Why did the lawyer cross the road? To give P2P users a
letter to sign admitting their guilt. I
know it was a ridiculous joke, but this is a ridiculous situation.
Last week, a Norwegian law firm decided to
take piracy matters into their own hands by ordering local ISP’s to distribute
letters to roughly 300 customers who were suspected of sharing files online
illegally. Luckily, the Norwegian
Consumer Council stepped in and halted the insanity.
The letter sent out by Simonsen Advokatfirma DA,
representing the Norwegian video association, includes a confession of guilt
for illegal file sharing and makes customers liable for all past and future
sharing of files. NCC legal officer,
Hans Marius Graasvold, released statements opposing the letter, warning
customers not to sign it.
“Under no circumstance should a consumer sign this statement
letter,” says NCC legal officer, Hans Marius Grassvold. “The statement deprives the consumer of due
process and puts him in a state of critical legal uncertainty, with practically
unlimited legal responsibility. We
cannot imagine that this law firm would ever advice their own clients to sign
such a letter!”
The Norwegian ISP has joined the NCC in protest against the
letter signing, advising their members not to spread the letter around, or
customers signing it. Now, the NCC holds
copyright laws in high regards, but it feels that any case of unlawful activity
should be handled only by the courts.
This really is not a matter of copyright infringement itself
but more a matter of private firms taking the law into their own hands. Graasvold claims that the law firm is trying
to push the whole legal system out of the picture and uphold justice
Simonsen claims that ISPs should be the ones to step up and
shut down customers internet services if they notice unlawful activity. Graasvold believes otherwise, claiming, “Today,
Internet connection is regarded as a service of general good, and closing
someone’s Internet access in such cases would be a violation of that person’s human
right to participate in society.”
It seems the private firm believes justice is not being
upheld by the courts; therefore it is its duty to take a stand. I would have thought the letter to be an April
fools’ joke, but the Simonsen is quite serious about it. So, it looks like as long as the NCC is still
standing, the courts will be holding the legal guns.
quote: We're all automatically guilty according to the RIAA.Because we aren't buying as much of their music, we must be stealing it.They believe this clearly rather than accepting that... maybe... A big part of their decreased revenue has to do with the crap they keep trying to call "music" that they pander to to us.This case in Norway is pretty despicable. Good for the people standing up and fighting against it.