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Why Verio Sucks, or What's Up With SoulSeek

Hi all,

Nir and Roz here , co-creators and operators of Soulseek. First we want to thank you all for your support and understanding as we go through this rough spot. We both enjoyed reading your comments on this thread very much We wanted to write this to give you all a closer look at what's been going on recently, and how things are expected to turn out.

Exactly as Proetus93 said, the trouble started when Sapphirecut filed a DMCA copyright infringement claim about a week ago to Verio. He own claim was followed by ones from musicians Adam Freemer, Tom Stephan (Superchumbo), Marie Claire Cremers and Peter Baily, all claims virtually identical except for the artist and track names listed. Now here's the thing — while we did receive our Internet access from Verio, we weren't directly working with them. We actually work with CIFNet, who in turn buys access from Verio. What Sapphirecut and the other artists did by filing the copyright infringement claim was the first step on the road to lawsuit. Ideally, if we had known at the time, we would have filed what's called a DMCA counterclaim, where we deny the accusations made in the original claims and explain why. This would have been very easy, because the DMCA has a provision called “safe haven” that basically means if your service doesn't store or traffick illegal materials, you, the service provider, are legally exempt. Soulseek actually goes much further than that, and leaves the process of file transfer negotiation and search request distribution to a decentralized network made entirely of soulseek clients. Anyway, a decent Internet service provider would've politely informed us of the claim, and let us know of the counterclaim option so as to give us a chance to defend ourselves before shutting us down. Not verio, who supposedly has a long track record of treating its customers like dirt. Instead, Verio contacted CIFNet and demanded that we be removed from their service, under threat of cutting CIFNet off entirely! As this would've killed CIFNet, they had no choice but to do as Verio asked.

Through all this, CIFNet kept very close contact with us to let us know exactly what was going on (Verio never contacted us directly), and have been working since last monday to move us to Cogent, another service provider CIFNet works with. Cogent says they usually take about three days to process an IP allocation request, but so far they're taking their sweet time. So we wait.

Anyway, what does all this mean? We can't be more than a few days before getting our new IP address, and as soon as that happens we'll restart the Soulseek service. There is very high likelihood that sapphirecut and co. would repeat the process with Cogent, but we already have a prepared counterclaim we'll fax Cogent *as soon* as that happens, and long before we get disconnected. Beyond that, once we do we open ourselves to lawsuit, but we've ascertained our legal options, and we're certain these guys have no real case.

Verio may not be an easy target like Sapphirecut is, but it's really the big villain here. When all this DMCA crap is behind us, I'm going to release a full public disclosure of the exchange between Verio and CIFNet, and try to get it exposed as well as I can to illustrate exactly just how unprofessional and unreliable they are.

In the meanwhile, thank you all for hanging in there! We promise we'll be back as soon as possible!

Yours, Nir and Roz

You go, Nir!

Posted in: Dear Diary Music

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