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304 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 87726 5-Aug-2011 06:00
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"It appears the new file-sharing law will target anyone who uses P2P software, even if it's legitimate use."

http://gracefool.posterous.com/from-next-week-p2p-in-new-zealand-is-illegal (via reddit)

Apparently some rightsholders are using the BitTorrent DHT (distributed hash table) to find infringing users. This is terrible practice, because a BitTorrent client, simply by running (even if it has never downloaded or uploaded anything, let alone anything infringing), participates in the DHT and passes on information about which peer to get files from - and some of those files may be infringing. A rightsholder using this method can't distinguish between clients simply participating in the DHT, and those actually sharing the file.


  
Relevant comment from 3strikesNZ's Facebook page:
3strikesNZ: Couple of months ago, InternetNZ got an email from CBS saying we had illegally downloaded an episode of The Good Wife. On investigation we found P2P software running on a test server. It had got a request for that TV show, didn't have it (in fact it didn't have anything on it) but helpfully pointed the ping to others. This was interpreted as us having the file and would have resulted in a notice under the new law.

If I'm reading this right, if you're running a BitTorrent client, regardless if you're actually torrenting anything, leaving DHT enabled could be enough for you to be falsely accused of sharing copyrighted files via P2P?

So legal torrenting could still put you in hot water, if DHT is enabled. 




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  Reply # 502229 5-Aug-2011 07:23
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I think that is blown out of proportion and not accurate for how DHT works. The article does afterall start "apparently..." and the author now notes in the comments "Update: This doesn't seem to be at all common - it may have happened a few times, but you're unlikely to be caught this way. My bad for overstating the case."

afaik, the client doesn't "harbour illegal file info" - it knows nothing of the actual offending files. It does know about nodes for the DHT to work - the other parts of the network NOT the files. In other words, it's like routers on the internet - a packet knows what it wants, but needs directions to its destination and so gets bumped closer to the next node/router. None of this traffic is actually parts of the file being transferred - that happens once a direct connection is established between seed and peer and at that point no longer needs DHT for the transfer to proceed.

P2P and running a torrent client is not illegal. Actually seeding or downloading copyrighted content without the rights to do so is illegal.

Anyway, if you're that paranoid, why not just disable DHT in your client? Most private tackers do this by default anyway.

My 2c.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 502234 5-Aug-2011 07:36
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Right, no file parts get transmitted, just info about where to go to find the files.

But it sounds like this tiny bit of directional info was the basis for issuing an infringement notice?

Uncommon perhaps, but never say never...




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  Reply # 502237 5-Aug-2011 07:55
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And the burden of proof is on *you* to show that there was *no* infringement. That's why the law is such a bad one.




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  Reply # 502437 5-Aug-2011 14:05
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Fairly common/easy to disable DHT in your torrent client, usually required if using a private tracker anyway.

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