For you, Tommy, ze warez is over

German filesharers' collars felt

Letters Filesharers beware: the German authorities this week kicked in a few doors as part of the ongoing war against the illegal dissemination of music. For you, Tommy, ze warez is over:

The German state prosecutor this week claimed it has searched 130 homes all over Germany and identified 3,500 suspects who have been offering up to 8,000 music files through P2P network eDonkey.

If all this prosecuting continues, are we going to face a situation where up to 80% of the western world's population is languishing in jail for file sharing while our friends in the far east and africa are copying stuff like there is no tommorrow.

At what point is someone sensible going to point out that file sharing is hardly murder or terrorism, and if so many people are doing it, then there is a problem with the current business model, and we the consumer are no longer going to prop up the pigopolists.


Surely if the "authorities claim they have access to a server located in the German city of Hürth, southwest of Cologne, which acts as a distributor in the eDonkey network" then by not shutting the server down they have participated in the crime, and could even be seen as encouraging it.

The word "entrapment" doesn't even come close...


You said:

"Are 3500 German eDonkey file sharers really facing criminal prosecution?"

Answer: Let's hope so !

They are scumbag criminals after all.


Agreed. Let's see 'em swap files while dancing the Tyburn Jig, eh?

3500 People, they searched 130 homes.

Isn't that like, almost 27 people per home?



Actually, it's a known fact that filesharers commonly cohabit in large anarchocommunist clusters, practicising pagan free love and ritual human sacrifice. They still argue over who drank the last of the milk, though.

And when our German filesharing friends eventually find themselves banged up for their trouble, they can forget organising clandestine P2P networks from the comfort of their prison cells, since the powers that be have decided to jam mobile phone signals in German jails. Well, that's the plan:

I don't see why the German governments need special laws. Using a jammer is not illegal if you have an operators licence. They could quite easily get the German mobile networks to install the jammers. I did once speak to an operator that wanted to put a jammer in their meeting rooms to stop people texting in meetings. They could do this because they had the licence. I don't think they did it though.

As an aside the popular phone with prisoners is the because it's easy to hide in a body cavity (sorry). I don't know what you do with the charger :-)

Name supplied

Erm... get the wife to hide it in a big cake?

Of course they could adopt other approaches to the prison mobile phone problem. They could have the networks block calls made from within the prison by using triangulation similar to the location based services in use. Or perhaps The networks could supply the IMEI numbers of phones used within the prison and the authorities could somehow filter out legit numbers and block the offender's phones. Or they could wire up passive GSM short range detectors in the prison for identifying when phones are being used so they can be confiscated.

Anything to stop the crims voting in Big Brother...


As every nerd knows, the best way to halt electromagnetic waves is with a faraday jail.

Just wrap in tinfoil the entire jail.

If open air is needed, put a copper mesh over the openings.

They could also use EMPs to burn the devices, but there will be 'colateral damages' for shure.

Also the 'dual approach' could be more efective: Wrap the building in tin foil and _then_ fry all the inside electronic devices with an EMP (or one every day, at a random time).

Albert, with the tinfoil hat on.

Criminals shouldn't have cellphones in the first place so I say go right ahead and JAM it up their azzes.


Isn't that how they got these damn cellphones into the jail in the first place?

Change of tack: Microsoft has announced the launch of its proprietary Windows Media Photo format. Those wishing to beat the idea with a stick please form an orderly queue:

God does the world really need another photo format? Presumably it's heavily encumbered with patents and other restrictions. It'll never be as widely supported as JPEG or PNG and adds nothing worthwhile that isn't available from them.


What the Christ? The printer (or computer, if it’s a printer without an onboard processor) still has to render it, which could conceivably take longer by using some sort of fancy compression technique which it has not been optimized for.

Regardless, this format will fail – there is no way that digital camera manufacturers will just cut out everyone except Windows Vista and XP users. (perhaps if they had an option on the device itself, but I could see few people activating it unless it was on by default – good luck.)

I still can’t see any benefits over JPEG anway – the format is widely used and understood, and I can’t see the industry making such a huge shift for a couple more kb…


"Microsoft is making a pitch for the jpeg picture market with a rival Windows Media Photo format which will be supported in Windows Vista and made available for XP users."

Whoop-te-do. Microsoft will create yet *another* proprietary format in yet another attempt to overcome existing (and superior) standards.

In related news, the Sun rose at dawn, and pigs have no wings.


Have you asked them if it supports Windows DRM? It wouldn't suprise me and I think we should be told.



Of course, though only a small royalty will be charged, it will lock out any open source projects, just like the FAT filesystem patent.


Your list of specs omitted "Lock Out Open Source," which, while not listed on their public spec sheet, is assuredly in there somewhere, given MS' habitual business practices and their greatest competitor. I'll believe in MS' honest motives when I see this proposed as an ISO standard with no restrictive conditions or royalty requirements. (That faint scraping noise you hear is Lucifer sharpening up his ice skates...)


Not too keen, then? We're inclined to agree that MS faces an uphill struggle getting the industry to adopt its Windows Media Photo. The Betamax of image formats? Time will tell.

We often get emails about Google's contextual ads which run on El Reg, mostly regarding unintentionally amusing juxtapositions of story content and advertisement. This one's worth a look:

Check out the ebay ad on the right of the fusion article. Not only discount but a huge range too, lol!

Mike Wallis

Get yer fusion reactors 'ere

Lovely. We're also attracted to the ad for Nuclear Waste News, which is offering free samples. Put us down for a couple of kilos of spent plutonium.

Now, if we can be deadly serious for a moment, we are very offended by suggestions that we had not realised the full comedy potential of Eastbourne's Sexual Health Action Group. That's right, it says SHAG, dear. I said SHAG! - turn up your hearing aid.

No thanks at all, then, to all those of you who suggested we'd missed this deliciously silly acronym, like this bloke did:

Maybe I've been working in Local Government too long, but I have to say the idea of a Sexual Health Action Group doesn't sound dodgy to me - sounds like an action group focusing on promoting Sexual Health.

Far better in my view are some of the jobs advertised in Councils and Primary Care trusts: "Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinator" and "Substance Misuse Co-ordinator" spring to mind. These people really do exist!

[Name withheld to protect correspondent from peer group ridicule]

Finally, a quick word on the pedigree bulldog 419. Form these words into a well-known phrase: fool/money/parted...

Ms. Wombad is a liar!

I didn't want to be greedy, so I sent her $900 to cover the fair market value of the bulldog. She didn't send me the dog. I wrote to her, and she said the $900 hadn't included shipping costs, so I sent her an extra $150. Still no dog. I wrote again and she said she had forgotten about the customs fees. I am starting to think this might be a scam. I'm sending her a final $100 to cover fees but after that, if she doesn't send the dog, I'm not sending any more money. That'll teach her!


Good show. We're off now to the Cameroon Bulldog Breeders' Association annual dinner and dance at the Mugu Palace Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria. Have youselves a merry and scam-free weekend. ®

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