The Pirate Bay Blockaded (Part 2)

5/10/2012 3:51:33 PM

What can the Pirate Bay do?

There’s legal recourse like an appeal, but frankly those attempting to neuter the site have effectively infinite resources in terms of legal representation. Nevertheless, it probably doesn’t require any great expenditure or skill to keep the site alive while moving its IP around in a classic three-cups conjurer’s sleight of hand.

Why am I suggesting it won’t work? Historical precedent suggests that DNS-level blocking doesn’t actually stop people finding an interest location.

Description: What can the Pirate Bay do?

In February 2008, the Danish courts ordered a regional ISP to block access at domain level, so that the population of that country couldn’t access torrents on the site.

A week later, it reported that traffic originating within Denmark for The Pirate Bay actually increased by 12%. What the high-profile case actually achieved was a free marketing campaign for The Pirate Bay and not a shutdown of any appreciable type.

How do people find the site if they’ve been blocked from obtaining the IP through the DNS servers? These days, people have learned to circumvent DNS foolery by using the OpenDNS service, or some have even constructed their own DNS databases.

Okay, but there are other ways to obstruct a site from access, such as IP address blocking by routers, but will that actually work? Er, no, not really, because it’s really easy to change the IP, and you can even retain the same domain name.

But then even if these things would work, and I can assure you they won’t, there are deeper possibilities that would be almost unstoppable.

One of these would be to create an underground network, something the Pirate Bay has suggested it’s considering doing.

As the torrent was a major leap in the way that files could be distributed, it’s entirely possible to create entirely new linkages between those looking for data and those that have it. What The Pirate Bay is hinting at in its statements are ‘Magnets’ or, as they’re also known, ‘trackerless’ torrents.

The original torrent technology worked by a user downloading a torrent file that included a reference to a server, to which all the people accessing that file are connected, therefore allowing them to exchange portions of the file. Magnets works in a totally different way, where the torrent contains the seed of a calculation (the hash) that the server processes and then sends back the data to the client through the link. Once that’s happened, the client is independent, and there is no easy web of connected IPs to track who downloaded what. Those that use clients like uTorrent already have a means for downloaders to locate others downloading the same file: it’s called DHT (Distributed Hash Table). This has been around for a while and provides a means for clients to locate others without the tracker server, eliminating the need for The Pirate Bay, for example, to be there constantly for downloads to work.

The third element in this unstoppable download architecture is PEX (Peer Exchange), which works very much like one of those business networking sites. As each peer connects to another to download, it passes on information about the other peers that it’s connected to, creating a vast dynamic catalogue of peer data, which can be traversed without reference to a central server.

What’s important to know about all this technology is that it has some weaknesses, like the torrent or another means of initialisation must still include a direct reference to a location that can calculate the hash, and that could be blocked, but the thinking behind DNS-level blocking is so far behind this strategy that it’s bound to fail.

Ultimately, I think The Pirate Bay could become an entirely virtual location, where the torrent data it holds is hosted in an increasingly subtle and convert manner, and the client systems are increasingly talking to each other rather than conveniently linking to a central, and therefore vulnerable source.

Soon, if they’re not already, torrent files will be redundant. By ditching them, entirely The Pirate Bay will not only remove a direct means for those wanting to prove copyright infringement links to client, but the size of the site will reduce in size dramatically, to the point where numerous copies could populate the internet, and use less bandwidth and be much more difficult, if not practically impossible, to block.

I’m not saying that The Pirate Bay won’t be shut down at some point, but saying it’s blocked in the UK is like suggesting that the prohibition of the 1930s ended the consumption of alcohol in the US. Intention doesn’t equal achievement, and the lobbying of big business in the USA and Europe won’t actually stop copyright infringement across the globe.

The list of countries that already block The Pirate Bay is long, and yet it’s the 80th most visited web location on the planet when at least a quarter of the world’s population is technically unable to access it. There’s a mismatch between those figures, and it’s further proof that blocking the site will have little or no impact.

Final thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting bored with these games, because they’re hardly a productive effort to resolve these issues. The content owners bite the politicians and judiciary, who, woken from their slumber, have a website blocked as almost a reflex response. The content owners, or more pointedly their self-appointed representatives, make as much publicity as they can about how the fight against piracy is being won, and those that download movies and music shuffle along to the next best alternative. Whatever the rhetoric, it’s not like it’s achieved anything, and despite being reviled throughout the content industry for the past decade, The Pirate Bay is still going strong, and no legal umbrage a UK court, or any other, is likely to change that soon. It understands the internet, and those in government don’t, so it’s their backyard that this fight is taking place in.

Description: The Pirate Bay Blockaded (Part 3)

The copyright issue, exists because the content providers didn’t embrace new technology when it confronted their old business models, and the general consensus among the downloading public is there are crimes much worse than downloading in the greater scheme of things.

When Disney animators created Lady & The Tramp in 1955, it quite reasonably expected that by now it would be in the public domain, but film industry lobbying has had US law altered twice since to make sure it isn’t. With a track record like, that the content providers are going to have a hard time eliciting any sympathy from the buying public, who’ve been sold the same products numerous times in half a dozen different formats. If you haven’t got it yet, film and music industry, the buying public doesn’t see you as their friend, so why expect them to act like one?

The Pirate Bay has been accused of being a site that facilitates copyright infringement, as perceived by legislators in the US and Europe. That’s almost certain, but then on that yardstick surely every search engine that links to it is an accessory, and even those publications and news aggregators that followed this story are also helping facilitate copyright infringement? Where is the line, because maybe just by talking about this I’m contributing negatively? Should the first rule of ‘Downloading Club’ be, we don’t talk about it?

In the end I’m not entirely sure what we can take from this, other than it represents the lack of any real plan to address the issue, where those aggrieved now resort to symbolic gestures rather than doing anything constructive. It’s all about ‘messages’ and the one that they’re trying to send is that piracy is bad, and those that do it will be disciplined. However, what is actually happening is that they’re advertising to those people who didn’t know where to get their movies, TV, software and music where to find them, and they’ve also demonstrated that these facilities are unlikely to disappear overnight, because they have protection in numbers and resilience in depth. The term ‘counterproductive’ just doesn’t seem sufficient is describing what’s been happening so far.

Nothing has changed. The content owners will still whine about their fantasy missing billions, The Pirate Bay or its shadowy offspring will still exist, and people will still download things.

It’s worth noting that in October 2011 a UK court injunction was sought and given against Usenet indexer Newzbin 2, and BT blocked access. It was later revealed that BT customers worked around the block very quickly, and the block was entirely ineffective.

I’m sure some complete numpty from the film industry will now herald this as the start of a new era where distributed copyrighted material will be banished from the internet, but that’s more of a fantasy than any Hollywood blockbuster that’s likely to be released this summer.

Places The Pirate Bay is blocked


Block Created


July 2010


February 2008


October 2011


May 2010


February 2010


January 2009


August 2008


June 2011


July 2009


November 2009

People’s Republic of China

November 2008


June 2010

United Kingdom

June 2012???

Top 10
Review : Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Review : Canon EF11-24mm f/4L USM
Review : Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
Review : Philips Fidelio M2L
Review : Alienware 17 - Dell's Alienware laptops
Review Smartwatch : Wellograph
Review : Xiaomi Redmi 2
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 2) - Building the RandomElement Operator
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 1) - Building Our Own Last Operator
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2) - Discharge Smart, Use Smart
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
Popular Tags
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone
Visit movie_stars's profile on Pinterest.