Napster, Gnutella, & BitTorrent: Legal & Technical


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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

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