It seemed like the era of P2P might come to an end after all, in the near future. The Japanese ISPs have apparently agreed to disconnect any users that they detected to be using any P2P (peer-to-peer) program such as BitTorrent, BearShare, and Japan’s very own Winny.
They did have a go with an attack on P2P users a couple of years back, but the Japanese government told them that their plans could backfire and they could be violating the piracy law if they (the ISPs) went spying on the Internet usage of their users. With that, the plan was abandoned.
Just in case you are wondering (or for the new Internet users out there) but peer-to-peer files sharing software is a software that allows users to share files among themselves. Users that are sharing the same network will be able to download files if their peers have them and needless to say, this has created “headaches” for a lot of parties as they cannot control their product or materials from being passed around the globe, losing out on royalty and license payments.
Users are already able to find any kind of files from the Internet, even more so from the peer-to-peer file sharing network. File types from music to movies, from books to published research papers; these are all readily available to be shared on the network. For FREE!
This is also because there are, for example, users who would take the time to digitize a book into an e-book and circulate it without getting any fees at all. Not to mention users who would take time to upload music and movies for other’s enjoyment. Even though it is very convenient (not to mention free!), it is by any other name, piracy and it looks like the Japanese ISPs are trying to put a stop to it.
You might want to try to by-pass the piracy violation, but the Japanese ISPs have an idea on how to trace you down! They (along with the software companies of course) decided to implement or use some sort of detecting software to keep track on the original copyrighted material. And if any person is detected to be making illegal copies from the original ones, the ISPs will then send them an email to warn them. If the emails are repeatedly ignored, the ISPs will then take action and disconnect the users from their line.
An excerpt from the TechNewsWorld website: Japanese ISPs Agree to Shut Down Illegal File-Sharers
Under the new agreement, copyright holders will use “special detection software” to identify people who repeatedly make copies illegally, and then notify the appropriate ISPs, the Daily Yomiuri reported. The ISPs will first send warning e-mails to the users in question; if the illegal copying doesn’t stop after that, the providers will either temporarily disconnect their Internet access or cancel their contracts altogether, it said.
Bummer, what’s life without the Internet?! But then again, that sounds like a bit too easy, doesn’t it? There’s no mention about any legal repercussions against the perpetrator, does that mean that even if the person was detected to be making illegal copies, they would just have their lines disconnected, and that’s the end to that story. I would certainly like to hear what would the Americans thought about that (given that they can sue on absolutely anything!).
And most importantly, will Malaysian ISPs (Streamyx, Maxis broadband, Celcom, IZZInet, U Mobile especially) do the same? Well, there’s that thing with the capped bandwidth with Streamyx. That is already a very cruel punishment to many of us. But looking at how pirated stuffs are still on sale at large, I somehow doubt that the Malaysian ISPs will make any drastic change for now. The Streamyx people already have too much complains, they might need to pay us to go online next. 🙂
On one hand, it’s good someone is actually doing something to crack down on piracy. On the other hand, it’s not as easy as it sounds. They’ll need collaboration from ALL parties; the music industry, the software makers, oh hey, what about e-books? I bet you they can’t put any electronic tracking devices on books. Or can they? Perhaps I am wrong… thus I need to hear your ideas on this.
Well, this solution might work for a month or two, and then someone will come up with a brilliant idea to write a crack code to either replace the detecting software or to remove it once and for all. Oh Come one, I think we’ve all learn by now, there’re no “uncrackeable” software, only software waiting to be cracked!
Piracy is somewhat unethical (it depends on who you ask actually), not to mention illegal but all things considered, I think everyone can agree that it is awfully hard to resist the temptation of having something for free! So, enjoy it while you can, because you’ll never now when someone bright would come along and take it all away.