You have joined #mirchelp on Undernet on May 11th at 8:16:54 CET and told us that when you try to download an mp3, an ad tells you to get OmenServe script if you want to serve files, and then you asked if you should download it. One of our helpers who was online at that time was already engaged in a conversation with another person, but he answered you promptly, one minute and 10 seconds after the first message and two other messages 10 respectively 24 seconds after your actual question. Then you asked which serving script to use in order to download files; the helper told you 30 seconds later that we do not help with mp3 trading. A few minutes later, you thanked the helper and left.

Half an hour later, you return asking for help on activating a script you have downloaded and installed. After barely two minutes, your patience runs out and you type, and I quote:

At that time, the channel manager (called "founder" on some networks) stepped in and answered your questions thoroughly: that you nee to read the help file of the script for instructions about installing and using it, that IRC doesn't have rooms - it has channels, and then reiterated to you that:

<@Eenie> phoenix18 since 99.9% of mp3's, videos and software traded on irc are copyrighted, that qualifies as warez, which is illegal. For more info, check out

Your answer was that it's not illegal in Canada, to which the manager told you it is. Then, you quit.

You returned in the evening, on May 11 at 23:28:13 CET and asked if someone can help you with a script because everyone is asleep in the "scriphelp room". Not knowing what you are asking about, another helper suggested another scripting help channel. You left again after less than 3 minutes.

The next day, May 13 at 8:29:41 CET, you joined #mirchelp again to post the URL of this thread you have started and left immediately. You returned after 3 minutes, when the channel manager asked you to stop pasting URLs in channel. You engaged in a conversation with the manager and another helper which explained you how help works, but you didn't seem to like the explanations and left.

Now, let's see what you did wrong.

First: sharing and downloading copyrighted materials is illegal in most countries of the world. Even if a country doesn't have a copyright-related law, there are international laws on copyright protections which are considered above national laws as importance, and most countries of the world accepted these international laws on copyright. Canada has a copyright law, I'm sure a lawyer there can tell you the number and year of that Act. Music, movies, software - they are all copyrighted materials. Therefore, sharing or downloading mp3s online without obtaining a license to do so from the copyright holder is a violation of the copyright law and classifies as illegal activity. Help channels are not allowed to provide any help with such file trading, and you were told that in two occasions.

On the other hand, what you typed in the channel can be identified with your IP address and date which, together, act like a signature, allowing the law enforcement agencies to identify you directly; what you said is considered a written statement from you in which you declare by own will that you are trying to do something illegal - in this case, to download copyrighted materials without the legal right to do so, right which is obtained by paying for it and it's called a license. Every audio CD has a license printed on it, which gives you the right to listen to it under certain terms. Internet Providers make it clear in the subscription contract that the customer is forbidden to use the Internet connection provided by the ISP to engage in any illegal activity; go on, read your contract with, even the "terms and conditions" in fine print at the end. Now, if I was 100% ethical, I would contact your Internet Service Provider immediately and announce them that you are in fact using the internet connection to download and possibly share copyrighted materials, in direct infringement of the contract you have with them and with copyright laws. They should block your account immediately and notify the authorities on your illegal conduct. So, you will end up with a subpoena in the mail and even the police at your door to take your computer in custody as proof for downloading copyrighted music. I'll let you go, this time; you didn't know what you are doing is wrong or someone might have told you it's ok, but now you do. Your mistake was forgiven, provided that you learn from it and stop pursuing illegal downloads. On your next mistake, my e-mail to the ISP and the Police will be prompt; I've done it so often, that I already have a template e-mail for it, just need to fill in your nickname, IP address and attach logs.

Second error: helpers don't get paid for what they do. All help online is conducted by volunteers, they are not under the supervision of Mr. Khaled Mardam-Bey or any other authority. We help from the goodness of our hearts, but we also have a real life, work, school and other problems, so we cannot stay online to provide instant help 24/7. People looking for help will need to be patient and come back at a later time, when helpers might be at the keyboard. The requirements for getting free help are: to be patient until someone answers (it can take even a few hours, but if you want free help you have to wait), to be polite, courteous and say at least "thank you" for the service these people have provided you for free. That's all we expect from you.

In your specific case, you were answered promptly on each occasion, however you decided to ignore the help. If you think you know better, why did you join the channel in the first place? The help provided to you was accurate, given the scarce details you provided in some instances. You were not patient enough to wait for an answer. Your attitude towards this whole matter was to come here and post a complaint and engage in a fight with the helpers for not giving you the answers you wanted.

Last edited by Khaled; 13/05/04 11:36 AM.