Let us be discerning pirates!

20090418-thepiratebay

Yesterday, four people providing the The Pirate Bay service were sentenced to 1 year of emprisonment and a $905,000 fine each. The reason? For assisting in making copyright content available.

According to Wikipedia, “The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website that indexes, stores and tracks BitTorrent files. It bills itself as the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker.” In essence, The Pirate Bay allows people to search for and download files (audio, video, software, etc.) using peer-to-peer technology but does not host the files themselves. Naturally, and it’s stupid being hypocrites, most people use the service to download copyrighted material (MP3, DivX, etc.)

From an ethical point of view, I am against copyright violation. I believe that those who create should decide whether people should pay or not to get access to their creations. Some of them will decide that people need to pay (that’s fine!) and some will decide that their creations can be redistributed freely (that’s excellent!) And, from an ethical point of view, it’s important that people respect the will of creators or risk demotivating them. And without creations to enjoy, what is our existence worth?

From a pragmatic point of view, I like The Pirate Bay (Paulo Coelho is a fan too.) It’s important for people to be able to try things before they buy. For instance, as an avid user of Last.fm and Rate Your Music, I regularly come across new albums and I am happy that something like The Pirate Bay exists which allows me to download the albums and evaluate them before (eventually) buying them…

Because of this, I hope The Pirate Bay will survive (or something similar will emerge.)

To be frank, I only buy a few albums now because, well, obtaining them (more or less) freely is so painless. Music companies could have made their music collection downloadable at a very low price (say, of the order of Rs 100 ($3) per album) and I’m sure that a lot more people would have bought albums. In fact, if the music companies had intelligent people at their helm, they would have embraced P2P instead of condemning it because P2P solves the technical problem of delivering content in a scalable way.

The other day, I was listening to a French artist, Anaïs Croze, on TV and she was asked about piracy. She said something extremely interesting. As an artist, she is not happy about piracy. But the reason she gave was extremely interesting. She said that most people use P2P to download music but do not spend time listening. And she was afraid that we were losing our insight and understanding of music as a consequence…

I have to agree. Downloading music is a means towards discovering new horizons. It’s not an end. It’s not about filling our hard disks with thousands and thousands of MP3 and never listening and appreciating them. Music is about emotion. Not about codecs.

Let us be discerning pirates!

Comments

  1. I’m a supporter piracy, but not for the reasons people normally are. Most people support it because they want to get something for free without paying for it, I do it because I have no real choice. I love European and American music, but there’s no way to obtain the albums legally here without waiting for some months and paying an outrageous price(Rs. 800 for a single album). So what do I do?? Can I really be blamed for downloading the albums using BitTorrent or any other p2p?

    Another case is my iPod touch, there are tens of thousands of applications in the AppStore, barely a sixth among those apps are free. Among the free apps, 60% are simply sh!t(fart apps, etc..) or lite versions of full apps. Same situation here, I can’t use any Mauritian credit card to buy them as the iTunes isn’t available here. The TOS states that you must have a valid credit card in the country of the store. The iPhone is officially available here, but not the paid apps! :@ Can I be blamed for using cracked apps and supporting piracy?

  2. I wonder where Google stands following this ruling. As far as I know, I can find BitTorrent files using Google Search. Does that make them complicit in piracy?

    Eddy.

  3. Good point. Google, like TPB, but also ISPs etc, assist in making copyright content available. In fact, only end-users are doing something illegal i.e. obtaining the work of others without their consent.

    I understand that the TPB servers are now in Thailand (previously they were in Sweden) and will continue to operate. In any case, even if TPB stops, someone else will create TPB2.

    This is why I argue in my post that it’s more intelligent making people become more discerning pirates. I’m sure that one consequence (if coupled with reduced prices of course…) would be that those people will tend to buy more. And everyone benefits.

  4. Peer To Peer is not really a good method for downloading files and songs. Most of us already know that downloading songs is illegal and can cause lots of financial damage to artists and computer softwares programmers. Damage to artists, can makes them release fewer albums and also fewer live concerts to be organized.

    Now, The Damage That Peer to Peer Can Cause To Users Who Use Them:
    1.While downloading files using P2P, there are high risks of virus attacks because we are downloading files not from the servers but from our “friend’s” computer.

    2. P2P makes you upload data while you are downloading them. This can also be harmful in a country where we have capping and FUP.

    3. Using P2P, anyone can see your IP Adress and country where you are from. Using some free softwares, they can easily trace from which city you are from. Thus, there is no privacy.

  5. @Yadhav
    I tend to believe the contrary, as many new artists wouldn’t even be famous if p2p wasn’t here. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails(a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter) even offered his last album for free on BitTorrent. For example, if I want to listen to some Beatles’ songs, I can’t legally download them from ANYWHERE! In this case, not only are the songs available on BitTorrent, they are digitally enhanced.

    I think you’re being too critical of p2p here. Not ALL p2p content is copyrighted, you have to understand that. Among the most downloaded content on BitTorrent are various releases of free and open source Linux distributions. Distribution by p2p reduces the load on the servers of the Linux distros, less money is needed for bandwidth and the money can instead be used for improving the product.

    As for the points you mentioned:
    1. I’ve been using p2p for 4 years now and I’ve only got a single virus from it. Do you know why?? I’ve been cautious, I use original antiviruses, I scan each file immediately after downloading, I scan my download folder everyday, I do a quick scan every week and a full system scan every two weeks. (Full system scan with both McAfee and MalwareBytes) I also use a program called GeSWall to launch executables to prevent them from making changes to my system. If a user is careful enough, there’s virtually no chance of him getting a virus or some kind of malware.

    2. I believe that’s every user SHOULD upload what he downloads, if the user was able to download it, it’s because of the others who decided to share. p2p isn’t about selfishness, it’s about sharing what you got. FUP is a joke ROFLMAO :P. I’ve downloaded 22.8 gb since the start of this month. (BTW That’s not only from p2p.)

    3. I believe you can protect your privacy by using a combination of proxy servers and encryption of the connections. There’s even VPN if you’re really paranoid.

    P.S. I don’t wish to get in another “p2p: Good or Evil” fight with anyone. I just don’t agree with what you wrote and I have different opinions about it. If I’m right, agree with me; If I’m wrong, correct me. =]

  6. As I wrote in my post, P2P (which is a scalable technology for content distribution) is only a means. So no need to get into a P2P is good / P2P is bad argument…

    Now, who among you consider himself / herself to be a discerning pirate? When you have to edit a JPG, do you just use The Gimp or do you spend hours looking for a pirated copy of the latest Photoshop CS3 and use 0.1% of its capabilities? What about DivX? I know people who download a film a day (and watch substantially less.)

  7. @sj

  8. @sjdvda
    I agree with what you said. Here is a film documentary on piracy which is legal to view and download from Google Video as well in torrent websites:
    Steal This Film
    Part 1 – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4116387786400792905
    Part 2 – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3636669624532830059

  9. IMO , piratebay is not responsible for this and its a shame they are blamed into this matter. Its simply P2P, none of the content provided by Piratebay is hosted by them. they only offer a .torrent file which connects us to other users around the world sharing the content. I am against piracy and never supported it.

  10. @avinash
    CS3 has been updated CS4 btw.

    I only download tv shows & films – hd rips only. DivX/Xvid is so passé, now it’s all x264. :)

    As for apps, as the recent Mac botnet case revealed, you may never know what kind of malware (trojans!) non-Scene releasers bundled along with their apps. Best thing to do is to stay away from these kinds of shadowy apps.

  11. I don’t know for you but I support piracy and all its illegal staff… I live in Mauritius and as you know, things that you get here are already outdated in other countries… Also, as a Mauritian, I don’t have enough money to buy those musics, videos or applications (adobe are above rs3000 -.-)… With the torrent system, I’m able to get all these for free(I know its not good for those who worked hard (music artists), but what do you want? When their album are release, here in Maurtius we don’t even have it and when we have it its more expensive than the original price…

    But I happen to buy original album sometimes… Once I downloaded an entire album of Blink-182, and ended up in buying it in a music store…

  12. I am against piracy.. but on the other hand i am for freedom…

    THIS CONDEMNATION IS STUPID!

    Sorry for the shouts, but had to.

    The validity of this argument is sooo stupid that i feel whoever condemned those dudes should be hanged for stupidity.

    “It bills itself as the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker.” In essence, The Pirate Bay allows people to search for and download files (audio, video, software, etc.) using peer-to-peer technology but does not host the files themselves.”

    Following that logic

    >Google as well as other search engines should be condemned, because they provide a link or a way to access pirated content.

    >The internet should be dismantled, whether we want it or not the pirated contents are ON THE NET.

    >Maxtor or hitachi [or other hard disk manufacturers] should be condemned as they directly provide hardware that are used to store pirated contents.

    >Every single router making company should be sued because they are routing people to servers which potentially might contain pirated contents.

    >Microsoft, Apple, FSF, BSD, SUN, IBM etc.. should all be condemned, remember their OS are providing a way of showing links to pirated contents… their OSes are even used to host pirated contents… they must be definitely be hanged till death.

    >Tapes, CDs and DVDs etc.. should be banned and/or destroy and their respective manufacturer must be condemned, these are used to host pirated contents.

    Infact… following that dumb logic those judge followed… only the singer should be left around, s/he shall live and do lots of concerts here and there.. and s/he shall live from that money only… this way .. there won’t be any piracy.

    Am not saying piracy is a good thing.. it is bad… but you don’t use foolish idiotic reasonings to fine somebody.

    That’s a big problem with law… it just can’t keep itself neutral and logic. pfft.. after all its human who decides that… and they are influence by society… so what the majority think “is true”, usually turns out to be true.

    I rarely torrent.. but still this is plain bullshit.

    why do i seem to find that everyone is idolizing piracy? piracy is bad.. not even for trial purposes.. that is real hypocrite.. but if you can’t catch the pirate and decide to attack the general population who is just another victim of your incompetent legal system.. don’t try to show that you did something exceptional by condemning people victims.

    +$3|v3n

  13. Currently at 17:19: thepiratebay.org is not working using Orange ADSL. Is this only in Mauritius or either thepiratebay.org is blocked in the whole world?

  14. At 18:05 it’s working for me :-)

  15. i think being able to sample the movies and music before being able to buy it is important coz let’s face it, movie companies spend a greater budget doing movie trailers rather than the actual movies itself.

  16. Anikka says:

    Gents, what do you understand by copyright?? That is the fundamental question you need to answer before deciding whether it was stupid or not to fine TPB…

  17. Good question.

    According to Wikipedia, “Copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation; after which time the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete.”

    Of course, this contradicts with most open source licenses which are “copyright license[s] for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and redistribution without having to pay the original author.”

    And this explains the emergence of Creative Commons licenses

    Copyright is a complex subject. But basically some creators allow other to copy while some others don’t allow copying. And TPB facilitates the access to both types of licensed products.

  18. Gents, what do you understand by copyright?? That is the fundamental question you need to answer before deciding whether it was stupid or not to fine TPB

    Indeed it is still stupid if we delve deep inside and understand the meaning of copyright…

    :p TPB never owned any right to share or distribute those copyrighted materials.. but then… DID TPB ever copied those copyrighted materials???

    As far as i know.. it didn’t.. it just pointed out to links…

    One argument TPB could have used is that it was keeping those links because TPB feels that they are in some way helping authorities to know where those files are hosted… and to know what are out or not…but then… if by doing so the side effect is that other people are using the links to access the contents… it is the responsibility of those people.

    If i put a big billboard on my house saying “Huge Drug festival is happening next door” (neighbour)

    Its up to the cops to go and verify… i am not to be held responsible for dealing in drugs if people reads this billboard and goes to the neighbor and asks for drugs!
    Those people are responsible for their actions… i am not! I should be given a medal for trying to find a way to help the law to notice such a thing when it might have gone unnoticed!

    which is why i believe TPB should have been given a medal instead of given fined! hence a stupid condemnation.

  19. Anikka says:

    Aha, see! Thats why i asked you to go find out more about copyright!

    There are 2 points to bear in mind about copyright:
    1) It is a bundle of rights comprising moral rights and economic rights.
    2) The owner of the copyrighted work is not always the author of the copyrighted work.

    Some preliminary clarifications:
    – When the work is created, the author and the owner of copyright in it are one and the same person (except if the person created the work in the course of his employment, in which case he’ll be the author but the owner will be the employer)

    – The author will have moral and economic rights on his work when he has first created it (except in the aforementioned exception).

    – He will then have the right to sell his economic rights in the work, but he will always have moral rights. He cannot sell that.

    It thus follows that whoever acquires the economic rights of the work will be the owner of the work, because he will then have the right to, for example, copy the work, issue the copies to the public, perform the work in public (among many others) to the exclusion of all other people.

    Logically, anyone who usurps this right must be sanctioned, because only the owner has the right to benefit from the economic rights.

    But what about someone who merely permits copyright infringement, while not doing it himself, just like TPB? The law provides that a person who has under his control the means by which copyright may be infringed must take reasonable steps to limit its use to legitimate purposes.

    In the case of MGM v Grokster, the Court held that: “One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, going beyond mere distribution with knowledge of third-party action, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device’s lawful uses.”

    That case was identical to this one in that the site distributed free software that allowed computer users to share electronic files through peer-to-peer networks.

    TPB authorised infringement, in that it did not do anything to prevent unlawful use being made of what it had under its control.

    Perfect judgment, in my humble opinion!

  20. Technically you are right. TPB allows people to infringe copyright and therefore can be sanctioned.

    But, personally, I see things differently. Most of us are now pirates because (i) it’s easy to download things (ii) it’s nice to try before buying and (iii) books, CD, DVD, etc. are bloody expensive (because of the number of intermediaries involved.)

    Do you have a solution? No. But I think that the copyright holders should realise that they can (still) make a bucketload of money by putting their creations online and offering them either for free (and make money with adverts for example) or for a very low price. Because of the long tail effect, they’ll be profitable. Until they do that, people will indulge in piracy.

  21. Do you have a solution? No. But I think that the copyright holders should realise that they can (still) make a bucketload of money by putting their creations online and offering them either for free (and make money with adverts for example) or for a very low price.

    Hmm are you somewhat saying piracy is a good thing??? :s :s

    As for Anikka.. indeed nice reasoning… but i will again use the example of the person who says “heh my neighbour offers drugs” <–

    who says he hasn’t stopped the neighbour in question to stop offering drugs?
    might this from his pov he believe by saying that people will realize “drugs = bad, neighbour give drugs == neighbour give bad thing, hence neighbour = bad person”.

    one shouldn’t blame the guy… blame the neighbour, blame the dude who went there to try it out.

    because it is very ambiguous to say that ” a person who has under his control the means by which copyright may be infringed must take reasonable steps to limit its use to legitimate purposes.” <—

    what is the definition of “the means by which copyright may be infringed”?? <– this is ambiguous.

    what is the definition of “Reasonable Steps” <– ambiguous here again, because what may seem reasonable to one, may not seem so to another…

    Notice that it wasn’t mentionned that you had to use legitimate measures to “limits its use to legitimate purposes” <— basically.. if we agree to such wordings… if i kill a pirate, i am a worthy citizen because … i considered this as a reasonable action to limit the use of that material for legitimate purposes…. weird :s

  22. Anikka says:

    At selven:

    “because it is very ambiguous to say that ” a person who has under his control the means by which copyright may be infringed must take reasonable steps to limit its use to legitimate purposes.” <—

    what is the definition of “the means by which copyright may be infringed”?? <– this is ambiguous.

    what is the definition of “Reasonable Steps” <– ambiguous here again, because what may seem reasonable to one, may not seem so to another…”

    This is why we have rules of statutory interpretation, to give one particular meaning to what the law provides. If i get into the details, i’ll still be at it tomorrow morning, so suffice to say that “reasonable”, in any piece of legislation, means reasonably justifiable in a democratic society, and Courts have established guidelines to interprete “reasonable”

    In the case i cited, MGM v Grokster, reasonable steps taken by Grokster would have been attempts to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to diminish the infringing activity using their software. Failure to do so indicated that they intentionally facilitated their users’ infringement.

    Which brings me to your second point: the neighbour. It would have been touching had the guys at TPB been motivated by the same noble spirit as your neighbour’s in denouncing others’ copyright infringement, but i’m afraid this is most probably NOT how it worked! TPB must have cashed in on the ads, hence the commercial element coming into play, which is most often fatal!

    They got money in return for providing users with facilitated access to copyrighted material, unlike your neighbour, who didn’t get anything for pointing out that the guy next door is selling drugs.

    NOTE: There is no copyright issues in selling drugs, so the example doesnt really hold water! Criminal law and copyright arent really brothers, if you see what i mean!

    Thirdly, your pirate example. Again, statutory interpretation plays a primordial role. It shouldn’t necessarily be mentioned that you have to use legitimate means to prevent infringement, c’est sous-entendu. In law, you have to obey both the letter AND the SPIRIT of the law. And the spirit of the law can never tell you to use illegal means to do anything!

    So you cannot kill a pirate, because in a democratic society an individual cannot take the law into his hands. Its up to the authorities to do whatever need be done to that pirate; if you killed him, it wouldn’t be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. Just like you cannot rob a robber and claim that he robbed the thing in the first place, it doesnt belong to him, so you cannot be accused of robbing him!

    And if i may point out another flaw in your pirate example, you don’t really have the pirate under your control, using whom copyright may be infringed! Pirates and copyright don’t mix well either!

    And finally, i’d like to appeal to you not to kill pirates, because they tend to be so hot, especially in the Caribbeans! :D

  23. Avinash says:

    Hi.

    (say, of the order of Rs 100 ($3) per album) = I am currently looking for one such site where I can download these paid albums.

    Can you please give me the link?

    Thanks a lot.

    Regards

  24. NOTE: There is no copyright issues in selling drugs, so the example doesnt really hold water! Criminal law and copyright arent really brothers, if you see what i mean!

    :D not really copyright restricted, it is an example which “englobes” any activity that has the secondary effect of promoting illegal activities.

    Which brings me to your second point: the neighbour. It would have been touching had the guys at TPB been motivated by the same noble spirit as your neighbour’s in denouncing others’ copyright infringement,

    Well… if the neighbour is showing a billboard displaying a sign to everybody to show “heh the drug dealer is next door” (e.g TPB giving you links to torrent [saying 'heh illegal materials are found there, plz do something about it'])… does that mean you (TPB) has to stop living or earning a living?? I.e using the neighbour example, if the guy sells boullette (TPB does ads), and drug addicts comes to his place to have boulette then goes to shoot themselves (and users click ads)… is that the fault of TPB (your neighbour???)

    It shouldn’t necessarily be mentioned that you have to use legitimate means to prevent infringement, c’est sous-entendu. In law, you have to obey both the letter AND the SPIRIT of the law. And the spirit of the law can never tell you to use illegal means to do anything!

    nicely said.

    Just like you cannot rob a robber and claim that he robbed the thing in the first place, it doesnt belong to him, so you cannot be accused of robbing him!

    Just like i can sit here and not say anything if ever i saw a robber robbing somebody, and still be called his accomplice.. just because i wanted to use my freedom of staying silent?

  25. Anikka says:

    At selven:

    I still cannot agree with your neighbour example, because the neighbour selling boulettes to the drug dealer’s customers is not illegal, but TPB selling ad space while promoting copyright infringement is certainly illegal. The very activity carried out by TPB is illegal, hence the fundamental difference with the neighbour, whose boulette selling activity is not per se illegal.

    Concerning the robber:

    “Just like i can sit here and not say anything if ever i saw a robber robbing somebody, and still be called his accomplice.. just because i wanted to use my freedom of staying silent?”

    If you saw someone being robbed and you did not act, you may be sued for “non assistance à personne en danger.” Secondly, be careful with the use of the word accomplice here, because a person can only be an accomplice if he has committed a positive act, that is, he has DONE something. Il n’y a pas de complicité par abstention ou inaction.

    Thirdly, when i said: “Just like you cannot rob a robber and claim that he robbed the thing in the first place, it doesnt belong to him, so you cannot be accused of robbing him!”, i was trying to point out that just because someone indulges in an illegal activity, it does not give an individual the right to punish him. One of the essential elements of the offence of larceny (vol) is the fact that the stolen object must belong to someone else (you cannot rob yourself). So if someone steals something, and you steal that thing from him, claiming that since it doesnt belong to him it wouldn’t constitute larceny, your argument would fail because the requirement is that the thing must not belong to you, not that it must belong to the one you stole it from.

  26. i don;t why, but from a logical point of view, you just said that TPB didn’t do anything illegal.

  27. Anikka says:

    Erm, where??

  28. I still cannot agree with your neighbour example, because the neighbour selling boulettes to the drug dealer’s customers is not illegal, but TPB selling ad space while promoting copyright infringement is certainly illegal.

    The neighbour placed a board saying “heh my neighbour sells drug” & and he sells boulettes. <– from your logic, selling boulettes isn’t illegal, and also pointing out that the neighbour is selling drug is also not an offense,, because he might have been showing that for cops to come and arrest the guy, because he made that so obvious.

    Then you say “TPB selling adspace while promoting illegal activities..”<– does this mean selling ad space is an illegal activity?
    Secondly, let’s take the second part of the statement, “while promoting illegal activities”, he didn’t told you to “go and use pirated stuffs” <– as far as i know, on TPB it was always mentionned that piracy is bad and that you can download legal stuffs for X amount of money. But people just chose the “click here to download a torrent”!

    How can you claim that TPB promoted illegal activities if when one really think about it, it could have as well been TPB’s way of infiltrating pirate networks, this way to get all updates on latest torrents and who are leeching what and who are seeding what…
    so… is it is really NOT neutral [when the law is supposed to be something neutral and not to come to judgement from assumptions]. You said TPB is promoting illegal acitivities because people go on TPB then after that choose to do illegal activities… even if TPB told em not to do or didn’t told em anything about it. Neither did TPB encourage it… it can just claim that it used all those materials to show the world how incompetent the law is and is trying to help.. but how is it being rewarded? by getting fined? pffft pathetic!

    Neither does showing ads nor does giving links is something illegal as long as you were not forced to click on the links!

    The very activity carried out by TPB is illegal, hence the fundamental difference with the neighbour, whose boulette selling activity is not per se illegal.

    I’ve explained this above :), now tell me the difference between TPB and the neighbour.. other than one selling boullettes and the other showing ads!

    As far as i know, i can just make a site and display ads without any content!
    I can also shout out [give a link] saying “heh this is a pirated content, buy legal content here instead of illegal ones”.

    Concerning the robber:

    If you saw someone being robbed and you did not act, you may be sued for “non assistance à personne en danger.”

    Which means i must put my life in jeopardy for any human being in danger, which could in turn lead to the guy attacking me, and if i can’t defend myself, then it would mean i am voluntarily inviting trouble or death.

    In one way of the other, inviting death would be suicide which is illegal [pfft where is freedom nowadays].
    Secondly, if i refrain from getting myself in stuffs that can eventually get me killed, i am acting on self defense?

    [ps. This is only for the sake of the discussion, hell it isn;t in my nature not to help people, so probably i wold get in :p]

    Secondly, be careful with the use of the word accomplice here, because a person can only be an accomplice if he has committed a positive act, that is, he has DONE something. Il n’y a pas de complicité par abstention ou inaction.

    Give you that, since i am not used to those legal terms. :)

    One of the essential elements of the offence of larceny (vol) is the fact that the stolen object must belong to someone else (you cannot rob yourself). So if someone steals something, and you steal that thing from him, claiming that since it doesnt belong to him it wouldn’t constitute larceny, your argument would fail because the requirement is that the thing must not belong to you, not that it must belong to the one you stole it from.

    Interesting, you should really be on my msn, from that reasoning it means that if someone robs me and i seek person justice and rob him again, there was no robbery, since my stuff is with me… rob the robber there are a lot of robbers here, i should get em to steal a few of my stuffs once a while to spice my life a bit i think.

  29. Anikka says:

    “selling ad space while promoting illegal activities”

    Don’t read only the “illegal activities” part, read “PROMOTING illegal activities.” “Promoting illegal activities” in TPB’s context is NOT selling ad space, it’s providing people with the means to infringe copyright, providing them with a site that COULD be used to download copyrighted material.

    It does not matter that TPB’s intentions were noble (which i doubt); the moment they gave people access to the means to infringe copyright (even if they did not intend it), they would be guilty of authorising infringement if they did not take necessary steps to limit the use of those means to legitimate purposes (as already discussed).

    There’s another case, Moorhouse v University of New South Wales, where the uni was sued for providing students with coin-in-the-slot photocoping machines but not supervising what use was being made of those machines. The uni did not tell he students to infringe copyright (just like TPB didn’t tell users to do it), but by failing to prevent it, the uni authorised infringement, just like TPB.

    About TPB’s laudable attempt to help in the fight against piracy: had this been the case, they should have raised that as a defence, shouldn’t they? They should have argued as vociferously in Court as you on here that they were really trying to help track down pirates and point out the flaws in the laws. But they did not do it, or they failed to convince the Judges on a balance of probabilities, i suppose (that is, more convincingly than the other party) they they were well-intentioned.

    Either way, they have only themselves to blame for not coming up with this argument or for failing to do so adequately. The Court will only consider what has been put before it; it is not for the Judges to go looking into why TPB acted as it did. TPB had to raise that defence.. Real court cases arent like those you see in the movies, where people shout what they like when they like, coming up with new arguments in the middle of a court session, people bursting in with new evidence, etc. In reality, courts only interprete the law; they are only concerned with what the law is, not what it should be. And they most certainly do NOT base themselves on assumptions to reach to conclusions!

    Thirdly, you again asked about the difference between TPB and the neighbour, because you misunderstood what i said about ‘promoting illegal activities’. And again i tell you that the illegal activity in not ad space-selling but authorising copyright infringement.

    Concerning “non assistance à personne en danger”: if ignorance of the law could kill, you’d have gone up long ago! No offence! ;) You are bound to assist a person who is in actual or imminent danger only when it does not pose any danger to your own life. It is up to you to assess how best to intervene, or whether to intervene or not.

    As for self-defence, that applies only when you are defending yourself or someone else against an actual or imminent attack. If you are not actually or imminently in danger, you cannot claim to be acting in self-defence. So, not getting yourself in a situation where you could be in danger is NOT self-defence.

    And finally, if you stole back the thing that was stolen from you, you wouldn’t be stealing, Einstein. And let’s face it, if someone stole something from you, you’d report it to the police. If you know who stole it, you’d ask him to give it back or threaten to go to the police. If he doesnt agree, you’ll either go to the police or try to take the thing by force. And if you chose the latter, you’d probably be charged with wounds and blows!

    So the best thing to do is go to the police, tell them who you think stole your belonging, and let them do their job!

    Jeez, no offence, but you’d better be careful, because ignorance of the law is no excuse… :D

  30. Don’t read only the “illegal activities” part, read “PROMOTING illegal activities.” “Promoting illegal activities” in TPB’s context is NOT selling ad space, it’s providing people with the means to infringe copyright, providing them with a site that COULD be used to download copyrighted material.

    May i ask, how is it promoting illegal activities in a way that google doesn’t???
    TPB never as far as i know forced anyone to “download from torrents” it just “posted the links there”. Its up to you to decide whether you want to use it wisely [to use it as a way to track down who hosts what] or to use it to download illegal contents…

    It does not matter that TPB’s intentions were noble (which i doubt); the moment they gave people access to the means to infringe copyright (even if they did not intend it), they would be guilty of authorising infringement if they did not take necessary steps to limit the use of those means to legitimate purposes (as already discussed).

    The intention does matter… because if we were to judge like that, google must be closed down, viewsonic or whatever manufacture of monitors should be closed down, because those also provides you with means to access illegal contents, creative, asus etc.. who makes dvddrive should be also sued, because they provide you with the means to infringe copyright.

    Where i want to come is that, given a knife, its all up to you [the users] to decide how they are going to use it. The knife manufacturer nor the concept of knife shouldn’t be held responsible for the decision of users and pirates.

    There’s another case, Moorhouse v University of New South Wales, where the uni was sued for providing students with coin-in-the-slot photocoping machines but not supervising what use was being made of those machines. The uni did not tell he students to infringe copyright (just like TPB didn’t tell users to do it), but by failing to prevent it, the uni authorised infringement, just like TPB.

    Again this is a case of pure illogical reasoning. A pure example how the decadence of the human society, a perfect example that shows the enslavery of humans in a system they don’t dare question the validity and just apply it dumbly for all cases.

    The If the univ was sued in such a case, so must the manufacturer of photocopy machines….. even Chester Carlson, the inventor of the photocopy machine must be sued (since he is dead, he must be defamed) because he provided the whole world with a way to infringe copyrights…

    I believe those law makers just tend to go forward with making rules immediately without proper study and analysis of the technology and or concepts in questions.. and they just write stuffs that just seems “by the book “ok””

    About TPB’s laudable attempt to help in the fight against piracy: had this been the case, they should have raised that as a defence, shouldn’t they? They should have argued as vociferously in Court as you on here that they were really trying to help track down pirates and point out the flaws in the laws. But they did not do it, or they failed to convince the Judges on a balance of probabilities, i suppose (that is, more convincingly than the other party) they they were well-intentioned.

    Maybe they were not as bright as me to think of it this way (LOL).
    Maybe their lawyers ate their money.
    As for there failure to convince the judges.. well its not something new..

    Judges are human beings, they are flawed, they have emotions, they don’t think logically under pressure.
    One shouldn’t assume that the verdict judges comes with is always right, they are not perfect beings, they are just ordinary human beings like you and me who just happen to have learnt more facts about the legal system.

    So, saying that they failed to convince they judges doesn’t really say anything other than “the person(s) acting as judge or jury members present just on that day thought they were culprits or maybe failed to understand the reasoning”.

    How can you make a judge and a few jury members believe that sarah killed john infront of you in the morning when sarah has 2000 good friends who stands as witness (false witnesses) saying that she was with them in the morning having a bukakke party where sarah was on the receiver end… SO it would be your word against 2001 liars… and sarah used a bodysuit and left no prints, dna or skin behind?

    Basically, you will be framed for killing john.

    Was the judge right? Was the jury right? They are just ordinary human beings, you just can’t assume they are always right!

    Another thing i have noticed about legal proceedings, i have sued a few people (and won), when you go in the court and you tend to not dress properly (i.e to all the world you appear a screwed up person), they will raise an eyebrow and treat you differently… :D so if the whole world [in the news and all] it says TPB was at fault… then for the judge, you are already cooked meat.. unless some miracle happens.
    [though e.g in mauritius, you can wait for time to pass by (stall a case) wait for everyone to forget and bribe judges ...(contact me privately for such hot news :) ) ].

    so coming back to tpb.. logically they were not supposed to be fined… or at the very least to be fined alone.. it should have taken down a lot of people and businesses. even bsd, windows, macosx, linux and other os should have gone down along.

    The Court will only consider what has been put before it; it is not for the Judges to go looking into why TPB acted as it did.

    here in lies the flaw with the legal system.. they just treat people or whatever they are to judge as shit or just as … yet another number, this whole system is wrong.. each case is different and should be well analysed before proceeding anywhere. 1 year is mostly enough to analyse most stuffs, they just stall everything and make as if everything was done [though ofcourse there are cases which are complicated.]

    (note: am not saying judges are incompetent.. am saying they are human and flawed like the rest of us).

    Real court cases arent like those you see in the movies, where people shout what they like when they like, coming up with new arguments in the middle of a court session

    Indeed i know, i have been to a few [sued a few :D].

    In reality, courts only interprete the law; they are only concerned with what the law is, not what it should be. And they most certainly do NOT base themselves on assumptions to reach to conclusions!

    EXACTLY!
    and interpretation of something is relative to each individual!
    It does seem to be that they assume TPB provided links for users to download pirated contents, and didn’t think of the alternative possibilities that exists that says “another way of seeing it is that it posted those links so as people know that those are illegal contents!”

    So in this case, it does seems the court isn’t seeing all routes related to the problem.
    It is just seeing only the path that seems agreeable by the majority.. without using any logic.

    Thirdly, you again asked about the difference between TPB and the neighbour, because you misunderstood what i said about ‘promoting illegal activities’. And again i tell you that the illegal activity in not ad space-selling but authorising copyright infringement.

    But TPB didn’t infringe any copyright!!!
    Did TPB copied any copyrighted materials whether digitally or non digitally??

    People copied copyrighted materials by their own free will… copyrighted materials offerred by pirates [who are the real criminals], so why the heck is TPB being fined?
    It just blatantly shows that the inability of the court to understand the difference between a link and a host!

    Like a said… google also provide links.

    both posting a link and selling adspace is something legal!
    Am i not allowed to say (if it is a fact) that “john is a terrorist”?
    If yes
    then i do have the right to say “rapidshare hosts illegal materials”
    and i also do have the right to say “rapidshare hosts illegal materials at http://www.rapidshare.com/210439845903/someIllegalMaterials.rar ” <— if i don’t have the right to say this when it is a fact, then where is my freedom of expression??

    I haven’t given anybody a cd of illegal materials, nor have i copied it and make it available to everybody, i just said it is available there, and by common sense you are supposed to know that you must stay away from illegal materials!

    If you are not actually or imminently in danger, you cannot claim to be acting in self-defence. So, not getting yourself in a situation where you could be in danger is NOT self-defence.

    Weird boundaries… because if the person was in danger and waited till the end, that would seem like being a moron or suicidal.
    Even suicide is illegal, so one should get in trouble and wait till the last moment instead of just staying away from trouble? ( my layman opinion about this )

    And let’s face it, if someone stole something from you, you’d report it to the police. If you know who stole it, you’d ask him to give it back or threaten to go to the police. If he doesnt agree, you’ll either go to the police or try to take the thing by force. And if you chose the latter, you’d probably be charged with wounds and blows!

    Very true! I guess i missed that part of wounds and blows since i was remembering how long courts cases takes. (and how police just treats people like shit :p (specially if the later isn’t even wearing his badge for me to get a name to sue! Asking for his name just invites foul words.. and acting cool with a shit grin makes em even more pissed off!) ).

    So the best thing to do is go to the police, tell them who you think stole your belonging, and let them do their job!

    indeed :(

    Jeez, no offence, but you’d better be careful, because ignorance of the law is no excuse…

    Very true indeed.

    I tend to stay away from troubles most of the time.. they just seem to keep catching up to be as soon as i report something as a proper citizen to the cops… (cops are the biggest goons in the country!)

  31. Anikka says:

    Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom were all found guilty of an offence! Is that so hard to understand?? Facilitating other people’s breach of copyright is an offence, and if those who run TPB committed this offence, they should be punished, shouldnt they?? It is not for the Court to look into the merits of the punishment, THAT is up to the lawmakers. There is something called the doctrine of separation of powers, according to which the Courts and the lawmakers have got very separate spheres of action, and should not encroach upon each others’s sphere.

    From a purely legal point of view, the aforementioned people committed an offence and were rightly punished. But even from other viewpoints, this was a right decision. You keep arguing that TPB could have had other motives for carrying out whatever activities they were doing, but in all logic, that cannot be true! They make more than $3 million a year, so they are definitely in it for profit-making, whatever one might say. And for God’s sake, the site was established by Piratbyrån, a Swedish…anti-copyright organisation…So you cannot tell me that they had noble intentions at heart when they were founded by anti-copyright, pro-piracy organisations.

    You also asked about Google. Well, i think Google’s activities constitute fair use, because contrarily to TPB, the contents of Google are not restricted to one particular domain. TPB made audio, video, porn and the like available, while Google’s contents are not limited. But then again, i dont know. Nowhere is there any information on how Google reconciles what it does with the law relating to intellectual property. And of course, they’d be mad if they released said info! They must have some pretty sound IP lawyers who’ve drafted sturdy parameters so they can keep out of trouble. Where there has been blatant infringement, they’ve been fined, but on what basis would you sue them in other situations? Authorising infringement? Hmmm, that only requires you to take reasonable steps to limit the use of the means you have under your control to legitimate use. Google could debate that owing to the sheer amount of contents, it cannot take such measures…Not convincing…Just wondering, until someone finds the basis on which Google can be sued.

    Now to one interesting point you raised: about the dvd drives and the knife. I’ll ask you to refer what we said at the very beginning about authorising infringement. When you have under your control the means through which copyright can be infringed, you have to take reasonable steps to limit its use to legitimate purposes……………..Did you notice it? The flaw in your dvd drives / knife argument? THE ONE WHO MAKES THEM NO LONGER HAS THEM UNDER HIS CONTROL WHEN YOU BUY THEM!!

    In the case of CBS v Amstrad, the defendant manufactured tape recorders that allowed you to tape songs you hear on the radio. The plaintiffs claimed that they were authorising infringement, but they raised the excellent point that once the customer bought the tape recorder, it passed out of their control, so they were not authorising infringement.

    As for self-defence, what’s so weird about it??? Isnt it logic that you should only attack someone when you are in actual or imminent danger of being attacked yourself by that person?? Otherwise, anyone can claim that they think X is going to attack them soon, so they attack him first! I can say that i think Selven will attack me because i argue too much about copyright with him, so let me attack him first!

    See the danger of giving too large an interpretation to the expression “being in danger”? You have to be in danger, right now, with your attacker in front of you or pursuing you, intent on hitting or killing you, and the only way to get yourself out of that situation is to hit or kill him before he gets you.

    One thing i dont get: why did you bring suicide in in your last two posts??

  32. n!135h says:

    http://thepiratebay.org/blog/171

    “Wireless TPB

    The good people at the MAFIAA decided to sue. Not TPB, not the owners of TPB. Not even TPBs ISP. They decided to sue TPBs ISPs ISP.

    And you know what? They won. They made a court believe their #lies and they made them force the ISPs ISP to shut down access to TPB.

    TPB can be compared to the organisation that builds the roads for cars to drive on. The ISP can be compared to the organisation that creates the asphalt for the roads. The ISPs ISP can be compared to the organisation that creates the tools needed to the asphalt to be created. You would normally not sue that organisation if a car speeds.

    The MAFIAA has spent millions of dollars and endless amounts of time to get this ban in order. Our guess is that they also bribed a bit to get it since it violates so many laws not only in Sweden but also in the EU, not to mention violations against human rights. And what do they have to show for it? 3 hours of partial downtime.”

    OMG….more ridiculous (stupid?) as it goes….bah who has never wanted to get original stuffs… I still wait for games to go around Rs300~750 to buy them (those cheap edition..still original bt sold more previously to cover initial investmemnt) and should be worth it at the very least….. When will they get it that you can still make profit with quantity :S….ohh well

    I am no law expert but if the claims are true…makes it quite a frightening world be live in whereby money > everything, even stupidity.

    *sighs*

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