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General Gnutella / Gnutella Network Discussion For general discussion about Gnutella and the Gnutella network.
For discussion about a specific Gnutella client program, please post in one of the client forums above.

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Support Forums

Before you post to one of the specific Client Help and Support Conferences in Gnutella Client Forums please look through other threads and Stickies that may answer your questions. Most problems are not new. The Search function is most useful. Also the red Stickies have answers to the most commonly asked questions. (over 90 percent).
If your problem is not resolved by a search of the forums, please take the next step and post in the appropriate forum. There are many members who will be glad to help.
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The Rules

1. Warez, copyright violation, or any other illegal activity may NOT be linked or expressed in any form. Topics discussing techniques for violating these laws and messages containing locations of web sites or other servers hosting illegal content will be silently removed. Multiple offenses will result in consequences. File names are not required to discuss your issues. If filenames are copyright then do not belong on these forums & will be edited out or post removed. Picture sample attachments in posts must not include copyright infringement.

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Violation of any of these rules will bring consequences, determined on a case-by-case basis.

Thank You! Thanks for taking the time to read these forum guidelines. We hope your visit is helpful and mutually beneficial to the entire community.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2003
Join Date: April 5th, 2003
Posts: 1
PureSpeeD is flying high
Default Gnutella breaching copyright laws?

isnt gnutella breaching copyright laws

unlike napster why is gnutella ok?
or have they just got away with it for now?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2003
Distinguished Member
Join Date: September 21st, 2002
Location: Aachen
Posts: 733
trap_jaw is flying high

Gnutella is only a protocol, it can be used for many legal purposes.

It's the users who are breaking the law.
Morgens ess ich Cornflakes und abends ess ich Brot
Und wenn ich lang genug gelebt hab, dann sterb ich und bin tot

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 8th, 2003
Join Date: February 27th, 2003
Posts: 20
TranceTip is flying high

As the Gnutella network is completely decentralized (except for a large number of Gnutella host caches) there is noone who can be made responsible for its existence and any copyright issues, and the network cannot be disabled due to its decentralized nature. As trap_jaw stated, it's some of the users who violate copyright laws, not Gnutella itself. But well, that was the same with Napster. Not Napster itself was breaking copyright laws, nevertheless Napster was made responsible, because of the centralized server and because breaking copyright laws was "encouraged".

Last edited by TranceTip; April 9th, 2003 at 10:29 PM.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2003
backmann's Avatar
Join Date: November 29th, 2001
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 869
backmann is flying high

Originally posted by trap_jaw
Gnutella is only a protocol, it can be used for many legal purposes.

It's the users who are breaking the law.

---unlike napster why is gnutella ok?---
Well, that was Napster's argument also. They were right, but it was shut down. Why is Gnutella still alive? It is open and decentralised. Napster was fully centralised. You had an username and password. You don't need them in Gnutella. There is no central server to be blocked, not even the old Gnutella host caches. With GWebCache anybody can host a list of the users. If Gnutella is ever brought down, it will be long after Fasttrack is.

"In the dark we make a brighter light"
Gnutella Forums en Español!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2003
91 is my age not my IQ!
Join Date: February 24th, 2003
Location: Singapore
Posts: 325
David91 is flying high
Default Jurisdictional differences

Hi Guys

Napster's problem as a centralised legal person was compounded by its physical location in the USA. The American courts have always been more protectionist in defending the rights of entrenched suppliers. In more open societies where the enforcement of the law more closely follows the prevailing cultural trends, judges wait to see whether changes have undesirable social consequences before acting arbitrarily to suppress novelty. It is sadly amusing to watch the hypocrisy of American judges in arbitrarily accepting and rejecting identical causation arguments when applied to the supply of liquor, guns and the means of exchanging data. But policy-making judges have never been afraid of taking purely political decisions to protect the commercial interests of those who have access to power in that state. And, in America where the appointment of judges is a highly politicised process, the inherent risk of bias is greatly increased.

So trap_jaw is correct. The means of file exchange is not itelf a breach of copyright. There is a massive rump of works out of copyright (50 years is a good yardstick figure for the ending of protection) and these works can all be exchanged lawfully. Almost all states also permit limited categories of copying for private or educational purposes. So when I put a copyright protected work that I purchased into my Shared file and you download it, you are breaking the copyright because you have freeloaded and not paid the artist and his or her commercial distributor for their time, labour and capital investment in the creation and promotion of that work. Yet the more recent development in the USA is for the major music players to threaten large companies and educational sites with infringement proceedings because they are allowing file exchange on their machines. It is only a matter of time before your school, university or employer shuts down access to Gnutella out of fear of legal action. How long will it be before some poor employee is fired as an example to deter the others or schools and universities take disciplinary action against individual students?

You should all take an interest in this issue. Balancing the freedoms and interests of individuals, artists and big businesses affects us all in our everyday lives.
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