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    This pleases me, since it’s exactly what the Web was made for:

    • Scratching an itch, without having to ask for anyone’s permission
    • A “user agent” being given a task to perform, and going off to perform it on behalf of the user
    • Solving problems using information aggregation/retrieval services (torrent search engines)
    • A “mash up” of different services (torrent searches and subtitle archives)
    • Once the data is obtained, letting the user choose how to process it (save or stream, choice of players, etc.)
    • Sensible defaults, with the ability to override, or even hack on the code to better suit the user’s goals

    Compare this to the prevailing view of the Web today:

    • No “user agents” other than browsers and search crawlers
    • No browsers other than Chrome, usually Firefox and IE/Edge, perhaps Safari
    • No search crawlers other than Google’s
    • Information cannot be accessed without permission (e.g. API keys)
    • Information is hoarded in silos, allowing “mashups” might give ‘competitors’ an advantage
    • Users must retrieve information manually, since that way they’ll see the accompanying advertisments
    • Pages don’t serve data, they provide “apps”
    • Pages are blank unless their Javascript is run (sometimes they show an animated GIF ‘spinner’, misleading users into thinking that something is happening)
    • External/user-provided processing is discouraged, since it reduces “engagement” with the app
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      Unfortunately we are living in the real world, where things have to be commercially viable.

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        I think “have to” is rather strong. Lots of good stuff has come from personal projects, volunteer efforts, charitable organisations, industry bodies, governmental departments, etc. Is Lobste.rs “commercially viable”, or is it “not too costly”?

        Plus commercial viability doesn’t have to be at odds with the original ideas for the Web.

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          Not all things.

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            Some things, sure.

            If you push a great many services out to the edge, like streaming and filesharing and searching, all of the sudden the bar for commercial viability drops a lot farther than you’d expect.

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          Please don’t abuse the good people seeding and keeping the swarm alive.

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            cliflix might actually push in the opposite direction in some cases. With others torrent clients one may want to stop seeding as soon as the torrent finishes downloading, or one may limit the bandwidth dedicated to seeing. With cliflix you don’t want to stop seeding as soon as the torrent has been downloaded completely if you’re still watching it because the streaming might stop. Also I’m not sure webtorrent-cli, that cliflix uses under the hood, has an option for limiting the bandwidth at all.

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              My thoughts exactly.

              This kind of UI are clearly inciting to completely leech and are heavily deteriorating and centralizing the network. A simple way to mitigate this for regular seeders is to block webtorrents altogether.

              On the other hand, I am happy everytime I see people working on the BitTorrent ecosystem :)

              @fabiospampinato I am a bit puzzled by this: why did you chose to fork webtorrent-cli in another process over using the web-torrent library?

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                This kind of UI are clearly inciting to completely leech

                I actually think cliflix might achieve the opposite effect in some cases. Read my reply to @znedw about this.

                @fabiospampinato I am a bit puzzled by this: why did you chose to fork webtorrent-cli in another process over using the web-torrent library?

                Being cliflix a cli app using the cli version of webtorrent seemed the best option since it has a nice interface and we can pass options to it directly from the terminal.

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              Cool app, but it should probably include extensive warnings about the legal vulnerabilities you’ll create for yourself if you run it.

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                The author of the tool is exposing himself to more legal problems than an individual using the tool ever will.

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                  I’m curious, is it illegal to create a torrent client and suggest that it can be (properly) used illegally?

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                    You’ll get to find out once a ruling is handed down - after a year or three of being dragged through court, publicly shamed in newspapers, your computers confiscated as evidence, and multiple arrests (likely causing you to lose your job for non-attendance).

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                      These kinds of tools exist in a legal gray area in the US. They’re not criminally illegal to create, possess, use, distribute, etc.

                      However, when marketed as a tool for commission of copyright theft, the intent shifts from “enabling distributed information dissemination” to “flout laws” and the courts don’t smile upon that, criminal or civil. The author is more likely to be sued civilly because government lawyers generally have better things to do than pursue criminal copyright violation on such a small scale.

                      IIRC – and I’ll admit that I’m saying this with intent of someone showing jurisprudence changes since the last time I cared about the subject, years ago – the act of downloading copyrighted material is not illegal under current law, but rather it is distributing the material that is illegal. Add in a worldwide Internet and it becomes exceedingly difficult to prosecute individuals so the focus shifts to those enabling the individuals: the authors of the tools.

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                        Keep in mind the dev is from Italy not the US.

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                          However, when marketed as a tool for commission of copyright theft

                          Do you think cliflix is marketed that way? It has an obvious reference to Netflix in its name, and “watch anything” in its description, but it’s just a tool for streaming torrents, whatever torrents you want it to stream for you.

                          the focus shifts to those enabling the individuals: the authors of the tools.

                          cliflix hardly enabled anything that wasn’t already possible before, it’s just some glue code around already existing services.

                          I’m no lawyer, and I obviously haven’t read the laws of every single country so I guess I can’t be sure something like this is legal everywhere, but I’ll be pretty surprised if somebody sues me (and wins) about cliflix.

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                            a disclaimer saying “Please check and make sure that use of this tool is legal in your country before running.” . Also changing your screenshots to copyleft videos like Sintel might be a good first step.

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                              Both videos (Tears of Steel and Star Wreck) used in the readme are available under CC licenses.

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                            the act of downloading copyrighted material is not illegal under current law, but rather it is distributing the material that is illegal.

                            Wouldn’t that count as “reproducing” the work done by transmitted bits instead of a photocopier like with books? The copy doesn’t happen with digital downloads without both parties’ participation. If other people saw it, “public display” might kick in.

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                              The copy doesn’t happen with digital downloads without both parties’ participation.

                              That’s fair. I may be mistaken: downloading may still be technically illegal but no one has been successfully sued for it unless they openly admitted to downloading. Perhaps it’s that it’s too difficult to prove without an admission. My memory is a little fuzzy.

                              If other people saw it, “public display” might kick in.

                              This is a whole other mess. I can show a movie for only members of something, but the moment I let “just anyone” into the event, it’s considered public showing and needs a license or it’s technically illegal. It’s even OK if membership is free and open to all, IIRC.

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                                Re latter point. Public showing of a song they bought plus distribution of cousin’s, wedding video over YouTube is how I got a strike for copyright infringement. An automated system recognized song. Technically had to get two licenses for it. Companies that give them rarely picked up phone for small buyers. Fun stuff.

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                                I am not aware of anyone facing penalties for merely downloading. All of the “omg $50000 fine for downloading” stories I’ve read were actually uploaders.

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                                  Im not saying they’re actively goimg after them. Idk what current stats are. I know the prefer suppliers since they can argue higher damages with better settlements or convictions.

                                  Im just saying I think they could get lots of downloaders if they wanted. They could also establish the new, legal theory by going after downloaders using the show or reproduce rights. An easy source would be people’s vids of them with friends or in public with the music in background. Once established in court, they can push companies like Facebook and YouTube to look for that stuff via automated means.

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                          Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll consider adding a warning about that.

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                          Amazing looking stuff, thank you!

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                            There’s also Peerflix for this kind of thing https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix

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                              Yes, peerflix is almost like cliflix but without the wizard, basically you’ll have to search for the torrents yourself. Also cliflix supports IINA, which it’s important for me since it’s the player I’m using.