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Seriously, think before you ask, "can i use your VPS hosting for....." [sort of rant]
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Seriously, think before you ask, "can i use your VPS hosting for....." [sort of rant]

AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

Hi Folks,

Not looking to name and shame anyone here, but the volume of "Can I host X, Y .. Z" questions I get via the pre sales form or PM's on various boards is getting silly, there seems to be a growth in the number of people who simply think that a $4 VPS is a complete shield against repercussions so I thought I would try to make some effort to nip it in the bud.

I am going to try to write this is a way that keeps things legal and away from the awkward line in the sand that will become apparent in the next paragraph, maybe some other hosts can chip in on this or on parts of it.

If a VPS host set up business in most of the western EU or USA/Canada and specifically advertised the fact that they allow illegal torrents, nulled scripts, hosting of copyright software, links to and warez... how long do you think they would last?

With the way laws are these days rightly or wrongly there is a 99.9% chance the company would be prosecuted and found guilty of facilitating criminal activity.

The reality is most VPS hosts don't really care about the specifics of what you are doing with your VPS as long as it does not generate abuse reports and is not resource abusive, we cant police all of your activities all of the time nor do we even try to that would just be to resource intensive.

So maybe you want to sign up with a host, maybe you want to download the odd TV show from a private tracker, or play with a copy of some software you "found" that you "lost" the license details for, while I understand you may consider it respectful or covering your back by asking first it really should not be laid at the door of the host to make that call for you.

Simply by saying: "I have a nulled script I want to use do you allow it?" or "I want to download from tbp do you allow it?" etc etc, in reality you are asking a host to become complicit in your illegal activity and thus be implicated in any outcome for allowing it to happen with written consent in full knowledge it was illegal.

It essentially breaks down in to: Can I do illegal stuff with your service, will you allow me to do this? and expecting a host to say "sure go ahead, I will take the heat for you"

An individual that does not ask, doing the odd thing on the boarder of what was described above I imagine would be considered a small thing not a big deal, a host actively facilitating such activities with written consent as a company would be burnt alive legally.

So please, if you want to something even a little bit dodgy, don't ask your host to shoulder some of the blame/ responsibility it is your risk to take and yours alone.

I spotted that closed thread about someone wanting a VPS to download game of thrones because they got a letter from their ISP, so you think a host is going to lock away your info in fort knox if they get a similar complaint or letter, why do you think just because you use a VPS if you commit a crime there are no consequences, no host is going to vigorously protect you and the trust and service you abused to begin with for $5.

I used to get a lot of repeat offenders downloading torrents from TPB etc and it was usually blamed on a brother/ sister, oops left the VPN on etc etc I found now that if the first warning asks the question: "Are you happy for me to pass on your personal information to the copyright company so you can communicate with them directly over your choice to infringe the copyright against our acceptable use policy?" it prevents any further abuse in this area.

So yeah, think about what you are actually asking before asking it is the point of the above :)

Ant.

I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

Comments

  • wychwych Member

    I get multiple tickets a week about torrents; not had that many requests for nulled scripts but they are explicitly outlined in the ToS.

    Taking a hiatus.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    @wych said:
    I get multiple tickets a week about torrents; not had that many requests for nulled scripts but they are explicitly outlined in the ToS.

    Yep, I think the worst way of asking is "I know it says no xyzxyz in your terms but really do you mind if I xyzxyz"

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • SpiritSpirit Disabled

    They at least ask before purchase. That's why pre-sale questions are for.
    Beside that I asked several hosts in past with no IRC policy if they would make exception for non problematic personal IRC usage and in most cases they say YES.

    Thanked by 2Linkking chrisp
  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    @Spirit pre sales questions are not there to ask a host to be complicit and facilitate illegal activity, for example "Can I use nulled scripts and host copyright material or download game of thrones using your service" is a little different to "What is your IRC policy".

    Thanked by 1mpkossen

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • AmitzAmitz Member

    I work in a completeley unrelated industry, but rest assured: We receive the same stupid questions, only different. Customers... You cannot live with them, you cannot live without them... <3

    Thanked by 1netomx

    For those who care:
    You can now find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com or https://www.hostballs.com

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    @Amitz yeah I suppose I am not really trying to point the finger, sadly it is quite a hard one to write without it sounding like an attack on some groups of people, more of a 'have you considered it from this perspective' i.e. maybe your no was only a no because you asked to begin with...

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • AmitzAmitz Member
    edited June 2014

    I just wanted to give solace to you. ;-)

    I also often think that the industry that I work in is the most absurd and bonkers one in the world. Until I hear from other people about their work. And: WHOOOPS! Everything feels a bit more bearable. I read this thread right after one of those silly telephone conversations with a completely wacky customer. Now I do not feel alone anymore... ;-)

    For those who care:
    You can now find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com or https://www.hostballs.com

  • khavkhav Member

    For anything related to torrents , warez and nulled script i think people will choose servers found in offshore datacenters which are very lenient to dmca ( e.g Voxility)

    $5 vps in voxility DC is hard to find :P

  • I think they are good because of at least they ask you If they can use your server for "X, Y, Z"... think about customers who don't even ask anything and host illegal stuff on your server ;/

    Dewlance
  • MartinDMartinD Member
    edited June 2014

    ^ srsly.

    It's known that Anthony and I don't get on but for once I'm in agreement here. Largely, I don't particularly care what you're doing provided it's not abusive in any way to other users or the resources. If you're downloading a few movies or episodes of your favourite show I'm not gonna know unless you're raping bandwidth and it draws my attention but for the love of god, don't come to me and ask if you can do illegal stuff - I'm going to say no. It's not "good to ask first" - that just implicates your provider and that's something no respectable provider will do.

    Thanked by 2GIANT_CRAB RLT
  • Gotta love those CEG TEK International emails in the abuse department.....

    How to clean up a questionable reputation: throw the kids some BF/CM offers.

  • SpiritSpirit Disabled
    edited June 2014

    @AnthonySmith but how hard is to send out canned response instead of cleaning their mess later? I still think that most stupid pre-sale question is better than dealing with their crap later. What's your opinion about that? Do you prefer them as clients to kick them out later?

  • doughmanesdoughmanes Member
    edited June 2014

    khav said: For anything related to torrents , warez and nulled script i think people will choose servers found in offshore datacenters which are very lenient to dmca ( e.g Voxility)

    $5 vps in voxility DC is hard to find :P

    Quit passing that lie around. Are you ignorant or completely stupid? Voxility has kicked out numerous VPS providers in Turkey and Romania for crap you speak of and users like you are the reason why providers won't expand "overseas" because of the disease your type brings on a network

    How to clean up a questionable reputation: throw the kids some BF/CM offers.

  • khavkhav Member

    @doughmanes said:
    Quit passing that lie around. Are you ignorant or completely stupid? Voxility has kicked out numerous VPS providers in Turkey and Romania for crap you speak of and users like you are the reason why providers won't expand "overseas" because of the disease your type brings on a network

    Please stop with your crap and you are you to judge me ?

    First off i don't host warez , torrent or any of illegal stuff you are speaking of .Just head on to wjunction and you will know what i mean .Moreover i never had any problem with any provider that i tried so far and i guess @Nick_A or 100tb.com team won't qualify me as a disease

    Show off your frustration elsewhere mate

  • rds100rds100 Member

    "if you have to ask, then it's not allowed". Simple :)

    Thanked by 1linuxthefish

    -

  • SpiritSpirit Disabled

    Friends, stick with topic, please.

  • NekkiNekki Moderator

    Obviously I'm not a host so maybe I have the wrong perspective on this, but surely having people asks these questions does help you weed out the real troublemakers?

    The way I see it, the people most commonly asking these questions are the likely heavy-duty guys who know they're going to get caught at some point and don't want to get kicked and potentially lose money, or twats who are clueless to start with; your average sensible 'light-touch' user knows they'll get away with the odd torrent or naughty script if they don't go bananas with it.

    Here lies Nekki. He loved massive amounts of storage, K-Pop and calling people cunts.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider
    edited June 2014

    @MartinD meh we are both old enough and northern enough to move on I think :)

    @Spirit I guess what I am trying to say without saying it is: I don't care about light personal use for things that May be illegal in that I do not monitor your every move, just be sensible about it, but if you outright ask me if you can use my service to brake laws then... no .. the answer is always no regardless. what else could I possibly say but no?

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • I have a VPS just for streaming music to my phone/laptop on the go, everything is uploaded by me through FTP or btsync - no torrents. I'm guessing most hosts would say no to this use though, and although I can see why I think sometimes it's best just not to say anything...

  • nerouxneroux Member
    edited June 2014

    Just because I read it here mentioned over and over again.

    While they are undoubtedly widely used for unauthorised distribution of copyrighted content, there is nothing "illegal" about torrent files per se. I am not aware of any law in the Western world which would implicitly forbid such files. The fact that certain sites have been closed nonetheless on the other hand is unfortunately yet another sign of how money can buy the legislature.

  • Mark_RMark_R Member

    I think that the people who ask if private torrenting is allowed on your service (for illegal intend) are usually the ones that are afraid of getting caught and all they want is to get a reply from the host that makes it look like they approve illegal torrenting. Heavy torrent users usually do not contact the host about this matter because that would make them look suspicious right away, instead they search for hosts that do not have filesharing, p2p, torrent mentioned in their agreements.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    If you advertise on LEB, you get LowEndCustomers who want to do all shades of shadiness.

    I'm baffled why this would be a surprise.

    Thanked by 1darkshire

    For LET support, please visit the support desk.

  • alexhalexh Member

    If you can't handle being asked questions, this industry isn't for you.

    Here's the thing: I don't use low-end hosts for important projects; Why are you bringing in low-end clients and expecting high-end results? With people like Jon from GVH promoting illegal activities, and having clear association to this community, I'm not surprised people are starting to think shit like this is OK.

  • I've asked hosts about warez before. Some will ignore DMCAs, others will forward it onto you to deal with, and others will end your service there and then.

    That's a case where it's important to ask IMO

    Favourite host in general: Ramnode (affiliate link)
    Favourite host for hourly billing/custom ISOs: Vultr ($50 free credit for new accounts, affiliate link)

  • lmao, I guess the jig is up Anthony. it's not for you. If you can't handle being asked to be complicit in law breaking and crimes there's no place for you.

    Thanked by 1AnthonySmith

    My personal blog and website | Freelance web developer & programmer. HTML/CSS/PHP/JS (Clientside & Serverside)/C# and more

    Installing Observium on Debian

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    Yeah I can handle being asked the questions, I am kind of asking people to read between the lines or realize any sane host is not going to give you cart blanch to do what ever you want just because you asked, in the most simple terms possible: will you assist me in breaking the law and confirm this in writing: no, do you monitor my every move: no

    I don't get it if a host says: yes I confirm you can use our services to facilitate law breaking (even if by implication) I cant see why you would want to use that host, they sure as shit are not then going to protect you and your identity and when the shit hits the fan the 'I asked first' defense is not going to help much :)

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • alexhalexh Member

    @AnthonySmith said:
    I don't get it if a host says: yes I confirm you can use our services to facilitate law breaking (even if by implication) I cant see why you would want to use that host, they sure as shit are not then going to protect you and your identity and when the shit hits the fan the 'I asked first' defense is not going to help much :)

    It seems that you operate internationally; Customers won't always follow the same laws that you do, just as they don't share the same opinions of yours. Assuming that every customer that asks you a question like this intends to break the law is ignorant.

  • AThomasHoweAThomasHowe Member
    edited June 2014

    @alexh Anthony is bound by the laws of the United Kingdom, even on off-shore locations. He's a citizen of the UK and his business is registered there. It doesn't matter what the laws are in your locality. By saying "yes" there's now record of Anthony being complicit in the crime and stripping him of plausible deniability.

    I also very much doubt when Anthony says no torrents he means no BitSync, no distributing your own file or app over torrents etc. Read his scenario:

    Simply by saying: "I have a nulled script I want to use do you allow it?" or "I want to download from tbp do you allow it?" etc etc, in reality you are asking a host to become complicit in your illegal activity and thus be implicated in any outcome for allowing it to happen with written consent in full knowledge it was illegal.

    That's implication in a crime. You're the one who started painting everyone with the same brush and made assumptions.

    Unless you're going to try and paint well over 99% of TPB traffic as legit and not the other way round. I am for file sharing but don't shit all over someone who's registered as a legal entity to do it.

    My personal blog and website | Freelance web developer & programmer. HTML/CSS/PHP/JS (Clientside & Serverside)/C# and more

    Installing Observium on Debian

  • alexhalexh Member

    @AThomasHowe said:
    alexh Anthony is bound by the laws of the United Kingdom, even on off-shore locations. He's a citizen of the UK and his business is registered there. It doesn't matter what the laws are in your locality. By saying "yes" there's now record of Anthony being complicit in the crime and stripping him of plausible deniability.

    I also very much doubt when Anthony says no torrents he means no BitSync, no distributing your own file or app over torrents etc. Read his scenario:

    That's implication in a crime. You're the one who started painting everyone with the same brush and made assumptions.

    I'm not arguing law with you. You can continue to Google laws, but it's not relevant here.

    My point was that if an individual comes from a country where there are no copyright laws, how do you expect them to know these practices are illegal?

    My other point was that some hosts allow, and even promote activity like this. It's not OK by any means, but some people simply aren't involved/invested in the industry, and don't have the technical/communication skills to truly understand the complicated details behind these issues.

    It seems that many users argue, as opposed to debate. I apologize if you saw my posts as argument; I'm here to share thoughts, but more importantly learn.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    @alexh said:
    It seems that you operate internationally; Customers won't always follow the same laws that you do, just as they don't share the same opinions of yours. Assuming that every customer that asks you a question like this intends to break the law is ignorant.

    then color me ignorant, sorry I give people a little more credit than that but I could be wrong hence the post for the sake of clarity.

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • alexh said: I'm not arguing law with you. You can continue to Google laws, but it's not relevant here.

    I googled no laws. I live in the UK and those are pretty standard laws worldwide.

    alexh said: My point was that if an individual comes from a country where there are no copyright laws, how do you expect them to know these practices are illegal?

    Why is it someones responsibility to teach you the law outside their ToS - here at LEB for under $7/m. Any kind of support eats into those profit margins. Plus let's not pretend that people aren't aware of international copyright law.

    alexh said: My other point was that some hosts allow, and even promote activity like this. It's not OK by any means, but some people simply aren't involved/invested in the industry, and don't have the technical/communication skills to truly understand the complicated details behind these issues.

    It's not a providers job to do research for you. If it's a grey area then go ahead and ask but a few mins of google will tell you the law. I also don't think that you should try and make all hosts responsible for the lowest common denominator. Surely if they know about these torrent friendly hosts then they'd know that torrenting TV shows, movies and music is illegal in the US and such? More providers than not are not happy about that kind of stuff.

    alexh said: It seems that many users argue, as opposed to debate. I apologize if you saw my posts as argument; I'm here to share thoughts, but more importantly learn.

    Me too. Nobody was implying that people who use torrents were criminals, rather if you will leverage them to break the law do it on your own connection or with a provider geared towards that kinda' stuff.

    My personal blog and website | Freelance web developer & programmer. HTML/CSS/PHP/JS (Clientside & Serverside)/C# and more

    Installing Observium on Debian

  • @Nekki said:

    The real troublemakers won't ask, so no.

    @alexh said:

    There's this magical thing called INTERNATIONAL copyright law. The only countries it doesn't work in, are the countries that won't expedite you. [ China, Russia... sometimes, Viet Nam [... we don't accept customers from here anymore. ], Indonesia, Romania, Turkey, and a few others. ]

    Acting Director of Albino Geek Services Ltd. My Keybase ID ( gh )
    GoodHosting.co | Enterprise KVM Virtual Private Servers | Twitter / Status : @ GoodHostingCo

  • What I understood was: he doesn't care if you host illegal things or not, just don't tell him and he will be happy to have you as a client until you get reported and he has to shut you off.

  • @luissousa said:
    What I understood was: he doesn't care if you host illegal things or not, just don't tell him and he will be happy to have you as a client until you get reported and he has to shut you off.

    That's how all LowEnd hosts operate. [ And no, hosts, don't play dumb. ] Due to privacy laws in Canada, I literally can't know what's going on in your instance unless you tell me. ** So don't tell me. **

    Acting Director of Albino Geek Services Ltd. My Keybase ID ( gh )
    GoodHosting.co | Enterprise KVM Virtual Private Servers | Twitter / Status : @ GoodHostingCo

  • @GoodHosting said:

    I know, and although it may look I am criticising, I'm not. If I owned a LowEnd Host I would act the same way.

  • GoodHosting said: Due to privacy laws in Canada, I literally can't know what's going on in your instance unless you tell me. ** So don't tell me. **

    Never mind in the EU (and specifically UK where we have even tighter data protection/retention laws) where Inception is.

    My personal blog and website | Freelance web developer & programmer. HTML/CSS/PHP/JS (Clientside & Serverside)/C# and more

    Installing Observium on Debian

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    TL;DR summary: providers wish people read TOS

    For LET support, please visit the support desk.

  • alexhalexh Member

    GoodHosting said: That's how all LowEnd hosts operate. [ And no, hosts, don't play dumb. ] Due to privacy laws in Canada, I literally can't know what's going on in your instance unless you tell me. ** So don't tell me. **

    Being Canadian myself, I think our laws regarding online businesses and personal data are very strict in a positive way. For example, Canadian corporations are required to be transparent with regards to corporate policy. Also, customers must be able to request their personal information be removed from records.

    GoodHosting said: There's this magical thing called INTERNATIONAL copyright law. The only countries it doesn't work in, are the countries that won't expedite you. [ China, Russia... sometimes, Viet Nam [... we don't accept customers from here anymore. ], Indonesia, Romania, Turkey, and a few others. ]

    Valid point; I wasn't aware that copyright law was black-and-white internationally, even going from North America to Europe. A few years ago, from what I remember, most seedboxes were hosted on resold OVH and LeaseWeb boxes in Europe. I guess this was also before PRQ was raided. Things change very quickly it seems.

    AThomasHowe said: Why is it someones responsibility to teach you the law outside their ToS - here at LEB for under $7/m. Any kind of support eats into those profit margins. Plus let's not pretend that people aren't aware of international copyright law.

    That's true, but I do feel that some of the hosts here provide outstanding support for the amount we pay; Many hosts don't receive the credit they deserve. Aside from law, from what I've seen, most hosts list what you can/can't host in their ToS. I do think customers should read through the respective host's ToS before purchasing, and abide by them; Chances are, if you feel they're unacceptable, there's another host that can meet your needs.

    I do understand OP, but if someone asks if they can use your service for illicit purpose, then you would clearly tell them no. Wouldn't this act in favor of the host? It'd seemingly provide both proof of the host's good intentions, and probable cause/evidence if further issues arose from the client's use of services.

  • People still do a lot of torrenting in OVH and to a degree still leaseweb. A few resellers did back away from France though during the whole Hadopi thing. You don't ticket into OVH and ask if your clients can download from The Pirate Bay though.

    And a lot of hosts do provide greats up port that's true, they can continue to do so and even provide better support in future for the same resources if they don't have to answer inane questions though (ones in OP, not your questions).

    As to your other @me point, yeah, that is beneficial. Similar amount of deniability though to not knowing at all.

    My personal blog and website | Freelance web developer & programmer. HTML/CSS/PHP/JS (Clientside & Serverside)/C# and more

    Installing Observium on Debian

  • iSkyiSky Member

    never expected that you become the OP :D
    FYI, if the DC is onshore, which i mean is US. I will not ask them, it will absolutely NO. But your DC is somewhere at EU. So like @spirit said before, thats why Pre-sales job to answer something like this. As for torrenting, the question is no. If you need leech torrent file, why dont get seedbox where they 99% ignore DMCA right ? But this is script. Why someone ask it because not about they afraid against DMCA at first stance, but the provider that afraid the Nulled script contain some virus or backdoor that maybe can harm the server or other customer DATA. IMHO, no offense about that. We have a positive review for your hosting reputation, thats why they ask before act.

  • nerouxneroux Member

    GoodHosting said: There's this magical thing called INTERNATIONAL copyright law.

    And this is where to be found?

    No, seriously, there is no such thing. The closest it gets is the Berne Convention from 1886.

    For example, in many countries it is perfectly legal to download copyrighted material. Just a few days ago the European Court of Justice semi-legalised streaming copyrighted content.

    So no, there is no such thing as any international "law".

  • NyrNyr Member

    Just one note: asking about linking to warez specifically is not so silly sometimes.

    Warez linking is allowed on some places in the EU like Spain and many legit hosts will allow it. The biggest "pirate" website here was hosted at Comvive, a legit, well known ISP in Spain.

    Downloading copyrighted torrents for personal usage isn't illegal either for now (kinda).

    A different matter is paying $7/month and assuming your ISP will eat DMCA notices weekly for you, yeah.

    Thanked by 1hostnoob
  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    @Nyr I did not know that. puts an interesting flip on the discussion and admittedly weakens part of my point.

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

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