p2pnet.net News Opinion:- Late last week, the international mainstream print and electronic media enjoyed another feeding frenzy, thanks once again to the US Department of Justice and its latest cyber-raid, Operation Web Snare.
However, ‘Snare’ was preceeded by the DoJ’s Operation Digital Gridlock which, although it focused only on one small website with a scant few hundred members, generated far more coverage.
Sooner or later it’ll become obvious that Gridlock would have been better named CWOTMAM (Complete Waste Of Time, Money And Manpower) – unless you suspect it to have been a PR exercise, in which case it succeeded brilliantly, religiously following the line the justice department wants Jane and John Doe – and you – to believe >>>
>>> That the Net is riddled with evil file sharers out to rob those innocent, well-meaning multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry folks of what’s rightfully theirs.
Under CWOTMAM, the FBI, the Office of the US Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section jumped the Underground Network, trumpeting:
“This is the first federal law enforcement action against criminal copyright infringement using peer-to-peer networks and shows that we are committed to combating piracy, regardless of the medium used to commit these illegal acts.”
Then came details of raids on five private homes in Texas, New York, and Wisconsin, and against one ISP.
The case is continuing and we’ll tell the whole story – the real story – when it’s all over.
Wild goose chase
For now, Underground Network‘s GuidoZ told p2pnet, “We’re just regular people with jobs and families and homes, just like everyone else.
“We’re not criminals.”
“It’s unfortunate for everyone that the Federal Govenment decided to do this. It just seems like a waste of man power – a wild goose chase. If users were found sharing things they shouldn’t have been sharing, then the DoJ should be going after THEM! That’s the way we’ve always handled it.
“If we find a user sharing something illegal, we ban them instantly.
“Underground Network is a community, not a network. It’s just a forum … just like all the other hundreds of thousands out there.
“This is an ordeal for us and, obviously, I hope it works out fairly for all those involved.”
GuidoZ posted several comments here. Check them out.
As he says in one of them: “It is time to fight. I’ve seen the news when p2p users have been charged/sued, then pay a fine and slowly creep away limping. That’s not the way to do it. If you have done nothing wrong, then FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS. That’s what it’s all about folks. That’s what we’re preparing to do.
“The Underground Network will live on. The forums will still be there like they always have. (After all, that’s the only thing available to ‘join’ when you talk about the network.) I’m sure there will still be hubs with our name on them. (Hell, we usually find hubs with our name on them even when we know nothing about them.)
“We may not win in the press. Doesn’t matter in the long run – we WILL win in court and that’s where it counts. I’ve read the affidavits that were used to obtain the search warrants. Horrid lies, deception, and misconstrued ‘facts’ as I stated before. I cannot possibly see how it will hold up in court. Of course they had truth in them here and there, but I don’t see how they would of obtained the search warrants without the lies. Such a pity it all happened this way.”
Fairness and honesty
This isn’t about file sharing, or losses, real and imagined.
It’s about control and the entertainment industry, for one, is losing it – in all senses of the phrase. And fast.
Big Music and the major studios are panicking because they know that for the first time in history, the people – the ‘consumers’ – have the power, thanks to the Net and p2p.
No one wants to deprive anyone of anything.
Online music lovers and everyone else would be delighted to be able to pay for what they use – they just don’t want to pay through the nose (anymore) for mass produced junk aimed at the lowest common denominator. And in this century, they don’t have to – thanks to the Net and p2p.
P2p isn’t about getting something for nothing. It’s about communicating and sharing. It’s about fairness and honesty. It’s about integrity – concepts studios and record labels are going to have to come to terms with sooner or later. Because p2p is the future. Its potential not only as a primary communications vehicle but also as the principal sales, marketing and distribution technology for the 21st century, is truly staggering.
This is the Digital Age and whatever happens to the entertainment industry, the software and hardware ‘giants’ and all the rest of them, sites such as the Underground Network and the people who run them will multiply on the Net as we know it —— and elsewhere.
And in the meanwhile, the people being persecuted are customers, as are their mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles – with all that implies for the labels and studios.
For the first time ever, they can talk to each other. Instantly.