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Pirate Bay Team Found Guilty In Copyright Law Case
engine




msg:3894457
 10:56 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pirate Bay Team Found Guilty [news.bbc.co.uk]
A court in Sweden has jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay (TPB), the world's most high-profile file-sharing website, in a landmark case.

Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of breaking copyright law and were sentenced to a year in jail.

They were also ordered to pay 30m kronor (£2.4m) in damages.

In a Twitter posting, Mr Sunde said: "Nothing will happen to TPB, this is just theatre for the media."


 

Syzygy




msg:3894571
 1:51 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's remarkable the attitude these guys have. They seem to have no notion that what they've been doing might be 'wrong' in the eyes of the law!

"It's serious to actually be found guilty and get jail time. It's really serious. And that's a bit weird," Sunde said.

"It's so bizarre that we were convicted at all...

Whoa - seriousness is a bit weird! Dead right, it's serious. What did you think, it was just a game?

The timing is crucial as it comes when Sweden has just introduced its local version of the IPRED Law (as discussed over in the Content Forum [webmasterworld.com]), and when there is an increased zeal among many countries to criminalise IP/copyright theft.

Pirates beware!

Syzygy

nealrodriguez




msg:3894576
 1:58 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

it's like letting men fight lions in your basement.

ytswy




msg:3894598
 2:22 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

As I understand it their aim has always been political to some extent, they are trying to influence the debate on copyright more than just shift gigabytes.

While I don't agree with the extreme anti-copyright positions they advocate, I do agree with the view that some serious reform needs to be done.

Every advance in legal digital distribution of copyrighted material has been forced kicking and screaming out of the music and movie companies, and simply wouldn't have happened without places like thepiratebay forcing the issue. If it was up to the RIAA/MPAA distribution methods wouldn't have changed since the '80s.

incrediBILL




msg:3894649
 3:10 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

So your position is that lawlessness with property that doesn't belong to the lawbreaker is OK if it forces someone to do something they didn't want to do, which is absolutely wrong on so many levels I'm stunned at the logic.

arikgub




msg:3894651
 3:12 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are they really different comparing to RapidShare? When is RapidShare's turn?

ytswy




msg:3894671
 3:39 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

My position is that lawlessness with copyright has helped move distribution of digital files along in ways that wouldn't have happened without it.

This has happened before prior to the internet - cable TV, radio, automatic piano player machines... all have changed the technological landscape in which rights holders operate, and the development of all have involved behaviour that has been called piracy by rights holders' groups.

In an ideal world governments would spot problems before they developed and bring new copyright regimes in before these problems became mass lawbreaking, but in the real world technological progress that effects copyrights seems to always come about by users of the new technologies pushing against the old laws long enough and hard enough that the laws are changed. Not a perfect system but it does work, albeit slowly.

Ultimately it is the government that has to resolve the issue, since copyright is by its very nature a monopoly, and monopolies cannot be trusted to regulate themselves.

incrediBILL




msg:3894688
 3:49 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

My position is that lawlessness with copyright has helped move distribution of digital files along in ways that wouldn't have happened without it.

I know your position, but the ends simply do not justify the means.

The market would've moved in that direction regardless because everyone was moving their CDs to MP3 players regardless of the pirate sites.

If you think copyright is a monopoly then let us copy all your sites because we're more than happy to help you with your anti-trust issues.

m0thman




msg:3894691
 3:51 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

If it was up to the RIAA/MPAA distribution methods wouldn't have changed since the '80s.

Personally I don't use P2P but they're wasting their time going after individuals and file sharing websites. As obiwan said "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. "

Basically, shut one down and another three will pop up. If they go after it too hard the file sharing networks will evolve into something else and it will be business as usual.

ytswy




msg:3894743
 4:57 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

The market would've moved in that direction regardless because everyone was moving their CDs to MP3 players regardless of the pirate sites.

Come on. If given the power to every label would have it's own method of sale, distribution and DRM. Probably tie its songs to particular portable music players etc. etc.

If you think copyright is a monopoly then let us copy all your sites because we're more than happy to help you with your anti-trust issues.

That would be a reasonable response if I'd advocated abolishing copyright, but that isn't what I am saying at all. I am saying that now, as in the past, new technology has rendered the current copyright regime unfit for purpose in a number of ways. And, as has always happened before, the laws need to change to reflect the world as it is not as it was. A compromise between the interests of copyright holders to get paid for their work, and the interests of users not to have major benefits of new technologies withheld from them.

Why, once you have allowed a song you wrote to be recorded and sold can you not prevent another recording artist doing their own version?

Why can't the writer or performer of a song disallow a radio station from playing it?

Why when a radio station does play a song does the writer receive an amount of money legislated by the government, and the the performing artist receive nothing?

Because when records and the radio where invented a similar debate happened. The result was piracy (ironically by many of the same companies who are now strongest against it), and then imposed compromise.

Why is Hollywood in Hollywood? Because it was beyond the reach of Edison and his patents on motion picture technology. Young innovative companies (like Fox for example) moved beyond his reach and built an industry on pirated intellectual property.

the ends simply do not justify the means

We are currently in a position where a substantial percentage of the population are routinely engaged in copyright infringement. I really and honestly don't think that just sitting back and saying "the law is the law" is an acceptable response. We need real reform. We needed real reform a decade ago, and until we get it sites and services like thepiratebay aren't going anywhere.

lgn1




msg:3894811
 6:38 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

So when are they going after Google.

Do a search for google powered bit-torrent.

It looks like a losing battle. Shut down one site, and another will start up.

Another thing was unclear in the article. Did these guys go to jail, or are they out pending appeal.

boplicity




msg:3894866
 8:29 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you think copyright is a monopoly then let us copy all your sites because we're more than happy to help you with your anti-trust issues.

Wait--isn't that what Google is doing with almost every website on the internet? Copying and re-publishing almost every website they get their hands on? Of course, that's not piracy. That's business.

Hugene




msg:3894900
 9:15 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems there is a lot of confusion about copying and copyrights out there. First, copying someone else's property and then selling it is definitely unlawful and theft. Copying someone else's content and using it to generate money in an indirect way (like content ads) is also unlawful.

Now recording a tape of a song you heard on the radio and giving it your friends, that's questionable.

Now, moving this process to the 21st century and replacing tapes with mp3 and friends with torrent users, that's more clearly illegal (distribution is illegal)

But providing links to the torrents, now we are in a very gray zone.

The only very clear conclusion is that copyrights need to change and that's why I somewhat support these guys.

I think computer/phone/mp3 makers have to fork the cash, they are clear winners here, especially Apple, which has predated the music industry and pretty much bled it to death. Still I have no mercy for the music industry, they made mistakes which brought this upon themselves. Remember Napster? What a nice opportunity wasted. I guess Pirate Bay is the next nice opportunity wasted These greased-up suits never learn from their mistakes.

wheel




msg:3894923
 9:52 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)


Wait--isn't that what Google is doing with almost every website on the internet? Copying and re-publishing almost every website they get their hands on? Of course, that's not piracy. That's business.

The serps, no, that's quite legal most places. they're just providing snippets, kind of like quoting from a book.

The cache, that's another matter entirely. I don't know how they get away with that legally. But few use the cache.

moTi




msg:3894976
 11:08 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

But few use the cache.

any evidence on that?
i surely use the cache at least half of the time because of the keyword highlighting.

incrediBILL




msg:3894979
 11:14 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Where all the garbage arguments fail that attempt to justify copyright infringement is that you don't need the material to live.

You don't need the music, movies or other copyrighted media to survive, people take it because want it without paying for it.

Watching a movie, listening to a song, or using software isn't a god given right nor should it be if you can't afford it.

Some people put their works in the public domain, enjoy those, they are free for you to take.

Other people do NOT put their works in the public domain, and if you take those for free you have ZERO respect for the artist or software company.

If you don't want to pay for it, don't take it, it's not yours.

Claiming they make to much money already as a defense is ignorance on steroids.

johnnie




msg:3894993
 11:59 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many people actually practice what they preach. The extent to which p2p piracy has infiltrated society is a great test for integrity; how may judges are willing to shut down that which they use so dearly?

kaled




msg:3894994
 12:01 am on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

ytswy said
Why, once you have allowed a song you wrote to be recorded and sold can you not prevent another recording artist doing their own version?

You can. And most of the other points you made similarly accurate.

Whilst I have zero familiarity with Swedish law, I always expected them to be found guilty since the site they run facilitates law-breaking.

Kaled.

greenleaves




msg:3895053
 3:05 am on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL

I almost always agree with you but I don't here.

<rant class="disclaimer" name="this is for the music industry, not for all copyright holders">

RIAA/MPAA is a monopolistic, hypocritical and outdated organization.

If a thief that has more money sues a thief that has less money and wins, I don't feel sorry for either.

What the RIAA/MPAA does SHOULD be considered illegal. Just like the Google cache should. Or many activities by MS. They just have billions to 'lobby' (read legal bribe) their interests and a huge legal team to back 'em.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all against stealing. But when it’s a thief against thief, sorry, I don't feel much compation. And when big companies pay for their unethical activities to be legalized, I still count that as if it were illegal.

As far as artists, I hate to say this, but has anyone ever thought that SOME (not all) have been helped by P2P file sharing?

And as far as the end user who downloads these files... can you blame someone living off minimum wage wanting to hear that song they just heard on the radio? Especially considering the fact that the gov is giving out TRILLIONs of dollars? And that person's few savings are now worth less because of this?

This person is a hard working average American. The kind that maintain those artists and the corrupt organizations that protect them (he listens to the radio, watches’ MTV, goes to concerts, pays his taxes, even if he doesn't buy a CD, which many times he will, because it is a ‘fan thing’). He should be able to buy the music he HEARS on the radio, during his busy day, for competitive prices. Saying that he should go look for public domain songs, given the average American’s schedule is not very realistic.

The prices for, especially music, not so much software and movies, are not ruled by free markets. I mean, not all songs should cost $1/each. Not all music albums should cost $12-15. After all, not all songs/albums require the same cost of production or have the same demand, so the laws of free markets would dictate those songs costing different prices, right?

Show me a good/honest system for distributing music, and I'm all for protecting it. But protecting corruption with MY money (it's taxes that pay for law enforcement, courts, etc), that is another matter.

There are real bad guys out there. But they are mostly rich and bribe... errrr 'lobby' their way into getting away with whatever they want.

I'm really tired of the gov/industries constantly going after small fry, when the big crooks are laughing all the way to the bank.

Now the one argument I'll accept is that some honest hard working artists will be negatively impacted by Pirate Bay. I admit that is wrong. But in war, which is what is going on now; since this is just a battle in an American class war, some innocents will be harmed. But it will happen either way. And let me tell you, so far the Average American is losing the class war that is going on. If you think I’m crazy with my class war theory, check the distribution of wealth over the last few decades in the US. Or turn on the news and see trillions being given away.

Yes, stop theft, but start in some area where it isn’t the big guys you are defending. There are plenty of large scale thefts/scams (bigger then pirate bay) that are going on against the small guys. The part of America that can’t afford to be stolen from. Defend them for once… but that would interfere with ‘campaign donators’. So I guess we are stuck busting down the doors of Middle American families because their 13 year old downloaded a Metallica album.

That’s it. I’m off to listen to the grateful dead!

</rant>

Sorry if my post was a little political, but I'm just seeing more and more of this, 'protect the big guy in the name of the little guy'.

buckworks




msg:3895070
 4:35 am on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Cry me a river.

Even if it were true that the person/entity you're stealing from is a thief (a claim I'm not willing to agree with, BTW, certainly not as a blanket assertion), that does not somehow make your own theft magically become moral.

This is not stealing bread to feed your children, this is just ordinary, low-life thievery.

incrediBILL




msg:3895081
 6:07 am on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I almost always agree with you but I don't here.

You're trying to rationalize immoral and illegal actions, it doesn't fly no matter how big the novella is you write to justify it.

Besides, artists can use other options just like Open Source software, there are already other ways of dealing with these issues and licensing models to fit everyone.

This is not stealing bread to feed your children, this is just ordinary, low-life thievery.

Exactly.

When people steal non-essential intangible goods where there was no physical item stolen they somehow feel justified that they didn't actually 'take' anything, load of garbage.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:09 am (utc) on April 18, 2009]

callivert




msg:3895144
 12:54 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

RIAA/MPAA is a monopolistic, hypocritical and outdated organization.

Really? Well, outdated hypocrites should always have their stuff stolen, so this will teach them a lesson. And I say this as an outdated hypocrite myself.

can you blame someone living off minimum wage wanting to hear that song they just heard on the radio?

No, can't blame them at all. And can you blame them for wanting that lovely red sportscar that they saw in a parking lot with the door left unlocked? Or for wanting those twinkly diamonds in the jeweller's shop where the security is so lax and not even a closed circuit camera in view? I can't blame them for such understandable desires.

poppyrich




msg:3895146
 1:03 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@all

What struck me was the last paragraph of the coverage of this in the NYTimes which offhandedly mentions:

In France last week, the National Assembly rejected a government proposal to cut off the Internet connections of persistent copyright pirates, in a surprise vote. President Nicolas Sarkozy has said the government will reintroduce the measure at the end of the month.

The question is, how are they going to determine who is a "persistent" copyright pirate?
If I inadvertantly link to something that appears to me as fair use, can I end up in jail if it turns out a court says its not?
Is it wise to keep everyone walking on eggshells like this?

@incrediBill
I used to feel somewhat like you do but then I started reading seriously and thinking hard about intellectual property. As little as twenty years ago, it was almost impossible for the average person to violate copyright. Copyright law got worked out between parties who manufactured CD players, owned radio stations, printing presses, and television broadcast networks. Negotiations took place between industries, the legislation was presented to Congress (in the US), and laws got passed.
But now, in the age of the Internet, it's important that the public have a seat at the table, too.

Look around you and realize that everything man-made started out as an idea in someone's mind. I paid money for the chair I'm sitting on but does a claim that the chair's design is unique give someone the right to forbid me to let someone else sit in it in the privacy of my home?
Hard-line proponents of intellectual property will actually tell you that it does.
This post is "original expression" in that the exact sequence of words is mine, but why does WebmasterWorld even have the right to demand that I reliquish my rights? They do, but why is that, legally?
We have no right to any property at all except as we define it by law. Nothing.
I've got a lot of beefs about copyright law as it now exists, mostly because it's all "right" with no responsibility.
Most of the time you can't even find out who the owner of a thing is, and even if you can, most of the time there's no response from them to your request.
And, actually, the argument that "they've made enough money already" is quite fair when the subject is how long should a state-sponsored monopoly be granted. How much money we are allowing the monopolist to squeeze out of us is exactly what we are deciding.

wheel




msg:3895157
 1:50 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

the fact is, you don't actually have the right to steal someone else's content or work. If they sell you a chair with the condition that only you can sit on it, and you agree to that condition, then you are in the wrong by breaking that agreement. If webmasterworld demands you relinquish your rights, and you break that agreement, then you're in the wrong.

It's pretty straightforward. If you don't agree with it, don't agree to it. Don't buy the chair. Don't post at WebmasterWorld. And no, you don't have the 'right' to even an answer to a demand to break the copyright on someoene's work. You knew the deal when you entered into the agreement when you bought the work. You have the choice NOT to do something and to not enter into that agreement. that's the choice you have. Complaining about the agreement and breaking it doesn't make anyone a community activist, it makes them a petty thief acting in their own best interests, to the detriment of others.

If you don't like copyright laws, change them. Personally I see little wrong with them. In most countries they expire after a period of time anyway - they're not forever. If you think they're too long, I'm not sure I'd agree but at least there's a conversation to be had. there's little conversation to be had when the law says my rights to my work is laid out and someone breaks that law. In that case, welcome to your local prison.

whoisgregg




msg:3895161
 2:01 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is a straw man fallacy:

I paid money for the chair I'm sitting on but does a claim that the chair's design is unique give someone the right to forbid me to let someone else sit in it in the privacy of my home?
Hard-line proponents of intellectual property will actually tell you that it does.

No one has made such a claim.

What you can't do with the chair you bought is go out into your workshop and start making knock-offs to sell or give away. Not even if you have a machine which makes it easy and cheap to do so.

Rosalind




msg:3895176
 2:27 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Those people making arguments against the current copyright laws have not considered the alternatives:

1. Starving artists.
2. Far fewer modern artists.
3. Existing music and media mostly subsidised by product placement.
4. A tax on the equipment you use to access the internet. So you pay whether or not you download, and takings are distributed to artists according to their popularity.

wheel




msg:3895230
 4:24 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

While I'm agreeable to the intent of copyright laws, I don't see any of those four points as being a reason 'for' them. If you're a starving artist, that's because nobody wants to buy your crap. So cut your hair and get a real job etc. Nobody supports starving small business, artistic expression shouldn't get a free pass on anything.

Plus, this is far beyond artistic expression. This is a cornerstone of business and commerce. We need to be able to earn from our work, under preexisting understandings. If I can't earn from my work, and worse others can earn from my work, at my expense, that's the real problem. Business or artist, it's the same problem - it's not unique to artists.

janharders




msg:3895233
 4:43 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm not really into making arguments against current copyright laws (allthough, it does kind of cross over into patent laws, if you take a look at it), but

>Those people making arguments against the current
>copyright laws have not considered the alternatives:
>1. Starving artists.

artists have been starving for the last 5000 years, there's always only a small group of people who can actually live of their music/whatever-other-art.

>2. Far fewer modern artists.

Personally, I doubt this one. In my opinion, most music is never commercialized. It's small amateur bands writing a few songs, playing a few gigs. But there are a lot of those. A LOT. Escecially in the "modern" genres.

>3. Existing music and media mostly subsidised by product
>placement.

isn't that here already? didn't madonna sign a deal for a few albums with an event agency recently? basically, they lose money on the albums but make a lot of profit on the tour. I think that may be a way for the future.

>4. A tax on the equipment you use to access the internet.

If you were living in germany, you'd have that already ;)
The funny thing in germany is, because cd writers can copy commercial cds, manufacturers pay a special fee per unit sold to a the union that manages music-payments (no clue if the rest of the world has something similar, it's the GEMA over here). So, basically, I've already payd a fee for music piracy, but haven't copied any cds. Guess I bought the right to be a pirate ;)

poppyrich




msg:3895241
 5:12 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@wheel, whoisgregg, rosalind

Benjamin Franklin most probably, and Thomas Jefferson most certainly would not and did not share your sentiments.
But don't get me wrong - I'm as fired up about out-and-out piracy as you are.

But according to the law, everyone who uses the Internet is a copyright infringer. That's the way client-server technology works - it makes a copy. It's that simple.

We are truly in an unprecedented situation. And right now, the laws are so whacked with ambiguities and mired in the world of brick and mortar that even top Intellectual Property scholars can't and won't venture an opinion about what's absolutely legit and what's not.
We all have our opinions, but at the same time we are all shooting in the dark.

In the meantime, at the behest of lobbyists, Congress keeps on extending, and extending some more, the term of copyright. It's currently the life of the author plus 70yrs. There are still a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories, for heaven's sake, that are still under copyright.

Don't kid yourselves - the prime drivers here are powerful monied interests that really don't give a damn about promoting new stuff - which is how the Consitution justifies there being a copyright at all - just their ability to milk what exists.
Walt Disney can't make any more money off of Mickey Mouse, he's dead. (Walt that is, not Mickey.)

jmccormac




msg:3895253
 5:55 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@poppyrich
As little as twenty years ago, it was almost impossible for the average person to violate copyright. Copyright law got worked out between parties who manufactured CD players, owned radio stations, printing presses, and television broadcast networks. Negotiations took place between industries, the legislation was presented to Congress (in the US), and laws got passed.
Well back twenty years or so, there was a vibrant pirate satellite and cable television business that was worth millions of Dollars a year. There were also pirate video tapes which the average person used to buy and sell.

Regards...jmcc

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