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A federal judge has ruled out that there’s a big difference between providing hosting for infringing content and participating in copyright infringement. ALS Scan sued basically everybody for copyright infringement after adult images that it owned were posted all over the web. ALS Scan sued Steadfast Holdings, Cloudflare, Juicy Ads, and a number of other web hosting services.

One by one, these defendants have been excused from the suit. The underlying logic for the dismissals is solid. Providing web hosting is not the same thing as contributory infringement, no matter how much ALS Scan wants it to be.

In the Steadfast ruling, Wu said that merely hosting a pirate site does not make the web hosting service provider liable for any copyright infringement actions the site may be guilty of. In its motion to dismiss, Steadfast argued that it did not manage or operate the Imagebam site, and that it only provided computer storage. Wu wrote that:

“The court is unaware of any authority holding that merely alleging that a defendant provides some form of ‘hosting’ service to an infringing website is sufficient to establish contributory copyright infringement. The court would therefore find that the [complaint] fails to allege facts establishing that Steadfast materially contributed to the infringement.”

The judge said that there is more web hosting companies to do, in order to be considered contributory infringers and the hosting companies are doing none of those things. He said that ALS Scan wants web hosting companies to do more than they’re legally obligated to do. But it can’t sue just because it doesn’t agree with their practices. Here is more from the court ruling:

[T]he only allegations specific to Steadfast that are raised in the SAC are that Steadfast “hosts” pirate sites, including Imagebam, and that Plaintiff has sent numerous notifications to Steadfast of infringing content on Imagebam, but Steadfast has failed to implement or enforce a repeat infringer policy by removing Imagebam from its servers.

Beyond that, ALS’s complaint contains nothing that shows evidence of its claims.

Steadfast also contends that the SAC fails to allege material contribution or inducement. The Court would agree. The SAC alleges only that Steadfast “hosts” pirate sites that feature infringing content. It is entirely unclear what services Steadfast provides to Imagebam; what type of infringing activity Imagebam conducts (or even what Imagebam is); or how Steadfast contributes to or facilitates that infringing activity. As such, the Court would find that the SAC fails to plead material contribution.

The same goes for the rest of the allegations. Steadfast (or other web hosts) didn’t produce or contribute to infringing activity at sites hosted on its network, nor did it somehow violate ALS’s trademarks by hosting websites where infringing images could be found.

As Judge Wu’s opinion points out, it’s not up to the court to determine whether sued websites are “responsive enough” to rightsholders’ demands. As websites and web hosts follow the statutory requirements and respond properly to an DMCA request, they’re insulated from most infringement claims.

Cloud Computing in 2017

Posted by The Daw On December - 20 - 2016

This happens each and every year. Various experts, media and corporations feed publishers and crete buzz about each and everything that is about to come next year. This article is focused on Cloud Computing and what to expect from major clouds in 2017. Don’t take it very seriously, it is a suggestion only. However, we will be happy if you bookmark this article and come back next year to find out how good was B10WH’s projection.

Your Cloud Computing Bill Would Increase

Well, corporations love to take more of your money on monthly basis. Most companies who use Cloud computing are under contracts. Upon expiration, Cloud users would expect 3% – 5% increase of their monthly costs. The annual “price hikes” are put into contract and many companies (Equinix in the U.S. for example) would increase your monthly bill in January with few percent. The service will not get better, that’s for sure (I do not mean Equinix, they are good enough).

You Will Be Chased By Reckless Sales Agents

If you are really lucky, you’d might find a way to stop Sales guys and don’t allow them to make you believe that you “need” any Cloud computing service or product you haven’t had an idea about 5 minutes ago. In fact, it is very much about our judgement and the salesman on the line. We must admit that not all sales person are irresponsible and careless, at least not all the time. However, it is a very good idea not to trust them in December (or probably in any 4th quarter) when they are focused solely on the commission and bounced they’d earn. If you need to buy anything at the end of the year or if you just allowed yourself to get caught by one, it is probably the time to get a very, very good deal for yourself. So, just imagine you are a Donald Trump kind of a guy and try to be a tough negotiator. This might get you a very good deal or might ruin your chances to sign one. If you actually don’t need anything a failed deal would be a good deal, it will save you money.

More Public, Private & Hybrid Clouds in 20017

The terms “Public Cloud” and “Private Cloud” sound a bit foolish, especially when you are told that “Private Cloud” mean that the installation, applications and services that run on the virtualized computing instance are created for internal use, while “Public Cloud” is a computing instance build to be accessible for anyone. Whoever, came up with the terms doesn’t have a really bright idea. However, it was a successful one, as the industry adopted those terms.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., the public cloud services market is projected is growing by 17.2% in 2016 to total $208.6 billion ($178 billion in 2015). The projection was released in September 2016. In 2017 more businesses will move their in-house computer tasks and installations into data centers, something which is called “Cloud”.  It makes sense, as any well-secured “Private Cloud” would save financial resources and would add make any business more flexible. It probably means longer work day, which is not that bad in those companies that pay overtime. It also means that many of us would spend less time commuting and more time home with the families.

Providers are pushing for Hybrid Cloud (a Cloud computing instance that works for public use and for internal use), which makes sense for them is it saves them money on Cloud infrastructure and optimizes their production costs. However, in many scenarios a Hybrid Cloud might work great for small businesses and would help pa company to digitalize its business and optimize operations at reasonably low cost.

One thing, which is important is to look forward and negotiate lowest possible pricing on Cloud expansion and resource increase.

Anyone’s ability to negotiate the best Cloud technology service at a reasonably low price is crucial for the internal innovation level for any business. Why?

Cost Savings, Technology Innovation & Agility

High prices and the technology aspect of Cloud computing adoption are the main concerns for most small business owners. People are used to traditional computing and perpetual software license. They are easy to understand and their costs are not hard to project and control.

However, the new computing technologies create innovations. The number of software producers who offer their applications on the software-as-aservice-model, rather than selling perpetual licenses is increasing. many industries are getting to a point where the best business automation tools are available only as hosted subscription services. If our competitors can afford to use the best software products hosted on the Cloud, while we are struggling to find a decent self-hosted alternative, it is very likely that we’d find our business less productive and loose market share.

Look at the price of any Cloud service in comparative way. If it is a bit more expensive that we are willing to pay, we should think about what value it brings for you business.

Cloud Is Regionalizing

it is not a good idea to jump on Amazon, Microsoft, HP, IBM or any other of the “major Clouds”. They are expensive and the value rate, compared to the cost is much lower than their alternatives – smaller, regional Clouds. Unless you represent a big corporation which needs to have specific clauses in the contract and is ready to pay premium for them, going with any major clouds just does not make sense.

It is very likely that we’d discover we’ve signed a bad deal wit any of the large cloud provider when we need support. Being transferred between departments , you ticket being “escalated” a number of time before anyone would bring resolution would kill small or medium size business. So, we’d better find any local, small or middle-sized Cloud infrastructure provider, discuss our project with them and ask for a short monthly or quarterly contract to start with. Contractual flexibility is very important and it prevents any possible disputes or financial losses.

Vendor Lock-in Cloud Platforms & Services

In the pre-Cloud era, companies used to buy equipment and to colocate it in data centers. Most of them still do that. However, within the last few years various experts argue that the total cost of ownership is relatively low for leased computing capacity. This is true in a short-term contracts and project with a time frame of up to 2 years.

Before the introduction of the Cloud computing concept in the IT hosting industry there was a clear division between Infrastructure Hosting providers, Software producers and Managed Service providers. These days there are a growing number of software producers, who offer their apps as hosted Sofware-as-a Service solutions. This means that they build their own IT service ecosystem and control the whole lifecycle: Product installation and configuration, Technical support and troubleshooting of their own application; Infrastructure Hosting  service and Management service (System administration).

Once client moves to any proprietary software platform, it is virtually impossible or at least time consuming and very costly to migrate or change the provider. So it is very important that:

Businesses avoid vendor lock-in Cloud Apps and services or work out a technical scenario on how to migrate their services, operations and whole data to any other platform or provider.

The best section on the Cloud would be to avoid proprietary vendor lock-in services. What dos this mean? In Infrastructure Hosting this means that the company is safe to use VMware, Xen or any other Cloud platform, as long as it is clear that the computing infrastructure could be migrated without hassle and the company would switch to another provider.

Software Defined Infrastructure Services

it sounds a bit confusing to mix software with the infrastructure services, but this is very much what certain part of virtualized environments and Cloud computing is about. We’d expect to use IT services delivered from a software-defined, virtual environments that comprise of integrated compute resources, data storage and networking. It is very likely that in 2017 or in a couple of years a small, but powerful server box would replace all the appliances – servers, switches, routers, firewalls – in the corporate branches and all services they produce would be delivered from software applications that run in one appliance.

There is a term for this “Hyperconvergence”, it is quite perplexing t say something like “We can expect more hyperconvergence in 2017, but complete solutions are still some distance away”, isn’t it?

That’s it. There are many other things to be said about the development of Cloud computing technologies and services in 2017, but this has never been planned to be very detailed. I hope that 2017 would bring you success with or without Cloud computing.

Thousands Of Web Hosts! Who To Choose?

Posted by hosttycoon On February - 22 - 2009

thousands-of-web-hosts-who-to-chooseThis is not an article that aims to explain consumers “How to choose a web host”. “How to choose?” is a different topic. B10WH editorial team bravely decided to offer our readers even better advice – “Who to choose?”.

Most hosting guides say that it is “critical decision” to pick up web host. Of course this is not true. There are many awful web hosting providers. Some of them respond to your support tickets a day or two after you have invited some of your tech savvy friends at home for the weekend party and they sold your problem with FTP, POP 3 Mail or any other feature.

The truth however is that web hosting, especially in its Shared Class (Shared Hosting) is a pretty standardized service. Most providers power your hosting plan with cPanel, Plesk, Ensim, DirectAdmin or any other web hosting automation software (Control panel in hosting jargon), which usually is in service in thousands of hosting providers. Of course there are some companies (we think the more innovative ones) that power customer acconts with their own proprietary software.

It will not be a mistake if I say most Shared Hosting companies, especially those you most often see in the ads offer similar features. I must admit that if you are inexperienced customer you should will be a real sleuth to distinguish one shared web host, from another. Here comes my first advice!

Don’t Get Unlimited!

Today most Shared Hosting companies offer plans that cost 5 bucks per month (payable up front on annual basis) and when it comes to disc space and bandwidth quotas most of they claim to offer “unlimited”. Although B10WH has featured some hosting companies that offer “unlimited”, and I can assure you that any of them is a reliable provider, but it is still much better decision to find buy web hosting from someone that those not oversell and dosn’t sell “unlimited”.

When you search for web hosting and you are about to get impressed by any hosting company, just go to Google and place its name in the search bar. It is important to see what the search results say about this company. Try to find whether it is socialized and open to the public, does it produce news, content, how often it upgrades its products and services.

It is a good idea to compare a few web hosting providers, but do not do this within “TOP HOSTING” sites, that you can find around. There are tons of them on the web and any single of them wants to make you to click on its ads. Many others are affiliated with any web hosting company. So be careful! B10WH also profits from selling advertising and referring customers to web hosting companies, but we state this very clear on our website and never mislead our readers.

So, the best you can do is to make a comparison chart, to make a fact-check and to compare the services of a few hosting companies by yourself. As a part of your mini hosting survey, you can also try to collect multiple opinions about the picked web hosting companies. If you feel lazy got to Web Hosting Talk, and search for consumer reviews about web host you are about to sign up.

Our advice to any host seeker is to check whether the company they think might work for them answers promptly to support tickets and email messages. Phone support is also important. Never go with a web hosting company that does not provide phone support. No matter if it is tool-free or not the phone support is important. There are many situations when you will really need someone to answer your phone call.

Another thing to do once you have already chosen a hosting provider is to read its TOS. Make sure there are no hidden terms and limitations that apply to the usage of the service. Be very careful with the “unlimited offerings”. Some hosts say that they offer unlimited, but your website is always restricted in usage of services.