Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Mega Strange

178 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Fergus Barrowman,

    In the interest of transparency, the press release was “Issued for Publishers Association of NZ by Pead PR”, and was different from the draft I approved. And no, we didn’t attempt to download the files or confirm the alleged infringement.

    I'm genuinely curious, having working in PR in the past, what was the intended purpose of the release? I can't really see why it's worth trying to shame another company over barely substantiated piracy that they aren't really responsible for anyway?

    I suppose there's a "kiwi battler" angle, and some aspect of the broad popularity thing, but I can't really see the purpose in issuing the release in the first place.

    And did you file a takedown notice with Mega? That would seem a more efficient way to deal with the issue.

    (Not trying to be a dick - I get why publishers need to protect their work, just not sure I understand the specific approach in this case)

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    Maybe they randomly got the same dynamic IP address :-). Holistic Detectives get this kind of thing all the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    Assuming Cameron Slater is to be believed, same IP address uploading and downloading doesn’t exactly equate to same individual performing those operations.

    Vikram wasn't specific about whether it was same IP address or same user account. Either way...

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Good point, I’m assuming it was being logged by IP, but it may not have been. Same account even more damning, frankly.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    So you’re saying that only the uploader downloaded them, and Whaleoil says he downloaded them… The obvious conclusion here is… interesting

    The conclusion I would reach is that Cameron Slater uploaded the file, then downloaded it, in order to make up a story that would score a hit against one of self-styled enemies. I hope (hah!) that the media who seem to have switched from interviewing kiwiblog to whaleoil for their source for a story take note.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Fergus Barrowman, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    That would be a question for the Publishers Association.

    CLNZ filed a takedown notice on our behalf, and we alerted the Luminaries' international publishers, who have legal departments who deal with this sort of thing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2009 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Fergus Barrowman,

    That would be a question for the Publishers Association.

    CLNZ filed a takedown notice on our behalf, and we alerted the Luminaries’ international publishers, who have legal departments who deal with this sort of thing.

    Thanks Fergus.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Ahhhh CLNZ who recently posted this with hiss and a roar.

    They seem very keen indeed (possibly a little desperate?) to demonstrate some value to society. Especially given that they are currently in litigation with New Zealand Universities over what existing licensing is worth. Given that their tax on education makes up by far the majority of their income; losing could be a real problem for them. With all due respect and care for freelance copyright holders, I hope they lose. This particular racket has gone on long enough.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • kris_b, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    The Luminaries just makes the question a bit sharper in the context of local publishing. (It's harder to feel bad about sharing a Warner Bros film.)

    NZ'ers really need to get over this attitude. Just because you're less likely to run in to the copyright holder down at the local farmers market doesn't make infringing actions any more moral. People regularly harp on about how stealing NZ content is terrible and unpatriotic, while at the same time merrily downloading Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to their hearts content. It's bullshit and people need to get called out on it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Oh and while I'm on my grumpy soap box. Edify’s Adrian Keane may not realise it but students don't buy many books any more (even required ones) and IMHE they don't read them any more either. This may be due to cost relative to freely available materials; including the possibility that many universities put lecture material on-line. The quality of which appears to be improving over time. So yet again, a drop from 80-50% may not entirely be due to those damn pirates. From my own experience getting inspection copies is difficult and unreasonably expensive at times, hence they don't get read and don't get recommended.

    As you were....

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to SteveH,

    How did they identify those two instances? Mega are not able to access the file contents, right? If they identified the files by name, how did they verify those files were in fact the book itself and not (for example) someone's review of the book?

    One way to do it would be to identify the file that Slater referred to (which we're to understand they did) then use that as a fingerprint to identify any other matching files. All possible without breaking the encryption, but not foolproof. If one byte is different, the fingerprint is useless. They wouldn't be searching by title, if that's what you meant ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to nzlemming,

    One way to do it would be to identify the file that Slater referred to (which we’re to understand they did) then use that as a fingerprint to identify any other matching files. All possible without breaking the encryption, but not foolproof. If one byte is different, the fingerprint is useless. They wouldn’t be searching by title, if that’s what you meant ;-)

    Not possible for Mega. The same file encrypted (on client side) with different encryption keys yields entirely different data.

    Vikram explained in another post that there was enough information visible in the non-obscured portion of the URLs on Whale's site to identify the files on Mega's servers.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Stephen R,

    One of the claims I’ve seen is that with so many new books coming out, an author is more at risk of not being noticed than of being pirated, and that giving away e-books (especially of older back-catalog stuff) can lead to increases in both the sales of the back-catalog and new books by the same author.

    This is Cory Doctorow's approach. It seems to be working for him.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yeah, quite.

    Pead are the guys who do the free food, right?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Not possible for Mega. The same file encrypted (on client side) with different encryption keys yields entirely different data.

    Vikram explained in another post that there was enough information visible in the non-obscured portion of the URLs on Whale’s site to identify the files on Mega’s servers.

    Yeah, I hadn't read that at the time. The encryption point is one I'd missed in passing, but that would also wreck de-duping, yes?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Storing files in the cloud is not infringing on copyright.

    You’ll find a few copyright maximalists who’ll argue that with you.

    I don't think one has to be a maximalist to point out that the statement is wrong. The law is evolving in this area, but at present (at least in NZ) a cloud provider can be liable for copyright infringement, unless it can rely on the safe harbour defences under section 92C of the NZ Copyright Act, or case law (e.g. the iiNet case, where the ISP argued it was not liable because it did not "authorise" the infringing act).

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to nzlemming,

    The encryption point is one I'd missed in passing, but that would also wreck de-duping, yes?

    I assume that Mega have sacrificed the ability to save disk storage by de-duping for end-end encryption. I don't know if their disk usage limits allow for this.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to nzlemming,

    This is Cory Doctorow's approach. It seems to be working for him.

    Yes, I've read his comments on the stuff (and downloaded some of his free ebooks, and paid for some paperbacks) but I originally encountered the concept from Eric Flint in the Baen.com free ebook library ( http://www.baenebooks.com/c-1-free-library.aspx ) where Eric claimed that releasing free e-versions of his books had seen his sales increase. (Though I can't find the actual letter from Eric right now).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to nzlemming,

    The encryption point is one I’d missed in passing, but that would also wreck de-duping, yes?

    Yes, but that's a feature. One of the arguments against Megaupload was that when an infringement notice was issued against a particular file, Megaupload failed to delete duplicate copies (although without a notice I can't see how Megaupload could know that those copies were also infringing). Since duplicates cannot be detected by Mega at all it is not susceptible to this argument.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Pead are the guys who do the free food, right?

    More relevant: they're the longtime PR reps for Recorded Music NZ (formerly Rianz) and, more recently, the Publishers Association of New Zealand.

    They don't do lobbying or government relations -- they're mostly consumer PR (they have Samsung and L'Oreal) and event management.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    Also, many text books are really fucking expensive. There's so much good quality stuff for free, that I'm hardly surprised impoverished students don't really see the necessity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to nzlemming,

    Yeah, I hadn’t read that at the time. The encryption point is one I’d missed in passing, but that would also wreck de-duping, yes?

    Yup - no de-duping on Mega. Lucky drives are cheap these days :)

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Mega's Bram van der Kolk has pointed out on Twitter that although Slater is now talking about protecting his "source" for the story, his original post claimed that he found the infringing file by dint of just "a bit of poking around on the internet".

    The two claims don't exactly tally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The two claims don’t exactly tally.

    The guy's not allowed to be his own source now? What are you, the schizophrenia police?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to ScottY,

    I don’t think one has to be a maximalist to point out that the statement is wrong. The law is evolving in this area, but at present (at least in NZ) a cloud provider can be liable for copyright infringement, unless it can rely on the safe harbour defences under section 92C of the NZ Copyright Act, or case law (e.g. the iiNet case, where the ISP argued it was not liable because it did not “authorise” the infringing act).

    But storing files in the cloud is not infringing. Allowing others to download those files, on the other hand, is something entirely different.

    I could upload my entire legal iTunes library to Mega and it's totally legal. Giving others links to those files however...

    In this case all Whaleoil's screenshots proved were that the files were on the Mega server, not that anyone had ever shared them anywhere (aside from, arguably, with Whaleoil himself, assuming we believe his claims not to have uploaded them).

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.