Is a Proxy Cache – Copyright Violation?

Many proxies operate either exclusively or as part of an internet access infrastructure in caching mode. The idea is that instead of users in a network each individually accessing and downloading a popular internet page or site, the proxy server downloads and caches the pages. This has the huge advantage that a huge amount of bandwidth is not used up downloading the same content over and over again.


For anyone who has seen the difference on a network when even a few popular sites are cached then it makes perfect sense to operate in this way. As content becomes more and more media dense with embedded images and videos this is likely to continue. However as always operating a proxy which caches information can come with other issues too.

One of the hot topics online at the moment is that of copyright and protecting the holder’s rights. Companies like Netflix pay for the rights of much of it’s content to be streamed in different areas. They are duty bound to protect those rights and go to great lengths to ensure compliance. Just recently Netflix for example has blocked access to it’s servers from any commercial IP address in an attempt to block the use of VPNs to circumvent their region locking.

That’s correct, you are now no longer able to access Netflix from any commercial address, so discrete streaming from work has probably ended for most too! It is still possible to use a VPN but it must be equipped with a network of residential ips for Netflix in order to work properly.

This brings up the other problem, if you cache someone else’s property on your proxy – are you inadvertently violating their copyright at the same time. After all that picture, song or movie cached on your server could effectively be distributed anywhere without permission of the owner.

It’s a grey area, and one that I don’t think has yet been tested in the courts. Can you violate copyright simply by storing the content in your proxy cache. There is no reliable way yet with HTTP/1.0 to tag content as ‘non-cached’ and it would take a lot of effort for copyright holders to inform proxy owners not too cache their content.

It’s also not really possible with current technology to be able to report back to the origin server that content has been cached although this could be possible. There are some ‘cache busting’ techniques which can be used to stop or at least deter proxies from caching specific content. The issue will probably need some important legal mandate or case somewhere before this technology develops properly however it is the author’s opinion that the question is ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ this ever happens.

Further Reading

John Collins, The Netflix Proxy Warning, Haber Press, 2015

Web Proxy – General Properties

Although web proxy servers are evolving all the time, there are some specific properties that all proxies should share.
Here’s a selection of the most important fundamentals that you should find in a proxy:

  • Transparency; proxies should not affect the end result of any communication. A user or a server should get the same response whether the connection was direct or routed through a proxy server. The only exception to this situation is if the proxy is configured to do any filtering or rerouting, otherwise the server should be completely transparent.
  • Control; the client should be in control of whether the proxy is used or not. Although the decision should be made on the client, this can be enforced either through browser configuration or group policy settings in a windows environment. This situation is common among corporate configuration of client PCs, ensuring that internet access is only accessible via the proxy ensures some control and protection against virus and malware.
  • Destination unaffected; the destination server is not affected by any proxy which exists. The destination server should ideally be completely unaware of the existence of the proxy.

Probably the most important concept in these three properties of a proxy is that of transparency. There is really no need for either the client or server end of the connection to be aware of the proxy if it is configured correctly. If a proxy does not interfere with the communication at all, this should also ensure that speed and performance is optimized. Here’s an example of a proxy being. however this video which actually demonstrates a residential vpn service which relays the connection through an intermediate server depending on the destination.

In fact speed is often one of the primary reasons for using a proxy server, when it is enabled in a caching mode. This enables the server to store copies of often requested web pages and resources and serve them directly to client responses. This reduces network traffic and can reduce the time needed to service a client request.

The functions of access control and filtering will of course introduce an overhead to the connection but this is often considered a worthwhile impact. A proxy server can be an important barrier to protect an internal network from outside attacks and viruses. Most organisations will ensure that no direct access is allowed through the external firewall except via the proxy, this ensures that everything is funneled through a single point and allows logging and monitoring too.

The SSL Tunneling Protocol

Non-call-related signalling and also the mobility of subscribers are additional demands. There are some easy things which are possible to do to assist you increase your security…SSL, for instance, provides a tier of protection that numerous banks as well as other financial institutions use often. So it just is logical the firewalls as well as the other network devices that permit web server encryption would likewise permit a SSL VPN encryption also. Encapsulating protocols within an unsual way is usually reffered as tunnelling.

VPN with SSTP protocol is helpful for these sorts of situations. You can apply extra types of encryption as well as that which the VPN connection provides. IPSec is usually called a security overlay” due to its use for a security layer for some other protocols. In addition, Tunneling protocol is quite secure, which makes it indispensable for both average and company communications.
Ergo, SSL VPNs are called clientless solutions. SSL doesn’t alter some of that. In addition, This is called SSL bridging. SSH provides authentication and encryption that’s been proven to work for practically any application.

There are only two major forms of SSL VPNs that could fulfill your security requirements. There are various advantages connected with SSL VPN. Both significant HTTP servers could be configured for SSL support. There are only two core IPsec protocols which you need to know about. You can see an example operating here, on this large media site where it is used to generate a Netflix proxy warning as the IP is detected even with SSL – the data is irrelevant in this situation only the origin of the address.

If IPsec is blocked it need to be able to utilize SSL tunneling also. TLS is also recognized as SSL 3.1. TLS is also utilized in many various setups.
VPN clients could be configured to stop split tunneling. A VPN can be transported in addition to this protocol. The VPN connection isn’t statically defined. There are numerous different VPN protocols and kinds of VPN’s.

You will also realize that a SSL VPN generally doesn’t have an extremely big VPN client that should be set up on a person’s workstation. Authentication is done using PPP. Authentication is called for before VPN connection. IPv6 Tunnel via a IPv4 Network.

VPNs may be used across broadband connections instead of dedicated WAN links. They are often used to extend intranets worldwide to disseminate information, videos and news to a wide user base. Trusted VPNs don’t utilize cryptographic tunneling, and instead require the security of one provider’s network to defend the traffic. VPN seems to get been an answer to the weakness.
VPN connectivity is reached with various protocols. Hardware VPNs like offerings supplied by companies like Cisco, can be readily implemented. Obtaining a fast VPN might be helpful for upping your efficiency but that’s not basic reason behind which it’s subscribed by users.

Here you’ll discover some superior information regarding the way the UDP protocol works. PCoIP is really a server-centric protocol uses UDP datagrams, not TCP. This standards-based security protocol is, in addition, popular with IPv4. HTTPS thus appears to be treated like TCP tunneling. Host-to-host connection enables an individual host joined to the web, to establish a VPN connection to some other host on the opposite end. The tunnel is really a concept of the connection between a VPN user plus a server. It is then assigned and a request is made to the LNS which will decide if the connection can be made.

John Sawyer