ITS 380: Global E-commerce Systems

John Bergstrom

CH8 HW

1.      Why did TPB believe it was not violating copyright laws? What did the Swedish court rule?

Well first off, TPB mostly functioned like a search engine like Google or Bing, but with the noticeable difference that their search tool only brought torrents as a result of one’s search, The torrents shown were a combination of torrents hosted on TPB’s servers and other torrent programs, therefore TPB argued that they were no different than Bing or Google in the sense that it was the user who had all the control and were committing copyright crimes while using their website/tool. And I agree, TPB weren’t different from any other search engine besides the fact that they specialized in finding torrents, which most of the time turned out to be files in the form of video or music. Being from Sweden myself and also personally knowing one of the guys involved in the case, I can say that the Swedish government obeyed the commands of the U.S. in this case and put the main guys behind the website behind bars with and slapped all four of them with a very large fine. I believe that the main reason for this punishment being possible was because at the time TPB had online advertisement on their website which generated some revenue for them, but I also know that the revenue gained from the ads were not profitable for the people involved as they just went to server and system maintenance. There was always this idea that the TPB was set up like some large corporation with a clearly defined hierarchy and roles for the people involved. When in reality, the TPB was just a loosely set up network compromising of individuals who were interested in tech and e-distribution of information.

2.      How has TPB managed to continue operating despite being found in violation of copyright laws?

During TPB’s years of fame, they had gained a quite large following and many of the people using TPB were “fans” of them (including myself). TPB managed to transfer their server data around the world to different countries so that the police had a hard time finding them. TPB was ahead of a lot of organizations when it came to cloud solutions as they utilized the cloud system to surpass the long arm of the law many times. Major Swedish ISP Bahnhof were a big part of TPB’s success of avoiding the police and sustaining their servers as they refused to cooperate with American agencies based on Swedish privacy laws to prohibited Bahnhof from giving out IP information about private people and companies. At one point, TPB even got to move in their servers to Bahnhof’s own “server-cave” in central Stockholm. T

3.      How has the music industry reacted to the problems created by pirates like TPB?

Even though TPB is not needed anymore today, I think they have contributed greatly to the movie and music industry as they made the industry realize that they have to digitalize their content in order to make profit and make it more accessible for customers. Without TPB we would probably still have streaming services like we do today, but in a much stricter format in terms of paying for it. As a natural result of TPB, the music and movie industry had to adapt and make their content more easy to access for their customers. Because of TPB, we today have Netflix, Spotify, Voddler, Imusic, Google Play, Youtube Red, etc.

Project question

1.      Develop a list of privacy protection features that should be present if a website is serious about protecting privacy. Then visit, at least four well-known websites and examine their privacy policies. Write a report that rates each of the websites on the criteria you have developed.

Here is a short list that I developed based on privacy protection:

·         Pop-up blockers – Preventing calls to malicious ad servers that forces pop-up, pop-under, and leave behind ads in new tabs behind the one your operating in as these ads can contain malware.

·         Secure e-mail – Offering email and document encryption when you are communicating with them so that no one can interfere the communication between the user and the website.

·         Cookie managers – Preventing client computer from accepting cookies from the website so that the users web history is protected

·         Policy generator – Automating the development of an OECD privacy compliance policy.

Company

eBay

Amazon

Wells Fargo

Facebook

Pop-up blocker

X

X

X

X

Encrypted communication

X

X

X

X

Cookie manager

X

x

X

x

Policy generator

 

X

X

x

Total # of safety measures

3

4

4

4

 

2.      Review the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Examine each of the major sections of the legislation and make a list of the protections afforded property owners and users of copyrighted materials. Do you believe this legislation balances te interests of owners and users appropriately? Do you have suggestions for strengthening “fair use” provisions in this legislation?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 is legislation that has brought a lot of change to US Copyright. It has strengthened the lawful safeguard of intellectual property right by developing new information technologies. The DMCA consists of 6 large sections of legislation, but it is within Title 1 and 2 where the most relevant and important legislature can be found. Title 1 has imposed two restrictions of property owners, one on the evasion of technical methods adopted by copyright owners to protect their works, and the other on dealing with patented evidence. Title 2 can be summed up as adding four new major rules to Copyright law to follow. The first one is about transitory communication, where the service provider works as a data conduit when the digital information is transmitted from one point to another. System caching is the exercise of storing copies of material that has been provided by online methods rather than a provider of oneself for a limited time and then conveys that to a subscriber. Third, invading material on web sites or other evidence presented to service providers systems should be met by following the requirements of; not having information of the invading activity, not receiving any financial benefit from such activity, and actively block access to the material upon receiving notification of claimed infringement. It is hard to balance the interests of copyright users and owners, but I do believe that the DMCA are doing the best they can. But they are operating in an everchanging digital world, so they have to start to try forecasting the next technology or method of infringements of copyright. Although, sometimes I do believe that copyright laws can be too tough on minor players or organizations that are not infringing on copyright willingly. There should be some leeway given to smaller organizations and people sometimes.