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Thread: Software download

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default Software download

    This is NOT a thread about how / where / what etc to download software (either legally or illegal) but rather a specific question. I have sent a PM to Duncan (as he is listed as online right now, with a link to this thread so he can immediately see it)


    IF I chose to download something for free through a web site like sounds like a beach for people who attack ships - (so no spybots, web trawlers etc), is it actually illegal to download as the site is not based in UK? Who breaks the law? Me for downloading or them for allowing it, or both?

    And also, IF it is, AND I did AND I got caught, what would be the likely punishment?

    How do 'they' know if your software is legal or not if you chose not to register it with 'them'?



    Having read the terms of this website use, I cannot see how this thread contravenes any law or rule, as it is NOT discussing an actual activity - just the actual legalities of it. If others see it differently, then please delete and PM me (so I know).

  2. #2
    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Default

    PM received Ste so the Admin take on it......

    The discussion you've proposed doesn't contravene any rules of the site. The point at which any discussion would is if it started to either link to any illegal sites, talk about how to copy anything/break protection, encourage those acts etc. - so as long as no posts head in that direction the factual discussion of what you've asked is fine.

  3. #3
    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Default

    In reply to your question, there are a whole lot of variables.

    If the server is in a country that doesn't recognise copyright law then it's always harder to shutdown a server serving up copyrighted material.

    You would still be breaking the law as you have downloaded the content and broken the law of the country you are in. If the server was in the UK then the website owner(s) would obviously also be breaking the law.

    Re punishment - how long is a piece of string? Depends what you'd done, whether the authorities were having a crackdown, whether they thought you were distributing it as well (much harsher penalties).

    How do they know if you downloaded it? You always leave a trace behind and if the authorities track down and shut down an illegal server then they can see all who downloaded. That's how, with the assistance of UK ISPs, the Hollywood studios/lawyers and authorities acting on their behalf managed to send letters to people in the UK warning them that they knew they'd downloaded illegal copies of films!

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    Default

    When you're downloading it, you're probably breaching the agreement you have with your ISP.

    For the legalities of the software, try here...

    http://www.fastiis.org/

  5. #5
    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Default

    The other thing is, no matter where the software comes from and how 'clean' you think it may be - it's often been cracked to get it to work without needing serial numbers and that often can cause problems with it's operation. Plus, how do you really know that there's nothing nasty been added to it? It's not as if you can go back and say "Oi, I downloaded a hooky copy of xyz and it's knackered my computer so I want compenstaion!" lol

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    Default

    It's not that easy to find, so here's a direct link to bit about Copyright Law and the penalties...

    http://www.fastiis.org/our_services/education/TheLaw/

  7. #7
    Regular Member 67688c's Avatar
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    Default

    You would be breaking the law! In fact only a few weeks ago there was a feature in the press regarding this very subject, several hundred people in the UK have been taken to court and successfully prosecuted for doing exactly this with that same mythical hypothetical website. It came to light because a elderly couple were being done as their IP had been used for downloading films etc from that hypothetical website, they genuinely did not know anything about it, apparently a neighbour had been using their unsecured wireless connection. They were among several hundred who's addresses and details had been traced through their IP and internet providers. Even Google are supplying info to the authorities in order to curb this diabolical thieving. The courts decided that the Data Protection act does not apply where illegal activity is concerned.

    I would not recommend anyone go near that mythical site, or any other similar site, as currently any users that do visit are having their IP's logged, and they run a real risk of gaining the type of publicity they may not want. Plain and simple.. Its downright theft, and like any thief should be dealt with very severly, and rightly so! Regarding punishment for such a severe crime I would be giving you 10yrs minimum.
    Last edited by 67688c; 18th November 2008 at 21:22.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    Is it traceable to the downloading machine if you route through a proxy server, let's say the works network??

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    Default

    The hypothetical website will see IP address of the proxy. The proxy will log your IP address.

    So yes, it is traceable depending on how willing the proxies owners are on allowing access to their logs. There are offshore proxies too.

    Ultimately it's always traceable, just depends how much effort you can put into getting the information.

  10. #10
    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Default

    Well that's for you to try and see Steve! Somehow I don't think the IT Director is going to be happy to be getting a visit from FACT/Trading Standards/Police - and I'm sure if it's a large corporate network with many PCs going through a proxy then they'll have software that monitors internet activity - so in a word yes they can still pinpoint it to an individual machine. Even without the monitoring software the machines have their own IP which I'm sure will still have left a trace somewhere.

    EDIT: Beaten to it!

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