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December 17, 2003 6:07 AM   Subscribe

I have a, umm, friend who lives in Canada and has, in the past, shared 36+ gigs of music using a well-known P2P application. Given that he wants to continue sharing his files, he wonders what technical steps he can take to minimize potential legal action from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (or anyone else).
posted by johnnydark to Law & Government (19 answers total)
 
Does Kazaa Lite with IP blocker actually work? If it does, that is my bet.
posted by Quartermass at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2003


I'm confused about the ruling. Everything I've read suggests that we aren't allowed to upload; but sharing is not uploading per se - rather, it involves making something available for someone else to transfer from one hard drive to another.

As to your question: I would suggest to your friend that s/he should use a not-so-well-known application. I have a friend that has a favorite application, but he hesitates to name it here. If you like, I can directly connect you with him. If your friend isn't hell-bent on sharing, but merely wants to download popular works that other, less-scrupulous folks have uploaded, usenet groups are a good choice.
posted by stonerose at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2003


My friend seconds unsnet.

After all, it's run by the UN so there shouldn't be any local legal problems.
posted by bonehead at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2003


After all, it's run by the UN so there shouldn't be any local legal problems.

Huh?
Without knowing the details of exactly what you're talking about (do you mean UseNet?), I can say this, the UN has zero jurisdiction in these matters. "Local legal problems" are exactly what you would end up with.
posted by anathema at 8:33 AM on December 17, 2003


Of course you mean usenet, uncareful reading on my part. Regardless, what I said still stands.
posted by anathema at 9:00 AM on December 17, 2003


Also, though this may sound a little extreme, now might be a good time to start developing your shadow identity. Get your DSL under a ficticious name. It's probably easier to do than getting a PO box under another name.
posted by scarabic at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2003


Sorry anathema, dumb unsnet joke. A reflex. won't happen again.
posted by bonehead at 11:01 AM on December 17, 2003


<disclaimer>you didn't hear this from me</disclaimer>

If your friend wants to share mp3s without being caught, he should get off kazaa. The only way to share mp3s safely is to use a closed secure network. Direct-connect is ok (not great though), WASTE is the preferable option. Although to become part of a WASTE network is a real hassle with public keys and all.

To become part of a closed network, especially one that has people who have files, you have to know someone. Once you know someone, you get invited and can share. This only works if the network you are joining has users who share a large amount of files. Because obviously a closed network contains a much smaller subset of files.

Now usenet is great and all, and I don't really think the RIAA or it's Canadien equivalent is really patrolling it. Some caveats about usenet.
>To really get stuff from usenet, you need a subscription to a good server with long retention rates.
>You're probably going to need to spring for a solid newsreader (Agent).
>Downloading is all well and good anonymously, but to post anonymously requires more technical acumen.
>usenet has some scary folks on it.

Of course, your "friend" could just purchase the music from iTunes, burn it CD, and rerip them to mp3s.
posted by patrickje at 11:13 AM on December 17, 2003


Only share files you've ripped yourself. Reserve downloaded music for personal use only; don't leave it in a shared folder.
posted by xiffix at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2003


I'm confused about the ruling. Everything I've read suggests that we aren't allowed to upload; but sharing is not uploading per se - rather, it involves making something available for someone else to transfer from one hard drive to another.


I don't know anything about Canadian law, but I think uploading and sharing are just an easier/lazier way to say distributing.

As for sharing the music, how about setting up an anonymous FTP site somewhere with lax copyright laws?
posted by gyc at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2003


Only share files you've ripped yourself.

May I ask how you think this is going to help?
posted by anathema at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2003


I think it helps if you ever get busted, in that making a copy of something you've legally purchased is less prosecutable than freely sharing things you never paid for in the first place.
posted by scarabic at 1:17 PM on December 17, 2003


patrickje - what does it take to start your own WASTE network?
posted by scarabic at 1:19 PM on December 17, 2003


If you have some case law to back that up I'd honestly be very interested in seeing it. Personally, I don't think it exists and I haven't seen any in the two and a half years I've been studying these issues.
posted by anathema at 1:43 PM on December 17, 2003


Canadian law explicitly allows for friend-to-friend copying. The requirement is that your friend take possession of the original when copying: you are not allowed to hand him a copy.

Naturally, that sensible rule falls apart when faced with the Internet. However, I suspect one fine way of dodging that bullet is to put one's CD in the drive and let one's friend rip it across the network.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:44 PM on December 17, 2003


BTW, I would love to be wrong about this.
posted by anathema at 1:44 PM on December 17, 2003


To start a WASTE network:

*install WASTE
*go to file->preferences->network->private key and copy your public key to the keyboard. You need to send this to anyone who wants to join your network.
*for a friend to join your network, you need to give him your public key and he needs to give you his. There is a tool to import public keys in WASTE.
*now either connect to your friends IP address or have him connect to yours. You can also specify a network name if you're on multiple networks.
*repeat for anyone else who wants to join your network.
posted by patrickje at 4:25 PM on December 17, 2003


how about bittorrent? (a friend wants to know)
posted by amberglow at 5:02 PM on December 17, 2003


I have suggested that we start a MeFi Direct Connect Hub, but it didn't really happen. Bummer. I'd say WASTE too, but I can't get the damn thing working, and the whole IP address/public key thing is a pain in the ass.

Bittorrent isn't going to protect your anonymity, but it rocks, FWIW, at least once you discover suprnova.org.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:13 AM on December 18, 2003


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