P2P: la suite malheureuse...

mardi 21 décembre 2004 • GF

Je vous parlais il y a quelques temps dans cet article de l’acharnement stupide des majors du disque et du cinéma contre le P2P. A cette époque, il s’agissait de Kazaa. Kazaa a finalement presque été détruit (qui l’utilise encore?). Mais pour eux, ce n’était pas suffisant car les internautes (j’ai pas dit "les pirates"!) ont trouvé entre temps un nouveau système de P2P bien plus efficient que Kazaa: BitTorrent. BitTorrent offre un avantage, la très grande vitesse des téléchargements, et possède un inconvénient majeur, à savoir l’impossibilité de faire une recherche globale sur le réseau (on doit télécharger depuis un lien sur un site). Mais le torrent était vraiment rapide, à tel point que ce protocole a bouffé a lui seul plus de 30% de la bande passante mondiale! Alors les connards… euh pardon les majors, ont décidé de fermer les sites de torrents. Et ben ils ont été efficaces, c’est une vrai hécatombe… en quelques jours ils ont fermé tous les gros sites, ils ont tué le réseau et le protocole. C’est un peu comme quand on fait une autodafée, on détruit, ben là c’est ce qu’ils ont fait. Heureusement, il nous reste notre bon vieux eDonkey, mais pour combien de temps encore ?

Je vous présente donc ici quelques news significatives des évènements de ces derniers jours. Vous verrez à quel point tout cela s’est succédé rapidement. C’est la guerre éclair…

Tout d’abord, la traduction française du message d’adieu publié par les fondateurs de SuprNova.org. Vous trouverez la version originale plus bas.

En Tête Ratatium.org
C’est un grand coup dur pour les amateurs de BitTorrent. Après la fermeture forcée de Youceff suite aux actions entreprises par la MPAA, c’est cette fois-ci le plus célèbre des sites de liens BitTorrent qui fait tomber le rideau. SuprNova.org n’est plus, et ne sera plus, comme l’explique l’équipe qui l’animait.

Salut à tous,
Comme vous l’avez probablement remarqué, nous avons souvent eu des coups de moins bien. C’était parce que c’était si difficile de garder le site en ligne ! Mais à présent nous sommes désolés de tous vous informer que SuprNova tel que nous le connaissons tous ferme pour de bon. Nous ne savons pas si SuprNova va revenir, mais il ne va certainement plus héberger de liens torrent. Nous en sommes vraiment désolés, mais il n’y avait pas d’autres solutions, nous avons tout essayé. Merci à vous tous qui nous avez aidé, en donnant des sites miroirs ou autre chose, en uploadant et en "seedant" les fichiers (terme technique pour désigner la mise à disposition des fichiers sur le réseau BitTorrent, ndlrt) , en aidant les gens sur IRC sur le forum, en faisant connaître SuprNova auprès de vous. C’est un jour triste pour chacun d’entre nous. S’il vous plaît visitez SuprNova de temps en temps pour avoir les dernières informations sur ce qui se passe et savoir s’il y a quoi que ce soit de nouveau à rapporter.
Puisque nous souhaitons maintenir la belle communauté que nous avons créée, nous gardons les forums et les serveurs IRC ouverts.
Merci à tous et au revoir !
Sloncek et le reste de l’équipe de SuprNova.

Mais peut-être que tout cela vous laisse froid ? Vous êtes du côté des majors, ou alors vous ne connaissez pas vraiment la question. Dans le premier cas, vous êtes irrécupérable ;-) et dans le second, je vous conseille de lire ceci: les majors du disque s’en prennent à la Croix Rouge.
La petite histoire: la Croix Rouge australienne est financée en partie par Sherman Network, l’entreprise ayant créé le célèbre Kazaa, premier réseau P2P jusqu’à il y a peu. C’est pas bien ça de frayer avec les méchants pirates ! Bouh…

Voilà les news de la semaine concernant le P2P, dans la langue de Shakespeare:

Chronique d'une mort annoncée...

17 décembre 2004

A. Record Industry Sues 754 for Internet Song Swaps
A recording industry trade group said Thursday that it has filed another wave of lawsuits against 754 people it suspects of distributing songs over the Internet without permission. The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued more than 7,000 people for distributing its songs over "peer to peer" networks like eDonkey and Kazaa, in an effort to discourage the online song copying that it believes has cut into CD sales. The RIAA typically settles copyright infringement suits for around $5,000 each. Despite more than a year of headline-grabbing lawsuits, peer-to-peer use has not declined. An average of 7.5 million users were logged on to peer-to-peer networks in November 2004, up from 4.4 million in November 2003, according to the research firm BigChampagne. The four major labels – Vivendi Universal, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group Plc and privately held Warner Music – have recently begun to license their songs to a new generation of online services as a way to slash distribution costs and reach out to fans. But recording-industry officials remain at loggerheads with software makers like Grokster and Morpheus that allow users to freely copy their songs. "With legal online retailers still forced to compete against illegal free networks, the playing field remains decidedly unbalanced," said RIAA president Cary Sherman in a statement.Courts so far have declined to declare peer-to-peer software makers like Grokster and Morpheus illegal because, like a photocopier, they do not permit copyright infringement but merely make it possible. The Supreme Court will hear the entertainment’s case against Grokster and Morpheus in March. The latest round of lawsuits included students at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Under pressure form the RIAA, many schools have taken steps to limit file sharing and at least 20 schools give students free access to industry-sanctioned download services like Roxio Inc.’s Napster. The RIAA does not yet know the names of those it has sued, only the numerical addresses used by their computers. The trade group typically finds out suspects’ identities from their Internet service providers during the legal proceedings.
Source: Reuters

B. Hollywood vs BitTorrent
Yesterday, the major movie studios turned their MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) loose on BitTorrent and eDonkey p2p networks, claiming the effort is necessary to bring file-sharing under control. Perhaps p2pnet’s spoof post in which the RIAA and MPAA merge to form one Mafia-like organization wasn’t so far-fetched after all. RIAA boss Cary Sherman says he’s glad his counterparts in the MPAA are joining in."If you have 10 stores in the strip mall each with a security guard instead of one, it’s going to be a safer strip mall," he’s quoted as saying by the Associated Press. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has been using the US legal system to try to force people into buying its product for some time. At last count close to 7,000 people were being ‘sued,’ although not a single case has yet been processed under civil law.Victims have no option other than to take up the RIAA’s ‘offer’ to ‘settle’ out of court, giving the false impression that they’re guilty of something, a falacy strenuously promoted by the Big Music cartel owners, EMI, UMG, Sony-BMG and Warner. But there is a difference between the Mafia and the MPAA and RIAA. International law enforcement agencies recognizes the Mafia as being corrupt and evil. The entertainment industry, however, seems able to use its enforcement agencies to do whatever it wants with impunity, up to and including suborning international police forces. Hollywood has significantly ramped up its efforts to bring p2p file sharing and anyone who uses p2p applications under its heel, saying people who engage in it - teenagers, mostly - are crooks, bent on destroying the multi-billion-dollar industry. Now the MPAA is going after people who run BitTorrent servers. Finnish police yesterday took down a BitTorrent site and seized equipment owned by the site’s operators. The bust was at the behest of the Big Four music label cartel. “Criminal actions have already been filed in Europe, including the seizure of seven Net-connected servers, with their operator still wanted by French police, a representative of the French government said, according to CNET Asia. Yesterday, Shareconnector.com, the Dutch p2p release site, was shut down, apparently at the instigation of BREIN, the Netherlands’ RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). We don’t have any further details at this point, but BREIN recently turned its attentions to file sharers, specifically to sites such as Releases4u.com, even going so far as to collect data on the people behind them - with the OK of the Dutch Privacy Authorities. In France, Youceff Torrents, one of the largest BT sites, was shut down by French police Monday afternoon."This morning, Arjan received and e-mail explaining that the servers had in fact been deliberately terminated and the police where on scene," says Slyck, going on that it, "spoke to a rather nervous [owner] Arjan, who explained that the police would find nothing on the servers but torrent files. He does not host any FTP servers or warez."Arjan does not live in France, or believe he has done anything wrong, but he is naturally apprehensive that the local police will make a visit to his door. He also remains defiant, saying that even if the French servers are shut down permanently, he will find elsewhere to host."New economical forces could bring about a new ‘Golden Age’ for Hollywood but, "these same forces threaten to unleash a wave of intellectual piracy that will undermine the very foundations of moviemaking," Dan Glickman, Hollywood’s new mouthpiece, stated at a Newsmaker Luncheon at the US National Press Club last month. The studios would rather, "produce courtroom dramas than star in them," Glickman said.

C. EDonkey to Studios: Let’s Work Together
The movie industry should embrace eDonkey as a legitimate distribution medium for online movies, said company Pres. Sam Yagan. On Tues., the MPAA announced a new strategy to sue individuals operating tracking servers for eDonkey and 2 other popular P2P platforms. Yagan told us he hasn’t been named in any MPAA suit. “EDonkey ought to be the gateway to video rental on the Web, it’s a no-brainer,” said Yagan. So far, movie studios aren’t interested, but Yagan has had slightly better luck with some independent music labels. “We are very slowly trying to build a new distribution business,” he said. MPAA Senior Vp John Malcolm said it’s not up to his organization to negotiate distribution deals, but said he isn’t surprised Yagan isn’t getting a warm reception from the studios: "I can understand the reluctance to deal with someone who has repeatedly robbed you and now wants to design your security system."Yagan shrugged off the thief label as misplaced: “This is a neutral technology.” Aside from illegal file sharing, the system is also used by independent film distributors, non-profits, Radio and TV stations and individuals trading public-domain materials he said.File-sharing advocates said the MPAA and RIAA have done an effective job vilifying the technology and those who create it. “The industries are clearly within their rights to bring suits but they’re wrong to do it” said P2P United Exec. Dir. Adam Eisgrau: “They want to create the impression that there is some type of wheel with a software developer sitting at the hub.” New P2P systems are almost entirely automated, he added.Attempts to eliminate the eDonkey servers won’t affect the popular file sharing system because it’s so widespread, Yagan said. “Even if our company did [disappear], there are 30 to 40 million people who use our software. It’s not going to go away.” The only way to shut it down would be to confiscate every computer on earth with eDonkey software on it, Yagan said. The overwhelming prevalence of the software is central to eDonkey’s business plan. The 6-employee company makes money by selling ads on the eDonkey control bar and charging $19.95 for premium versions of the program.

D. P2P Needs a Fix, but What?
As the Federal Trade Commission’s two-day workshop exploring peer-to-peer technology ended Thursday, both sides in the debate expressed a willingness to work together but found little common ground.

The FTC is collecting preliminary information on P2P technology and software, which detractors claim often mislead consumers by giving them the impression that they can legally download copyright works without permission. Some P2P companies are also accused of installing persistent spyware and adware on users’ computers without their knowledge. The Recording Industry Association of America, meanwhile, points to studies showing that the rise of P2P has coincided with a drop in record sales, although P2P advocates point to studies that suggest no correlation at all. And Tuesday, the Motion Picture Association of America filed suit against individuals who help index users of BitTorrent, eDonkey and Direct Connect P2P software.

At the FTC’s workshop, several P2P advocates urged the FTC or some other government agency to conduct an objective study of whether P2P networks truly harm content industries. Sam Yagan, president of eDonkey, directly challenged RIAA President Cary Sherman to join his call for a new P2P study not funded by either side so government officials can build a definitive record on the effects of P2P.
Sherman seemed to dismiss the idea. "The oldest thing in the book is when you want to delay something, do a study," he said, arguing that eDonkey should instead work on signing private licensing agreements with content owners. "Work it out so that people can’t take the stuff for free," he said. Sherman and other content-industry advocates said they want to embrace legitimate P2P services (noting recent industry deals with Snocap and Wurld Media), but P2P providers insisted that they have been largely rebuffed.

Content industries point to the refusal by most P2P firms to use filtering technologies that would stop the trading of certain copyright files, although many P2P representatives said such filtering would be unworkable. Content owners said P2P services only oppose filtering because they fear losing user traffic.
"It is very easy to do it if you have the will to do it," said Dean Garfield, the MPAA’s vice president and director of legal affairs for worldwide anti-piracy efforts, adding that the industry is willing to look at other ways to protect content as well."We’re not wedded to filtering as the only solution," he said. "We’re open to other solutions. We just want people to work at it."

But others suggested that any filtering efforts by leading P2P software companies would do little to stem piracy because new, non-filtered P2P software would simply crop up to take filtered services’ place."This entire debate about filtering is an enormous red herring," said Peter Menell, a professor at the University of California at Berkley law school. After the workshop, Morpheus CEO Michael Weiss told Wired News that content-industry representatives continue to dig in their heels despite overtures from P2P companies, although he praised the FTC for holding a forum to get views from all sides of the debate. Other attendees, meanwhile, expressed concern that policy-makers will use continued tension between content providers and the P2P camp as an invitation to get involved."I fear that this FTC workshop was just an exercise to help set the stage for a full-blown agency investigation of the P2P market," said Adam Thierer, director of telecommunications studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
"There’s a very good chance this will be the first step toward federal regulation of P2P players and the marketplace more broadly in the name of ending ‘deceptive practices,’" he said. "But the FTC could be opening a big can of worms here since most of the problems on P2P networks – viruses, spyware, porn, etc. – are common throughout cyberspace."

In addition, several panelists recommended a blanket licensing system that would create a royalty pool for copyright owners whose works are traded over P2P networks. Bennett Lincoff, former director of legal affairs for new media at performing-rights society ASCAP, said Congress should create "single, uniform digital-transmission rights" that apply to all works on P2P networks and fairly compensate artists through a "census" of which files are most downloaded. He said most consumers would pay for content that was easily obtainable and free of draconian digital-rights-management restrictions."If that’s not true, then all is truly lost," he said.

Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the FTC should look into whether content industries’ business structures are preventing such collective-licensing schemes from becoming reality. Of course, critics of such plans argue they are just another form of compulsory licensing that wouldn’t serve artists well.
"Do we really want to carry these flawed, legacy models into the digital age?" asked attendee Patrick Ross, a vice president at the Progress & Freedom Foundation. FTC officials, meanwhile, said they will continue to study P2P in 2005.
It’s hard to know what conclusions the agency will draw, but in closing remarks, Susan Creighton, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, noted P2P’s "immense promise" and urged Congress "to proceed with caution" before contemplating any P2P regulation.</i>

</p>

19 décembre 2004

A. P2P Battle Shifts to High Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is about to play a vital role in determining the fortunes of the music industry. Its decision in the so-called Grokster case will finally clarify the industry’s ability to control peer-to-peer technology through existing law. In so doing, the court will influence the industry at every level, including its ability to invest in artists and songwriters, entertainment industry lawyers say. The High Court on Dec. 10 gave the nod to record labels, music publishers, songwriters and major motion picture studios, agreeing to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled that P2P operators Grokster and StreamCast were not liable for copyright infringements by users of their file-sharing technology. Gregory Garre, a partner with Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C., highlights the significance of the court’s decision to hear the case. Only about 100 cases out of roughly 8,000 petitions filed each year are granted review by the court, he says. Garre, formerly with the Solicitor General’s office within the Department of Justice, now heads the firm’s Supreme Court practice. He believes the justices will have two concerns as they review this case. First, they will focus on whether the P2P services facilitate a blatant way for users to defeat copyright laws, threatening this important form of intellectual property.

Betamax Precedent
While the Supreme Court in 1984 held that Sony Corp. of America was not liable for any copyright infringement by users of its Betamax video recorder, Garre notes, the evidence in the Grokster case is different. Most people used the Betamax for lawful reasons – to watch recorded TV programs at a later time. In the Grokster case, the record shows that the substantial majority of P2P users infringe copyrights, he says. The court also will be sensitive to the fact that its ruling may have dramatic effects in the marketplace for technology and entertainment, Garre says. Its ruling will reflect careful consideration of these concerns, he predicts. None of the lawyers Billboard contacted believe the court’s decision will change the 1984 Sony Betamax decision. "It has served the law well for the last 20 years," Garre says. The justices will most likely interpret that decision and apply it to current technology. As the nine justices consider the issues and listen to oral arguments, expected to be scheduled for March, they will take a common-sense approach, Garre says. While appellate courts focus on applying legal precedent, he explains, the Supreme Court tends to be concerned with the practical dimensions of their decisions. The justices could explore alternative ways to restrict copyright infringement on the P2P networks, says Marc Jacobson, of Greenberg Traurig in New York. The court could send the case back to the District Court in Los Angeles – where it is still pending on other issues – for that court to explore the alternatives and then apply rules provided by the Supreme Court.

Friends or Foes?
The parties to this case won’t be the only ones raising issues with the court, Garre notes. "This is the kind of case that is going to attract an enormous amount of amicus briefs." Anyone with an interest in the case may file a "friend of the court" brief with consent of the parties, which is rarely denied. This could prove troublesome to the parties, however. While some organizations may coordinate their efforts with one side, they are not required to do so, Garre says. Their interests could undermine a strategy developed by the parties they support. Amicus briefs will be especially important in educating the court in how the technology works and why these issues are so important, Garre adds. The decision is expected before the court adjourns for the summer. A wild card in the process is whether Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who is ailing, will take part in the decision. Rehnquist was a dissenter in the Sony Betamax case. In the meantime, the industry continues to face an uncertain future."We’re going to have to get a handle on digital piracy in order to get investors comfortable and to restore stability in the recording and publishing industry," says Michael Elkin, with Thelen Reid & Priest. Pending copyright-related legislation is likely to stay on hold until the court rules.

Source: Reuters</i>

B. SUPRNOVA.org and TORRENTBITS.org CLOSED
From Suprnova:
"Greetings everybody,
As you have probably noticed, we have often had downtimes. This was because it was so hard to keep this site up!
But now we are sorry to inform you all, that SuprNova is closing down for good in the way that we all know it.
We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links.
We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything.
Thank you all that helped us, by donating mirrors or something else, by uploading and seeding files, by helping people out on IRC and on forum, by spreading the word about SuprNova.org.
It is a sad day for all of us!
Please visit SuprNova.org every once in a while to get the latest news on what is happening and if there is anything new to report on.
As we wish to maintain the nice comunity that we created, we are keppig forums and irc servers open.
Thank you all and Goodbye!
sloncek & the rest of the SuprNova Team"

From TorrentBits:
"Good-bye
Thanks to all users, uploaders, mods and donors for helping create the best torrent site on the net, but this is where the road ends for us."</i>

</p>

20 décembre 2004

A. SuprNova.org ends, not with a bang but a whimper
SuprNova.org, the most popular BitTorrent file-sharing site, is to stop hosting torrent links.
In a message posted on its website, the site operators say the site "is closing down for good in the way that we all know it. We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links. We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything." SuprNova’s IRC channel and forums will remain open. Suprnova’s demise as a BitTorrent clearing house coincides with increasing legal pressure in America and Europe against P2P-enabled piracy. In the last week the Movie Picture Ass. of America signalled its intention to pursue the P2P server operators in a new front in its war internet movie pirates. Also, a popular BitTorrent site in Finland was raided by police, and an eDonkey site in the Netherlands was raided and shut down. According to a recent academic study, BitTorrent traffic accounted for 53 per cent of all P2P internet traffic in June. BitTorrent speeds file transfers by segmenting content and downloading parts from multiple users rather than a single server. As you receive a file, so other BitTorrent users are able to grab it from you in the same way. The idea is to ensure a more even sharing of bandwidth between participants. BitTorrent is not a classic P2P application as it’s about improving download performance rather than sharing files per se. Files are found through links on websites, rather than the application itself. The MPAA and co. are gunning for operators of servers which carry these links.
Source: The Register

</p>

21 décembre 2004

A. Hollywood Campaign Hits WebSites
The MPAA legal campaign has hit 100 BitTorrent servers Movie studio efforts to stop pirated films being shared on peer-to-peer networks have claimed a high-profile victim. The campaign of legal action is thought to be behind the closure of the widely used Suprnova.org website. The site was the most popular place for people swapping and sharing links for the BitTorrent network. A recent study showed that more than half of the peer-to-peer traffic during June was for the BitTorrent system.

Shut down
In a message posted on Suprnova.org on Sunday, the site’s controllers said the site was "closing down for good in the way that we all know it". If the site did return, the message said, it would not be hosting any more torrent links. It continued: "We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything. "The only parts that would keep going, said the operators of the Suprnova site, were the discussion forums and net chat channels. The site is thought to have closed following an announcement by the Motion Picture Association of America that it was launching legal action against those operating BitTorrent servers rather than end users. Because of the way that BitTorrent works, server sites do not host the actual file being shared, instead they host a link that points people to others that have it. By targeting those servers which link to copyrighted material, the MPAA hopes to cripple a user’s ability share those files using BitTorrent. In the opening days of the MPAA campaign, the organisation filed 100 lawsuits against operators of BitTorrent server sites. The launching of the legal action seems to be having an effect. Phoenix Torrents, another popular BitTorrent site, has also decided to shut down and, though it gave no reasons for the closure, it is thought to be motivated by the threat of legal action. Last week Finnish police raided a BitTorrent site based in the country that, according to reports, let 10,000 users share pirated films, software, music and games.
Source: BBC</i>

B. BitTorrent file-swapping networks face Crisis
BitTorrent "hubs" that publish lists of movies, TV shows and other free downloads suddenly went dark this weekend, in a major victory for Hollywood that highlights vulnerabilities in technology behind the world’s busiest peer-to-peer network. Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America launched a series of worldwide legal actions, aimed at people who ran the infrastructure for BitTorrent networks being used to distribute movies and other copyrighted materials without permission. The MPAA’s actions have put pressure on a short list of large Web sites that had served as hubs for the BitTorrent community and that had operated for months or even years. Many of those sites have now vanished almost overnight, including the SuprNova.org site that was by far the most popular gathering point for the community, serving more than a million people a day, according to one academic study. The disappearance of the big sites is unlikely to eliminate BitTorrent swapping altogether, but it does bring to a close an era of operating in the open without fear of legal reprisals. The resulting shift to the underground will likely make files harder to find, as traders move onto private networks or smaller communities, file-swapping insiders said. "We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links" to content, said a message posted over the weekend to the SuprNova site, which was no longer available Monday morning. "We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything." The fallout marks a substantial victory for the MPAA and its allies, which have sat on the sidelines for years as sites such as SuprNova openly set up shop as file-swapping indexes. Such locales became convenient if not indispensable destinations for millions of people seeking one-click downloads of TV shows, movies, games and music. Over the past two years, BitTorrent has risen to become one of the most popular file-swapping tools on the Net, accounting for a majority of peer-to-peer traffic on ISP networks as of last summer, according to network monitoring firm CacheLogic. Because the technology was designed from the beginning to make distributing large files efficient, much of this traffic was dedicated to full-length, high-quality movies and software.

C. Fake MPAA/RIAA eMule Servers
The entertainment industry has taken its efforts to crush the p2p networks a step further by trying to swamp eMule.
Online scalp-hunter MediaCentry has set up fake eMule servers to try to try to trap file sharers, says Joseph Farthing in a Methlabs post which, though a month old, remains relevant. MediaCentry is joined at the hip with both the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). “The servers, which were all hosted in the United States of America, were listed in a number of commonly used eMule server lists,” says Farthing, going on: “Although it is not clear how the servers managed to slip past administrators, it is apparent that around 98000 people were using just one server before the problem was spotted. The servers have been removed from many lists already, http://www.gruk.org/list.php and http://ed2k.2x4u.de/list.html are currently proven safe.”

à Paris le 21/12/04

Je vous parlais il y a quelques temps dans cet article de l’acharnement stupide des majors du disque et du cinéma contre le P2P. A cette époque, il s’agissait de Kazaa. Kazaa a finalement presque été détruit (qui l’utilise encore?). Mais pour eux, ce n’était pas suffisant car les internautes (j’ai pas dit "les pirates"!) ont trouvé entre temps un nouveau système de P2P bien plus efficient que Kazaa: BitTorrent. BitTorrent offre un avantage, la très grande vitesse des téléchargements, et possède un inconvénient majeur, à savoir l’impossibilité de faire une recherche globale sur le réseau (on doit télécharger depuis un lien sur un site). Mais le torrent était vraiment rapide, à tel point que ce protocole a bouffé a lui seul plus de 30% de la bande passante mondiale! Alors les connards… euh pardon les majors, ont décidé de fermer les sites de torrents. Et ben ils ont été efficaces, c’est une vrai hécatombe… en quelques jours ils ont fermé tous les gros sites, ils ont tué le réseau et le protocole. C’est un peu comme quand on fait une autodafée, on détruit, ben là c’est ce qu’ils ont fait. Heureusement, il nous reste notre bon vieux eDonkey, mais pour combien de temps encore ?

Je vous présente donc ici quelques news significatives des évènements de ces derniers jours. Vous verrez à quel point tout cela s’est succédé rapidement. C’est la guerre éclair…

Tout d’abord, la traduction française du message d’adieu publié par les fondateurs de SuprNova.org. Vous trouverez la version originale plus bas.

En Tête Ratatium.org
C’est un grand coup dur pour les amateurs de BitTorrent. Après la fermeture forcée de Youceff suite aux actions entreprises par la MPAA, c’est cette fois-ci le plus célèbre des sites de liens BitTorrent qui fait tomber le rideau. SuprNova.org n’est plus, et ne sera plus, comme l’explique l’équipe qui l’animait.

Salut à tous,
Comme vous l’avez probablement remarqué, nous avons souvent eu des coups de moins bien. C’était parce que c’était si difficile de garder le site en ligne ! Mais à présent nous sommes désolés de tous vous informer que SuprNova tel que nous le connaissons tous ferme pour de bon. Nous ne savons pas si SuprNova va revenir, mais il ne va certainement plus héberger de liens torrent. Nous en sommes vraiment désolés, mais il n’y avait pas d’autres solutions, nous avons tout essayé. Merci à vous tous qui nous avez aidé, en donnant des sites miroirs ou autre chose, en uploadant et en "seedant" les fichiers (terme technique pour désigner la mise à disposition des fichiers sur le réseau BitTorrent, ndlrt) , en aidant les gens sur IRC sur le forum, en faisant connaître SuprNova auprès de vous. C’est un jour triste pour chacun d’entre nous. S’il vous plaît visitez SuprNova de temps en temps pour avoir les dernières informations sur ce qui se passe et savoir s’il y a quoi que ce soit de nouveau à rapporter.
Puisque nous souhaitons maintenir la belle communauté que nous avons créée, nous gardons les forums et les serveurs IRC ouverts.
Merci à tous et au revoir !
Sloncek et le reste de l’équipe de SuprNova.

Mais peut-être que tout cela vous laisse froid ? Vous êtes du côté des majors, ou alors vous ne connaissez pas vraiment la question. Dans le premier cas, vous êtes irrécupérable ;-) et dans le second, je vous conseille de lire ceci: les majors du disque s’en prennent à la Croix Rouge.
La petite histoire: la Croix Rouge australienne est financée en partie par Sherman Network, l’entreprise ayant créé le célèbre Kazaa, premier réseau P2P jusqu’à il y a peu. C’est pas bien ça de frayer avec les méchants pirates ! Bouh…

Voilà les news de la semaine concernant le P2P, dans la langue de Shakespeare:

Chronique d'une mort annoncée...

17 décembre 2004

A. Record Industry Sues 754 for Internet Song Swaps
A recording industry trade group said Thursday that it has filed another wave of lawsuits against 754 people it suspects of distributing songs over the Internet without permission. The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued more than 7,000 people for distributing its songs over "peer to peer" networks like eDonkey and Kazaa, in an effort to discourage the online song copying that it believes has cut into CD sales. The RIAA typically settles copyright infringement suits for around $5,000 each. Despite more than a year of headline-grabbing lawsuits, peer-to-peer use has not declined. An average of 7.5 million users were logged on to peer-to-peer networks in November 2004, up from 4.4 million in November 2003, according to the research firm BigChampagne. The four major labels – Vivendi Universal, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group Plc and privately held Warner Music – have recently begun to license their songs to a new generation of online services as a way to slash distribution costs and reach out to fans. But recording-industry officials remain at loggerheads with software makers like Grokster and Morpheus that allow users to freely copy their songs. "With legal online retailers still forced to compete against illegal free networks, the playing field remains decidedly unbalanced," said RIAA president Cary Sherman in a statement.Courts so far have declined to declare peer-to-peer software makers like Grokster and Morpheus illegal because, like a photocopier, they do not permit copyright infringement but merely make it possible. The Supreme Court will hear the entertainment’s case against Grokster and Morpheus in March. The latest round of lawsuits included students at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Under pressure form the RIAA, many schools have taken steps to limit file sharing and at least 20 schools give students free access to industry-sanctioned download services like Roxio Inc.’s Napster. The RIAA does not yet know the names of those it has sued, only the numerical addresses used by their computers. The trade group typically finds out suspects’ identities from their Internet service providers during the legal proceedings.
Source: Reuters

B. Hollywood vs BitTorrent
Yesterday, the major movie studios turned their MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) loose on BitTorrent and eDonkey p2p networks, claiming the effort is necessary to bring file-sharing under control. Perhaps p2pnet’s spoof post in which the RIAA and MPAA merge to form one Mafia-like organization wasn’t so far-fetched after all. RIAA boss Cary Sherman says he’s glad his counterparts in the MPAA are joining in."If you have 10 stores in the strip mall each with a security guard instead of one, it’s going to be a safer strip mall," he’s quoted as saying by the Associated Press. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has been using the US legal system to try to force people into buying its product for some time. At last count close to 7,000 people were being ‘sued,’ although not a single case has yet been processed under civil law.Victims have no option other than to take up the RIAA’s ‘offer’ to ‘settle’ out of court, giving the false impression that they’re guilty of something, a falacy strenuously promoted by the Big Music cartel owners, EMI, UMG, Sony-BMG and Warner. But there is a difference between the Mafia and the MPAA and RIAA. International law enforcement agencies recognizes the Mafia as being corrupt and evil. The entertainment industry, however, seems able to use its enforcement agencies to do whatever it wants with impunity, up to and including suborning international police forces. Hollywood has significantly ramped up its efforts to bring p2p file sharing and anyone who uses p2p applications under its heel, saying people who engage in it - teenagers, mostly - are crooks, bent on destroying the multi-billion-dollar industry. Now the MPAA is going after people who run BitTorrent servers. Finnish police yesterday took down a BitTorrent site and seized equipment owned by the site’s operators. The bust was at the behest of the Big Four music label cartel. “Criminal actions have already been filed in Europe, including the seizure of seven Net-connected servers, with their operator still wanted by French police, a representative of the French government said, according to CNET Asia. Yesterday, Shareconnector.com, the Dutch p2p release site, was shut down, apparently at the instigation of BREIN, the Netherlands’ RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). We don’t have any further details at this point, but BREIN recently turned its attentions to file sharers, specifically to sites such as Releases4u.com, even going so far as to collect data on the people behind them - with the OK of the Dutch Privacy Authorities. In France, Youceff Torrents, one of the largest BT sites, was shut down by French police Monday afternoon."This morning, Arjan received and e-mail explaining that the servers had in fact been deliberately terminated and the police where on scene," says Slyck, going on that it, "spoke to a rather nervous [owner] Arjan, who explained that the police would find nothing on the servers but torrent files. He does not host any FTP servers or warez."Arjan does not live in France, or believe he has done anything wrong, but he is naturally apprehensive that the local police will make a visit to his door. He also remains defiant, saying that even if the French servers are shut down permanently, he will find elsewhere to host."New economical forces could bring about a new ‘Golden Age’ for Hollywood but, "these same forces threaten to unleash a wave of intellectual piracy that will undermine the very foundations of moviemaking," Dan Glickman, Hollywood’s new mouthpiece, stated at a Newsmaker Luncheon at the US National Press Club last month. The studios would rather, "produce courtroom dramas than star in them," Glickman said.

C. EDonkey to Studios: Let’s Work Together
The movie industry should embrace eDonkey as a legitimate distribution medium for online movies, said company Pres. Sam Yagan. On Tues., the MPAA announced a new strategy to sue individuals operating tracking servers for eDonkey and 2 other popular P2P platforms. Yagan told us he hasn’t been named in any MPAA suit. “EDonkey ought to be the gateway to video rental on the Web, it’s a no-brainer,” said Yagan. So far, movie studios aren’t interested, but Yagan has had slightly better luck with some independent music labels. “We are very slowly trying to build a new distribution business,” he said. MPAA Senior Vp John Malcolm said it’s not up to his organization to negotiate distribution deals, but said he isn’t surprised Yagan isn’t getting a warm reception from the studios: "I can understand the reluctance to deal with someone who has repeatedly robbed you and now wants to design your security system."Yagan shrugged off the thief label as misplaced: “This is a neutral technology.” Aside from illegal file sharing, the system is also used by independent film distributors, non-profits, Radio and TV stations and individuals trading public-domain materials he said.File-sharing advocates said the MPAA and RIAA have done an effective job vilifying the technology and those who create it. “The industries are clearly within their rights to bring suits but they’re wrong to do it” said P2P United Exec. Dir. Adam Eisgrau: “They want to create the impression that there is some type of wheel with a software developer sitting at the hub.” New P2P systems are almost entirely automated, he added.Attempts to eliminate the eDonkey servers won’t affect the popular file sharing system because it’s so widespread, Yagan said. “Even if our company did [disappear], there are 30 to 40 million people who use our software. It’s not going to go away.” The only way to shut it down would be to confiscate every computer on earth with eDonkey software on it, Yagan said. The overwhelming prevalence of the software is central to eDonkey’s business plan. The 6-employee company makes money by selling ads on the eDonkey control bar and charging $19.95 for premium versions of the program.

D. P2P Needs a Fix, but What?
As the Federal Trade Commission’s two-day workshop exploring peer-to-peer technology ended Thursday, both sides in the debate expressed a willingness to work together but found little common ground.

The FTC is collecting preliminary information on P2P technology and software, which detractors claim often mislead consumers by giving them the impression that they can legally download copyright works without permission. Some P2P companies are also accused of installing persistent spyware and adware on users’ computers without their knowledge. The Recording Industry Association of America, meanwhile, points to studies showing that the rise of P2P has coincided with a drop in record sales, although P2P advocates point to studies that suggest no correlation at all. And Tuesday, the Motion Picture Association of America filed suit against individuals who help index users of BitTorrent, eDonkey and Direct Connect P2P software.

At the FTC’s workshop, several P2P advocates urged the FTC or some other government agency to conduct an objective study of whether P2P networks truly harm content industries. Sam Yagan, president of eDonkey, directly challenged RIAA President Cary Sherman to join his call for a new P2P study not funded by either side so government officials can build a definitive record on the effects of P2P.
Sherman seemed to dismiss the idea. "The oldest thing in the book is when you want to delay something, do a study," he said, arguing that eDonkey should instead work on signing private licensing agreements with content owners. "Work it out so that people can’t take the stuff for free," he said. Sherman and other content-industry advocates said they want to embrace legitimate P2P services (noting recent industry deals with Snocap and Wurld Media), but P2P providers insisted that they have been largely rebuffed.

Content industries point to the refusal by most P2P firms to use filtering technologies that would stop the trading of certain copyright files, although many P2P representatives said such filtering would be unworkable. Content owners said P2P services only oppose filtering because they fear losing user traffic.
"It is very easy to do it if you have the will to do it," said Dean Garfield, the MPAA’s vice president and director of legal affairs for worldwide anti-piracy efforts, adding that the industry is willing to look at other ways to protect content as well."We’re not wedded to filtering as the only solution," he said. "We’re open to other solutions. We just want people to work at it."

But others suggested that any filtering efforts by leading P2P software companies would do little to stem piracy because new, non-filtered P2P software would simply crop up to take filtered services’ place."This entire debate about filtering is an enormous red herring," said Peter Menell, a professor at the University of California at Berkley law school. After the workshop, Morpheus CEO Michael Weiss told Wired News that content-industry representatives continue to dig in their heels despite overtures from P2P companies, although he praised the FTC for holding a forum to get views from all sides of the debate. Other attendees, meanwhile, expressed concern that policy-makers will use continued tension between content providers and the P2P camp as an invitation to get involved."I fear that this FTC workshop was just an exercise to help set the stage for a full-blown agency investigation of the P2P market," said Adam Thierer, director of telecommunications studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
"There’s a very good chance this will be the first step toward federal regulation of P2P players and the marketplace more broadly in the name of ending ‘deceptive practices,’" he said. "But the FTC could be opening a big can of worms here since most of the problems on P2P networks – viruses, spyware, porn, etc. – are common throughout cyberspace."

In addition, several panelists recommended a blanket licensing system that would create a royalty pool for copyright owners whose works are traded over P2P networks. Bennett Lincoff, former director of legal affairs for new media at performing-rights society ASCAP, said Congress should create "single, uniform digital-transmission rights" that apply to all works on P2P networks and fairly compensate artists through a "census" of which files are most downloaded. He said most consumers would pay for content that was easily obtainable and free of draconian digital-rights-management restrictions."If that’s not true, then all is truly lost," he said.

Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the FTC should look into whether content industries’ business structures are preventing such collective-licensing schemes from becoming reality. Of course, critics of such plans argue they are just another form of compulsory licensing that wouldn’t serve artists well.
"Do we really want to carry these flawed, legacy models into the digital age?" asked attendee Patrick Ross, a vice president at the Progress & Freedom Foundation. FTC officials, meanwhile, said they will continue to study P2P in 2005.
It’s hard to know what conclusions the agency will draw, but in closing remarks, Susan Creighton, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, noted P2P’s "immense promise" and urged Congress "to proceed with caution" before contemplating any P2P regulation.</i>

</p>

19 décembre 2004

A. P2P Battle Shifts to High Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is about to play a vital role in determining the fortunes of the music industry. Its decision in the so-called Grokster case will finally clarify the industry’s ability to control peer-to-peer technology through existing law. In so doing, the court will influence the industry at every level, including its ability to invest in artists and songwriters, entertainment industry lawyers say. The High Court on Dec. 10 gave the nod to record labels, music publishers, songwriters and major motion picture studios, agreeing to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled that P2P operators Grokster and StreamCast were not liable for copyright infringements by users of their file-sharing technology. Gregory Garre, a partner with Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C., highlights the significance of the court’s decision to hear the case. Only about 100 cases out of roughly 8,000 petitions filed each year are granted review by the court, he says. Garre, formerly with the Solicitor General’s office within the Department of Justice, now heads the firm’s Supreme Court practice. He believes the justices will have two concerns as they review this case. First, they will focus on whether the P2P services facilitate a blatant way for users to defeat copyright laws, threatening this important form of intellectual property.

Betamax Precedent
While the Supreme Court in 1984 held that Sony Corp. of America was not liable for any copyright infringement by users of its Betamax video recorder, Garre notes, the evidence in the Grokster case is different. Most people used the Betamax for lawful reasons – to watch recorded TV programs at a later time. In the Grokster case, the record shows that the substantial majority of P2P users infringe copyrights, he says. The court also will be sensitive to the fact that its ruling may have dramatic effects in the marketplace for technology and entertainment, Garre says. Its ruling will reflect careful consideration of these concerns, he predicts. None of the lawyers Billboard contacted believe the court’s decision will change the 1984 Sony Betamax decision. "It has served the law well for the last 20 years," Garre says. The justices will most likely interpret that decision and apply it to current technology. As the nine justices consider the issues and listen to oral arguments, expected to be scheduled for March, they will take a common-sense approach, Garre says. While appellate courts focus on applying legal precedent, he explains, the Supreme Court tends to be concerned with the practical dimensions of their decisions. The justices could explore alternative ways to restrict copyright infringement on the P2P networks, says Marc Jacobson, of Greenberg Traurig in New York. The court could send the case back to the District Court in Los Angeles – where it is still pending on other issues – for that court to explore the alternatives and then apply rules provided by the Supreme Court.

Friends or Foes?
The parties to this case won’t be the only ones raising issues with the court, Garre notes. "This is the kind of case that is going to attract an enormous amount of amicus briefs." Anyone with an interest in the case may file a "friend of the court" brief with consent of the parties, which is rarely denied. This could prove troublesome to the parties, however. While some organizations may coordinate their efforts with one side, they are not required to do so, Garre says. Their interests could undermine a strategy developed by the parties they support. Amicus briefs will be especially important in educating the court in how the technology works and why these issues are so important, Garre adds. The decision is expected before the court adjourns for the summer. A wild card in the process is whether Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who is ailing, will take part in the decision. Rehnquist was a dissenter in the Sony Betamax case. In the meantime, the industry continues to face an uncertain future."We’re going to have to get a handle on digital piracy in order to get investors comfortable and to restore stability in the recording and publishing industry," says Michael Elkin, with Thelen Reid & Priest. Pending copyright-related legislation is likely to stay on hold until the court rules.

Source: Reuters</i>

B. SUPRNOVA.org and TORRENTBITS.org CLOSED
From Suprnova:
"Greetings everybody,
As you have probably noticed, we have often had downtimes. This was because it was so hard to keep this site up!
But now we are sorry to inform you all, that SuprNova is closing down for good in the way that we all know it.
We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links.
We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything.
Thank you all that helped us, by donating mirrors or something else, by uploading and seeding files, by helping people out on IRC and on forum, by spreading the word about SuprNova.org.
It is a sad day for all of us!
Please visit SuprNova.org every once in a while to get the latest news on what is happening and if there is anything new to report on.
As we wish to maintain the nice comunity that we created, we are keppig forums and irc servers open.
Thank you all and Goodbye!
sloncek & the rest of the SuprNova Team"

From TorrentBits:
"Good-bye
Thanks to all users, uploaders, mods and donors for helping create the best torrent site on the net, but this is where the road ends for us."</i>

</p>

20 décembre 2004

A. SuprNova.org ends, not with a bang but a whimper
SuprNova.org, the most popular BitTorrent file-sharing site, is to stop hosting torrent links.
In a message posted on its website, the site operators say the site "is closing down for good in the way that we all know it. We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links. We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything." SuprNova’s IRC channel and forums will remain open. Suprnova’s demise as a BitTorrent clearing house coincides with increasing legal pressure in America and Europe against P2P-enabled piracy. In the last week the Movie Picture Ass. of America signalled its intention to pursue the P2P server operators in a new front in its war internet movie pirates. Also, a popular BitTorrent site in Finland was raided by police, and an eDonkey site in the Netherlands was raided and shut down. According to a recent academic study, BitTorrent traffic accounted for 53 per cent of all P2P internet traffic in June. BitTorrent speeds file transfers by segmenting content and downloading parts from multiple users rather than a single server. As you receive a file, so other BitTorrent users are able to grab it from you in the same way. The idea is to ensure a more even sharing of bandwidth between participants. BitTorrent is not a classic P2P application as it’s about improving download performance rather than sharing files per se. Files are found through links on websites, rather than the application itself. The MPAA and co. are gunning for operators of servers which carry these links.
Source: The Register

</p>

21 décembre 2004

A. Hollywood Campaign Hits WebSites
The MPAA legal campaign has hit 100 BitTorrent servers Movie studio efforts to stop pirated films being shared on peer-to-peer networks have claimed a high-profile victim. The campaign of legal action is thought to be behind the closure of the widely used Suprnova.org website. The site was the most popular place for people swapping and sharing links for the BitTorrent network. A recent study showed that more than half of the peer-to-peer traffic during June was for the BitTorrent system.

Shut down
In a message posted on Suprnova.org on Sunday, the site’s controllers said the site was "closing down for good in the way that we all know it". If the site did return, the message said, it would not be hosting any more torrent links. It continued: "We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything. "The only parts that would keep going, said the operators of the Suprnova site, were the discussion forums and net chat channels. The site is thought to have closed following an announcement by the Motion Picture Association of America that it was launching legal action against those operating BitTorrent servers rather than end users. Because of the way that BitTorrent works, server sites do not host the actual file being shared, instead they host a link that points people to others that have it. By targeting those servers which link to copyrighted material, the MPAA hopes to cripple a user’s ability share those files using BitTorrent. In the opening days of the MPAA campaign, the organisation filed 100 lawsuits against operators of BitTorrent server sites. The launching of the legal action seems to be having an effect. Phoenix Torrents, another popular BitTorrent site, has also decided to shut down and, though it gave no reasons for the closure, it is thought to be motivated by the threat of legal action. Last week Finnish police raided a BitTorrent site based in the country that, according to reports, let 10,000 users share pirated films, software, music and games.
Source: BBC</i>

B. BitTorrent file-swapping networks face Crisis
BitTorrent "hubs" that publish lists of movies, TV shows and other free downloads suddenly went dark this weekend, in a major victory for Hollywood that highlights vulnerabilities in technology behind the world’s busiest peer-to-peer network. Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America launched a series of worldwide legal actions, aimed at people who ran the infrastructure for BitTorrent networks being used to distribute movies and other copyrighted materials without permission. The MPAA’s actions have put pressure on a short list of large Web sites that had served as hubs for the BitTorrent community and that had operated for months or even years. Many of those sites have now vanished almost overnight, including the SuprNova.org site that was by far the most popular gathering point for the community, serving more than a million people a day, according to one academic study. The disappearance of the big sites is unlikely to eliminate BitTorrent swapping altogether, but it does bring to a close an era of operating in the open without fear of legal reprisals. The resulting shift to the underground will likely make files harder to find, as traders move onto private networks or smaller communities, file-swapping insiders said. "We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links" to content, said a message posted over the weekend to the SuprNova site, which was no longer available Monday morning. "We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything." The fallout marks a substantial victory for the MPAA and its allies, which have sat on the sidelines for years as sites such as SuprNova openly set up shop as file-swapping indexes. Such locales became convenient if not indispensable destinations for millions of people seeking one-click downloads of TV shows, movies, games and music. Over the past two years, BitTorrent has risen to become one of the most popular file-swapping tools on the Net, accounting for a majority of peer-to-peer traffic on ISP networks as of last summer, according to network monitoring firm CacheLogic. Because the technology was designed from the beginning to make distributing large files efficient, much of this traffic was dedicated to full-length, high-quality movies and software.

C. Fake MPAA/RIAA eMule Servers
The entertainment industry has taken its efforts to crush the p2p networks a step further by trying to swamp eMule.
Online scalp-hunter MediaCentry has set up fake eMule servers to try to try to trap file sharers, says Joseph Farthing in a Methlabs post which, though a month old, remains relevant. MediaCentry is joined at the hip with both the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). “The servers, which were all hosted in the United States of America, were listed in a number of commonly used eMule server lists,” says Farthing, going on: “Although it is not clear how the servers managed to slip past administrators, it is apparent that around 98000 people were using just one server before the problem was spotted. The servers have been removed from many lists already, http://www.gruk.org/list.php and http://ed2k.2x4u.de/list.html are currently proven safe.”

à Paris le 21/12/04