Posts Tagged ‘Copyright

17
Mar
09

I’m the boss of the Internet!

Contrary to what Opassande(sv) claims, it is I who is Sparta…eh I mean the boss of the Internet! I rule all and everyone does my bidding! If the content industry needs someone to broker deals with they should turn to me. This goes double for you Pär Strömbäck, spokes person of the Computer Gaming Industry(sv)

Mr Strömbäck claims that the “Pirate Camp” is responsible for the Big Brother craze that is sweeping not only Sweden but the rest of the world. He also tries his hand at a Bureau for Piracy rhetoric saying:

Its pointless to discuss whether we should have copyright or not. It’s like asking if we should have the Internet or not.

Well it’s a good thing for you then that The Pirate Party doesn’t fight for the abolishment of copyright. But when 79% of young men(sv)15-29 say that the law you just made the Swedish government pass is a bad idea, maybe you should take a step back and rethink your position. Out of all 1000 asked 48% said the law was bad, 32% said it was good and the rest were undecided.

Sweden’s Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask ignores the issue and says:

Sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions.

Yes… Uncomfortable… You’re turning the Internet into the Filternet and all you can say is its uncomfortable? You’re allowing for corporations with vast monetary resources to seize and raid homes with no more “proof” then a screenshot that any 10yo with a 500€ computer can forge and this only qualifies as uncomfortable?

I for one will be glad to see her go at the election next year.

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04
Mar
09

The suspense is killing me!

April 17th 11:00 UTC +1

That’s how long we have to wait for the verdict. It’s far too long for me. It’s totally a roll of the die, even if each of the sides in court are 100% completely utterly confident that their side will prevail. The Pirate Bay crew have been collecting most of the legal and media points during these two weeks, and we seen the prosecution behave like assholes on several occasion. Slandering Roger Wallis and shouting at the judge being their gravest missteps. But the political nature of the case makes it impossible to predict. 

Even worse though is that April 17th may yield nothing more than a “We will have to request a statemt from the EU”. Delaying the verdict from this instance about 2 years. After that there are two more instances to go through. It’s very likely that this issue will be done with politically and socially long before the case is settled.

The defense unanimously told the court that the case the prosecutor has put forth is utter rubbish. That it in no way ties either of the defendants to any of the acts of copyright infringement covered in the case. They can’t even legally prove that any copyright infringement took place in Sweden, let alone that TPBs servers where used in any way. Based on the lack of evidence it’s impossible to convict anyone of “assisting making available”. Their claims that 90% of the content on TPB is infringing copyright isn’t proven and the only thing on trial here seems to be the technology. The attitudes and political views of the defendants are not grounds for a guilty verdict. Also, since the core of the Internet is links to other information, simply pointing to something can not be sufficient to be found guilty in a court of law.

The defense did point out the math error of the prosecution yesterday, where 4 banners turned into 64, multiplying the estimated money earned by 16. And made a point of telling the court that even if the prosecution couldn’t get the source code to the tracker from the police, which the prosecution complained about yesterday. That source code is freely available on TPB for download. 

Some time was spent on whether paragraph 16 or 18 of the European e-commerce directive is the applicable one. Paragraph 16 says that a relayer of information is not responsible for the content. 18 says that a storage service is responsible for the content they store. In my opinion TPB steers clear of both. The torrent contains no copyright protected content and the only thing they transmit is metadata.

The defense also reminds the court that when the prosecution brought witnesses they brought CEOs that had little to no understanding of the technology and had done no research on their own. Nor had they read and comprehended any independent research and spent their time on the witness stand pushing their political views.

IFPI ceo John Kennedy even told the court that his wife keeps him away from the car because he’s that technically challenged.

When the prosecution was faced with an independent researcher who is also a practicing composer, former board member of a collection society for musicians, member of the governments IT council and professor emeritus at one of Sweden’s foremost technical universities, they resort to slander. 

The defense also points out the enormous consequences the trial will have on the Internet if their clients are found guilty. The Internet as we know it would have to be closed down if you are legally responsible of everything you link to.

More at SVD(sv), DN(sv), The Local, Torrent Freak, Wired, Threat Level

26
Feb
09

Producer of Pusher 3 sueing The Pirate Bay, against his will?!

So Henrik Danstrup, producer of Pusher 3, a movie that is used in the case against The Pirate Bay is less then pleased at seeing his creation being used as ammunition against(sv) TPB. 

It’s strange. I’m very understanding of piracy and my sympathies lie with the pirates. The movie business needs to find a new model to earn money with instead of living in the past.

Nordisk Film on the other hand couldn’t care less about the creator and Irene Mikkelsen told Denmarks Radio that they support the Anti-Piracy Bureau fully. 

IFPI spends 82 000 000€ on this yearly. I wonder what the MPA spends on creating badwill for their clients…

26
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 9

Haven’t been able to post for a few days. Back to back shifts at work and a busy weekend. I started translating the testimony with Peter Sunde and have done 40 mins of that so far. 6000 words and counting. I have a few days off now so I hope to complete a number of posts before Monday.

First some awesome news. The Pirate Party of Sweden is steadily increasing it’s number of members and currently we’re at 11042 members making us larger then both The Left party and The Greens at 10700 and 9110 members respectively! Next party to beat is The Liberal party at 17799. Here you can look(sv) at a Swedish wiki detailing party membership numbers over time. Do note the steady decline in numbers across the board among all parties in the parliament. (columns s, m, c, kd, fp, v, mp) Dare I hope for 17800 before the EU election? 

To day the court heard testimonies from Roger Wallis, a classical composer,  professor of media technology and electronic arts at KTH, member of the governments IT advisory commission and former board member of the collection society STIM. I love this guy. No seriously! Let’s look at some quotes!

Defense attorney Peter Althin (defends Peter Sunde) asks:

A: Your interest for file sharing, how did that come to be? Is it a result of the research you have done?

W: A little bit of both. I’m a practicing composer, mostly for my grand kids, but I’m also a researcher and have always been fascinated by new  technology. It started with the compact cassette of the 80’s. We had the very same debate at that time, they wanted to stop it.

A: Who are they?

W: The music and movie industry, the pushed the case all the way to the supreme court in the US but lost in the betamax case… They also dragged the Hamstradt (sp?) Amstrad case all the way to the supreme court in England. And what fascinated me with the cassette technology was how it revolutionized the ability for anyone to cheaply participate in the music industry. We got cassettes with multiple tracks which mean that you didn’t have to record at Abbey Road, Beatles Studio, to record music. You could record in your basement, and I became very interested in how  that effected the range of products on the market. And when I saw file sharing and the file sharing technology emerge… I wanted to know what benefits it had. Historically, every shift in technology has prompted the same reaction from the established companies. Trying to stop it and demonising the people using the new technology. And the best example of this that has really interested me was the introduction of radio in the US In the 1920’s. Back then the note publishers were the big ones and they attempted to ban all music on radio with the argument that if we can listen to music on the radio then the value of copyright will collapse and no one will write music any more.

A: Is there any relation between downloads and lost sales?

W: That depends on what kind of sales you are referring to. There’s a clear relation between downloads and sales of concert tickets. It’s true that CD sales have declined but it’s also impossible to pin a specific number on the decline. 

<Wallis digresses from the question>

A: Is there a direct causality on effects of downloads and lost sales? Is 10 000 downloads the same amount of lost sales?

W No, there’s a multitude of factors that effects the decline in sales. The most important reason is that the CD isn’t a practical form of distribution when people want their music on their computers or on MP3. That’s the most important reason. There are other things competing for your wallet. Cell phones, video, DVD, video games. Many of the reports, I hear a few being mentioned here, Libevitz and a whole slew of other reports that all show conflicting results. Most of these where made between 2002 and 2006. And what we learned from Music Lessons which was done 2005 to 2007/2008 explain some of the problems with analyzing this field. Many assumed that file sharers where a homo-gene group who where only driven by a desire to get stuff gratis. Our research, which we have done with The World Internet Institute who conduct research all over Europe, was that there are many types of file sharers. One group, we call them the Enthusiasts, download illegally, but buy more cinema tickets, more tracks on iTunes and so on. They are the the core of the fans that build the market, they go to concerts more. Another large group that we named Free Riders, are the same kind of people that home taped in the 80’s and gave to their friends and that never bought anything. The problems they caused was compensated for by a tax on blank media. But, if you arent sure wich of these groups you are looking at your results will be unreliable. 

This guy has done so much research into the subject that IFPI lawyer Peter Danowsky is terrified. So terrified that he doesn’t dare poke at Wallis’ arguments with a ten foot stick. Instead he attempts to discredit Wallis by insinuating that he is a part time hobbyist. I can’t be sure how the court will view his attack on Wallis but a reporter in the court room was reported to say “they just lost the case“(sv). 

An epic moment came when Anti-Piracy Bureau lawyer Henrik Pontén asks Wallis where to find his CV. Wallis reply was basically: omfg l2google!

Wallis was understandably irritated. The music industry likes to ridicule him and a few days ago Henrik Pontén had called different researchers at KTH and asked questions about Wallis’ credibility. Most touching of all was when at the end, the court asked what he asked of the court as compensation. 

“Flowers for my wife.”

Even though this all happened today she’s already gotten flowers from someone thanking Wallis for finally bringing the artists into the debate. EFnet has a newly formed IRC channel for people who wish to send flowers to Wallis’ wife. Last time the netizens of Sweden had a flower campaign we sent so many flowers that the Swedish Parliament ran out of vases to put them in. I doubt the result from this will be anything less than astounding.

20
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 5

Today we got to hear Peter Sunde aka Brokep testify.

He kept his cool for the most part, but IFPI lawyer Peter Danowsky incurs his wrath during the following exchange:

D: Have you held a key note called “How to Dismantle a Million Dollar Industry as a hobby”?

S: Yes

D: Do you mention your view on copyright in that key note? [sic]

S: That’s a political question, I thought this was a court of law, not of politics!

Shortly after Danowsky ask Sunde about a blog post of his, and Sunde first questions the relevancy then says

S: Is this a political trial, or a legal trial, could I have an answer?

D: No you can’t.

The prosecution manage to get themselves reprimanded by the judge since they for the second day in a row keep introducing surprise evidence. This is not acceptable in a Swedish court and a great argument erupts prompting the court to adjourn it self. Upon return it tells the prosecution to hand over any and all surprise evidence to the defense so that they can read it. Prosecution complained that they weren’t sure they would need it but eventually caves.

We also get to hear right wing millionaire Carl Lundström testify. I keep reading it for something interesting but all it says is that he removed himself from the site because his lawyers recommended him to. He is questioned on several canceled business ventures with TPB and further explains that he would have liked to do business with TPB because it’s a strong brand that attract you people. He donated hardware to TPB while he saw a possibility to do business with them, but after he pulled out he was paid for the hardware.

The Local summarizes.

Also on TorrentFreak and ZeroPaid

Another great read is the interview with author Sam Sunberg – The Pirate Bay ‘best for choice and efficiency’

And yes, I bought the book. Multiple copies in fact. Even though the distributors supports IPRED, and should burn in hell. I feel dirty. I just hope Sam and co author Anders Rydell have good contracts so they get most of my money.

18
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 3

I’m reading through the English articles I found over at Scaber Nestor. He’s also tracking articles in the rest of Europe, Asia and South America. Most of them are fairly neutral, but this one was a favorite. But that probably mostly because it has a video clip and I could rest my eyes for a bit. I’m wondering though why the reporter keeps calling the site The Pirate Web when all text, logos and everyone interviewed calls it The Pirate Bay? BBC also has a good and thorough article. It even covers some of the very shady dealings the content industry have a hand in. Theres a huge list in Swedish over at Political Blogger of the year award winner Opassande. I’ve been dying to translate it, perhaps later tonight.

As you might expect Prosecutor Håkan Roswall continues to deliver. This morning he was claiming that the amended charge sheet was merely a small adjustment(sv) and should not be seen as the prosecution dropping the charges. The court requests to know if either of IFPI, MPAA or the Anti-Piracy Bureau wants to pick up the charges. Mr Roswall responds by saying that prosecution might need a recess to discuss this, but then decides not to…

Thankfully he is getting a lot less room today when IFPI lawyer Peter Danowsky, MPAA lawyer Monique Wadsted and Anti-Piracy Bureau lawyer Henrik Pontén will be making their cases against the crew of The Pirate bay and attempt explain and justify their ridiculous 13.9m € damage claims.

Danowsky argues as follows:

  • When these downloads occurred legal download sites offered the same content at an average price of 10€.
  • The record labels cut of this was 6.5€.
  • Every download is lost sale.
  • TPB are mean to rights holders that are demanding TPB follows non-applicable law (usually the DMCA).
  • TPB has hindered the development of legal services since IFPI can’t compete with gratis.
  • Sharing of songs that IFPI isn’t even selling is particularly bad and IFPI will thus demand up to 10x the ordinary 6.5€ for each such download. (Beatles 1Q is 10x)

Well, Statens Kriminaltekniska Labratorium (SKL), which is the closest Sweden has to CSI, who investigated the hardware and other materials seized during the raid against TPB, did among others things look at the code for HyperCube. This is the webserver software that Ankata wrote in C and was previously used to run TPB. SKL found bugs in the download counters. Since the prosecution is unwilling to detail the bugs I’m assuming that they either don’t understand how the bugs effects the number of reported downloads or they are trying to downplay the significance of the bugs.

Further more the claim that each download is a lost sale is based on nothing more than fantasies. It’s being thrown out of US courts and defies the most basic concepts of supply and demand. In fact independant research shows that the economy benefits from file sharing. KTH and Hardvard have published similar reports, i might update with links later.

Humorous side note, Danowsky had to clarify that one the songs in the original charges had been removed (labeled 1J), this because it turned out that they did in fact not own the rights to this song.

Pontén argues as follows:

  • APB agrees with the reasoning of IFPI/Danowsky
  • Were TPB to acquire a world wide license from the clients of APB this would have cost 700 000 sek (~64 000 €)
  • Alternative they could go for 60% of an average full price sale (their cut) per download. ~6€
  • Bugs in HyperCube is not the fault of APB or their clients and should be ignored.
  • Goodwill has been lost since release date are “planned in great detail”.
  • We seek twice the amount in damages for loss of goodwill.
  • The movies in question have been seen next to ads for sexual services.

Sexual services? Brokep comments on twitter. We are dying to see them try to prove that one! Prosecution are also cheap bastards that refused to pay for Brokeps pizza after the trial today (also on twitter). 🙂

Wadsted argues as follows:

  • Policing torrents on a site with 22m users is just as easy as deleting a word document.
  • Production of copies and giving access to copies are sides of the same coin.
  • Even though the DVD of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released on DVD on in March 2006 it was available on TPB in February 2006.
  • TPB recievs huge traffic and has ads, therefore earns huge amounts of money

Here it bares pointing out that the most common source for pre-release material is from people inside of the industry. Maybe you have an uncle that operates a projector at a cinema, a music journalist that’s a child hood friend of yours and so on. The argument about the ads is quite funny aswell. She knows that any serious adds on TPB are targeted by the lawyers and the companies behind them are threatened with contributory copyright infringement unless the remove their ads from TPB. Further she has yet to provide any froof of the claim that TPB has earned these huge amounts of money. TPB is a top 100 site and has ads, thus it makes money.

Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc.

She also has the gall to complain that there is more demand for content without DRM than there is for content infected with it. In her world DRM adds value and we should all pay extra for that…

At this point the defense replies to the charges:

Wadsted counters with a claim that:

“The works were available on the day in question”.

The Court:

“It would be useful for the court to know, in the case that the court decides to reject the case before it, does the plaintiff wish assume the responsibility to proceed with the dropped charges on behalf of the prosecution”?

Wadsted:

“No”

Ok, maybe a slightly convoluted translation, but I think you get the point.

Further arguments of the defense:

  • The statistics on the TPB are unreliable.
  • The content on the site is generated by the users.
  • No copyright protected material can be found on the servers.
  • The crew of the site is in fact much larger that the four being charged today.
  • The mere existence of a torrent on TPB is not equal to making copyright protected material available
  • The torrent on TPB does in no way prove that the user that uploaded it was connected to the server at the given time let alone prove that the uploader actually had the file on his or her computer.
  • The supplier of a search engine can never be made responsible for the information found through it, or file transfers made.
  • A cornerstone of the Internet is links to information, and a torrent file is such a link, meaning you have a right to provide such links.
  • European e-commerce law declares freedom from responsibility for the parties that supply the technology. And in the case of BitTorrent what’s being transfered isn’t even the copyright protected content.
  • There is no correlation between the number of downloads and economic loss.
  • Its claimed that the majority the torrents on TPB link to copyright protected works. This is not true, hasn’t been proven and the lawyer of Peter Sunde promises to expand on this later.
  • The legal counsel for Carl Lundström claims that no more than 20% of the material on TPB is protected by copyright.
  • On each of the specific charges it is clearly stated what user is responsible for uploading the torrent to TPB.

The different lawyers for the different defendants made further arguments on top of this, but they are concerning the specific and individual involvement of each individual defendant. I see little reason to list them. They all deny all forms of involvement in any form of copyright infringement. Carl Lundström denies any and all involvement with TPB since 2005 (raid was 2006).

SR International interviews The Bureau of Piracy and STIM, and their lawyer Lars Henriksson naturally confuses free with gratis. He also says that developers of file sharing platforms should come to them and conform to their business model.

Parallel to the trial, ABBA founder Björn Ulvaeus demands we stop criticizing the law just pay dammit! Long time ABBA fan and author Anna Troberg responded with “I don’t mind paying with money, but I’ll sure as hell not pay with my freedoms or rights!” Writer Gene Oberto responds on The Local and on Newsmill, a liberal debate site, hundreds of readers commented on Mr Ulvaeus article saying pretty much the same thing.

WE ARE NOT PAYING WITH OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES OR HUMAN RIGHTS!

Other day 3 reports:

TorrentFreak, Another 15 Minutes, Happily Ever After Time?, P2pNET

18
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 2

So looking through the articles that got caught in my feed searches today I fonud some better translations of what Prosecutor Roswall did when he amended the charges earlier today. “Complicity in the production of copyrighted material” was removed from the charge sheet. the defense is naturally very happy to hear this, whilst Mr Roswall refused to comment with a

“I have a lot on my mind right now”

Peter Danowsky, who represents IFPI, said to TT that:

“It’s a largely technical issue that changes nothing in terms of our compensation claims and has no bearing whatsoever on the main case against The Pirate Bay. In fact it simplifies the prosecutor’s case by allowing him to focus on the main issue, which is the making available of copyrighted works”

Its only been two days and both sides are equally dug in in their opinion on the state of the trial. With the possible exception of government prosecutor Håkan Roswall. Perhaps all that googeling on DHT cramped his style. I cannot for the life of me understand how he is stills ill prepared after three years worth of investigating.

Christian Engström(sv), first in line to take seat in the EU parliament if the Pirate Party receives enough votes in the upcoming election is a former juryman meaning has first hand knowledge of this stage of the Swedish justice system.  On Rick Falkvinge’s blog he comments:

“It’s possible that the jurymen can’t keep up with all the technical details. This is not necessary as a juryman. But you are keenly aware of the sound of crackling prosecution and can easily tell when the prosecutor hasn’t done his his job”.

Monique Wadsted did not leave Mr Roswall alone on the stage of failure today. Projo(sv) pointed out a news clip with Rick Falkvinge, Gottfrid Swartholm, Peter Sunde and quote maker Monique Wadsted. The reporter asks her:

“It’s the opinion of a lot of people that these laws have not kept up with technological advances”.

Wadsted replies:

“Regardless of the law…”

*Picks up jaw from floor*

Sorry, lets try that again.

“Regardless of the law, it is still not allowed to make money off of others copyright, eh, others copyright protected material with out paying for it.”

Not only does she claim that the law doesn’t matter, she very interestingly freuds copyright instead of copyright protected material. Could it be that making money off of others copyrights is EXACTLY what she does for a living?

That Youtube clip points me to another interesting one via the links at the end. It’s an interview with private law prof. Jan Rosén(sv). Eh I mean, Jan Rosén, president of the Association for Copyright(sv). This guy has repeatedly been interviewed in Swedish Olde Media under the unbiased guise of a private law professor. The Swedish blogosphere did not let this go by unnoticed and has given him the nickname Janne Jävig. It’s wordplay and doesn’t really translate but jävig means biased and Janne is merely a common nickname of people with the name Jan. It appears though that all media hasn’t picked up on this. Either that or the simply don’t mind lying to their viewers/readers.

Also related, The League of Noble Peers have released a Trial Edition of their Steal This Film as reported by TorrentFreak. They also link to some really funny quotes from the interrogations of Brokep, TiAMO and Ankata.