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Re: lots of DMCA request's... (1/day)

On May 18, 2008, at 6:46 PM, Geoffrey Goodell wrote:

On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 04:58:08PM -0400, Brian Puccio wrote:

For what it is worth, here is Linode's position on running an exit node:


The comment from caker is important:


"Eventually, we'd run tired of handling these and ask you to knock it

Linode staff are exercising discretion in determining which
circumstances warrant threatening their customers with disconnection.
There is no refinable, repeatable way for a customer to know whether her
deployment of a Tor exit node is acceptable to Linode or not -- that
decision rests squarely with Linode on a case-by-case basis.

Unchecked discretion offers an opportunity for discrimination. Who is to say that some customers running Tor nodes will not cause Linode admins to
"run tired" sooner than others for reasons entirely unrelated to the
activity of their exit nodes?

If responding to your DMCA takedown notice is more tiresome than responding to someone else's, I'd probably cancel you first. After all, you're the one who is causing me more grief.

What is not clear is why Linode staffers want to take on such
responsibility -- do they really want to be in a position of judging
what constitutes acceptable behavior and what does not, any more than is necessary to satisfy legal requirements and fairness issues with respect
to network performance?

Personally, if I were a hosting provider (and I guess you better be thankful that I'm not) and I got one DMCA takedown notice because of you, I'd bill you for whatever administrative overhead you caused me, whatever I had to pay my attorney if I had to consult him and tell you that the next one means your account is cancelled. I'm operating my business to make money. You taking up my time and costing me money is counterproductive to that and I'd do better off not to have customers like you.

The short story is, Linode doesn't judge what is acceptable and what isn't beyond the fact that they're only willing to deal with a certain number of DMCA takedowns before they get tired of playing the game. You seem to be upset that they haven't ennumerated their limit, but I have a feeling if you push them for one, they'll come up with the safest number they can think of: zero. I'd rather have there be a bit of a gray area that I know I can fall into rather than being outright told "sorry, once we get a takedown notice, you're cut off."

There's probably a thousand different variables including how long you have been a customer, how frequent the notices come in, what size account you have, if your monthly payment is constantly bounced, what I had for dinner last night, how much your account stresses the server and tons of other things.

If you don't like that policy, get your bandwidth from some place else. It is their company it is their policy and you either need to agree to it or host elsewhere. I *like* the gray area. And until you show me some ISP that will give it to me in writing that I can operate a Tor exit node regardless of how many takedowns I get, it seems to me that a gray area is the best thing either one of us is likely to find.

If I were running a business and I had 500 customers (I'm not huge, but I'm not tiny, either) and 1% of them ran exit nodes and received one takedown per day each, I'd be spending 30 minutes every day for the rest of my life dealing with them. And I may be willing to give up half an hour a day until I retire so you can run your exit nodes. But I might not. And one day I might say "hey, you can continue to run a Tor node, but not an exit node, it's either that or you need to find another host."

What if my hosting business were to expand? What if my 500 became 50000? I'd have 500 people running exit nodes (the same 1%) and I'd need to spend hours every day keeping up with takedowns. In fact, I'd need to hire some extra help to respond to all of them, I'd need my own legal department. How would I pay for this? Not by increasing my rates, no, that's unfair to the 99% that don't make me deal with all these takedowns. No, I'd charge the 1% a legal recovery fee. They would pay the attorneys and secretaries who respond to each takedown.