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Old 05-31-2018, 02:05 PM   #1
whitearrow
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This guy wants to make Calibre assist in illegal distribution of ebooks

https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice...ding_software/

Just in case he deletes:

Quote:
Recently, I wrote a piece of software, one part of which downloads ebooks from publicly accessible websites upon the user's request. More specifically, Calibre, a piece of software used for managing a personal ebook collection, has an option which, when enabled, hosts your books online for reading. Usually these servers are not password protected. So, using Shodan, my software finds these online libraries, catalogues the books they hold, and stores the metadata so that the user can later search for and download books. Until asked, my software doesn't actually download any books it finds, only the information required to find them again later. Obviously, not every book in people's personal libraries will be in the public domain, in fact many of them remain under copyright. I think it should be the user's responsibility (as is the case with guns, and torrent clients) to use my product in accordance with the law, but I fear I may be wrong.

I want to post this software on my GitHub, as it is a recent programming project, which I think would look good on my resume. Looking at licenses, I noticed that many of them contain a disclaimer such this one in the Unlicense: THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE. Under GPLv3 or the Unlicense, can I be held responsible for copyright violations perpetrated using my software?
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:51 PM   #2
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This is why we can't have nice things. There's always someone who wants to spoil everything.

(And it makes me even more glad that I use CalibreOPDS, Dropbox and Updog to create my online pw protected library).
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:05 PM   #3
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Yeah, mine is password protected even though I have a domain name nobody's likely to stumble across by accident. But after I read this I definitely double checked.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:30 PM   #4
kovidgoyal
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Sigh. Why would anyone think doing this kind of thing would be good for their reputation? Unless they are seeking employment with criminal gangs?
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:09 AM   #5
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Someone might want to tell 'that guy' to familiarise themselves with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, especially the penalties - up to $150,000 per infringement.

So, let's say he finds 10 libraries, containing an average of 1,000 books under copyright - oops there goes another $1.5 billion... plus costs

BR
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Someone might want to tell 'that guy' to familiarise themselves with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, especially the penalties - up to $150,000 per infringement.

So, let's say he finds 10 libraries, containing an average of 1,000 books under copyright - oops there goes another $1.5 billion... plus costs

BR
As long as you aren't the one serving up data, nobody cares.

In fact, 1.5 billion penalty for 10,000 books is ludicrous and highlights why unenforceable laws aren't good for anyone.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:59 PM   #7
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The penalties act as a deterrent. Sites at risk usually have pages on their site for lodgement of DCMA notices. Providing they take prompt action to remove the file, or if its on another host remove the link, the matter is closed, but if they don't then the IPR owner can report it to the FBI. No one wants the FBI or similar knocking on their doors.

BR
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:06 PM   #8
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I checked. Yes, there are hundreds of calibre libraries out there that are wide open. You can browse and download freely. Just search for calibre in shodan and click away...

Perhaps username and password should be mandatory? At least when accessing from outside the local LAN.

There are two possible crimes: Downloading copyright material. Making copyright material freely available to download. I think the second is the worst... Enabling piracy. Often unwittingly, I supspect.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:15 PM   #9
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@Adoby - I wonder how many of them are version 2 servers.

BR
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:13 PM   #10
kovidgoyal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoby View Post
Perhaps username and password should be mandatory? At least when accessing from outside the local LAN.
There is no way to reliably know what "outside the local LAN" is. All the server knows is what IP address is connecting to it, it has no way to know if the IP address belongs to a trusted network or the public internet.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:39 PM   #11
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I suspect this program may breach the criminal law in at least some jurisdictions. The tool is designed to facilitate access to other people's computer systems without their knowledge or permission.

It is of course a huge potential risk to have the content server available on the web with no authentication. Removing DRM from a book removes the encryption. It does not remove other identifying details if any. So if a book you purchased ends up on a pirate site and has identifying details no prizes for guessing who the rights-holders will be seeking to hold responsible.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #12
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The root of the issue is of course Calibre, which main function is being a UI for DRM removal and converting pirate books, which, by some uncanny coincidence also allows anyone to access a highly likely illegal copies of books via Internet.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarmat89 View Post
The root of the issue is of course Calibre, which main function is being a UI for DRM removal and converting pirate books, which, by some uncanny coincidence also allows anyone to access a highly likely illegal copies of books via Internet.
Really? calibre has no DRM removal functions and no functions designed to assist piracy. By your absolutely idiotic logic, a computer is primarily a DRM removal and piracy assisting tool. As is a browser, an internet router, hell even a human being.

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 06-05-2018 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarmat89 View Post
The root of the issue is of course Calibre, which main function is being a UI for DRM removal and converting pirate books, which, by some uncanny coincidence also allows anyone to access a highly likely illegal copies of books via Internet.
The root cause is someone opening a pinhole in their router without taking additional steps to protect their networks resources. NEGLIGENCE
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
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calibre has no DRM removal functions and no functions designed to assist piracy.
It allows third-party code to manipulate the book files, in such a manner that code can access outside resources and hack other programs, such as ADE.
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