How have binary newsgroups not been shut down?

Soldato
Joined
17 Oct 2002
Posts
13,360
Location
London
I dont understand why the RIAA have not managed to shut down the binary newsgroups. Everything is stored on a server like napstar so how have they managed to survive?
 
Soldato
Joined
30 Sep 2004
Posts
5,382
Location
Belfast/Edinburgh
I think it's because it's not the common users way of getting material as opposed to the more popular LimeWire, Kazaa etc etc.

Ask how many people how they get their music and films from the net, and how many would say newsgroups apart from the people that usually know what their doing with computers.

Strikes less fear in the hearts of little downloaders if something they've never even heard of is shut down.
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
22 Sep 2005
Posts
66
Paras said:
I dont understand why the RIAA have not managed to shut down the binary newsgroups. Everything is stored on a server like napstar so how have they managed to survive?

For one, the number of uploaders to downloaders is much lower than p2p. When you download from usenet you're not uploading content back to anyone at the same time (as with p2p). Generally it's the uploading of the information thats the more serious crime and only being able to go after (relatively speaking) a handful of people as opposed to great hordes of p2p users has to be a cost / benefit thing. You're also not dishing out your IP to the great unwashed, only usually the usenet server you're accessing. This does add an extra level of difficulty to getting your details. Enforcement can't just connect to a tracker and scrape all the IP's connected to it for example

Most usenet providers also claim that they don't keep logs and / or allow anonymous posting. How true that is, I don't know...I can't imagine they would get away with that if the powers that be demanded they monitor things for a period. Most also charge for the use of their servers which will put them in the ISP / Common carrier category. I'm not entirely sure on the legal stuff attached with all this, but it means that court orders would have to be done to get them to part with subscriber information...which they claim to not keep.

So, basically, it's a bit more effort for much less reward / publicity (which is more important to them?). And, as mentioned, it's relatively unused.

What has been happening recently is the clamping down of the newsgroup indexing sites although I'm not sure theres any legal precedent behind that...just the threat of a lot of legal fees which many places won't be able to afford.

To extend the question I don't see them surviving forever. The fact that indexing services are now targetted means they are turning their attention in that direction and I personally feel it's just a matter of them figuring out a legal angle or strategy before they go after the main newshosts.

Kev
 
Associate
Joined
22 Sep 2005
Posts
66
vonhelmet said:
In other news, why haven't they shut down IRC yet?

They don't know enough about what they're up against.

For some of the same reasons. Folks aren't really doing it as much relatively speaking. Plus there's no real centralised location for it as such, they'd have to wade through channels hunting for people.

They can't shut down 'IRC' as that's just the chat medium. They can only go after the folk running dcc offer bots or whatever it is the kids use these days.

In the same way they can't shut down usenet as a lot of usenet is legitimate text posting (and very very useful) but the binaries part is almost exclusively used for shady stuff. And, regardless, there are very few 'serious' binary news providers that most people use. Targetting them is a very viable option.

As for not knowing what they're up against...well if you really think that then you're so far mistaken it's not even funny. It's more the complete opposite, they know exactly what they're up against and are aware that, at the moment, IRC dcc stuff is small fry and they have larger things to worry about.

Kev
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Nov 2003
Posts
5,615
Location
Scotland
They most likely can't shut down binary newsgroups as like IRC, they actually serve a legitimate purpose. It's similar to when they got in a tizzy about Bittorrent, they tried to have the client banned and it got laughed out of court as it's a legitimate way of distributing files. They had to go after the trackers instead.

The very worst they could do is put pressure on ISPs to not carry the groups that are known to contain nothing but copyright material.
 
Associate
Joined
22 Sep 2005
Posts
66
FishFluff said:
They most likely can't shut down binary newsgroups as like IRC, they actually serve a legitimate purpose. It's similar to when they got in a tizzy about Bittorrent, they tried to have the client banned and it got laughed out of court as it's a legitimate way of distributing files. They had to go after the trackers instead.

The very worst they could do is put pressure on ISPs to not carry the groups that are known to contain nothing but copyright material.

Problem is they can pressure servers not to carry either binaries carte blanche or the most obvious groups. Nothing to stop people putting content in other groups, but it could be a constantly revised list of groups not to carry.

THe main point is that there are a dozen or so news providers who basically earn a living from providing high retention binary access to these groups. Assuming a legal angle can be found (or even just a civil case with the kind of money the cartels have backing them up) taking these out of business would cause a significant dent in usenet usage for a period. And once it's been done once, any popping up to replace them would be subject to the same treatment at some stage in the future.

Kev
 
Suspended
Joined
26 Jul 2003
Posts
6,348
Location
Surrey
As a Usenet administrator we often get the usual requests to our abuse department from big hollywood studios and music studios to suspend our users who are seen uploading illegal content (it doesnt matter how you try to disguise who you are your providor knows ;)).

As someone has stated we do not allow anonymous posting we also remove groups when legitimately requested to (kiddy porn and the like). We also remove posts when requested to by the copyright holder.

As to why its not been shutdown - its because historically it pre-dates such new fangled things as PHP based forums as a discussion forum (text groups). Binary groups also have a perfectly legitimate use and the only people they really care about are the uploaders.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
17 Oct 2002
Posts
13,360
Location
London
Interesting,

So tell me something else. Are the post from one group stored on a single server (like a website)? Or do each of the ISPs / usenet providers have a server they sotre the information on?

So for example I have an account with www.usenetserver.com do they just provide me access to the servers where everything I stored or do they have there own servers?

Sorry for the silly questions but I don’t know much about it.
 
Suspended
Joined
26 Jul 2003
Posts
6,348
Location
Surrey
Paras said:
Interesting,

So tell me something else. Are the post from one group stored on a single server (like a website)? Or do each of the ISPs / usenet providers have a server they sotre the information on?

So for example I have an account with www.usenetserver.com do they just provide me access to the servers where everything I stored or do they have there own servers?

Sorry for the silly questions but I don’t know much about it.

Its long and complicated but I will try to summerise.

Each news service has its own massive amount of storage. A full daily feed is approx 2.5TB a day now, so if a news service has 60 days binary retention (like Giganews does) then they have 150TB of usable disk space - thats not taking into account that they are probably running Raid for redundancy as having disk spindles THAT busy means a high attrition rate. So assuming its raid1 or raid0+1 then its likely to be 300TB of storage (ish).

News providors talk to each other with a news feed (they arrange peering with each other) so that any articles posted by their own users get distrubted to all other news providors, every news article has a unique identifier so when you have more than one feed you might be getting the same information and you know what to reject and what to accept.
 
Back
Top Bottom