Posts Tagged ‘Sweden

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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08
Mar
09

EDB fires people for their political views.

IT solutions group EDB terminated a contract with a consulting firm concerning one Jonas Bergling who is the local rep for the Swedish Pirate Party in Örebro. Last monday he answered question on a chat with readers of Nerikes Allehanda a local daily newspaper on the subject of Piraty Party principles, surviellance societies and The Pirate Bay trial. When he started working for EDB he was upfront with his position in the party with his closest supervisor and has never used company time for political purposes. 

EDBs policy says:

Political activity 3.3 EDB does not give support to political parties, neither in the form of direct financial support nor paid working time. Employees participating in political activities will be granted leave from their work in accordance with the law and agreements.

Seeing as his participation in the chat was during his spare time, he has clearly not violated company policy. 

Generally, firing people in Sweden is tricky business. There’s alot of laws that strictly regulates how you can fire people. But since Jonas wasn’t employed by EDB but instead with the consulting firm, they bypass these laws. 

Jonas had been told that his chances at getting a permanent position were very good and that the company were just waiting on a clearer picture of the direction of the economy before offering him a job. But after leaving work this Thursday EDB called him and said that they had no interest in being connected to the subjects the chat concerned. Upon returning to the consulting firm he was told to hand in security pass and keys to them, and that he is not welcome and EDBs offices anymore. Not even to say goodbye to his friends at work.

Terminating a contract in this way for someones political views is dispicable!

Swedish blogs covering the subject:

Nyhetsskribent.se, Leo Erlandsson, Opassande, Insane Meditation, Ung Pirat Mattias Bjärnemalm

-Update: Now also on SvD(sv) – EDB head office denies everything and the Örebro office of the consulting firm is unreachable.

02
Mar
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 11

Closing arguments. Nothing really surprising here except maybe that the prosecutor didn’t ask for the maximum  two years of prison time. Prosecutor Roswall claims that there are 64 ad spaces on the site and at an estimated 3500sek/week The Pirate Bay has earned over 10 000 000sek. Problem with that is that there are only 4 banner spaces(sv). So income from banners is 1/16th of that. And since hardware costs are around 80 000sek/month (estimate by anakata at the press conference before the trial) on average that makes TPB a loss generating project.

But then again these lawyers don’t care about the money. It’s not going to the artists anyways. All they want is to label TPB illegal so they can strong arm ISPs to block it. Effectively shutting creators that take advantage of radically shorter distance between creator and consumer that file sharing allows, out of their most important market. 

IFPI tried this just a week earlier in Norway, but it din’t turn out so well.

Interesting to note as well is that Swedish media is talking less and less about different outfits protecting the rights of the artists. Instead they word it as protecting the rights holder. This is of course welcome. 

Much much sadder, but not at all unexpected, was that the IPRED over implementation was passed into law last week. A quick run down on how this works:

  1. Rights holders are granted special permission to store sensitive personal information about civilians. Data that is otherwise strictly protected by law.
  2. A rights holder goes to the court and claims that a certain IP is infringing on their pattern privileges and the court forces the ISP to hand over the identity behind the IP. Swedish police cannot do this, so the copyright lobby are given more rights than any other authority in Sweden. 
  3. The copyright lobby can now freeze your bank accounts and seize your property. What you need to realize here is that they will always target the owner of the account at the ISP. So the actual file sharer could be anyone at this point. 
  4. Next they will raid your house, seizing any and all computer and IT related equipment and anything else they can motivate the need for. Have private pictures of your bf/gf/spouse, well tough luck. Unusual sexual preferences? Political views? Diaries? Anonymous blogs? Accounting for your home business? The lobby will seize it all and not only for the one named on the Internet account. Every member of that family will get their lives seized. 
  5. Now they will hand you an extortion letter. It will demand that you hand over a large sum of money or they will drag you to court and sue you for many times this amount. With no computer, no cell phones, no access to your accounts you will be given 10 days or so to reply. 
  6. If you for some reason choose to stand your ground you situation is as follows: You will have to go to court and prove your innocence. There will be no lawyers with experience in pattern privileges cases available to you since they are most likely being used by or have been used by the copyright lobby. Since this is civil law your insurance will most likely not cover your expenses. And what money you have is frozen. 
  7. If you loose you have to pay for the expenses of the lobby. You will also be forced to pay for ads in newspapers detailing the crimes you were just convicted of. 

This new law allows for everything detailed above. You are at the mercy of the whims of the rights holders. And considering their track records in the US, UK and Denmark they will use any legal tool they have access to with full force. 

MEPs try to sooth us with promises that rights holders wont behave like this because it would generate badwill. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry here. They aren’t interested in avoiding badwill. They want us to fear them, so we stop developing our own society, shut up and empty our wallets in their laps.

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

A history of Sweden’s Piratpartiet

Ars Technica takes a look at the history behind The Pirate Party SE. It covers a lot of areas, from the first line that Falkvinge dropped in a chat (on DC iirc) to Sweden’s broadband situation and Young Pirate. 

It doesn’t mention The Bureau of Piracy though. Not that we always agree with each other. But they have done awesome work showing up for debates long before Sweden had a Pirate Party and their contribution can not be neglected.

15
Feb
09

Rage is rising

The blog has been collecting dust since i couldn’t sustain my rage over the FRA-Law while working. But now it seems I’m getting pissed off again. Sweden’s most important political trial of the decade starts tomorrow and today saw the start of The Spectrial. The word, a play on spectacle and trial, is the name TPB and The Bureau of Piracy has given the trial and their activities surrounding it.

Today, they both held a joint press conference at noon, wich was streamed via Bambuser(sv/en). There was some chaos prior to that though when for some unknown reason all servers belonging to The Pirate Party(en) suddenly went offline. It turned out a a fan in a firewall had made its last revolutions and thus caused the whole thing to overheat. So PP’s coverage of The Spectrial had a slightly rocky start.

Something that has been a bit of a deal in the days leading up to the press conference was that due history between TPB and certain news media in Sweden, three large ones where banned from the press conference. TV4 a commercial TV channel and Aftonbladet a Swedish tabloid where banned for their unprofessional handling of the controversy surrounding the Arboga murders.

Another newspaper, Metro was banned for a series of articles claiming that TPB hosted child pornography, but when asked by the TPB crew for the links so that TPB could hand the issue over to the police, metro refused.

The press conference itself seemed to work out well from what I could tell from the Bambuser feed (Ankata sure likes to interrupt people though). But journalists of Olde Media(sv) where probably a bit startled when it turned out they where, in accordance with the R/W Culture of the web, expected to participate right of the bat and ask questions.

Right now it feels like the calm before the storm. Olde Media have just started pushing out content from the press conference, pirates are gearing up across the board and tomorrow all hell will probably break loose. My experince of the media coverage of the FRA-Law tells me that tomorrows papers will be much akin to Highlander, in that there can only be one subject on the front pages. P3, one of the national radio channels will interrupt its normal programming to send a SIX hours special(sv) on piracy, copyright and the trial. Pirate author Anna Troberg(sv) will be on the show(sv), no big suprise to any of the regular daytime listeners of the channel perhaps. The host of the special has had Anna on radio several times already.

Swedish national TV will broadcast the audio feed live (Swedish constitution prohibits video recordings of trials), a historical first.

Its going to be a hectic two weeks to be sure. And regardless of the outcome in this instance, which will pretty much be decided by the roll of a die, sweden will yet again evolve the relation between the social and olde media. Great things happened in the wake of the FRA-Law and this trial will change media landscape again. And I’m certain, it will be for the better.

Images from the Spectrial Press Conference (also of the S23k mobile press center)

martinloquist

17
Jun
08

Endgame

I got in to this a bit late and really wish I could have been there both this morning and tomorrow. But my schedule prohibits trips to the capitol, so the live web feed will have to do. The Centre Party showed that they could play the game as well as anyone else. All 29 of their MP’s demanded that the bill goes back to the drawing board, of sorts, or they vote and sink the government. Problem is there are alot of loopholes available at the moment to sneak Lex Orwell past the public and the media. Announcing the new vote and voting can be done in a matter of hours if timed well and its unclear if the announcement must reach all MP’s before the vote.

I was quite hopeful earlier but this is starting to smell.

There where a few more speakers, but none added anything that hadn’t been covered earlier today, though not by me so far. If you read swedish you can follow the links to the live blogs that where at the parliament today.

Gunvor G Ericsson (mp)

She asked the very interesting question where all the fear is coming from. There is no established threat to swedish interests on a scale that warrants this enormous breach of our Civil liberties.

Gunilla Whalén (v)

More of the same, though I guess its hard to be original when you asked for time at the stand at the door and only have four minutes to play with. Still, she, like most was astounded by the public interest in the issue and cited a few emails. One of which pointed out that someone with families abroad would be constantly monitored.

The way she worded her objection to the Centres demands that the bill be sent back for a new round of considerations made me smile: more control of the ones controlling the controllers will simply not work.

Finn Bengtsson (m)

At the end evil rears its head and brought a dictionary as a weapon. The threats are real! I have big words to prove it. He could have been speaking lolspeak for all i care, it would have made just about as many listen. His main reason to enact Lex Orwell seems to be that:

  • This area needs regulation
  • Discontinuing FRA would be irresponsible.
  • Since the opponents have no alternative, we must vote yes.

Strange reasoning since:

  • FRA is acting illegally today and this obviously means there are laws regulating their actions. Which they ignore.
  • Keeping this operation alive even though it violates laws and produces no results is the irresponsible option. Even more irresponsible is to extend their jurisdiction and ignore their history of organized crime.
  • The alternative is obviously to have no mass surveillance of our citizens and it is far better than avoiding imaginerrorists.

The vote is tomorrow and from what it looks like the bill will be sent back to a improvised round of considerations. No one knows when the next vote will be, or who will be present. In all this day was pretty anti climatic.

Update: I forgot to mention that Karl Sigfrid that I mentioned earlier as one of the four needed to stop the bill got an offer he couldnt refuse and will now not vote at all. Our primeminister carries a nasty whip apparently.