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Boston Globe – March 9, 2006:

An obscure data network technology called the Usenet has become the newest battleground between the entertainment industry and digital music and movie pirates.

Late last month, the Motion Picture Association of America filed its first-ever lawsuits against Internet companies that help people download illegally copied films over the Usenet. The association says that the companies, NZB-Zone, BinNews, and DVDRS, provide a Google-like search service for Usenet, one that lets its users find thousands of pirated films, including recent hits such as ”King Kong,” ”The Chronicles of Narnia,” and ”The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

The RIAA and the MPAA should get someone to teach them all about the net, because it appears they really don’t have a clue.

  1. Brad says:

    They’re just attacking the sites that index the newsgroup so far. Although it’s interesting I haven’t seen anything about Newzbin yet. And if I remember correctly, Newzbin has dodged many lawsuits because they’re protected by the DMCA. How’s that for irony.

  2. N. Eric Phillips says:

    OMG! I was downloading pics and audio over this a decade ago! Maybe the RIAA and MPAA should hire someone who’s experience with a computer goes beyond checking e-mail. Of course that person probably would come in with an opinion counter to the stand their owners are taking.

  3. punky says:

    why not a teenage girl?

  4. Brian says:

    Usenet, funny how the Right would scream if they knew how full of free porn Usenet is, not to mention Kiddy Porn right there on every major news-server from ATT, Time Warner on down.

  5. Jeremy Robbins says:

    @ Eric – That is funny do you think they know how to work their email app. these people have assitants to print out their “Eletronic Letter”, (as said by one of our sentors)

    And someone needs to tell these idiots that sex is what is pushing technology beyond the frontier marker for which it sets and then passes in a week.

  6. Rough says:

    Usenet is really an evolution of Bitnet, which essentially predates the Internet as we know it. It was used in the academia throughout the ’80s.

    These guys are as clueless as it gets. What’s really going to be interesting is having them try to shut one of the Usenet feed carriers like Easynews or Giganews down.

  7. Mike Voice says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t gone after GUBA for providing previews of the files on usenet, converting them to iPod and/or PSP formats for you, and – if you don’t want to deal with .mov, .avi, .wmv, .mkv, etc – you can watch the file of your choice in a Flash-based player.

    Since GUBA’s website highlights the main sections of interest on Usenet i.e. Music videos, TV shows, Commedy, Adult videos, Cartoons – it is hard for them to claim ignorance of what service they are profiting from.

    If the other firms are being sued for merely indexing usenet files, what chance does a company have which un-packs the archives and converts the file to iPod/PSP format have? 🙂

  8. RTaylor says:

    With about a 700 KB attachment limit, why would anyone want to bother finding all those posts and hope they’ll reassemble into a playable video? Join Netflix or drive to Blockbusters. Most of this stuff is crap anyway.

  9. Mike says:

    I’m too young to have used Usenet in my country, but I know what it is.

    The more the clueful refuse to work with the MPAA, the faster it’ll give up.

  10. jasontheodd says:

    This is (for the net-newbies) an attack on the map makers. The folks actually making the copies available will just move on. Real investigators use the movers and shakers to get to the real target at the other side. MPIAA and RIAA investigators must not watch cop shows much.

  11. Me says:

    The RIAA investigators can’t watch cop shows because they don’t know how to download them….

  12. Me says:


    You must not have kept up with usenet changes over the past few years.

    The sites in question give access to NZB files. These files are basically an index of all the pieces of a larger file. Put those together with .Pars and usenet is quite simple, automatic and error free to use these days.

    It beats the hell out of BitTorrent and you can download a TV show in a matter of minutes, and a DVD in 3 hours with most broadband connections.

  13. polpoit says:

    What’s usenet? I use Shareaza to download illegal stuff.

    Will I get targeted soon?

  14. Mr. Fusion says:

    What’s usenet? I use Shareaza to download illegal stuff.

    Will I get targeted soon?

    Comment by polpoit — 3/12/2006 @ 7:51 am

    You will now. Dvorak can expect a subpoena from the RIAA police pretty soon asking for your particulars.

  15. FARTaLOT says:

    Well this means IRC is next. There are already search websites like packetnews.com and IRCspy.com that index XDCC bots that have “warez” that you can freely download.

    And again IRC was, and still is, a huge trading area LONG before Napster or even the WEB became popular.

    Even a teen aged girl wouldn’t be this net savvy about Usenet newsgroups, and IRC. To a typical teen all they know is MySpace.

  16. RTaylor says:

    “Me”, I stand corrected. I created a NZB file and News Rover immediately processed the files and spliced the rar’s. I had a DVD in just over an hour. Yeah it does put bittorrent to shame.

  17. FARTaLOT says:

    Bit Torrent works well for me.. you might be using an ISP that throttles it.

    Download speed from newsgroups is dependant on the newsgroup server you’re using. Which can be very fast or very slow. Rather than the swam of peers you get from Bit Torrent, or any other sharing network.

    Most ISPs don’t even bother hosting newsgroup servers for their users anymore. And from the sounds of it, whatever software you’re using to consolidate your downloads off of Usenet doesnt sound that convenient to me.

    I remember in the good-old-days I ran a download bot that downloaded porn off of usenet.. but for anything large that was broken up as separate posts was totally useless since not all the parts were available to download. So usenet news-feeds quickly became useless to me.

  18. Me says:

    Until upload and download speeds become synchronous Bit-torrent will never perform well for file trading. Unless there are a ton of zombie machines donating bandwidth, but then again, these are file traders.

  19. Sean says:

    FARTaLOT – You beat me to it. Yep, only a matter a time before they set their cross hairs on IRC.

    “With about a 700 KB attachment limit, why would anyone want to bother finding all those posts and hope they’ll reassemble into a playable video?”

    What rock have you been living under for the past few years?


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