We Usenet folks sit on the sidelines and watch the Bittorrent IP subpoena game heat up. Now one side has gone all-in after recent semi-success threatening to subpoena/sue/settle with other Bittorrentors. This was my warning on the legal and financial precendents set with these IP gathering shenanigans. Like Gordon Gecko's recalled "Greed is good" quote from Wall Street 2 ...“Now it seems it’s legal.” I say we should not be solely focused on any possible illegality of bittorents, but be directly focused on the legality of this abuse of privacy and personal freedom. Otherwise this distasteful abuse of the law might become the next Legal Firm Gold Rush ...and that piling-on could be the death of bittorrents, along with our freedoms and privacy online, as collateral damage. Of course anyone wanting software to hide their IP could use Google to search, duh.
For one brief moment we glimpsed a brave warrior of Justice take a stand against the obvious ill-intentioned, yet legal, coercion being undertaken as a new business opportunity by Law firms. When a Law can so easily be twisted into something so rank as this, does it call that Law into question? In the link above I am refering to the recently popular ruling some hoped would set the legal precedent that an "IP address does not equal a person", which clearly would have put an end to this scandalous trend of IP address extortion. Turns out this claim was very much debatable as far as setting any hard precedent. At least the intention to call these fishing expeditions what they are ...a shakedown, was spoken by someone outside our Community. This is exactly the kind of News item to track, as surely there is more to come.
Luckily the Law works both ways and even other Lawyers have to offered some assistance to the "accused". Of course the lawyer who came up with a plan to challenge these mass subpoenas was promptly sued himself ...who would have guessed? We can only hope that other judges stand up to this abuse of power and frivolous demand on an over-taxed legal system. Pay attention people! There are equally creative ways to defend yourself from these attacks. I know they are going after bittorentors because typically they are the younger folks who can't afford Usenet accounts and luxuries like personal VPNs. Come on you college kids ;-) shave $10 a month off your vodka budget and get an unlimited Usenet Account ...or shave $35 a month off your weed budget and get a Giganews Diamond Account. Aww yeah, VyprVPN on your iPhone? ...Priorities!
[disclaimer:College kids? Just say "No thanks" to vodka and weed, and piracy. They are all BaD! ...oh and illegal. (Waving to bros at TorrentFreak) ...and there's nothing wrong with getting your latest Ubuntu distro via bittorrent!]
Stay (more) Sober, Stay Safe, Stay Legal, and Stay in School!