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RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the new-low-interest-sheriff-in-town dept.

Piracy 421

An anonymous reader writes "Two weeks ago, MasterCard felt the wrath of Anonymous Operation Payback-style DDoS attacks after refusing to process payments that were intended to fund WikiLeaks, the website which began leaking confidential US diplomatic cables last month. Now, the company is preparing to head down another controversial path by pledging to deny transactions which support websites that host pirated movies, music, games, or other copyrighted content. MasterCard lobbyists have also been in talks with entertainment industry trade groups, including the RIAA and the MPAA, and have made it clear that the company will support the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), sources close to the talks have said."

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most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645972)

most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams and some even list fake games or other stuff just to make there file list seem big.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646018)

Hmmm... Only transactions that support pirating sites.

So if the Pirate Bay guys had kept the money instead of using it on the site they would have been ok?

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (0, Flamebait)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646336)

I wouldn't publicly admit to knowing that. You just:

A) Admitted that you've joined one of these sites for the express purpose of obtaining an illicit copy of a game (regardless of whether they had the file, that you know they didn't shows that you searched, which shows intent)

B) Admitted that you are willing to knowingly pay for pirated media (really, at that point, why not buy it legitimately? Sure, it's cheaper, but you're now tying your name to the transaction)

C) Admitted to having fallen for the scam. Multiple times. (You did say most, which implies that you have experience with multiple for-pay warez sites)

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646430)

I wouldn't publicly admit to knowing that. You just:

A) Admitted that you've joined one of these sites for the express purpose of obtaining an illicit copy of a game (regardless of whether they had the file, that you know they didn't shows that you searched, which shows intent)

B) Admitted that you are willing to knowingly pay for pirated media (really, at that point, why not buy it legitimately? Sure, it's cheaper, but you're now tying your name to the transaction)

C) Admitted to having fallen for the scam. Multiple times. (You did say most, which implies that you have experience with multiple for-pay warez sites)

Most girls are whores.

The above statement doesn't imply that I pay for sex,
or have sampled most girls (but I have),
or that the girls that I've had sex with charged money.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646646)

Most girls are whores.

The above statement doesn't imply that I pay for sex,

That statement doesn't but I'm betting you have to pay anyway.

or have sampled most girls (but I have),

Sneaking up behind them to try to smell them doesn't count, Don Juanon.

or that the girls that I've had sex with charged money.

I'm sure they not only charged you money but made you pay for their steam cleaning & psychotherapy after.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (5, Insightful)

autocracy (192714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646436)

If I say that people engaged in prostitution are more likely to have STDs, am I a knowledgeable person, or would you convict me of engaging a prostitute? Perhaps I must also be a fool because I know things about 419 scams? Surely I'm a terrorist for seeing weaknesses in the TSA programs.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (2, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646642)

If you say that people engaged in prostitution most likely have STDs, I'd say you've made an educated assumption. If you say that most people engaged in prostitution do have STDs, I'd be led to assume that you had firsthand experience.

Follow the same logic for your other examples. OP said "most pay warez sites seem to be scams" (rather than "must be" or "are probably") and "some even list fake games" (rather than "probably" or "might"). This implies firsthand knowledge.

LRN2IMPLY

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646440)

The keyword in his post is "seems". If he had bought, he'd knew.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646460)

Not really. I've seen those pay sites too: They usually let you browse without paying, in order to attract customers, and only charge for the download function. It's also fairly obvious that some of their entries are fakes, as they are generated from the search string. So if you search for "alaierubgligrf" you'll see a "alaierubgligrf full [DVDRIP] [DIVX].avi" in the results.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646784)

What is even more funny is typing in $RANDOM_NAME, and getting:

$RANDOM_NAME [FAST DDLs]
$RANDOM_NAME [CLEAN]

and many more items. Of course, the only thing you will get for free from these sites is a Trojan or perhaps a drive by download if the browser isn't up to date (or up to snuff.)

It is almost astounding -- these warez sites have been doing the same crap since the turn of the century, and since they are still around, they must be doing something right in getting dimwits to hand them cash. Have a search engine demand you vote at three sites, then after that crap, dumped to another engine. If there is anything to be found, it might be a FTP list.

They do have one use to an IT professional though. They are great places to visit with honeypot VMs on a test network to test your host and network security. If one drive-by or Trojan makes it, expect hundreds of other nasties to be installed too, so it is a definite trial by fire for your IDS.

Charging for stuff only adds insult to injury. Nobody in their right mind would allow for direct download access of pirated software for free. First, their connection and their computers would be saturated. Second, every police officer from Interpol to the county dogcatcher would want a piece of the outfit. Third, there is no honor among thieves. Anything downloaded from there would be at best suspect; at worst Trojaned.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646780)

B) Admitted that you are willing to knowingly pay for pirated media (really, at that point, why not buy it legitimately? Sure, it's cheaper, but you're now tying your name to the transaction)

Because the pirated version is a better product?
Pirated games lets you play without cd, lets you skip the intro and allows you to play without internet connection.
Pirated movies do not have commercials, no useless menus and no propaganda sequences.
Even if you pay the same amount you get a better product when you select the pirated version.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646412)

Indeed. If you're going to pirate something... why would you pay for it?

In addition just keeping a box of money hidden in your house looks more tempting everyday. The banks are corrupt and credit card companies can pick and choose how you use them.

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646640)

Indeed. If you're going to pirate something... why would you pay for it?

A) Unless you know where to get it, you can't.
B) Why pay to get 1 real thing when you can pay the same (or less) to get hundreds of pirated titles?

Re:most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646748)

I'd rather keep a box full of gold or titanium, since they take-up less space, and they can't be devalued by the Federal Reserve's printing presses. As for theft: The Canadian RIAA (and probably US RIAA too) has stolen more from artists then any of us ever could. They owes billions in unpaid royalties to their artists. "The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute, and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences." "Instead, the names of the songs on the CDs are placed on a "pending list", which signifies that approval and payment is pending. The pending list dates back to the late 1980s, when Canada changed its copyright law by replacing a compulsory licence with the need for specific authorization for each use. It is perhaps better characterized as a copyright infringement admission list, however, since for each use of the work, the record label openly admits that it has not obtained copyright permission and not paid any royalty or fee." "Over the years, the size of the pending list has grown dramatically, now containing over 300,000 songs. From Beyonce to Bruce Springsteen, the artists waiting for payment are far from obscure, as thousands of Canadian and foreign artists have seen their copyrights used without permission and payment." http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4596/135/ [michaelgeist.ca]

Thanks... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645974)

Thanks, Anonymous, you ruin everything.

Re:Thanks... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646028)

Since when did people pay to infringe copyright? I thought the whole point was that you get the stuff for free anyway.

Re:Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646230)

We've all been paying for it for years with the RIAA/MPAA hollywood accounting, price fixing and cartel-like behaviour.

Copyright infringement is just Karma on those dying lobby groups.

Re:Thanks... (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646292)

I know eh?

That got me thinking - if I'm allowed to create backup copies of items I've purchased, can I claim that I am merely helping someone create a backup inside the cloud if I seed my downloads, just as others are helping me create backups in cloud?

Re:Thanks... (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646800)

can I claim that I am merely helping someone create a backup inside the cloud

Sure. But you aren't planning to abuse your backup for illegal playing purposes are you? Just as a backup, right?

Re:Thanks... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646270)

No, i think it will help get rid of all the trash sites and leave all the quality sites. So in this case it may backfire.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645976)

First post FTW

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646250)

fail kys siiyb kthxbye

Business (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645986)

Why should mastercard care if they're being used on websites that "host pirated..."? They still get to collect their fees. I thought that was all that mattered nowadays.

Re:Business (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646060)

They want a share of the billions and billions (are they up to trillions in their fake losses yet?) that is lost to piracy every year.

Re:Business (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646164)

I suppose the *IAA kickbacks will be larger than the fees gained on infringing sites.

Why else would they do it?

Re:Business (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646488)

At a guess, because they anticipate that if they don't do it, they'll be forced to by legislation sooner or later anyway.

Reminds me of all the companies that proudly labeled their spray cans 'CFC free' - after CFCs were prohibited by international agreement.

Re:Business (4, Interesting)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646756)

I suppose the *IAA kickbacks will be larger than the fees gained on infringing sites.

Which is sort of funny, since it means that MasterCard doesn't think is piracy is significant enough to make money off of.

Re:Business (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646650)

How about the fact that he MPAA and RIAA have significant clout with retailers? If they tell retailers "Drop MasterCard or we'll drop you", quite a few retailers would no longer accept MasterCards. There goes those profits!

After all its just for our own good. (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646000)

Welcome the accountant Overlords... verily they will be with thee always...

So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (5, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646014)

Ok, fine. You are now liable for any criminal transactions you don't block.

If you don't like that, you will send my money where I tell you to.

Re:So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646066)

Seems fair--you verify it, you're responsible for it. Applies to everything, really.

The best part is that you can just buy a 'check card' from some vendor who -doesn't- have this policy, and use -that- to 'support piracy'. All MC's time and expense does is add one extra step.

Re:So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (1)

sycorob (180615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646698)

And if you're performing illicit activities, wouldn't you want to use a pre-paid credit card for that? Why would you use your official MasterCard, which has you home address listed, reports to credit agencies, has sales records that could be subpoenaed ... Why not just buy drugs with your MasterCard while you're at it. Seems pretty stupid.

I also don't get what MasterCard gets out of sucking up to the RIAA et al.

Re:So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646622)

There are specific laws passed by congress that do legally prevent them from accepting transactions that fall into certain categorises.

If you woudl like the law changed and/or amended to fit the requirements set forth in your post, you are welcome to contact your local representative. Unfortunately an internet posting of your desired law, does not make it an actual law and has no bearing whatsoever on anyone.

Re:So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646638)

Ok, fine. You are now liable for any criminal transactions you don't block.

Just like the police are liable for any criminal activities they can't stop.

While I agree with your sentiments, it's not exactly a fair solution.

Re:So you want to arbitrarily block transactions? (2)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646670)

Um, they already are. They eat the cost of criminal transactions rather than force their customers to absorb all of those losses. Given that, it makes sense for them to block people from making payments to criminal enterprises (since their "customers" could easily turn around and say "I didn't buy those downloaded CDs, I'm not paying that money.")

will indy music sites get shut down as well? (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646020)

will Indy music sites get shut down as well?

pioneer one donations?

Re:will indy music sites get shut down as well? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646348)

Of course. Indie music is destroying the industry by providing more variety, fresher ideas and comparable quality for less money (or even FREE) without paying a dime to the RIAA. How are artists supposed to express themselves artistically without the RIAA protecting them?

Re:will indy music sites get shut down as well? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646522)

They may get caught in the crossfire. I know indy bands have had terrible problems trying to sell their music in CD form on ebay, because ebay's policy is to assume that anything on CD-R is copyright infringing, no exceptions. It would cost more to investigate a claim of legality than they'd make from the auction, so they just blanket prohibit CD-Rs.

In theory ok, in practice... (3, Interesting)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646042)

While I'm not against Mastercard saying "We won't allow customers to use Mastercard to buy illegal goods", I doubt they'll have a proper list of who to deny.

It would be ironic if suddenly less people allowed Mastercard for online purchases. I gotta imagine that nowadays online transactions are a large proportion of their income.

If you are paying for pirated movies... (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646046)

then you really missed the point.

Re:If you are paying for pirated movies... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646114)

The banned payments probably include advert spending, t-shirts and donations too.

Re:If you are paying for pirated movies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646652)

not really, most people rather donate money to tpb, demonoid, tl, dh, al, what!, waffle.fm and the like then paying RIAA or MPAA... I know this because I did... I rather support those site than support the industries... I'm a commie :P

Re:If you are paying for pirated movies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646740)

then you really missed the point.

I pay for Usenet provider, NZB indexer site, Internet and electricity. Nothing is truly free.

Re:If you are paying for pirated movies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646824)

then you really missed the point.

No, if you are paying for pirated movies, you're understanding the point completely. If you pay for shared movies, violating the copyright "but not for profit", then yes, you're missing the point. This is to combat actual piracy, bootleg copies sold for profit.

Wow -~- First internet currency (floats as well) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646050)

World of warcraft wow.

Re:Wow -~- First internet currency (floats as well (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646826)

Raising the question of which company shits on its customers more consistently, MasterCard or Blizzard?

I did my part (3, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646084)

Cancelled my MasterCard, then chopped it up. Enough people do that, MasterCard will start to wise up.

Of course, I'm probably going to replace it with some flavour of Visa, which is probably just as evil and certainly did jump on the ban-Wikileaks bandwagon.

Re:I did my part (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646392)

I bet that if 1 million people cut up their MasterCard and switch to Visa, and another million people cut up their Visa and switch to MasterCard, those evil bastards at the credit card companies will really start to sit up and take notice!

Re:I did my part (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646550)

I bet they would.

Considering thats 2 million cards worth of plastic with unique numbers that have to be linked to an individual with a credit score and yadda yadda yadda.

They wouldn't lose Revenue, but it'd decrease profits.

Re:I did my part (4, Interesting)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646720)

Honestly, I haven't really missed the card since I cancelled it (shortly after the Wikileaks/MasterCard issue popped up).

I may just not bother to replace it for some time, if ever. Debit's pretty handy, and it's the same money anyway (if you're like me and pay off your credit card right away).

For any big purchase, I have a line of credit with much better terms than any credit card I've heard of.

I suppose there will be an issue if I ever use PayPal again... oh, wait, they're evil too.

Re:I did my part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646732)

hail to the great old oligopol!

Re:I did my part (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646448)

Don't try to use your Visa at Sam's Club. They won't take it.

Re:I did my part (1)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646668)

Are you sure? Both my debit and credit cards are Visa, and haven't had a problem so far.

Re:I did my part (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646672)

I dumped everything to do with Mastercard when they started advertising over top of TV programs. Cut up credit cards, moved bank accounts, and so on.

NOTHING more annoying than to be watching a show and some stupid graphic shows up at the bottom of the screen.

And while I am at it, how lame does a show need to be to be continuously advertised at the bottom of the screen. I never watch those either.

No Master Card for me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646088)

I was about to sign a Master Card deal with my bank. That is not going to happen now. I surgest you all show them what consumer power is.

Re:No Master Card for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646736)

I was about to sign a Master Card deal with my bank. That is not going to happen now. I surgest you all show them what consumer power is.

Yep, in three to six months when Visa signs on to this same program and you quickly learn that, between boycotting the two major card companies, you've suddenly been shut out of 95% of internet commerce (not to mention the vast majority of the modern real world of commerce), they'll very neatly see what consumer power is: Marginal at best.

And then they'll laugh and laugh and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh...

bye bye mastercard (5, Insightful)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646136)

if you want me to use your service, then you need me to be able to use your service. If I can't use your service for the things I want, that what do I need you for?

Re:bye bye mastercard (-1, Troll)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646510)

So you buy a lot of pirated content then do ya? Perhaps you should consider the fact that you are stealing people's work before you take such a righteous tone.

Re:bye bye mastercard (1)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646592)

So you buy a lot of pirated content then do ya? Perhaps you should consider the fact that you are stealing people's work before you take such a righteous tone.

Get over yourself. He was just stating the fact that if you can't use ANY service then there is no point in having said service.

Re:bye bye mastercard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646682)

Regardless of whether the original poster does or doesn't, the fact still stands: MasterCard teamed up with knowingly evil companies who don't care for anyone but their own profits and will even sue the dead and people without computers if it means profit.

Money = Speech (5, Insightful)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646146)

So let me get this right, money equals speech [wikipedia.org] , according to various Supreme Court Rulings [wikipedia.org] . But a major corporation whose credit and debit vehicles constitute one of the major means for tendering payment, i.e., speech, is permitted to filter your payments to whomever it likes.

In other words, a bank gets to decide when your speech is acceptable and when it isn't.

And, of course, if you're wealthy or powerful enough, this isn't a hindrance. But if you're a working stiff, living on a trickle of cash flow and using revolving credit to solve the logistical problems thereof, you're essentially subject to the bank's approval of your fiscal expression.

Yet another distinction between serfs and lords in the information age.

Re:Money = Speech (1)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646450)

I'd mod you up if i had some points today, well said.

Re:Money = Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646484)

Money = speech, but only for large values of money.

Re:Money = Speech (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646564)

Somewhat of a flaw in the US legal system. The foundational princibles were written to provide extensive protection from government oppression, but none from corporate oppression. At the time there just hadn't been any corporations with so much power that it was seen as a concern. The age of the multinational megacorp didn't come until much later.

Re:Money = Speech (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646582)

Money may be = speech, but free speech is something only the government cares about.

Businesses have no problems at all changing or stopping your words.

Re:Money = Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646628)

Uh, yes? Isn't this how most companies work? Last I checked, it's the government who can't stifle your freedom of speech so easily, but NDAs are still very popular in the corporate environment.

Also Money = Speech goes right out the window the second you talk about illegal activity, so I suspect the courts would probably support Mastercard in this.

Re:Money = Speech (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646790)

I lived on revolving credit for a while. It was a horrible, horrible idea.

Thieves are banding together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646168)

.. and soon, evil corporations will control all of human culture, for the benefit of the few, to the cost of the many.

You can kiss your freedom goodbye, it's being sold out to the highest bidder.

Re:Thieves are banding together (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646508)

What do you mean by "soon"? The only medium not controlled by corporations (at least not fully) is the internet. But, we're working on that one...

My question is... (1)

Synchis (191050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646210)

Is this even legal?

I mean, since when can a credit corporation tell you what you can and can't spend your money on?

Where exactly do they draw the line? Who makes the decision as to what is ok and what is not okay?

I see this as a very slippery slope. Mastercard should be very careful with these heavy-handed decisions.

Re:My question is... (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646328)

actually its not YOUR money, your getting credit for a purchase, which you then have to pay (if its a credit, not a debit card). so they CAN do this but legally its grey area, but does open up doors if they start selectively denying transactions, more people will move to other credit providers or be sued for denying a legitimate transaction.... we shall see

Re:My question is... (1)

itsownreward (688406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646408)

Okay, then what about Bank of America saying they won't process payments intended for Wikileaks? If the money is in your account, it is your money.

Re:My question is... (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646788)

true, they should not be interfering with legitimate transactions unless indicated by the government not to do so due to illegal activity, unfortunately in America the gov has gotten out of control and is trying to control everything, business must obey the gov else they will be shut down (great democratic process there).
Unless the BoA has a document stating its required to stop transactions, its interfering with a legitimate transaction and should be accountable as wire fraud (deny of funds).

Re:My question is... (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646344)

That's just it, it's not *your* money, it's credit.

Re:My question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646406)

What if you're using a debit card?

Re:My question is... (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646352)

Actually, they already deny transactions that are illegal in countries of the card's origin (certain types offshore gambling is one example I've seen).
But this is screwed up in that it's not illegal to give money to, say, Bit Gamer or The Pirate Bay, but they're denying it anyway.

This seems logical (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646236)

Let the financial industry become our new police force. They already control the data. Now all they have to do is make cash and barter illegal.

Re:This seems logical (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646560)

I guess Cyberpunk gave us a pretty good idea what's gonna happen then: When you outlaw money, money will only be used for illegal means because, well, you can't really buy your dope with your credit card. The net effect will not be that (printed) money ceases to exist, it only becomes a secondary currency for the more illegal deals. And since people cannot earn that money legally, like they can now to buy their illegal goods, they will have to break the law to access this currency.

In short, you force people to do something illegal to get the "good money". Guess whether this reduces or increases crime.

Wrath?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646308)

... MasterCard felt the wrath of Anonymous Operation Payback-style DDoS attacks ...

No they didn't. I don't know of anyone who had any problems with their Mastercard during the "attack".

I haven't seen anything in the business press about anyone, especially Mastercard, having any loss of business. None. People I know in banking just shrugged their shoulders and said that they didn't witness any problems.

The attack that Anonymous made had no effect what so ever other than media attention to their complete inability to cause any sort of economic damage.

Anonymous == Lame-Os

Re:Wrath?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646816)

Quite a valid form of protest IMO, fair enough they may be the "kiddies" doing it but, how else are they all going to meet up to make their opinions heard?

This will not last. (1)

sageres (561626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646326)

In the age of global financial transactions' full of micropayment, any way of denying payment to any entity would be futile. After all, people can still send money to Wikileaks with their VISA and Mastercard, just without doing it directly. There are few indirect ways have been published (such as making deposit into the third country bank's account that belongs to Wikileaks)... And after all -- there is nothing illigal about it... unless the government were to declare such entity (be it Wikileaks or a random pirate-movie website) a terrorist entity.

Just pirates or all copyright violators? (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646332)

I have no problem with credit card companies refusing to do business with pirate sites or any site that sponsors or encourages illegal activities. If MasterCard bases their decisions on accurate information and is conservative about how they evaluate the evidence, that's not a bad thing. I would be concerned if MasterCard approached this with the same sort of "diligence" characteristic of the MPAA and RIAA where innocent parties are falsely accused and convicted until they prove otherwise. Are they also going to deny services to those who may violate a copyright by posting a video or song to share because they really like it? I guess MasterCard would have to drop Facebook. How much time and effort will MasterCard be spending on insuring they are not denying service to innocent parties? Will they confine this to pirates and criminals and not go after every possible copyright violation?

Computing should just buy the music industry (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646364)

The entire music industry, worldwide, only sold $15.8 billion in product last year. For comparison, worldwide liquor sales were about $220 billion, and a single booze company, Diageo (Smirnoff Vodka, Johhny Walker, José Cuervo, Baileys, and Guinness Stout) has more revenue than the entire music industry. On a worldwide scale, the music industry is tiny.

On the movie side, MGM just came out of bankruptcy, and Warner is close to it. Hollywood Video went bust months ago, and Blockbuster is in bankruptcy. (Many Blockbuster stores will close after the holiday season.)

In computing, Apple's revenue for fiscal 2010 is about $63 billion. Microsoft revenue was about $60 billion. HP annual revenue is about $120 billion. Dell annual revenue is about $52 billion. Google is around $23 billion. Comcast is around $36 billion. AT&T is at $124 billion. Any of those players could buy out the entire libraries of most music and movie companies.

I'm surprised that Apple hasn't just bought out the music industry, rather than negotiating with it.

Re:Computing should just buy the music industry (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646596)

Never noticed how the little dogs make the most noise?

Re:Computing should just buy the music industry (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646616)

In terms of social influence though, music has a huge advantage. Music, film, TV, news... it's all basically the same few companies. So the music labels can be assured of favorable coverage in the media, because they *are* the media. For example, ABC is sure to tell lots of news stories about how internet piracy is ruining the film industry, for it is owned by Disney.

Re:Computing should just buy the music industry (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646728)

Maybe they're waiting for it to get even cheaper. With the MPAA's current antics, it probably will.

we noticed (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646378)

you recently submitted a payment to sdf.lonestar.org for your MetaARPA sustaining membership. This site has been identified as a Hacking site [sdf.org] and as such has been blacklisted from our payment processing system. Furthermore your donation to OpenBSD has also been declined for processing as the openBSD project sponsors known hacking activity [wikipedia.org] and said bad things about our unquestionably patrio-tastic freedom war against terror.

in summation your cards with us have also been cancelled as you've been identified without a magnetic ribbon on any vehicles registered in your name, and are obviously not supporting the troops.

please consider purchasing a copy of jeff dunhams 'achmed the terrorist' comedy DVD, as well as anything sufficiently xenophobic, bigoted and patriotic from the Country music top 10/50/100 charts. Once clad only in a sweat-stained american flag and nourished only by fast food, can we consider reactivating any of your perpetual debt engines.

regards,
Master of Cards.

Re:we noticed (2)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646526)

(Score: 5, Funny but it could happen)

Re:we noticed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646708)

(Score: -5, Sad, it WILL happen...)

So the question is... (4, Insightful)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646398)

What does this really mean? On the face of it no one should really object to Mastercard / Visa / etc denying service to criminal enterprises or criminal activities. This is to be expected both in terms of business ethics and legal liability.

So the question is: who determines which enterprise is criminal / violating copyrights and what are the criteria and what is the process to have someone cut off? What is the appeal process?

From TFA:
"This move by MasterCard is just another in a recent long line of corporations and organizations that are taking it upon themselves to define the legality of situations rather than leaving it to the courts. One problem is that the US federal government is allowing the lobbyists for these organizations to dictate right and wrong. The RIAA and MPAA were the big influence behind the government’s seizure of several domains during the last week of November. "

Worst case, this is a monetary blacklist controlled by the RIAA (eg: RIAA sends unsubstantiated note to Mastercard listing "offenders". Mastercard moves immediately to deny service.) Very nice club for the RIAA to hold.

May you live in Interesting times (5, Insightful)

Chucky_M (1708842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646458)

If the WikiLeaks "dirty" fightback taught the world anything then it was that the USA has too much control over critical worldwide infrastructure both technical and practical (Internet and Money) and it has shown that it cannot be trusted to control either. For reasons of their own most nations have been going along with the current world order as it was never openly abused and this allowed tacit approval, but as pressure grows from China, India and an emerging EU/Russia along with growing understanding from the people in these nations the world has in fact already irreparably changed. These sorts of activities will only hasten that change of power much to the detriment of the existing regimes. As the Chinese (and Mr Pratchett) say "May you live in Interesting times", it is a curse for a reason and these are interesting times.

Interesting (0)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646572)

So a company is going to enforce the ridiculous US-laws... Well here in the Netherlands, it is rightfully legal to download sound, including music. So I suggest that Mastercard, gtfo here. Btw, are they still accepting donations to the KKK?

Who needs MasterCard? (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646604)

I wonder how many thousands of snipped-up credit cards (along with a final payment, if necessary)it would take to persuade MasterCard that they are being stupid. I wish I could say I used them so I could be one of them.

Money Mart DUMPED mastercard (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646770)

for visa thats a TONE OF LOSSES fo mastercard lately. IF visa is smart they'll tell mpaa/riaa where to go or ill be letting everyone know in those lines at months end to NOT use them

How do you buy illegal stuff online? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646680)

While there's boatloads of free legal porn out there, some people still feel the need to pay for it. I assume that the same goes for the illegal stuff, you can get freebies if you look hard enough and some of the people producing it are amateurs but others are expecting to get paid. Certainly the FBI mail order stings we've heard about in the papers involved people sending payment in some fashion or another to obtain their illegal porn with kids or whatever. How did they do it then? How do they do it online? Because if it has anything to do with credit cards then I'd have to ask how those payments get processed. Does the credit card company not know what's involved until law enforcement tells them it's for illegal stuff? Do customers use money orders instead?

What I'm getting at is if the credit card companies had any plausible deniability before, they're giving it all away. The post office bears no responsibility if they deliver a package that happens to have drugs in it. The phone company is not a co-conspirator if their service was used by two people planning a crime. Common carrier and all that.

When the credit card companies stopped processing wikileak payments, it was pointed out that they are processing donations for the KKK. While I don't like the idea of the KKK getting donations, where does the line get drawn as to who can and can't be denied service for personal beliefs? Could China put the muscle on the banks and get them to cut off transfers to Falun Gong groups overseas? Law enforcement does this for noted criminals and criminal organizations and this is perfectly acceptable because actual crimes have been committed. But shit, do we allow Iran to ask for Salman Rushdie's accounts to be frozen because he's a heretic? That's a crime over there.

This != Internet Police (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646700)

Isn't it illegal for MasterCard to knowingly take part in illegal transactions anyway?

This is hardly "internet police", this is common sense.

Anyway, if MasterCard is so bad you can go to the other vendor. [wikimedia.org] Although when they both block something legal [businessweek.com] , this can cause problems.

What is needed here is that they either get in big trouble for taking part in illegal transactions even if they don't know, or they have to agree to some "common carrier" like status in which they are not allowed to discriminate against any transaction that is legal.

This is going to bite them in the ass. (5, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646726)

If MasterCard and Visa does this for the MPAA, then anyone filing a lawsuit against any company will also name them as a Defendants so that there can be an order that will prevent MasterCard and Visa from processing payments until the Court is happy.

Solution perhaps to SPAM, but not piracy. (1)

IronClad (114176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646738)

Applying this to pirate content is kind of lame, since payments aren't what drives that. BUT I've always thought the Visa+Mastercard collectively have always had the power to end 90% of all spam, and could do it in a matter of weeks.

All it would take is:

  1) terms of service forbidding UCE for products.

  2) a few effectively placed honeypot/canary accounts

  3) a couple tiger teams to place orders for the products that get spammed, and

  4) kick the plug on the commercial accounts that deposit the money.

I would venture to guess that the financial services sector spends more overall on anti-spam/excess bandwidth/malware removal for their own infrastructure than they make from those few stinking transactions.

Usenet providers (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646742)

So I can't use a Mastercard to pay for Usenet service, then?
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