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Sweden to Give Courts New Power to Hunt IP Infringers 171

Posted by Zonk
from the unleash-the-p2p-sniffing-hounds dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Swedish Culture & Justice ministers are preparing to give new power to Swedish courts to let them force ISPs to give up subscriber IPs. The end goal is trying subscribers in court for copyright infringement. As the one-time home of the Pirate Bay, which is now internationally distributed, they face both US pressure and push-back at home. The Swedish arm of the Pirate Party is calling this move a 'sanctioned blackmailing operation', but hopefully the Swedish courts won't allow the IFPI to use as many tricks as the RIAA has in US courts."
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Sweden to Give Courts New Power to Hunt IP Infringers

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  • by inTheLoo (1255256) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:29PM (#22762602) Journal

    How can they call this a legitimate request [cdt.org], given the recent outrages by the companies involved [slashdot.org]?

    Shame on Wired for repeating the propaganda phrases, "illegal file sharing" and "piracy". It's not against the law in many countries and sharing should not be considered damaging or wrong anywhere. Giving someone a copy of a book is not the same thing as feeding them to the fish. I'm used to better things from Wired than this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RedK (112790)
      You can sugar coat it all you want, if you are unauthorized to redistribute content, and you are doing it, what you are doing is Piracy. It also happens to be illegal in many countries, including the one we discuss here, where there are copyright laws that define the scope of what is legal and illegal distribution of said content. If you share a file for which you have received authorization to do so in the form of a license, you are in fact participating in illegal file sharing.

      As much as you don't lik
      • by RedK (112790)

        If you share a file for which you have received authorization to do so in the form of a license, you are in fact participating in illegal file sharing.
        WTB edit button. Always preview a post before submitting I guess :

        If you share a file for which you have NOT received authorization to do so in the form of a license, you are in fact participating in illegal file sharing.
        • by Dunbal (464142) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:16PM (#22762816)
          I have not authorized you to read this copyrighted post.

          Police, please arrest RedK (112790). Thank you.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by prxp (1023979)

        If you share a file for which you have not received authorization to do so in the form of a license, you are in fact participating in illegal file sharing. (...)As much as you don't like it, it's the way it is. Not all file sharing is illegal, but not all of it is legal. Morals have nothing do to with lawfulness of it.

        Pirate bay provides links (or trackers) to files, those trackers/links are not copyrighted in any way and there's not law in Sweden that forbids such practice (unlike USA's DMCA). So, In Sweden doing what Pirate Bay does is not illegal AT ALL. No morals, just legality.

        • by RedK (112790)
          Of course, the article is about the government amending the law in order for the proper right holders to go after the sharers themselves. It is not about the Pirate Bay at all except for a brief mention that they were from Sweden.
        • by trawg (308495) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:23PM (#22762840) Homepage

          Pirate bay provides links (or trackers) to files, those trackers/links are not copyrighted in any way and there's not law in Sweden that forbids such practice (unlike USA's DMCA). So, In Sweden doing what Pirate Bay does is not illegal AT ALL.
          That's fine - but that's not the point of the article. It sounds like they're giving up going after the Pirate Bay, specifically because there's no laws against its existence. They want to go after the people that are USING the Pirate Bay, and they're getting laws crafted to force ISPs to cooperate by giving up details of file sharers.
      • by Dunbal (464142) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:11PM (#22762792)
        if you are unauthorized to redistribute content, and you are doing it, what you are doing is Piracy.

              No, piracy also involves a certain degree of wooden legs and parrots and hoisting "Jolly Roger"'s and broadsides and cutlasses, etc.

              How come if you come to my house and I put on a CD you're allowed to hear the music, but GOD FORBID you hear the music by any other means including internet radio which now has to pay god knows how many million dollars for "rights".

              The RIAA is about GREED pure and simple. Please provide verifiable documents that prove that ONE SINGLE ARTIST has seen ONE PENNY from the RIAA, who apparently fight in their name. In fact many musical groups ENDORSE "piracy", even in their song lyrics (example Molotov:Yofo; Radiohead, etc), because they are fed up of being ripped off by studios.

              Please stop bleating like a sheep and start using your brain. The "cost" of distributing "n" copies of music is now almost ZERO. Why do you insist people still have to pay $15-$20 for a "CD" or $.99 for a "song"? Middlemen add nothing to economies. They are parasites pure and simple.
        • by jlarocco (851450) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:32PM (#22762874) Homepage

          How come if you come to my house and I put on a CD you're allowed to hear the music, but GOD FORBID you hear the music by any other means including internet radio which now has to pay god knows how many million dollars for "rights".

          Convenient how you failed to mention that it *WOULD* be illegal if you burned a copy of the CD for your friend.

          The "cost" of distributing "n" copies of music is now almost ZERO. Why do you insist people still have to pay $15-$20 for a "CD" or $.99 for a "song"? Middlemen add nothing to economies. They are parasites pure and simple.

          The record companies can sell their products for whatever price they want to. Just like any other company. They make outrageous profit selling CDs for $15 each, but that's not illegal, and as long as people keep buying them for that price, they'll keep doing it.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:41PM (#22762918)
            The record companies can sell their products for whatever price they want to. Just like any other company.

            However, the market is being distorted by the copyright monopolies. For most kinds of product, a competing vendor could sell cheaper product that is adequately substitutable - due to copyright monopoly law, doing that is classed as "piracy" for some types of information pattern expressed in a physical substrate.

            That is _why_ the companies can get away with charging so much money and still stay in business - they've got the government giving them monopolies, usually under some socialistic "help the starving artists" lie.

            Personally, I support the abolition of copyright law. They (the copyrightists) have apparently decided to make it a stark choice between communications liberty and enforcement of copyright. If they say "well, we won't release anything if we don't get our copyright monopolies", I say "Fine by me!". Everyone's freedom of communication is simply more important than their monopolies or their ability to make a profit. It's not even all artists that would be hurt - it's that subset of people that are only happy if they get a distribution monopoly. We can simply do without their "art".

            Remember, the term "intellectual property" is a debate-framing tactic designed to make you think that copyrights and patents and such are "like" physical property and therefore similarly worthy of protection.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              Exactly. No one should be out to make art for a profit, and that's precisely what these middlemen want to do. They've brought up generations on the dreams of "making it big" being a rock n roll star or an A list actor, only to exploit those who actually do make it to the top of their game. So copyright can go straight to hell, and I don't care if I loose Heroes, Batman movies, and whatever bands that can't survive after it's dead. Theatre, live music performances, paintings, books, they'll survive. They've
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by RicardoGCE (1173519)

                No one should be out to make art for a profit
                Why not?
            • MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bussdriver (620565)
              Parent is insightful and informative.

              "Intellectual Property" is a Propaganda term (oh wait, they get offended if you call them propagandists-- they want to be called Public Relations.)

              The term "Piracy" is ALSO a manipulative tactic on the act of non-profit copyright infringement. Its such a minor infringement, where as the profit without permission on copy written work is a major infringement and is a core principle for the existence of copyright. Sadly, the "pirates" have embraced the term as part of thei
            • by Cheesey (70139) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:15AM (#22764604)
              Personally, I support the abolition of copyright law. They (the copyrightists) have apparently decided to make it a stark choice between communications liberty and enforcement of copyright.

              If musicians were the only people making copyrighted works, then your position might be reasonable. Not all musicians care about copyright, and we can do without the "art" from those who do. But copyright also provides the only way to fund things that are extremely expensive, but also necessary.

              Take software engineering for example. There are specialist software programs that are the product of many thousands of man years of engineering. These have been very costly to develop, but with the "no copyrights" model, they are worth no more than the cost of reproduction. The Linux-style "give it away for free" approach simply doesn't work for programs that are (a) very complex and (b) not widely used. I'm thinking of music composing, CAD, EDA and 3D design tools here; no doubt there are many other examples of very complex programs that are only required by a small number of people. In a world without IP, who will pay for the R&D cost of these programs? Is it reasonable to expect them to be written for free, by free software guys, when there is so little demand for them? Conversely, is it reasonable to expect anyone pay for them if they can be legally pirated? Would your business pay $10k for an essential program if the Pirate Bay would legally give it to you for $0?

              There are other sorts of IP. Chip designs, for example. If there is no copyright, an unscrupulous fab owner can steal a design from Intel or AMD and start making identical chips. The chips will be cheaper because Intel and AMD won't see any profit from them, and the costs won't include the substantial R&D cost of designing the chips in the first place. Intel and AMD would go out of business if this type of piracy was legal. And yet that is exactly the model advocated by the "imaginary property" crowd today: if it's information, then it can't be property.

              My point here is that if this truly is the information age, then we must have the notion of information as property. It is not just the MPAA and RIAA who are affected by theft of information; it is every software engineer and everyone else who is trying to make a living by selling information. Even free software programmers are affected, since IP law also protects their work from being stolen (GPL violations, etc.). The "sell concert tickets", "sell ads", "make it into a service" and "ask for donations" business models just don't apply to every case. Make no mistake, we all need some form of IP law.
              • The Linux-style "give it away for free" approach simply doesn't work for programs that are (a) very complex and (b) not widely used. I'm thinking of music composing, CAD, EDA and 3D design tools here.

                You are wrong. Take Ardour [ardour.org] or gEDA [seul.org] for example. I'm sure you will point out how unsophisticated these are compared to their commercial counterparts, but these programs are quite functional and suitable for 75% of what people need to do. If there were no commercial software counterparts to these, you'd bette

                • by RedK (112790)

                  I loathe people who make this specious argument. If there were no copyrights, there would never have been a need for the GPL in the first place. There's a reason it's referred to as "copyleft" license; it's a direct attack on the evils of copyright.

                  Actually, the GPL is very much in need of Copyright in order to work. You're thinking of something like the BSD License. If there were no copyrights at all, anyone could pick up any GPL project, modify it with some uber-cool new feature that everyone just has to have, then redistribute it without ever showing the source code to their modification, essentially turning it in a closed source project.

                  Copyright isn't evil, immoral or anything. It has been a part of the United States of America since they w

                • by Cheesey (70139)
                  I think your perspective on this matter is interesting, but I am not convinced that there is something special about information that means it can't be property. It is easy to copy, yes, but it is not easy to create, and I think that is why copyright law is justified. We must distinguish between the principles of copyright law and their actual implementation, which is flawed in many ways.

                  Abolishing copyright might lead to a better world, but I am unconvinced. I think it would be better to change the law to
                • by drsmithy (35869)

                  In fact, I'd argue that it is because of commercial software that the free versions lag behind. If a company can buy a program for $10k, they have no motivation to see that the free version is improved. They might not even want to see the free version improved because the high cost serves as an entry barrier into the field to help keep out competitors.

                  Correct. In particuar, the idea that one company would *help* a competitor by improving one of their tools is the kind of thing that gets you laughed out o

              • Take software engineering for example. There are specialist software programs that are the product of many thousands of man years of engineering. These have been very costly to develop, but with the "no copyrights" model, they are worth no more than the cost of reproduction.

                Then they will be tied to a hardware dongle, like they are now. (Apple, for example, understand this.)

                There are other sorts of IP. Chip designs, for example. If there is no copyright, an unscrupulous fab owner can steal a design fro

          • by Yo Grark (465041)
            "Convenient how you failed to mention that it *WOULD* be illegal if you burned a copy of the CD for your friend"

            Not to put too fine a point on it, but if I were to burn you a CD, it's perfectly LEGAL here in Canada.

            Yo Grark
          • It would be illegal to burn a copy for your friend depending on what the content was. not all content is under such terms. It wouldn't be illegal to lend your friend the CD or sell it to him either.

            Now lets pretend we all stay completely within the law, how does a band get exposure radio
            well here is the playlist for radio1 a national station http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/playlist/ [bbc.co.uk] its a total of 58 tracks. to be played over the course of a week. not much exposure for bands not on the playlist. By restricting
            • by jlarocco (851450)

              So while illegal copying can be seen as a negative, it largely isn't.

              I'm not disagreeing with that. But the key term there is "illegal". People who make illegal copies are criminals, so why all the surprise when they get treated like it?

              The "solution" isn't copying music with reckless abandon, it's getting the law changed.

          • by db32 (862117)
            Funny... Audio Home Recording Act made making copies of CDs legal.

            And oh yes...it CAN be illegal for them to sell for $15 each. It is called price fixing and they have been found guilty of it already. Their punishment was to give thousands of copies of CDs that noone was purchasing to libraries. I can't imagine that the wouldn't keep that up...offloading crap to clean their stock out AND having it count against a settlement, shit that is almost win win for them. There is no defense for these pieces of
          • by MeNeXT (200840)
            Convenient that the same song on a different medium requires additional cash outlay. How many times do we need to purchase the same music license? If my friend has an lp and I have a CD. He has paid his rights and I have paid mine. It hurts no one for the copy.

            This discussion is not about protecting the artist. It is about GREED.

            If the record companies wish to sell their product at $15 then their is no Copyright infringement because I bought a product not a license. It's either a license or a product. This
        • The "cost" of distributing "n" copies of music is now almost ZERO. Why do you insist people still have to pay $15-$20 for a "CD" or $.99 for a "song"?

          Because it's NOT YOUR SONG. Why do you get the right to decide what someone else should charge for their works? Do I get to decide how much you can charge for your labor?

          Don't buy it if you don't like the price. But you have ZERO RIGHT to tell the owners of the copyright how much to charge for the use of the copyrighted work.

          • Why do you get the right to decide what someone else should charge for their works? Do I get to decide how much you can charge for your labor?

            Don't buy it if you don't like the price. But you have ZERO RIGHT to tell the owners of the copyright how much to charge for the use of the copyrighted work.

            It's so easy to debate simple-minded simpletons. The prices are as they are due to the fact that RIAA essentially forms a monopoly. They have even been found guilty of price-fixing. I should have the right

            • I see. I am a simpleton. Because I understand the law AS WRITTEN, and believe that the owners of property should have the right to use, sell or license their property as they see fit?

              When was the RIAA convicted of "price fixing"? I know that 5 labels were found guilty of colluding with three store chains to set a MAP, but that's not the RIAA.

              You don't think copyright should be as long as it is; others think otherwise. In your oh-so-enlightened mind, that makes you God almighty correct and the rest o

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                Sir, your calm demeanor and carefully set forth logic are a wonder to behold. Let's go through this one at a time, shall we?

                I see. I am a simpleton. Because I understand the law AS WRITTEN, and believe that the owners of property should have the right to use, sell or license their property as they see fit?

                I understand the law as written as well. You are a simpleton because you do not ask the rather obvious questions "Why is the law written this way?" and "Is this law right and just?"

                When was the RIAA

                • Sir, your calm demeanor and carefully set forth logic are a wonder to behold. Let's go through this one at a time, shall we?

                  We shall!

                  I understand the law as written as well. You are a simpleton because you do not ask the rather obvious questions "Why is the law written this way?" and "Is this law right and just?"

                  I see. So in this case you are agitating to break the law because you disagree with it. In this story, the government of Sweden is acting to uphold the law, and we were discussing the legal

                  • I see. So in this case you are agitating to break the law because you disagree with it. In this story, the government of Sweden is acting to uphold the law, and we were discussing the legal rights of copyright holders. The "morality" of the law is obviously open to interpretation as you'll find people on both sides of the issue. But the actual existence - and concrete language - of the law should not be in doubt.

                    What's your point? My point is that, due to the excessive length of copyright, it is now an un

                  • by hairyfeet (841228)
                    Perhaps you should read this [thomaspaine.org],although since you might be a shill or troll(so hard to tell them from a zealot these days) allow me to place one of my favorite paragraphs before you

                    Secondly, as no man at first could possess any other public honours than were bestowed upon him, so the givers of those honours could have no power to give away the right of posterity. And though they might say, "We chooses you for OUR head," they could not, without manifest injustice to their children, say, "that your children

          • by Dunbal (464142)
            Do I get to decide how much you can charge for your labor?

            Yes actually, you do. I charge $150 US per consult. If you don't like it, find a cheaper doctor.

            Don't buy it if you don't like the price.

            Exactly. I don't like the price. But I will download it for free. Because that's what I think it's worth. I promise not to jump the fence at the concert. If I don't like the band that much or I think the tickets are too pricey I might just listen to it from the parking lot
      • No, actually (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:29PM (#22762862)
        Piracy is acts of robbery on the seas. What you are doing when you share files is infringing on copyright. I don't know why the term piracy was co-opted in popular press for copyright infringement, but as far as I can tell, there's no basis in law. All the law I find relating to copyright infringement, that's what it is called. The reason that I press this issue is that piracy is still very much a real issue in the world. In the US people are very shielded from it because nobody fucks with the Coast Guard (to fire on a Coast Guard ship is an act of war), but in much of the world it is still a very real problem.

        Also I would say the argument of "Morals have nothing to do with it," is pretty stupid. In the US at least, laws must be just. It isn't simply an abstract concept, it is actually codified in the Constitution. Lower laws must conform to higher level laws, and all laws must be just.

        Well it can be quite fairly argued (and indeed is in some RIAA cases) that copyright law is unjust. It has two major constitutional problems:

        1) The whole reason Congress is allowed to make copyright law is the Constitution grants it. One of the lines in Article I Section 8 reads "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;" Ok, great, however like most of the powers granted in the Constitution to the government, there are limits. It doesn't say Congress has the right to do whatever they want with regards to IP. It says that they may secure an exclusive right for a LIMITED amount of time, and the reason they may do so is to promote the progress of science and art.

        Ok well it seems current copyright law runs afoul of both. For one, I don't think that "Life plus 70 years," which is the current US copyright length, is what is meant by "limited time." It seems that is far too long. Then there is the fact that the whole reason is to promote science and art, where it seems that the currently lengthy copyrights are used to suppress it. Companies hold on to copyrights, refusing to release the work or allow derivatives. For example companies go after sites distributing copies of old console games, despite the fact that the companies themselves have long since stopped selling those games and indeed refuse to do so anymore. They just sit on the copyright, and stand in the way of using it for any progress.

        2) All punishments must be fair, as per Amendment 8 which reads "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." In the case of copyright infringement, the part we are interested is "nor excessive fines imposed." The statutory damages seem to run afoul of that. $150,000 per incident of statutory damages? Are you kidding me? It is quite literally more than you'd get had you physically stolen media containing a copy of the work.

        So it seems that the current situation may well be unjust, immoral, and thus it certainly DOES matter. I hate this idea of "The law is the law." Ya well, guess what? The law can and should be changed. It was the law at one time that you could own slaves, certain humans were seen as worth less. That was actually right in the Constitution. That doesn't mean it was right. It is silly to simply point to a bad law and say "Well that's the law so there."
        • Re:No, actually (Score:4, Informative)

          by VGPowerlord (621254) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @11:21PM (#22763038) Homepage
          The following is the entry for piracy [merriam-webster.com] from Merriam-Webster Online. Note the third definition.

          1: an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery
          2: robbery on the high seas
          3 a: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright b: the illicit accessing of broadcast signals
          • by evanbd (210358)

            Dictionaries describe common usage. When discussing a legal matter, it is correct to use the appropriate legal terms. In a legal sense, piracy is robbery and other crimes on the high seas. If you checked a law dictionary, you'd find a very different entry for piracy.

            In any technical discussion, it is important to use proper terminology; this is as true in legal matters as others.

          • That's not surprising, dictionaries are responsible for defining words in terms of common usage. Since the media likes to use it that way, well then that is a definition the dictionary should have. However, I contend that's wrong since it is a legal term and as far as I can tell does not apply to copyright infringement. As I said, the reason that this is something I take particular issue with is that piracy is very real and is no joke. Calling a severe criminal issue and a simple civil issue the same thing
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Valdrax (32670)

              piracy, n.
              3. The unauthorized and illegal reproduction or distribution of materials protected by copyright, patent, or trademark law. See INFRINGEMENT.

              "[T]he test of piracy [is] not whether the identical language, the same words, are used, but whether the substance of the production is unlawfully appropriated." Eaton S. Drone, A Treatise on the Law of Property in Intellectual Productions 97 (1879).

              Black's Law Dictionary (2004)(citation abridged)

              • by orasio (188021)

                piracy, n.
                3. The unauthorized and illegal reproduction or distribution of materials protected by copyright, patent, or trademark law. See INFRINGEMENT.

                "[T]he test of piracy [is] not whether the identical language, the same words, are used, but whether the substance of the production is unlawfully appropriated." Eaton S. Drone, A Treatise on the Law of Property in Intellectual Productions 97 (1879).

                Black's Law Dictionary (2004)(citation abridged)

                And that text refers to plagiarism. Plagiarism is not copyright infringement, It's plagiarism.
                Even if some US lawyer had used the term for copyright infringement in the 19th century, it doesn't mean it's less a part of a propaganda campaign, just a long one.

                People try to call bad names other people they don't like, and some times, they succeed, esp. when they manage the media themselves. The fact that some people have succeeded in calling copyright infringement "piracy" does not make it any more legitimate

                • by Valdrax (32670)

                  The fact that some people have succeeded in calling copyright infringement "piracy" does not make it any more legitimate.

                  Yes it does. That's how language works. I mean, when a word has been used to mean something for nearly two centuries, you might as well give it up and accept that that's what the word means now. I mean -- it's in a law dictionary and apparently has been for over a century. It's now officially a term of the art.

                  Oh, and guess what? "Access" is now a verb, "bugs" exist as programming errors, "artificial" is no longer a word of praise for high skill, and people associate "gay" with homosexuality more than

          • by toriver (11308)
            That entry does not explain when the word did start to be abused in such a manner though. Just that it has become so common as to enter the dictionary at some point.
        • Seems the premise of the content "industry" is security by obscurity. We all know how well that works out...

          Corporations are not citizens and they are not human. Allowing them citizen status (which they have) lets them have many of our rights but without the draw backs of being human. It leads to many problems.

          Take away corporate ownership of "IP" rights. At least then they can't lay off influential creators/inventors before retirement to save money -- with that line "What have you done for us lately?" How
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jd (1658)
            An alternative would be to declare corporations as privately-owned governments. This would eliminate the need to handle the complexities of imposing the legal constraints imposed on individuals by imposing the legal constraints of the Constitution.

            Another option is to abolish all rights for corporations and require that either a declared individual in the corporation represents the company for all rights and penalties, or that corporations are merely collections of individuals and that the individuals hav

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          In the US at least, laws must be just. It isn't simply an abstract concept, it is actually codified in the Constitution. Lower laws must conform to higher level laws, and all laws must be just.

          In a sci fi book I'm reading, a police AI observes that the purpose of law is to create order and that justice is incidental.

          I'd be willing to argue, for at least certain groups/types of laws, that justice is relative depending on your perspective.
          For example, I'm sure abolitionists saw what they were doing as "just".

          2) All punishments must be fair, as per Amendment 8 which reads "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

          !excessive != fair
          Punishments can obviously be unfair without being excessive.
          See: Punishment for possession of crack cocaine [wikipedia.org]
          I think that's excessive and unfair, but the Supreme Court has yet

          • by Plutonite (999141)

            In a sci fi book I'm reading, a police AI observes that the purpose of law is to create order and that justice is incidental.

            There are laws for various types of domain. Preventing chaos/violence/destructive behavior..etc can be described as creating order, while fighting free file-sharing is done on completely different and more abstract grounds (mainly the theory of purported loss of revenue for the artist/originator of the media). In other words the entire basis of this particular legislation is the notion of "justice".

            Note also that we have evolved our morals/instinctive reactions to "injustice" (insert definition here involv

        • by Valdrax (32670) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @12:45AM (#22763356)
          Actually, piracy has actually been in use as a term to describe infringing on another's intellectual property rights for at least 180 years in American courts.

          For an example, see Blunt v. Patten, 2 Paine 397, 3 F.Cas. 763 (1828):

          In answer to a question from the court, whether the defendant had pirated from the drawings and papers, or from the engravings, he answered, from the engravings.
          . . .
          The act that secures copyright to authors, guards against the piracy of the words and sentiments; but it does not prohibit writing on the same subject. As in the case of histories and dictionaries.
        • The reason that I press this issue is that piracy is still very much a real issue in the world. In the US people are very shielded from it because nobody fucks with the Coast Guard...

          That sounds real good, and I'd like to agree with you, but it just isn't so. In 2006, some pirates off Somalia fired on the US Navy. [blogspot.com] As a former Navy man, I'm proud to say that the sailors returned fire in the finest tradition of their Service, sinking one of the pirate vessels and capturing the rest. To bring an old slog

        • Well, don't nitpick the word, TPB also picked it up.
          Wouldn't it sound worse if they are called The Intellectual Property Infringers' Bay?
      • by dissy (172727)

        You can sugar coat it all you want, if you are unauthorized to redistribute content, and you are doing it, what you are doing is Piracy.

        Mod -100 lies lies and more lies.

        Quote me one nations laws that back up what you just said. You can't, because that is not what ANY nations piracy laws state. Also no nations copyright laws will mention the word piracy.

        Sugar coat it all you want, but you are just spreading lies and more lies

        The only document I can even find that links copyright and piracy is the Cathach of St. Columba, a seventh century book of psalms. No nation abides by this document as law anymore.

        In case you didn't notice, we are in

      • by Dan541 (1032000)
        I say we can the copyright laws look at all the trouble people like the RIAA, MPAA cause if we simply canned copyright it would save us all this trouble and we could move on.

        All our problems would be resolved.

        ~Dan
      • by Hao Wu (652581)

        if you are unauthorized to redistribute content, and you are doing it, what you are doing is Piracy.

        "Unauthorized" as in "forbidden by some authority". There is no such authority over imaginary property. Ideas cannot be owned.

      • by rtb61 (674572)
        Well, the way it is used has nothing to do with infringing content. It is all about guilty until proven innocent, paying a fine to the tune of thousands of dollars in legal defence regardless of the lack of validity of the so called evidence.

        It is about threatening and intimidating the public via civil suits where it is cheaper to surrender and pay thousands of dollars to defend against false accusation that would even see the light of day in a criminal court but can be used in corrupted civil courts that

    • by Idiomatick (976696) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:53PM (#22762712)
      Yes it brings to mind Saddam Hussein's mock trial. One judge was removed in response to his refusal to refer to 'the accused' or 'the defendant' as a tyrant. Whilst in a normal court if a judge called an insane serial killer anything other than the defendant the whole trial would be setback. There seems to be a tendency to label things black and white in recent times. That combined with the un-Americanism of questioning the rules builds quite an interesting layman's lexicon.
    • Wired magazine is interesting, but they are also the MTV of the tech reporting world.
    • by FlyingGuy (989135)

      OK, so here is a question for you....

      If you go to a book store, purchase a copy of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", then go to Kinko's ( or whatever your local equivalent is ) copy every page including the front and back covers, get all neatly collated and stapled then go give it to a friend are you doing something illegal?

      • by toriver (11308)
        At least you are doing something very expensive... :)

        Reproduction of electronic content has near-zero cost, though, so there is far more of that.
  • Sparkle and Fade (Score:3, Interesting)

    by milsoRgen (1016505) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:37PM (#22762632) Homepage
    Pirate Bay will fade just as every other p2p system has before it... WinMX, Kazza, Limewire, Napster, FTP, IRC... Wait is IRC still going? It's been so long since I was on there downloading Dreamcast images...
    • Wait is IRC still going?
      The first rule of fightclub is...
      The second rule of fightclub is...
    • The record of dissaster you quote is also endless resurgence. The 4 big music companies on the other hand have been crapping out 15% every year. File sharing and the rise of independent music producers are linked by more than temporal coincidence.

  • by prxp (1023979) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:50PM (#22762698)
    Pirate bay doesn't disrespect any of Sweden's Copyright laws. In Sweden (unlike in the US) it is not forbidden to provide a link to a copyrighted material, even if this link connects you to a potential infringer (trackers have the same interpretation). Also, in order to be protected by copy right law in Sweden, works must have a certain level of artistry and/or technical merit. Simply the fact that you have written a piece of (crap) text doesn't entitle you to any copyrights over the text (say, like an email message), it's gotta be something really relevant, that you've put some effort in creating.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stubear (130454)
      Swedish copyright only protects works created in Sweden. The Berne Convention, an international treaty protecting copyright law worldwide which Sweden has agreed to, states that copyrighted works are protected by the laws in the country where they were created. This means that in Sweden it is illegal to distribute a work created in the US unless you have been given a license to do so. This also means that my e-mails are equally as protected as any other work regardless of technical merit.
      • by prxp (1023979) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @11:22PM (#22763040)

        The Berne Convention (...) states that copyrighted works are protected by the laws in the country where they were created. This means that in Sweden it is illegal to distribute a work created in the US unless you have been given a license to do so.
        I beg to differ. And since IANAL, here it is a quote from wikipedia about it [wikipedia.org]:

        The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognise the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way it recognises the copyright of its own nationals, which means that, for instance, French copyright law applies to anything published or performed in France, regardless of where it was originally created.
        • by stubear (130454)
          Perhaps you should have kept reading a little further down. I'd also suggest actually reading the laws instead of letting wikipedia try to explain things for you. If you can't fully understand the Berne Convention then perhaps you shouldn't be commenting at all.

          Although the Berne Convention states that the copyright law of the country where copyright is claimed shall be applied, article 7.8 states that "unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in

  • From TFA: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:59PM (#22762734)
    Mar 14, 12:33 PM EDT

    Sweden Pursues Illegal File-Sharers
    ...

    Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., MGM Pictures Inc., Colombia Pictures Industries Inc., 20th Century Fox Films Co., Sony BMG, Universal and EMI have until Feb. 29 to file claims for damages in the case.

    So, is that Feb 29 of this year, or in the next leap year, or is this article HOPELESSLY OUT OF DATE? Did they file it or not?
    • by zsau (266209)
      Seven puppies were harmed during the making of this post.

      Why and how? Seven per post seems awfully inefficient.
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        Why and how? Seven per post seems awfully inefficient.

              Lol I've had that sig for a while now.

              And it all depends on your point of view. Perhaps 7 per post is in fact very efficient.
  • by Benjamin_Wright (1168679) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:12PM (#22762798) Homepage
    While Europeans are coming to view IP address as protected personally identifiable information, they are also inventing more and more legal justifications for collection and use of IP addresses [blogspot.com].
  • ... is that this opens up the possible risk of having the justice system completely soaked in IP-release-claims.

    The ministers writes
    "Today copyright holders are by and large bound to report internet copyright violations to the police. The Police and attorneys work has admittedly improved through enhanced education and specialisation but its not reasonable that this whole responsibility should be placed on police and attornies alone.

    On the contrary it is in many cases more naturally and suitable that
    • by mmcuh (1088773)

      I'm far from a fan of the current government but I must say they have an interesting take at the end of the article. "To battle illegal filesharing it is required that affected branches takes their responsibility. If copyright is used to protect obsolete businessmodels then it will in the long run be impossible to defend it"

      Yes. "Interesting". Copyright has been used to protect obsolete business models for decades, and this is yet another step. Their long run must be a very long one indeed.

  • What will happen when all IP infringers are hunted down and eliminated? It seems to me that open source, and all things that distribute IP for free would be the next target.
    • by westlake (615356)
      What will happen when all IP infringers are hunted down and eliminated? It seems to me that open source, and all things that distribute IP for free would be the next target.

      The infringer is a target because he is downloading - and redistributing - files that aren't being offered for free. Perhaps because the master file cost $100 million dollars and the labor of 400 people to produce.

      • by FlyingGuy (989135)

        Don't waste your typing time...

        The people that think there is nothing wrong with simply giving away material wont listen to your well founded and quite true argument.

        They want to rant on about how Nine Inch Nails and whoever the other band was that decided to allow the download of their work for "You decide how much" fail to mention that those guys are already quite wealthy and they made their money from doing things with the "Evil Record Companies".

        I have made all those arguments and others but the peop

    • by RedK (112790)
      Why would free software be next ? Free software is distributed with a license to do so, the GPL. There is no illegality in Free software distribution as long as your respect the terms of the license given to you by the author. Patents are the next big fight for free software.
  • These kinds of actions will only boost projects like Freenet, GNUnet, OFF and I2P. None of them aren't really useful for the big masses yet but that's only a question of time. Maybe the amount of copyright infringing filesharing will go down for a short while, but it will still increase over time and move to completely anonymous darknets where nobody can identify anyone and nothing can ever be removed once put there, no matter how illegal or unethical the files are. In the current file sharing networks ther
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @05:08PM (#22788042) Homepage
    IANAL. IANS. IANAPA. (I am not Swedish. I am not a pirate, arrr!)

    If you have admissible evidence that someone is committing a crime, such as copyright infringement, I see no reason you cannot go to a judge, get a warrant, and get the IP address of the culprits. I see no reason that you cannot take the evidence for any number of such crimes, and go to a judge, and get a warrant to get the IP addresses of all of the culprits. The problem with the RIAA is that they really don't do that. They taken blanket unsubstatiated information and then go directly to the ISP/school/whatever. However, given a reasonable due process, this is quite reasonable.

    And this really doesn't impact The Pirate Bay. If The Pirate Bay hosts torrents, and those torrents lead to people who are illegally copying files, then I see no reason that the copyright holder's ability to get that IP address has anything to do with the person hosting the files or the torrents. Either way, they are not liable any more than a bank is liable if someone puts drugs into their safe deposit box. No more than if someone agrees to a drug deal while drinking coffee at your restaurant.

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