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Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent: Legal & Technical

Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent: Legal & Technical



The protocols of Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent are not illegal; only the user infringing copyright is illegal.

The protocols of Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent are not illegal; only the user infringing copyright is illegal.
COSC4211 - Computer Scientists & Society
University of Houston



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    Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent: Legal & Technical Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent: Legal & Technical Presentation Transcript

    • Napster, Gnutella, BitTorrent: Discuss legal and technical aspects
      By: Kaleb Fulgham
    • Overview
      Legal issues
      RIAA & MPAA
      DMCA & Copyright Act of 1976
      Court cases & lawsuits
    • History
    • Napster
      June 1999: Shawn Fanning, undergraduate at Northeastern University, & Sean Parker released Napster, the first major Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software
      Faster and less frustrating way to swap MP3s online than HTTP & FTP
      Inspired by IRC’s easy-to-use format
      Central servers contained an index of lists of user music files
      Search box
      List of usernames & their files
    • Napster
      Built in C++ and popularized through IRC
      October 1999: 150,000 registered users trading 3.5 million files
      February 2001: 26.4 million registered users
      Peaked in 2001: 150 index only servers containing IP address info on usernames & their MP3 metadata
      Similar to a telephone switchboard operator
    • Napster
      Napster client connects to a central server
      User queries the NapsterCentral Index Server
      Central server returns alist of matches
      Napster client connectswith the computer hosting the file
      Client drops allowing private transfer
      Your Computer
    • Gnutella
      March 2000: Justin Frankel & Tom Peppers of high-tech Nullsoft (an AOL acquisition) published Gnutella.
      Nullsoft created MP3-player Winamp
      Functionally similar to Napster
      Key Difference: Did NOT rely on one central server
      Each user or “node” functioned as their own server
      Pre-loaded with IP addresses of known nodes
    • Gnutella
      Gnutella posted on AOL’s website
      Slashdot news leak led to increased publicity
      AOL & Time Warner (Music Group) merger
      AOL made Nullsoft abandon project
      Gnutella had spread world-wide
      Free & open source clones appeared
      Examples: LimeWire & BearShare
    • Gnutella
      Gnutella client knows at least 1 other node
      User queries 1st node
      The node sendsrequest to other nodesuntil song is found
      TTL limited requests
      Returns file name andmachine IP address
      Client connects to file owner’s node to transfer
    • Gnutella
      Latest Gnutella Version 0.6
      Composite network: Leaf nodes and Ultrapeers
      Leaf nodes connect to ~3 Ultrapeers
      Ultrapeer connects to >32 other Ultrapeers
      Max number of “hops” lowered from 7 to 4.
    • BitTorrent
      July 2001: Bram Cohen released the BitTorrent protocol which he designed in April 2001
      • Efficient at sharing large quantities of data
      • Download pieces of the file(s) simultaneously from multiple peers
      • Tracker servers inform clients of all online active peers
      • Downloads “rarest-first” to ensure high availability
    • BitTorrent
      Torrent file – .torrent
      Metadata about the file(s) shared
      Checksums of identically sized (512KB) pieces of the file(s) being shared
      Tracker server(s) – help coordinate file distribution
      BitTorrent protocol does NOT offer search
      Many websites offer searchable indexes of torrents
      Tracker servers are run on torrent search websites & some companies who need to distribute large files
    • BitTorrent
      User searches for a torrent
      User downloads & opens itwith a BitTorrent client
      Client connects to the tracker(s) in the torrent file
      Receives a list of peers currently transferring thepieces of the file(s) specified in the torrent.
      Client connects to peers to obtain the various pieces.
    • Legal Issues
    • Legal ISSUES
      RIAA & MPAA
      DMCA & Copyright Act of 1976
      Court cases & lawsuits
      A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
      MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.
      The Pirate Bay (BitTorrent) Raid in Sweden
      RIAA v. the People
      MPAA v. TorrentSpy
    • RIAA & MPAA
      RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America
      Represents the recording industry
      Protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists
      Perform research about the music industry
      Monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies
      MPAA – Motion Picture Association of America
      Advance business interests of movie studios
      Film rating system & Anti-piracy measures
    • DMCA & Copyright AcT
      Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
      Subpoena To Identify Infringer - 17 U.S.C. § 512(h)
      Copyright Act of 1976
      Liable $750 - $30,000 per song, feature film, etc. illegally traded as the court considers just
      Up to $150,000 per title if intentional & willful
    • A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
      December 1999: RIAA filed a lawsuit against Napster
      RIAA argued in District Court
      Napster users directly infringe on plaintiff’s copyright
      Napster is liable for contributory & vicarious copyright infringement
      Internal Napster email from Sean Parker to Shawn Fanning stating that users know they are “exchanging pirated music.”
    • A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
      Napster’s defense
      Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.
      Napster similar to Sony Betamax VHS recorder
      Fair Use
      Permissive distribution
      Audio Home Recording Act
    • A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
      United States District Court ruled in favor of the RIAA
      United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
      Napster - Liable for contributory & vicarious infringement
      Napster users infringe at least two of the copyright holders’ rights
      the rights of reproduction, § 106(1)
      distribution, § 106(3)
    • A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
      Ninth Circuit ruling March 5, 2001
      Napster capable of commercially significant non-infringing uses
      Could control the infringing behavior of users
      Must prevent trading of copyright music
      Napster paid roughly $36 million to copyright owners
    • MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd
      June 2005: MGM sued P2P client companies Grokster & Streamcast
      P2P lost for inducing copyright infringement for acts taken in marketing their file sharing software
      Both advertised as “Napster alternatives”
      “[T]he goal is to get in trouble with the law and get sued. It’s the best way to get in the new[s]”– Streamcast chief technology officer
      MGM statistician revealed that ~90% of all files available on the P2P were copyrighted works
    • The Pirate Bay Raid
      2004: MPAA pressured the U.S. and Swedish government to shut down The Pirate Bay
      May 2006: Police in Sweden raided The Pirate Bay, shut down their website, & confiscated their servers
      The Pirate Bay
      BitTorrent search engine & tracker server
      Launched in November 2003 by Gottfrid Svartholm & Fredrik Neij
      Down for 3 days
      Publicity and +1.7 million more users
    • The Pirate Bay Trial
      January 2008: Criminal & civil prosecution in Sweden for promoting the copyright infringement of others with torrents by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
      Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström
      Found guilty
      Sentenced to 1 year in prison
      Pay a fine of $3.5 million
    • RIAA v. the People
      2003: RIAA began a litigation campaign against those who infringe copyright law
      Lawsuits against ~30,000 people
      Usually settled out of court: $3,500 avg. total
      Court settlements: $750 - $150,000 per song
      “Attempted distribution” is NOT in Copyright Act
      Simply storing copyright material in P2P “share” folders
      “Infringement of the distribution right requires an actual dissemination of either copies or phonorecords” – cited in Atlantic v. Howell
    • RIAA v. the People
      October 2008: Harper claimed she did not know she was doing anything illegal
      She thought downloading music was like the radio
      Judge ruled $7,400 (37 songs @ $200/song) for “innocent infringement”
      June 2009: Jamie Thomas-Rasset found liable for infringing 24 songs for $1.92 million
      July 2009: Joel Tenenbaum found liable for infringing 30 songs for $675,000
    • MPAA v. TorrentSpy
      February 2006: MPAA sued TorrentSpy.com
      Facilitating copyright infringement by linking to torrents containing copyright films
      May 2008: U.S. District Judge ruled
      Against TorrentSpy.com’s Justin Bunnell & associates
      Must pay the max $30,000 for “each of the 3,699 infringements shown.”
      $111 million
    • Conclusion
      Direct HTTP / FTP downloads strain servers
      P2P file sharing systems
      Convenient to search
      Effectively distribute load
      Majority of content on BitTorrent & P2P is copyright material
      Downloading & Sharing copyright information without permission is copyright infringement
      Public domain file sharing is LEGAL!
    • g
    • Sources
      http://howstuffworks.com for diagrams
      Appetite for Self-Destruction – Steve Knopper
      All The Rave – Joseph Menn
      ArsTechnica – http://arstechnica.com
      EFF – http://eff.org