay your staff, spend
your own time and upgrade your routers to do the RIAA's dirty work for
them. Happy networking.

Doesn't anyone have any balls? The lawyers are making lots of money
sending out nastygrams, so billing for work related to finding customers
who infringe on copyrights is more than fair.

http://www.istop.com/BSALetter.txt

-Ralph

> --The service provider must not determine the recipients of the material.

  One could argue (in theory) that a routing-table lookup
may satisfy this.

  I'm not so sure. Generally speaking, a destination network is a
given ISP, not a given individual. And it's highly impractical for an ISP
to know the /individual/ a packet is destined for from the address.
  

> --The material must be transmitted with no modification to its content.

  Same theory here also, where one decrements ttl, since we are
talking about ip packets here.

  I believe they're referring to copyrighted material which is
wholly contained in the payload of the packets involved.

  Either way, this is an interesting test case and I do
hope it receives immediate dismissal. This would be like asking
the phone company to turn off phone service for people that arrange
drug deals or similar. Not something that I see happening.

  I have to say I expect this one to be disposed of pretty quickly,
but we'll see...

  --msa

I read "determine the recipients" as the process of putting the dst ip on
the packet when it is originated, not figuring out where the traffic is
going for the purposes of delivery.

Obviously to carry something (as in to be a carrier) you have to know
where it is going, but to not be the originator you need to have
no role in determining where the message is destined.

Tim Thorne wrote:

They'd probably end up filing suit for that too. I don't believe that
will affect them much. The whole music industry seems to be running
scared of new media. They obviously like the revenue from album sales
and figure that if people buy only a couple of mp3s tracks they will
earn less revenue. Try and buy an mp3 of something from Sony:

http://usa.sonymusic.com/music/catalog.html

File sharing will continue until the recording industry gives people
what they want. It is not about piracy, its about convenience.

How do you classify Pressplay in this view?

Pete

Pretty lame. They have only 3 of the 5 "majors", and various restrictions on
what you can do, how you can copy downloaded files, etc. See

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2002/tc20020812_4809.htm

for a description of how things stand.

Note that pressplay and the other paid services
have together maybe 100,000 customers - about 2 to 3 orders of magntitude below
the free services.

Please remember that the music business is one where bullying and hard ball
tactics are routine. They _will_ try to bully ISP's, and, BTW, they
_will_ monitor this list and bring e-mails posted to this list up in court if it
suits them.
In my opinion, it is not until the rear-guard action to stop the use of
new technology has failed, and has seen to have failed, that things will
improve. This has not happened yet, and things are likely to get uglier and
nastier until it does.

Regards
Marshall Eubanks

It contains mostly streams. You can burn relatively few tracks to CD.
Its an subscription service. It isn't mp3.

Tim

Apologies for posting this to NANOG, but I am in a mood, and it's difficult
to reach anyone at Prodigy.

For the past several weeks, every other day, I've received 10 messages sent
through Prodigy's mail servers, all of which appear to be a Win32/Yaha
message. (http://www.ravantivirus.com/virus/showvirus.php?v=101)

Today I got 10 more messages, dated 18 August 2002, which is the same date
appearing on dozens of other messages over the past few weeks.

I'm posting this to NANOG in the hopes that someone on the list who works
for Prodigy and/or L3 (the dialup provider) can ruffle some feathers on this
for corrective action.

The header of the message appears below - note that in other cases, I've
received messages from "this person" from pimoutX-ext.prodigy.net, where X
is the number (1-5) of their mail server.

And, yes, as of today, I've added this latest crap to my filters. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance, and again, sorry for the Sunday afternoon complaint.

Cheers

rick

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The thing that I find most disturbing with this latest approach to enforcement by the RIAA is that they have targeted backbone providers who probably don't have any business or other relationship with the parties that are alleged to be infringing the RIAA's rights. Just as bad is the fact that if one of the backbone providers chooses or is required to filter or block a site, then that site will become unavailable to the backbone provider's downstreams and the downstreams won't have had any say in the matter. And, if the same filtering and blocking isn't done by all networks, the sites will be available to some people and not to others. Sure seems like a real mess.

I am also concerned that the backbone providers might not put up a rigorous fight against the RIAA since they would mostly be defending the rights of people and organizations that they don't do business with directly. I can imagine that Worldcom may feel that it has better things to do with its money and its lawyers' time these days. But that might lead to a less that desirable outcome for everyone. Sorry, I don't mean to pick on Worldcom here, the same could be said for any of the backbone providers that have been targeted. And, perhaps, since several backbone providers have all been targeted, they will work together to put up a rigorous fight on behalf of us all. I sure hope so.

    -Jeff Ogden
     Merit

"Majdi S. Abbas" wrote:

> > --The service provider must not determine the recipients of the material.
>
> One could argue (in theory) that a routing-table lookup
> may satisfy this.

        I'm not so sure. Generally speaking, a destination network is a
given ISP, not a given individual. And it's highly impractical for an ISP
to know the /individual/ a packet is destined for from the address.

IANAL, however...

Please, the intent of that sentence is to say that the ISP cannot set
the
destination IP address for the content. The intervening backbones don't
do
that, they merely copy it to the next hop as the MAC addresses are
modified
to send it along it's way. The RECIPIENT is DETERMINED (set) by the
originator of the communication. There are two hosts which could be
argued
to participate in this process, and they are at the ends of the
conversation.
The routers in between do not meet the test.

> > --The material must be transmitted with no modification to its content.
>
> Same theory here also, where one decrements ttl, since we are
> talking about ip packets here.

        I believe they're referring to copyrighted material which is
wholly contained in the payload of the packets involved.

Packet headers are _NOT_ content. the _CONTENT_ is the packet payload,
which
is _NOT_ modified by the backbone providers.

> Either way, this is an interesting test case and I do
> hope it receives immediate dismissal. This would be like asking
> the phone company to turn off phone service for people that arrange
> drug deals or similar. Not something that I see happening.

        I have to say I expect this one to be disposed of pretty quickly,
but we'll see...

        --msa

One would hope, however, I have lost much faith in the US court system
as a
result of the presidential election and the Napster ruling. Afterall,
the
Napster ruling amounted to a ruling that a library could be ordered to
shut
down if a person used the card catalog provided by the library to find a
book and then copied said book on the photocopier in the drugstore next
door.

Owen

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

The thing that I find most disturbing with this latest approach to
enforcement by the RIAA is that they have targeted backbone providers
who probably don't have any business or other relationship with the
parties that are alleged to be infringing the RIAA's rights. Just as
bad is the fact that if one of the backbone providers chooses or is
required to filter or block a site, then that site will become
unavailable to the backbone provider's downstreams and the
downstreams won't have had any say in the matter. And, if the same
filtering and blocking isn't done by all networks, the sites will be
available to some people and not to others. Sure seems like a real
mess.

Indeed, to be effective all ISPs with international connectivity from the US
could bring this route in and they must all block the routes else it will be
possible to reroute either automatically by BGP reconvergence or by
intentionally taking bandwidth from a non-compliant ISP.

And as you say theres a lot more ISPs that those listed with a fair number of
them being non-US companies so how to enforce??

Steve

*snip*

Please, the intent of that sentence is to say that the ISP cannot set
the
destination IP address for the content. The intervening backbones don't
do
that, they merely copy it to the next hop as the MAC addresses are
modified
to send it along it's way. The RECIPIENT is DETERMINED (set) by the
originator of the communication. There are two hosts which could be
argued
to participate in this process, and they are at the ends of the
conversation.
The routers in between do not meet the test.

If this is the basis of your argument, multicast backbones would be a
legal liability. How about a 1-800 conference circuit? The concept is
the same, as is the level of content participation. The difference is
the legal protection offered to the voice common-carrier is greater than
what is offered to IP carriers.