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  1. #1

    Cory Doctorow on 1and1 and bitTorrent

    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/06/05...ng_compan.html

    Idiot hosting company thinks BitTorrent is illegal and bandwidth-hogging
    On Friday, I blogged about how a hosting company called 1and1 had told one of its customers to stop infringing copyright -- where the "infringing" activity was distributing his own movie over BitTorrent.

    Now 1and1 is shoving its foot deeper and deeper down its own throat. Carl, another 1and1 customer, wrote to the company to say how disappointed he was by this decision and got this mind-bogglingly clueless response:

    I am sorry that you feel this way. However bit torrent generates a lot of traffic and is too hard to keep under control. If we allow bit torrent on our shared system this would create a huge influx in traffic. Also even though people using the bit torrent for good purposes such a promoting there own work or whatever it might be. It is mainly used to download copyrighted files of music, video, etc. If we are allow this on our service we could have a lot of legal issues to deal with that could just be avoided. I apologize for this inconvience again and hope you have a good day.

    Well, no it doesn't generate a lot of traffic. That's the whole point of BitTorrent. If you distribute large, popular files via a BitTorrent tracker (instead of via an ftp or web server) then the vast majority of the bandwidth used to transfer the file is provided by the people who are downloading it, not by the person hosting it.

    And no, you can't get in legal trouble for allowing people to use BitTorrent to serve non-infringing files. Hell, email and IM and http are used to carry copyrighted, infringing "music, video, etc" in vast, uncountable numbers -- why not make your ISP even safer by not permitting your customers to use any protocols? (The answer is that the DMCA specifically exempts ISPs from liability for this sort of thing, so there is literally nothing to worry about -- something that anyone running an ISP should know)

    The hosting company in question is 1and1. Their phone number is 1-877-GO-1AND1. The main email address is [email protected]. Link (Thanks, Carl!)

    Update: Colin sez, "I thought I'd point to Hurricane Electric who actually offer a bittorrent tracker and superseed to their hosting customers which goes to show 1and1 are just talking through a hole in their hat (and Hurricane Electric actually get the net)."
    you guys are hosting companies, what do you think?

  2. #2
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    oh dear, oh dear, oh dear
    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

  3. #3
    I think this client should discuss this with 1&1 instead of asking the opinion of those who do not work for the company or understand our policies.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by 1and1Support
    I think this client should discuss this with 1&1 instead of asking the opinion of those who do not work for the company or understand our policies.
    Didn't the customer already attempt to discuss it with you? Seems like they did from the correspondence above.
    Jeremy Johnstone
    Personal Blog: http://www.jeremyjohnstone.com/blog

  5. #5
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    1nd1Support,

    WebHostingTalk is a discussion forum and the main reason why the poster submited his message was entirely for this purpose.
    As you should clearly know, 1und1 is not the only hosting provider faced with this issue. Many of the members of the boards have the same issues and the thread was opened for the sole purpose of discussing the matter.

    Thus, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    Lorand R. Minyo
    Co-Founder @ Neveli

  6. #6
    Many of the members of the boards have the same issues and the thread was opened for the sole purpose of discussing the matter.
    exactly i'm not related to the story i quoted, i read boingboing and just thought it would be of interest to some members here

    i wonder why one provider would say it's illegal and then another promote it? who's wrong? sure bittorrent is abused in as much as it's used for obtaining warez but it's also a great distribution means.

    But, that being said, is it just easier for hosts to ban it's use instead of allowing it and having to "regulate" it, which i would imagine is what 1and1 is leaning towards, but that still doesn't make bittorrent illegal.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by aqi32
    but that still doesn't make bittorrent illegal.
    Exactly! Otherwise the Fedora Core 4 64bit DVD I downloaded via BitTorrent from Fedora's (RedHat owned of course) site would be illegal I guess wouldn't it.
    Jeremy Johnstone
    Personal Blog: http://www.jeremyjohnstone.com/blog

  8. #8
    it's atricky subject...each sompany has rules of there own....for example "yes you can host a torrent tracker, but no illegal files are to be shared" well as far as i am concerned torent files are not illegal! ftp maybe? i dunno...it all comes down to who decides what is l;egal or not, oh and btw the way the mpaa & RIAA suck, as a torrent user i probably spend more money on buying "legal" dvds, cds etc etc then i would have ever. i dld it, like it, buy it.

  9. #9
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    I love how these "big name" "hosts" get all jittery when someone calls them out on a very serious issue. Personally, I wouldn't want my customers to use my servers for BT purposes, unless they have posession of the entire server.
    Douglas Hazard - Certifiable Sports Junkie and Sports Community Enthusiast

    Host of Two Cents Radio - Follow @TwoCentsRadio on Twitter (@BearlyDoug on Twitter)

  10. #10
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    I, personally, think that that person needs to get a life.

    He should have contacted the host before signing up, and ask if they supported bittorrent sharing. It's not 1&1's fault that that person was too lazy to write an email before signing up.

    I, myself, have a strict "NO P2P" rule on my servers, legal or illegal, strictly none.

    If the person signs up, and doesn't take the time to read the bold font that says:

    NO ADULT SEXUAL CONTENT OR P2P FROM BITTORRENT OR KAZAA TYPE SOURCES, LEGAL/ILLEGAL, ARE ALLOWED ON THE SERVERS IN <HOSTING COMPANY'S> PROPERTY!

    Then I suspend their account, contact them that the bold font clearly stated our stance on it.. And if he has a problem with it, he can walk.

    Not to be harsh, but if they can't take the time to email prior to signup, then they deserve getting their account shut down.

  11. #11
    well put and i agree, even though i do support filesharing, don't read the bold (or fine) print...then bugger off!

  12. #12
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    I think your all missing the point here,

    Most of you use TOS and acceptable use policies to regulate and stop things going on on your own networks, which your entitled to do, for example adult material which is not illegal but you choose not to host it anyway.

    Now the same principle applies here, 1and1 obviously dont want their customers using bit torrent and its derivatives so they are well within their rights to stop or limit its use for whatever reason, the fact that the OP is upset by this is unfortunate but it simply means he needs another host.

    At the end of the day it is up to 1and1 what they allow on their network and no amount of 'But its not illegal' will change that.

  13. #13
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    Angry shamefull response

    Originally posted by 1and1Support
    I think this client should discuss this with 1&1 *snip*
    i've been a customer of 1&1 UK for 5 years now, everytime you send out those surveys asking how you could improve, i suggest customer service is the one thing that needs to be improved. if you feel that client hasn't discussed this with you it's because you very rarely leave room for discussion and your understanding of how the internet works in general is either light years ahead, or more likely 2 years behind.
    Originally posted by 1and1Support
    instead of asking the opinion of those who do not work for the company or understand our policies.
    are your policies really that difficult to understand, that readers on a webhosting forum couldn't understand them? unfortunately i've had to deal with the small print a few times and the answer to my own question is yes they're pretty tricky.

    1&1 definately spend alot of money on lawyers and have their backsides pretty well covered.

    i've noticed gaugi no longer uses his account on WHT, is this because he's aware of all the unhappy users that have been bitten by 1&1's T&C and 'Brand New Customers Only' policies?

    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

  14. #14
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    Re: shamefull response

    Originally posted by ALGORYTHM
    i've been a customer of 1&1 UK for 5 years now, everytime you send out those surveys asking how you could improve, i suggest customer service is the one thing that needs to be improved. if you feel that client hasn't discussed this with you it's because you very rarely leave room for discussion and your understanding of how the internet works in general is either light years ahead, or more likely 2 years behind. are your policies really that difficult to understand, that readers on a webhosting forum couldn't understand them? unfortunately i've had to deal with the small print a few times and the answer to my own question is yes they're pretty tricky.

    1&1 definately spend alot of money on lawyers and have their backsides pretty well covered.

    i've noticed gaugi no longer uses his account on WHT, is this because he's aware of all the unhappy users that have been bitten by 1&1's T&C and 'Brand New Customers Only' policies?

    I thought his response was justified.

    If the moron from that blog can't understand how the TOS and AUP with 1&1 works, he needs to contact them, and stop complaining like a little whiny prat-girl when he gets told he can't do something.

    Poor little baby couldn't get his way, so he has to bring it to all the open-sources around..

    It seems like the only people who complain, are the ones who try to go around the TOS and AUP and get caught.

    Get a life!

    Nothing against you personally, but more-or-less, that particular person from that blog.
    Last edited by swflnetworks; 06-07-2005 at 02:14 PM.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by 1and1Support
    I think this client should discuss this with 1&1 instead of asking the opinion of those who do not work for the company or understand our policies.
    That would be very convenient for 1and1 would it not? Then your support channel could continue to disseminate false information quietly! How nice!

    No, this is a public forum, and the public will decide thank you.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Samuel
    That would be very convenient for 1and1 would it not? Then your support channel could continue to disseminate false information quietly!
    Wow, you make it seem like 1&1 is some goverment entity. They are a company - if you don't like how they operate, tough nuggies. Find another hosting company you do like, and use them.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
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    Offering Dedicated Server and Colocation Hosting from our SSAE 16 SOC 2, Type 2 Certified Data Center.
    Current specials here. Check them out.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Jay Suds
    Wow, you make it seem like 1&1 is some goverment entity. They are a company - if you don't like how they operate, tough nuggies. Find another hosting company you do like, and use them.
    I think you responded too fast. I'm not reffering to the "Hosting company", I'm referring to the comments "by" the hosting company.

    Here, and there.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Big Nose
    Wow, you make it seem like 1&1 is some goverment entity. They are a company - if you don't like how they operate, tough nuggies. Find another hosting company you do like, and use them.
    Ah I get it, you just wanted to get your signature into the thread, got it.

    Here, I'll do it too NEENER!
    dotGig
    <:<: [Fruit eating linux administrator]

  19. #19
    Originally posted by phill2003
    the fact that the OP is upset by this is unfortunate but it simply means he needs another host.

    i'm neither a client, upset, or a he

    i'll repeat, it was just something i came across at boingboing that i believed to be of interest

  20. #20
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    I like to be able to delete any file with .torrent extension without too much thinking. The same goes for mp3 stuff. If it is single mp3 or torrent file I might never notice it, but if it comes up in some logs it is rm-ed. Better safe then sorry.

  21. #21
    1and1 changes its tune about BitTorrent
    Shawn -- who got a cease-and-desist from his ISP, 1and1, for hosting his own movies on his site using BitTorrent -- says, "I just wanted to drop you a line letting you know that 1and1 have apparently revised their Bit Torrent policy, and absolved me of infringing on myself as long as I keep "mindful of the traffic that the sharing of this file can generate." I will do all I can to keep my server bandwidth low. (And no, they never minded before when I paid bandwidth overage charges...)

    "The even better news is that 1and1 has released an official statement that says legitimate Bit Torrent usage is OK on 1and1 servers, and they are currently revising their Q&A section to state as much. w00t!"

    w00t indeed! Unfortunately, the update 1and1's posted strongly implies that this was a tech-support rep with bad information. This is a little implausible given that at least four different reps gave the same info to 1and1 customers who forwarded it on to us.

    It's a weird that 1and1 decided to blame its wayward employees for this. I think 1and1 would get a much bigger PR win out of this if they said, "We had a dumb policy and it was pointed out to us so we fixed it," than saying, "Our tech support people are the kind of people who uniformly, repeatedly misinterpret our policy, to the point of sending out threatening legal-sounding letters to our customers."

    In recent days a 1&1 Internet support agent incorrectly informed a customer that the use of BitTorrent(c) on certain 1&1 systems is not permitted. The support agent's statement was based on a misinterpretation of company policy and an incorrect analysis of available data. When it was determined that the customer was erroneously advised, the situation was rectified and the customer was notified that the use of BitTorrent is allowed.

    1&1 deeply regrets any confusion this mistake has caused. To better address customer concerns on this matter in the future, we are in the process of updating the "Q&A" section of our Website to include detailed information clarifying the use of BitTorrent with our various
    shawn's message
    http://www.shawnrider.com/candd.php

  22. #22
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    Sounds like they woke up.

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