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Napster Going Offshore? 325

BananaBoht writes: "According to this article, a Canadian named Matt Goyer plans to set up a Napster clone server off the shores of the UK on a sovreign island. Mr. Goyer is eyeing HavenCo Ltd. as a possible site for his cloned Napster computer server. The company rents computing power and Internet data storage space to those seeking to avoid government laws. It operates from an ocean platform called Sealand, which has operated for 30 years as a sovereign territory off the coast of England."
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Napster Going Offshore?

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  • It does not matter where the servers are. If you are a Canadian living in Canada you are subject to Canadian Law.
  • > a young-at-heart Missourian of my acquaintance
    > "plans" to father the children of Natalie Portman,

    Good plan.

    > but he'd be the first to admit it's a long and
    > complicated process

    Well, it is not *that* complicated, really. And it doesn't need to take *that* long, just ask Al Bundy.

    > with no guarantee of success.

    Then you try again. Getting there is (at least) half the fun, just don't ask Al Bundy.

    > For a start, he has no money,

    Well *that* is likely to be a big problem.
  • IRC

    Isn't this the way it always used to be done? If you're hooked on Napster, just learn to use mIRC and you'll be raking in the tunes in no time.
  • The extent of British territorial waters isn't that interesting. If Sealand is British, then obviously the territorial waters doesn't matter, but if Sealand weren't British before Britain extended it's territorial waters, then the mere act of extending its waters does not allow Britain to take possession of land that is already in posession by someone else.

    And further, if Sealand is a sovereign nation, the right to 12 mile territorial waters apply to Sealand as well, together with rules regulating the division in cases where there isn't more than 24 miles between the bodies of land (and thus both parties can't get a full 12 miles).

    Whether anybody will recognize Sealand as a sovereign nation is of course a completely different issue, considering how hard it is even for entire well established groups of people with their own languages and culture to get their own nations, even in "civilized Europe".

  • We haven't moved or yet, and we set them up before we had service on Sealand. Since one of our investors runs a US ISP, we got a free box in colo there, so there's no real rush to move.

    I've been working on some decent demo-services to host out of our space on Sealand, since most of our customers so far as pretty much internal-use-only.

    It would take only very minimal checking to find servers on Sealand, but I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
  • by Soft ( 266615 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:19AM (#382123)
    How much time before the RIAA starts putting the pressure on the ISP linking Sealand to the shore?
  • Tell that to Manuel Noriega. We seem to have killed hundreds/thousands of foreign nationals to get him, too. Oh, and has he ever been tried for a crime yet, or is he still in limbo?
  • Cite please.

    Your 'facts' are as convincing as "Princess Diana starred in a porn movie" without references.

  • I don't see how this is different to making millions off dealing drugs and storing it in a swiss bank -- or a similiar situation for tax evasion purposes. Maybe (IANAL, so I can only say maybe) this avoids responsibility but does this make it any less illegal? Disclaimer: I am not saying Napster is wrong, just that to try and avoid the legal implications doesn't seem the right way to go about things (IMO)
  • I am a laweyr, but you'd have to be pretty damned stupid or fancy yourself a sovereign nation (but I repeat myself) to take this as legal advice.

    Warning: check your idealism at the door before reading this. It is *entirely* realpolitick/positive law, and not the world as it "should" be.

    There certainly is "the Law of Nations," which is ancient. It's a basic and largely unwritten code of conduct between nations (don't kill the other guys diplomats, etc.).

    Treaties such as the Geneva Convention have extended these standars.

    "International Law" is a newer concept. and is largely wieleded as a buzzword by discontents within a country to achieve what they cannot through the legal process. It tends to be claims of authority for unratified treaties and the like, an attempts to give authority to UN proclamations.

    Basically, international law is whatever the victor of the last war says it is, or is willing to abide by. As an example, a "naval salute" in the days of cannons consisted of each ship emptying it's cannons to show that they were no longer prepared to fire on one another. SHips alternated cannons until each was empty. The exception was the Royal Navy (Britain), which was entitled to have the other ship empty its entire battery before emptying its own. Why? Because Britain ruled the seas from the smashing of the Armada until surpassed by the U.S. this century. Today, if we still had such ships, it would be the U.S. receiving the salute from Britain first.

    The bottom line is that "international law" means nothing if you don't have the military power to back your position. ANother way of putting it is that today it is whatever the U.S. says it is.

    Treaties are another matter, but they are generally not at issue when folks cry "international law."

    hawk, esq.
  • > Let's face it, if Britain decided to use force, do
    > you seriously think anyone is going to give a damn?

    And that, if you refer to my post above (below?) is the crux of international law :)
  • Irrelevant. Kill the company, and there will be rogue meta-directory servers listing Napster clone servers and hundreds of Napster clone servers popping up everywhere. Hell, there are already a bunch of OpenNap servers that are great.

    So basically, you missed the point of this article, which is that Napster is dead, long live Napster. And of course we all know about the pure peer-to-peer filesharing systems out there (Gnutella et. al.) that still have a lot of kinks to work out. Freenet and Gnutella are just starting to be noticed by the RIAA, Congress and others. The reaction is quadrupled fear of a completely unregulatable mechanism. Makes them realize playing nice with a regulatable, controllable service like Napster isn't such a bad idea after all.

    The end result will be playing nice with Napster, if the RIAA wants to survive as a money making machine. If they can't adopt, the backlash of fully distributed filesharing will get people used to anonymous, unrestricted, p2p music sharing, and micropayment or subscription service fees for Napster-alikes will have died as a model, thereby killing off the music industy's attempts to ever get involved in digital music distribution.

    The Internet to RIAA: Hello gentlemen! All your music are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time.

  • cant you just see the riaa hiring commandos to storm the "soverign" platform and destroying the entire thing. think about the amount of money the riaa has involved in this. people have killed for alot less.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • So as long as the Canadian never sets foot in the US, he's totally immune to the United States civil-justice system.

    Be careful! IANAL, but you can be certain that any country that the US trades with will have a trade agreement with the US, which carefully lays out issues such as copyright/trademark infringement, tarriffs, acceptable imports/exports, etc.

    Make note of that. Copyrights are an integral part of modern trade, and intellectual property is considered a tradable commodity, and since it can be traded between nations (import/export) trade agreements have to be able to cover it.

    The guy might be Canadian, but the Canadian government and the RCMP will be happy to take him down if the government is served with 'sufficient evidence' by US concerns (i.e. the Ratcrabs Illicitly Aggreiving Artists) that he's breaking copyright law.

    I hope it doesn't come to that, but look what happened in Norway, not at all that long ago....

  • by acb ( 2797 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @04:37AM (#382140) Homepage
    The most obvious ending for this is a military attack on Sealand. Egregious copyright violation like this will invite lots of pressure, up to the point where the right government officials are brought on board, money and power change hands, and eventually, a RAF Harrier drops a laser-guided bomb on the server room. The press, of course, trumpet it as a coordinated offensive against an international child pornography ring or something. (It's not like anyone will sort through the debris and prove otherwise.) Only the conspiracy nuts will say otherwise, and they're usually barking about reptilian aliens in the Royal Family and black helicopters and such, so the truth will be buried under crackpot ravings.
  • Tell that to Manuel Noriega. We seem to have killed hundreds/thousands of foreign nationals to get him, too.
    Yeah. And it's not like the US wouldn't invade Canada either, is it? After all, they did to get Terrence and Philip.
  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    That, and that
    a) Texas actually was independent, had broken off by military force, and was likely to keep that status on its own,
    b) They planned to join the U.S. from the beggining, but were rebuffed.
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @04:43AM (#382149) Homepage Journal
    Second, he's actually in the clear from the moral point of view. As evidenced by him spending about $10,000 to set up Fairtunes, a site which allows fans to donate directly to artists, he cares about seeing that artists don't get ripped off. I've personally donated $25 through Fairtunes. To get the same amount of cash into artists' hands, I'd have to spend over $300 on CDs.

    I originally was completely against the idea of a Napster clone that would be outside the RIAA's legeal reach because I am personally opposed to the fact that Napster prevents artists from making money of thier music and the thought of someone else making money of the work of artists either was distasteful to me. But now that I know that the creator of Fairtunes is behind it, some of my reservations have been removed and I have certain requests.

    The main problem with Napster is that it does not give one an interface to pay the artist for their work. I've often downloaded songs off Napster and wished that I could click some link and send the artist a few bucks directly. Using Fairtunes and the like is rather inconvenient. Currently to use Fairtunes one has to
    1. Add artists to your shopping cart as usual
    2. Proceed to the checkout page
    3. Note the total amount of your shopping cart
    4. Click the PayPal button (to mail us the contents of your shopping cart)
    5. Go to: []
    6. Send [mailto] the same amount of money as your shopping cart.
    Now if the OpenNAP servers that will be on Sealand supported a protocol/client combo that integrated Fairtunes with Napster, I'd be very interested in using this service. Simply replace the ads and HTML crap that Napster streams with "Pay The Artist" links and add an encrypted layer for actually making payments to the artists via Fairtunes. Heck, I'd even work on it if it was Open Sourced(TM).

  • Conceivably, lots of small places might give a damn. I wonder what the Scottish Nationalist Party would have to say about it.

    Well, bearing in mind that I'm not scottish and am extrapolating the party's position from their name, I would guess they'd say that its a complete slap in the face to a people with a real history as a nation to even think about extending recognition to a family of egotistical gits playing "castle" on a little fort they have to import drinking water to. (which britain built in the first place).

    At least that's what I'd say.

    [paraphrase morons] "this is the president of the independant nation of Texas! We are under attack by a forgien power and seeking international aid!" [/paraphrase morons] guess how many nations stepped in?

    Kahuna Burger

  • sed s/UK/US/. sed s/Pot/Kettle/
  • How long before the RIAA forms their own military to combat this?

  • There is no fucking way ever, full stop/period, that the UK would allow anyone with guns anywhere near Sealand unless they are part of the UK navy or Sealand government.

    "I'm sorry, chaps. We know you went through the trouble of declaring war and everything, but we can't let you invade Sealand."

    "So you're saying Sealand _is_ a part of the UK? Great, then we'll just bring you up in front of the International Court of Justice for violating articles 11bis and 16 of the Berne Convention."

    "Err, on second thought, have fun storming the cast^H^H^H^Hbunker."

    Seriously, though, either Sealand's a sovereign nation, in which case obtaining permission from the UK to travel through their territorial waters in order to attack should be fairly trivial. I admit that, given the rocky history between the US and the UK (WW I, WW II, and even the recent joint US/UK bombings on Iraq all come to mind), it might be difficult for us to reach a compromise, but I'm sure we'll work something out.

    And if the UK decides that Sealand isn't sovereign territory, then suddenly the regular UK copyright laws take effect. At worst, it would be mildly inconvenient for the RIAA to have to pursue a UK-based legal battle, but I'm more than confident that they've got the money to pull it off.

  • 1) Those from sealand do not travel under Sealand passports, though they hold them.
    2) Many people have 'forged' sealand passports that they mistakenly try to travel under.
  • by f5426 ( 144654 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @04:50AM (#382162)
    > It's tolerable. The main problem was that it's rather cold in the winter; -2 to 5 degrees. Only some parts of the structure are heated; some rooms, like the kitchen, are pretty much the same temperature as outside, just without wind -- you can see your breath, the room is about as cold as the fridge, etc.
    See the bright side of it. You can host overclocked servers easily.


  • since "material that is ruled unlawful in the jurisdiction of the originating server" is against the AUP of Havenco"

    As a citizen of the right and honourable Canada - I can tell you that 'maintaining a database of MP3 data' is by no means illegal. Dont forget - NapsterServers never EVER EVER actually contain/move/transfer any files, as much as the RIAA would care to mislead otherwise. It only responds to queries. No DMCA here. No Plutocratic Court ruling about 'contributory' infringement (whatever). This activity is certainly not "illegal" in Canada... for now.

  • I don't see how this is different to making millions off dealing drugs and storing it in a swiss bank -- or a similiar situation for tax evasion purposes.

    You're trolling here, right ? Or do you really want to tell us that swapping music is comparable to drug traffiking and money laundering ? Man, you should really stop reading tis MPAA/RIAA propaganda crap. You know, they lie a lot...

    Maybe (IANAL, so I can only say maybe) this avoids responsibility but does this make it any less illegal?

    Well, it depends. Check out Havenco's AUP []. It's an interesting read and they don't permit to have everything hosted on their servers (e.g. spam [] is explicitely prohibited).

    Arguably Sealand is an indpendent country and its governmental structure doesn't leave much leeway for brib^H^H^H^H threat^H^H^H^H^H^H buying l^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H to lobby it into putting more value into protection of corporate interests then individual rights.

    Thankfully, the US doesn't have world jurisdiction. Recent incidents (supreme court on presidential elections, DeCSS ruling, eToys vs. the etoy.CORPORATION, etc...) make me believe that this would be a very bad idea indeed.

    BTW: I never downloaded an MP3. It's just too darn tedious and expensive in Europe.

  • Because that takes them out of the equation! Napster's only potential value is in it's servers, banner ads, and whatever else they come up with now that they have a captive audience.

  • It's not like they want to take and hold the place. A good thorough smart bombing would be a much more effective solution. Of course, there is the potential for a public backlash if the RIAA demonstrates the willingness to take lives to protect their profits. I doubt public opinion would be enough to stop the RIAA though. They've shown no regard for it in the past.
  • It's tolerable. The main problem was that it's rather cold in the winter; -2 to 5 degrees. Only some parts of the structure are heated; some rooms, like the kitchen, are pretty much the same temperature as outside, just without wind -- you can see your breath, the room is about as cold as the fridge, etc.

    We have water and toilet and such; even a shower. The shower was rationed initially, but now we have a 10 ton capacity watermaker and a few large storage tanks, so it's ok. We're upgrading a lot of the residential features constantly; we don't have satellite TV or anything, although I do have a server with about 130 GB of mp3s, dvds, etc.
    for local use. Due to generator and computer noise, I mainly just use headphones.

    Everyone has a private room, although when we expand datacenter into a second tower, we might need to construct more accomodations up on deck. Initially we were thinking of housing servers in 20' containers on deck, vs. in the concrete towers, but having 12-24" reinforced concrete around machine rooms is much cooler.

    We have onsite food preparation, although since the cooks are British, it's mainly meat-and-potatoes every day. If anyone else tries to copy the HavenCo/Sealand idea elsewhere, I suggest they have a sushi chef as member of the team.
  • > In Britain we'd rather dual at five paces and then make up over a afternoon tea.

    damn, you guys are lousy shots if you can do this. No wonder we were able to run you off with squirrel guns :)

    hawk, noting that making squirrels a dietary staple required high marksmanship skills.
  • by ishark ( 245915 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:29AM (#382208)
    All this sounds like a wonderful idea, I just hope it doesn't get hijacked into a moral justification for massive law-mandated Internet filtering.

    I fear that the major labels probably have enough money for this...

    [[ I admit I tried Napster for the first time a couple of days ago (even if I followed all the copyright discussion from the start), and it's really a killer. I'd be ready to pay a fee for unrestricted usage. Just throw in md5sums to verify file integrity and I'm ready to pay up to 50FF/month without even *thinking* about it. ]]

  • Here again we see individuals going to extreme lengths to flee out from underneath an ever-expanding tangle of partisan legislation. The ironic part is that any one of us [in the States] could do it right here. We would need only bandwidth, server space, and sovereign citizenship []. The last removes one from the jurisdiction of federal legislation altogether, by rejecting the dubious privileges of citizenship under the 14th Amendment and returning to the status of a Citizen of one's State and of the several States. The federal government was only given jurisdiction and scope within a specific limited bailiwick, primarily keeping interstate trade conflicts down and arbiting in cases where two states were involved in a dispute. To the extent that the federal government is involved in legislating on everything from gun ownership to abortion issues to pro-RIAA legislation, it's essentially out of bounds. In order to have the authority to effect legislation of this variety, a new category of citizenship was created under the 14th Amendment (which itself was rushed through into law and never lawfully ratified [].) A new category of citizenship was created to be within the scope of the federal government's power (rather than the original class of citizenship, which grants the federal government all of its authority) and to this category of [second-class] citizenship, all legislation created by the federal government applies. It was originally an opt-in system, but due to gradual changes in paperwork and the introduction of new simple-sounding terms with rather treacherous legal definitions ("resident" is one of my favorite examples of this breed, with "driver" not far behind) it became the de facto standard. Rather like opt-in SPAM that quietly became opt-out, and now the details of just how to do that (or that you even can) have become buried in obscurity.

    The point of this post is to pass the word around that one can opt out, and be subject to none of this asinine legislation, and that we're not sheep at the mercy of federal and corporate wolves. Anyone with a Napster server can remove themselves from the jurisdiction of the offending legislation and be done with it, keeping the Nap server functioning as-is without liability. I consider the whole thing to be a prop media issue, since the major media is too well-heeled to go anywhere near the sovereignty issue. Talk about a conflict of interest.
  • I'm not kidding. Sealand has lasted thus far because there's been no good reason to take it over. The RIAA is not going to let Napster get away, though, and they'll hire government agents to destroy any Sealand operation that Napster might try to start.

    It's about time Napster rolled over and admitted that they can't fight money.
  • by CiaranMc ( 149798 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:32AM (#382215)

    Sealand isn't really much of an island. It's an old WW2 concrete artilery platform - completely man-made. It was abandoned for many years, before being settled on by Paddy Roy Bates, who has since been proclaimed 'king'

    Their main claim to sovereignty is that the UK ignored them for many years, writing them off as a bunch of loonies. However, in the last few years they've been allowing HavenCo to situate their servers on the island, and the UK government have started laying claim to the island.

    Note however, they get all their power and internet connection from nearby countries, who would be entirely within their rights to switch off the connection if Havenco start doing something they disagree with.

    Useful Links:


  • A country can't just expand its borders and retroactively claim anything that now appears within them. Because Sealand claimed sovreignity before the expansion, if they are a country then their territory isn't part of Britain at all.

  • So the British army would slaughter as many as a couple hundred people because of the RIAA? Get real!
  • (its independence certainly hasn't been recognised by anyone that I know of)
    Ever hear of a little country called Germany (Deutchland to it's natives)? Germany sent a diplomat to Sealand to negotiate for the release of one of it's citizens who was being held prisoner on Sealand. If Germany didn't recognize Sealand's independence they wouldn't have sent a diplomat, they would have appealed to British authorities. After all, kidnapping is a serious crime in the UK. Perhaps Germany did appeal to Britain first, who told them what Sealand wasn't any of their business.


  • That said, if it were in the UK then RIAA would still have problems as the UK copyright act is completely different from the laws in the US.

    As mentioned in my half-silly dialogue, article 11bis [] of the Berne convention [] controls broadcast rights. According to this list [], the UK is a party of the Berne convention.

    As for declaring war... are all you guys that dumb?

    Err, yes. We're stupid, violent Americans with our fast food, inefficient cars, and lots and lots of guns. Kill, kill, kill!

    Seriously, I doubt it would reach that point. There're too many easier, nonviolent, Internet-connection snipping means of achieving similar goals. But I'm sure someone, somewhere is thinking, "Dammit, if we go to war, we could really kick their asses." Especially when you consider that we did the whole Gulf War thing in order to protect our oil interests.

  • hmm.. I'm sorry, perhaps an apporximate date on that would have helped. I was actually quoting a recent nut case who had decided that the annexation of texas had never been legal and tried to set up his ranch as the capital of the true independant nation of texas. Of course then he decided that he didn't need to pay any taxes and could pay off debts with his own currency and thus lost his amusment value and got his ass shut down. I was trying to point out the lack of international interest in a real government dealing with some posers calling themselves one.

    In spite of their attempts to draw inferences, AFAIK no nation has actually recognized sealand as a nation. If and when the time comes when they have something the UK wants (or something they want badly enough to stop) I anticipate a similar lack of interest in their shutdown.

    Kahuna Burger

  • Sealand might be a Fort...but if the UK government really wanted them shut down. Either the SAS would go in and kill everyone in there before they got out of bed...or some RN Harriers would just start to pepper the place with Mavericks and 30mm Cannon fire. Hell if the RN doesn't want to spend the money on Mavericks...a RN Frigate could just shell the place with 76mm naval gun fire from about 8 km away.

    Either way...if the UK really wanted the would be thiers. No firearms that the squatters on Sealand have will stop that.
  • rlowe69:Could Napster sue the Napster Clone

    Sealand has no courts, it is a dicatorial monarchy. If you have a problem, you talk to the guy who owns the island (the "Crown Prince") and if he agrees with you, the people who have annoyed you get chucked off the island. That is the entire legal process in Sealand.

    Let me try to help you understand:

    Suppose the Crown Prince of Sealand passed a law saying that chocolate was illegal in Sealand.

    Would that make chocolate illegal in the USA?


    Equally, laws made in the USA or as part of an international convention (such as the Berne convention on copyright) do not apply outside the USA or outside those countries which signed up to the convention.

    Sealand is not a signatory to the Berne convention.

    So, FIRSTLY, there is no law for anyone to sue with and SECONDLY there are no courts to take your case to.

    I'd say that makes suing a fairly unlikely option (note: this is what us Brits call "sarcastic understatement").


  • Uhh... They have to connect to somewhere.. Otherwise it's kind of meaningless. And whoever they connect to will likely be pressured by the RIAA. Especially considering that even if you accept Seelands claim to being a sovereign state, the ISPs they are connecting to aren't situated there, and will be possible to reach via courts in the countries they operate in.
  • If the UK take Sealand they have a huge legal problem in that their courts will rule that they are there illegally and order them out.

    This reminds me of a little lesson from US history. Andrew Jackson wanted to move an American Indian tribe (the Cherokees) from Georgia. The Indians appealed, and the Supreme Court said that the federal government couldn't deport the Indians. Jackson told the court, "oh yeah, try to stop me" and the Indians were forced to walk. Their forced trip is now known as the "Trail of Tears."

    (See jackson.htm#Presidency for details)

    Until there is a public outcry or the courts get guns and cops of their own, the federal branch (or in the case of a parlimentary system like England, the legislative branch) can do what it wants, more or less.


  • I hope you're joking. For starters, I believe music is illegal in Iraq (or is that Iran?). Second, the government is highly oppressive and there is no freedom of speech in Iraq. It is illegal for newspapers to write anything but the best things about the government. Any government this totalitarian would be completely against any sort of 'free for all' communication system, like Napster, which could be used for all sorts of subversive activities. The US is *by*leaps*and*bounds* the most free country in the world, and if their government doesn't like it, other countries would be significantly more against it.
  • by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:39AM (#382235)
    I'm not kidding.
    No, you're not thinking.
    Sealand has lasted thus far because there's been no good reason to take it over. The RIAA is not going to let Napster get away, though, and they'll hire government agents to destroy any Sealand operation that Napster might try to start.
    Sealand is a fort. Manned by people who arguably have the right to retaliate with force (they've fired at English naval vessels before). Which means the RIAA would have to go in with force. Can you imagine what would happen if someone was killed and it was linked back to the RIAA? They'd get crucified.

    The RIAA would have to fight in the courts, which could be a tricky business given Sealand's as undetermined status as a country. Their best bet would be to go after the Canadian who owns the server in Canada. Shut him down and their problem goes away.

    It's about time Napster rolled over and admitted that they can't fight money.
    I guess you didn't read the article either. This is some guy wanting to set up a clone server. It has nothing to do with Napster (the company) at all.
  • by Paul Crowley ( 837 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:40AM (#382239) Homepage Journal
    Sealand has multiple connectivity into the UK and into Amsterdam.

    Now, maybe all of those ISPs will capitulate. But supposing they don't? Supposing, say, one of the well-connected Amsterdam ISPs stands firm, and is backed up by the Amsterdam court? I don't think the RIAA are going to try and cut off Amsterdam, which is a major Internet hub for Europe, but maybe they'll demand that US ISPs fake the routing tables so you can't route to Sealand? Then another offshore alternative opens up, more routing frob...

    Eventually the RIAA and MPAA will demand that the Internet as we know it be dismantled in favour of a networking protocol that is better at supporting censorship. Eventually they'll demand an Internet that has "providers", who are big companies that can afford legal fees and scrupulously provide only legal content, and "users" who can send email and read content provided by "providers" but who can't afford the legal fees needed to publish anything, and whose communication with each other is heavily mediated by the "providers" taking legal responsibility. They'll want changes to the law, backed by new international conventions, that make even Slashdot illegal, because Slashdot can't guarantee someone won't put DeCSS here.

    They won't necessarily get what they demand, but they will eventually be forced to demand it if their position is to make any sense at all. And they're not the kind of people to say "OK, that would be too nasty, we'll concede defeat."
  • Because it's my assumption that the reason I lost karma was that my moderations where meta moderated to be unfair, which I strongly disagree with. I couldn't care less if my karma is 10 or 50. I just think that it's weird that I did my job as a moderator and lost karma as a result; that's not how it's supposed to work, is it?
  • And, of course, I meant to say "Executive Branch" not "Federal Branch." D'oh...


  • Hate to break it to you, but.... the UK is *not* going to start a war over this. Period. Murder is not (yet at least) an acceptable solution to legal problems, and there is no possible way the UK could cover up what is effectively murdering a country.

    And likely, the "squatters" (they have every right to be there, as they aren't in anyone else's soil, and seem to have done everything to declare themselves a sovereign country) have a lot more than a couple firearms. Remember that heavy weaponry is pretty easily available on the black market, for those with cash. If you can afford to set up a sovereign off-shore platform, you can afford to buy yourself a few guided missiles and/or torpedoes to protect it.

    Do you really think England would risk losing several multi-million dollar airplanes, or a billion dollar warship, over this?
  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <> on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:43AM (#382249)
    Not Insightful, Uninformed. Please read the previous stories about HavenCo/Sealand such as 53 &mode=nested

    (Or Click Here [])

    The rules about upstream ISPs are different for countries. Just because an Internet connection to Canada travels across US soil does not give the US the right to censor it. HavenCo is counting on international treaties that govern communications carries to prevent any organization or entity (read RIAA or US Government) from saying "pull the plug". No one owns the Internet, so no one has a right to block another country's access to its content.

    - JoeShmoe
  • Just a thought:

    If he is setting up a Napster clone and Napster plays all goody goody with the RIAA, what will stop Napster from suing the maintainer of the clone?? Heck, they may get the RIAA's help to do it! Is the Napster software protected (or not) by a restrictive license that does/doesn't allow for rogue clones?


  • by ThroughYourEyes ( 189368 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:44AM (#382253)
    Incase you're wondering about Sealand, here [] is the official website. For pictures [], look at their old website [].
    If you ask me, it looks like a raft on stilts rather than a sovereign territory, but hey. To each his own. {=)
  • by Placido ( 209939 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:44AM (#382256)
    Napster should appeal to Saddam for asylum (i think that's the word). I'm pretty sure he'd do anything to piss the west off and what better way than destroying a billion dollar industry and rewriting international copyright laws in the process... he could also download some cool songs inbetween signing execution orders.
  • I find that info about "soverign citizenship" interesting. Though I'm not American (IANAA) and not a lawyer (IANAL), I'd imagine that it'd be very easy for the MPAA or RIAA to shut you down.

    Many people have said similar things: quit your resident status, snub your nose at the government, incorporate offshore, etc, but don't forget that your bandwidth has to come from somewhere. They'll just go after your ISP and (IANAL) force them to stop providing contributory(sp) infringement. Gee.. thats what Napster is being taken down with. Your ISP would be contributing to your infringement and would be required to stop providing bandwith. Even if you held an offshore ISP, someone will start blocking your US traffic (which doesn't matter to me, though).

    I really think you guys should sit back, take a stress pill, and think things over before you react. Dave? Can you hear me Dave? I can feel it. I can feel it. I can fe... Now starting Windows 95.

    a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1
  • AntiTux: napster might try to pull copyright infringement on this

    There is no copyright law in Sealand. Sealand is not a member of the Bern Convention [] and it does not have a copyright law of it's own.

    The only intellectual property law in Sealand is that child pornography is illegal.


  • the ISPs they are connecting to aren't situated there, and will be possible to reach via courts in the countries they operate in.
    The likes of AOL Time Warner would have pretty strong concerns about a case that sets the precedent of ISPs being legally responsible for the data they carry. I'd say the RIAA would have to try to throw money at the link operators to drop the connection (cable to England, I believe).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:47AM (#382262)
    First of all, Matt Goyer is Canadian, so the RIAA will have a much harder time going after him personally. If he were American, they could probably just throw his ass in jail. If he were British, they'd force him to give up his login/pass, then ALL YOUR BASE... You get the picture.

    Second, he's actually in the clear from the moral point of view. As evidenced by him spending about $10,000 to set up Fairtunes [], a site which allows fans to donate directly to artists, he cares about seeing that artists don't get ripped off. I've personally donated $25 through Fairtunes. To get the same amount of cash into artists' hands, I'd have to spend over $300 on CDs.

    Third, Sealand's independence has, to some extent, recognized by British courts. Sealand fired a warning shot at a boat that approached too closely, and Roy Bates was taken to court for some weapons violation. The court ruled something to the effect that the weapons laws didn't apply to Sealand since it is sovergn. Also, Sealand established its independence before Britain extended its teritorial waters, so Sealand is in the clear on that front, too.

    Fourth, the Sealand guys seem to know what they're doing. They have generators and redundant internet connections. Their server room is filled with pure nitrogen for security and fire prevention. Cool shit. I'm sure they could handle Napster II.

    Fifth, Sealand might take this on just for the publicity. With Napster in the news nearly every day, this could get Sealand some much-needed press.

  • Second, he's actually in the clear from the moral point of view.

    Depends on who you ask. It takes a lot more than just a few musicians to record an album. I don't disagree that most recording contracts are unfair to the artists. I also don't disagree that the record companies have an oligopoly. But like it or not, the costs of a recording studio, a producer, and promotion are the reason why many artists are better off with a recording contract than without.

  • For the same reason Shell didn't train their own death squads to use in Nigeria. It's cheaper to rely on governments and militaries, who are already in that line of work, to do your bidding. All you have to do is grease the right palms.
  • An addition to this is, if I actually had the resources to launch a satellite (which I don't at the moment, hehe), what is the regulatory body that would determine where it would go? I can imagine that it would cost a ridiculous amount of money to get the "licensing"? Are there any geostationary spots left? That seems like something that would fill up.

    Someone in the know hook us up with some knowledge.
  • Because Sealand claimed sovreignity before the expansion, if they are a country then their territory isn't part of Britain at all.

    Well yes. I was just saying the court ruling was irrelevant because the *at the time* Sealand was in international waters. As either way, Sealand isn't now, the ruling is inconsequential.

  • Third, Sealand's independence has, to some extent, recognized by British courts.

    Sorry to pick nits with this, but this isn't entirely accurate.

    The Principality of Sealand is so-called because of an archaic British law saying that no man could be persecuted for supporting a prince. I don't know how this would stand up in a court of law, but that was the reasoning at the start.

    Second, the British courts have NOT recognized Sealand. In the case where they were brought to court, it was for various tax issues. What the courts said, was that they were not qualified to try Sealand's people and that it was a case for the Foreign Office. There's a subtle but great distinction here. British courts cannot just up and recognize sovereignity. What they did do, however, was recognize that the law was ambiguous enough that the possibility existed that Sealand COULD be its own nation. So far the British government has not challenged this in the UN or the World Court (if that's even something the World Court handles.)

  • I sometimes wish I could get my hands on the weed people smoke when they decide that napster can afford to spend a billion dollars to the record industry over five years.

    Why would you invest in something like that? I do agree that millions of people would be willing to pay for mp3's on a subscription basis. But what's to differentiate napster from the hundreds of over clones that Canadian CS students set up in their dorm?

    It's true, the Napster name brand has house hold recognition. But not the kind of recognition that's worth a billion dollars.

    I really doubt napster will be around still by this Christmas.

  • "cyberworld"

    There is no new world. We still live in the old one, there's just a lot of changes. This happens constantly, particularly over the last century.

    TO answer your question, no, Sealand does not have it's own TLD, but politics at this point are not determined by your web status. I'm sure that when politics are run by the web-savvy you'll be able to get yourself a nice Ambassador positions with words like "info-economy".
  • Tell that to Jon Johannessan (sp?)
  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:51AM (#382288)
    I can tell you one thing: this will let us know whether Sealand really is a sovereign nation or not. The jury is still out on that question, and it's one that has to be answered before anyone spends their cash on a colo setup there.

    For example, let's say you set up a gambling operation there. You're running along happily, until one day the British Gov't comes calling because you've violated the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000 [], which was enacted so that MI5 can listen for bad guys by reading your email. Then some bigwig public official in Norwich happens to be gambling on a game of canasta with the Crown's money, and the Brits get all upset because they can't find out who he is, what he bet, when he plays, etc. So they sue, he sues, everyone sues everyone else. It becomes a big mess, and the anonymous email operation you set up six months prior is caught in the middle of it. How do you repel a DoS attack from the Home Office?

    Later on, the providers of HavenCo's bandwidth get pressured from all sorts of people. See, Sealand might be independant, but the companies that give HavanCo their pipe are based in countries which most certainly are not. They can (and will) be pressured. They get leaned on, and then HavenCo gets leaned on. Shit runs downhill. (And don't give me that satellite rap; you know that's only an expensive worst-case backup of dubious technical merit.) The upshot here is that everyone who gave money to HavenCo is now officially S.O.L.

    Which is why we need something "friviolous" like a Napster server to take up residence on Sealand. If it goes down because of the Strong Arm of the Law(TM), then it really isn't that big of a deal. It gets sorted out in court and we all wait to see what happens. In the meantime, we run our gambling and pr0n operations off some island like everyone else has been doing. We're listenign to stuff off FreeNet, and grabbign MP3s from OpenNap servers.

    But the court will have to decide one way or the other. The RIAA -- for one -- will surely force the issue (like through the U.N., maybe?). And the decision will likely be binding; what's good for Mr. Napster Server Clone is good for you and me (please note: IANAL and I don't want to be one, either). If the verdict is for the Napsterites, then we can all put our servers on Sealand. If the verdict favors whatever government happened to bitch, then we lost no money setting precedent ourselves.

    It's a good thing. I want to see it happen.


  • Yup, and they could have all 56kbps of his bandwidth! With that fat a pipe in Iraq, I'm sure at least 2 concurrent users could download mp3s!
  • I'm thinking that the ideal system isn't one actually *on* Sealand, simply because the bandwidth consumers aren't also there. You're paying for traffic you'd get cheaper elsewhere.

    You'd also create problems for Sealand if you ran something like Napster there, people would target them much like ISPs get targetted these days. They'd have proof of violation of international treaty and they'd make everyone's life dificult.

    So the answer is to put the main part of your server on the mainland in a large city. Then encrypt all client communications via keys served from Sealand. It wouldn't be any more secure vs crypto attacks, RSA is still RSA... the benefits come in when the corporation realizes it can't simply demand the police arrest both ends of the communication and subpoena keys.

    Do an anonymous system where the server doesn't know who clients are (except by a MD5 hash of their IP, etc). All the server does is match requests to providers, then passes the hashed IDs to the Sealand server which looks up the real IPs and passes the information to both parties.

    This way the Sealand system isn't involved in anything illegal by the laws of any big country, meaning that there's no justification for international action to shut them down or open their records. But without doing so, the clients are anonymous until they actually start the peer-to-peer trading action.

    As long as the system on the mainland has other reasonable uses than trading MP3s (like Gnutella which will trade any files) then it can't be directly shut down without evidence, but the evidence is locked away in a foreign country (Even if Sealand is ruled to be the UK after a tense armed standoff and years in court it wouldn't be the US, forcing the RIAA to fight a legal action while coordinating in two countries.) and can't be obtained without essentially an act of war.

    The key is to have plausible uses for these systems other than the 'illegal' uses. Then have one end in one jurisdiction and the other end as far away as possible.

    (Someone mentioned Iraq... If there wasn't a trade embargo it'd work great. Your bandwidth requirements in the US-hostile country are minimal, you're just using them as a blind transfer point for the setup data. Afghanistan might work, there isn't an embargo but they're pretty down on the western entertainment industry and other things.)
  • For a slightly more cynical take (and in my view, more realistic), take a peek at the Register []'s coverage of this story []
  • by dimator ( 71399 )
    I like how a Joe Blow CS student with a good idea is all of a sudden labeled a 21-year-old Canadian Web entrepreneur. How is he an entrepreneur? How is this plan of his going to make him money? It seems he's just after enogh ($15k) to pay the bills.
  • The UK extended her territorial waters a few years back, so it's no longer outside them (as it was in '67).
    And there's the rub. It was an abandoned platform in international waters. Britain later extended their territorial waters to encompass it. The British government has probably left it too long to get rid off the occupiers by normal means (i.e. trespass laws). Plus there was that court case that was thrown out because the judge decided he didn't have jurisdiction.
  • by rdl ( 4744 ) <> on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @12:57AM (#382312) Homepage
    I woke up this morning to find about 500 messages in our trouble ticketing system about this. Heh.
    (I'm one of the cofounders of HavenCo, and the CTO, if you didn't already know; I'm also an active slashdot reader (what else do you think we do for fun out in the middle of the north sea?))

    First of all, is hosted in Canada, is slashdotted, and isn't our fault!

    Second, I can't comment on confidential discussions with customers w/o their permission, but yes, from looking at the fairtunes site, it looks like they're trying to raise money to pay for a year of service on one of our boxes with the goal being to host an offshore OpenNap server. I'm personally a user of napster (although I mainly use Mojonation [] now. We definitely would like to have them as a customer -- what they're doing doesn't violate our AUP, and we're happy to offer service to anyone who will pay. Of course, what they are doing is NOT being done by us; if they choose to host with us, it's still their responsibility.

    We have network connectivity through multiple providers around the world, and can easily add more. We assign customers a /29, so if any government decides they must protect their citizens from human-rights information, music trading services, etc., they would need to block the customer's /29, affecting only that customer. I personally think the chances of IP blocking at the borders of a country are pretty slim in any marginally free country -- it's difficult from a technical perspective, would be widely opposed by users, and is generally not worthwhile.

    As for HavenCo's service, we've been up since May 2000, and now that we have high-speed low-latency network, fully debugged power systems, etc. we're offering commercial service to anyone who is interested and obeys our AUP []. Our pricing is standardized, and is USD 1500/month for a 2U box with redundant power, cooling, 24x7 network monitoring, armed security, etc., and 256kbps of Internet bandwidth (local 100baseTX is free, so people can offer services to other HavenCo customers without paying for bandwidth). We charge a USD 1500 one-time setup fee, and USD 3500 for hardware (we can use any high-quality 1U or 2U box, and pricing is US cost; we don't try to make a profit off hardware, but we can't accept non-rackmount, low quality, etc. stuff). We have about 3-5 days lead time, from receipt of payment, before we can have a server up and running, and as long as you're not doing spam/spam support, child pornography, or hacking from our machines, we'd love to have you as a customer; contact [mailto] for more info.

    We're in the middle of a web redesign, and have been trying to focus on getting services fully up, rather than getting more press, but we're about to begin a big sales and press push. This is a bit earlier than was planned, but now that people are getting slashdotted, might as well post. :)
  • SeaHaven is officially another country. From the SeaHaven web site

    Gradually, over the years, Sealand has become increasingly secure and internationally accepted. More and more, the international Lawyers and other Jurists stated that Sealand fulfilled all the legal requirements of a State and that the Sovereignty of Sealand was absolute and unquestionable. The major states of Europe have now accepted this as a fact

    If the US government were to send in the marines they'd be invading another country. A declaration of war. That would violate more treaties than you can count. The repercussions would be horrendous politcally.

    Much as Americans like to believe they control what happens globally, they don't. Theres nothing the US could do, beyond breaking off international relations with SeaHaven. I doubt that'd be a big worry.
  • Maybe you're missing the fact that Nap servers do not serve any content. The Mp3's reside on the other users computers and the Nap server only points it out. This is the reason behind the debate. I don't think everyone here would be so pro-napster if they were actually distributing the mp3's themselves. It may seem like semantics because Napster "allows" the serving of the mp3's but it's a question of distinctions.

  • Note however, they get all their power and internet connection from nearby countries, who would be entirely within their rights to switch off the connection if Havenco start doing something they disagree with.
    First they'd have to prove that Sealand wasn't a country. If it is a country then Britain would be on pretty dodgy ground as far as international law went.
  • As for testing sovereignty, I'd say the armed invasion over a decade ago, and subsequent military recapture, where the Germans send diplomats directly to Sealand to negotiate the release of a private citizen being held as POW, is a stronger test of sovereignty than a Napster server!

    I believe you. That sounds like a truer test of national sovereignty than a server responding to Napster requests. But I don't think business will see it that way.

    In order to for commercial entities to put their money into Sealand/HavenCo, there must be some sort of precedent set that protects their investment. They have to know that the model is tested and stable. The rescue of a POW doesn't do it for them. They need a court somewhere that says "Yeah, you bad guys tried to get at these poor fellows, but we have decided that doing so would be tantamount to invading France. Piss off." Then they can sink time and effort into setting up some servers because when someone comes after them, they can point to precedent (without hiring expensive lawyers).

    Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of HavenCo, and Sealand. (I'm card-carrying member of the Libertarian party, after all.) It's just that someone needs to prime the pump of sovereignty with a legal battle. POWs and armed captures do nothing but scare the corporate mind.


  • You're only immune if you have a bigger army.

    The US invaded Panama, seized Manuel Noriega, and dragged him to the US for a trial, whereapon they jailed him for his crimes -- even though it appears that US officials were co-conspirators in some of those crimes (using drug sales to raise money for the Contras after Congress cut off the supply of taxpayer money).

  • is there really such a thing as international law ?

    on whose authority is international law written ?

  • by root ( 1428 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @08:34AM (#382349) Homepage
    Any kind of pornography is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Yet no US court acts to shut down US based porn sites.

    Selling Nazi artifacts and nazi related materials are illegal in Germany, France, Austra, etc. Yet no US court acts to shut down US based Nazi sites.

    Trading copyrighted materials for free to people who didn't legitimately pay for them is illegal in the US. Why should other nations give a fuck about our laws. Especially in nations not signed onto the Berne treaty on intellectual property, like Brazil, China, Russia, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The UK courts have already ruled that they do not cover Sealand (In a court case because they fired warning shots at a Royal Navy vessel). From Sealand Website: "In its judgment of 25 November 1968, the court declared that it was not competent in Roy of Sealand's case as it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory. This is the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand. English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy's declaration of a new Sovereign State was de facto upheld." As far at the extended territorial waters go Sealand extended hers to the same distance 12 nm at the same time. International law states that where this happens and areas overlap each get half. Since Sealand is further out than the UK they still have access to open waters. See for more info
  • Even if Napster is doomed, the subscription model is likely the shape of music distribution will take over the next decade. Either that or advertising based, which you can compare to the TV model of today. Several stations offering free content(NBC,CBS), with other stations offering content for a monthly fee (HBO, ESPN). Even if Napster the company goes under, there will most likely be one major clearinghouse for subscription based service, and one for advertising based service. Either way, the RIAA can be cut out of the picture, the consumer wins, and the artists win.
  • I'm interested in how you went about setting up sealand ... I know i should read the history and I'm off to do that in a little while after i finish posting/reading news ... but anyway back to my point. I've looked in to the possiblity of setting up some thing like sealand before ... although at the time i'd never heard of sealand ... any way I think you should (if you have not all ready ) look at the page below ... the info on sea concreate was interesting , as was the otec stuff(set off a big splurge of research on the net) Grr I'm posting crap again ...
  • The individual in question, although Canadian, and proposing a service in yet another country, is not shielded by American law. Should he be sued in American courts, any decisions made will be binding. Should he be found guilty on anything and not pay up, he could face extradition at the worst, and at the least, if he were to set foot on American soil, could be arrested. If the folks in Sealand don't get paid, then guess who's SOL.
  • So they sue, he sues, everyone sues everyone else. It becomes a big mess.
    Na, it's only in the US that everyone sues everyone else. In Britain we'd rather dual at five paces and then make up over a afternoon tea.
  • Initially we were thinking of housing servers in 20' containers...

    I looked into building some equipment rooms that way. The benefit is the ability to prefab and test the room completely away from the construction site. The drawback is that if you're providing front and back access, you only get one row of racks in a 96" wide container. Therefore, you end up using twice as much aisle space as you would in a conventional equipment room. In the conventional arrangement, the cost of an aisle is shared by the rows of racks on each side.
    If you used an architecture where only front access is required, then it would be more feasible. You could have racks against both walls and an aisle in the middle.
    There is one vendor offering this type of intel-based server, but this limits equipment choices too drastically.
  • Ever hear of a little country called Germany (Deutchland to it's natives)? Germany sent a diplomat to Sealand to negotiate for the release of one of it's citizens who was being held prisoner on Sealand.

    In a hostage situation, one negotiates with a lot of undesirable people. It doesn't mean zip.

  • As for testing sovereignty, I'd say the armed invasion over a decade ago, and subsequent military recapture, where the Germans send diplomats directly to Sealand to negotiate the release of a private citizen being held as POW, is a stronger test of sovereignty than a Napster server!

    But yes, we're always happy to have more legal experience and affirmation of Sealand's sovereign status.

    And as for satellite bandwidth -- it's certainly not as good as other bandwidth, but even being connected only by high-quality satellite bandwidth during a legal challenge to the UK or Netherlands over terrestrial links wouldn't be the end of the world; since in the absolute worst case, security of servers is assured, even in the event of invasion, Sealand is still the best place to host data which truly needs the highest security.

  • At the time of the court-case the platform was in international waters. Now it isn't.

    Obviously there's the potential for something like this to drag on in the courts, but I'd say that the onus of proof of sovereign status rests firmly on Sealand's head rather than for the UK Government to prove otherwise.

    The 1987 Act just ratified a previous agreement over sovereignity with France for that bit of the Straits of Dover (details here [] and that sounds like international agreement to me.

    Getting rid of the occupiers is another matter entirely. As long as they don't violate UK law I'd imagine they can stay there as long as they like!

    Whole thing sounds far too much like an Ealing comedy to me. Passport to Pimlico anyone?
  • ...from the subscription service that Napster will roll out later this year? This guy has to recoup his costs somehow, and I doubt he will be setting up a "donation box." He'll have to charge something, either metering by bandwidth or by a flat fee. This whole thing seems more along the lines of a upraised finger than a legitimate plan.
  • Great for the Napster community? You haven't read HavenCo's AUP, have you? They wil not put anything up that is illegal by the laws of the country where the server (and service0 originates from. If Napster is illegal in Canada, then it would be illegal for a Canadian owned server to host it (Napster).


    However it is good for a lot of things, for example a server where open source people could log in and work on beating things like DeCSS and incorporating them in products and posting the result.

    There are NO laws about reverse engineering in Sealand.

  • Wouldn't something like this be an admission of guilt. If they really believe what they are doing is right, then they should stand and fight, except, of course, that you would need to be based in a free country where the government represented the people. Let me know if you ever find one of these.
  • The thing to realise here is that Sealand doesn't need to be party to these treaties - it's what England and the U.S. are party to that counts. Which is why neither of them would be able to go in with force.

    That sounds like nonsense to me. For one thing: when has it stopped the US before? Secondly, it assumes that third parties actually recognise Sealand. Let's face it, if Britain decided to use force, do you seriously think anyone is going to give a damn?

  • The UK courts have already ruled that they do not cover Sealand

    At the time, it was outside British territorial waters, so obviously not part of Britain. Since then Britain has extended its claim.

    It's a nonsense to claim this ruling is an implicit recognition of Sealand.

  • by SpanishInquisition ( 127269 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @02:05AM (#382396) Homepage Journal
    or he can't hack.
  • That the RIAA are clueless bastards:) Do you think they honestly know anything about this routing shit? I mean honestly, they're with a hive mentality. Just like ants, someone has breached their defences and they're reacting the only way they can, by reacting without thinking. If anyone at the RIAA actually got a clue and pulled off this routing tables thing, I will gladly stand naked in Times Square on New Years Eve jumping up and down saying "I'm Mister Lizard" with the 10 top selling CD's of the time taped to my dick...


  • by rjh ( 40933 ) <> on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @02:14AM (#382404)
    For a lawsuit to be brought, first the Canadian would have to be served with papers from a US court.

    Guess what? You can only be served with US court papers... if you're in the United States. The US has no legal authority to go about co-opting citizens or residents of other countries in order to enforce its own laws. Even in the event that criminal charges were filed, extradition from a foreign country is never guaranteed.

    So as long as the Canadian never sets foot in the US, he's totally immune to the United States civil-justice system.
  • by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @02:26AM (#382422) Journal
    The UK and the US do not recognise Sealand.

    Well maybe someone should take a photo of it and give it to them to help jog their memory.


"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27