Print 98 comment(s) - last by IvanAndreevich.. on Jul 7 at 6:10 PM

How are you gentlemen!! All your free speech are belong to us. You are on the way to destruction... You have no chance to survive make your time.
Guilty verdict furthers copyright protection organizations dreams of banning free speech

The IFPI, RIAA, MPAA, and their international allies have led a crusade against copyright infringement over the last decade, which has seen record million dollar verdicts handed down against citizens for essentially petty theft.  Now, even as they continue their lawsuits, they eagerly await gaining new sets of legislated tools thanks to the lobbyist money they've been pouring into governments worldwide.  

We previously detailed how the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, set to be debated by the U.S. Congress later this year, currently contains a new crime called "imminent infringement", which is essentially copyright thoughtcrime.

Now courts in the Netherlands have added speechcrime to that list, essentially ruling that is illegal to even talk or write about piracy.  The case began last year when Dutch movie studio Eyeworks sued a Usenet community FTD for "making public" their film 
Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (A Woman At The Doctor).

Typically "making public" means you uploaded a file and shared it.  In some cases, the definition has been extended to posting links to infringed material.  However, in this case FTD's users neither posted copyrighted material nor links to it, they merely would "spot" locations of various films on Usenet and post them to the group (sans-links).

In May, in Dutch Federal court in the Hague FTD was handed a defeat.  The court issued an "ex parte injunction" banning the site's users from "spotting" under threat of punishment.

The FTD's lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet filed an objection (appeal) to the court order.  That objection was heard last week and FTD lost yet again when Dutch court essentially ruled a second time that free speech did not cover talking about or writing about piracy.

Speaking with 
TorrentFreak Engelfriet voiced his frustration, stating, "I am flabbergasted by the court’s reasoning.  It is established case law that publishing hyperlinks or torrents (Mininova, Pirate Bay) is *not* the same as a publication. FTD does less than what Mininova or Pirate Bay does, but according to the court we are more liable than they are?"

The Judge supported his decision citing a case in England involving a Usenet service called Newzbin.  Engelfriet describes, "They say that FTD is doing the same thing, and since the English courts held Newzbin liable for infringement, FTD must be liable too.  This completely ignores the technical differences between Newzbin and FTD. Newzbin is an NZB search engine through which you find codes to directly download from Usenet. FTD is a forum where people ’spot’ movies using messages in ordinary Dutch."

The FTD's unsuccessful defense was that it did not control the servers the material was hosted on and hand no control over potential downloaders and thus was not "making available".  The court said this was inconsequential and that guilt would be determined by establishing "whether the behavior of FTD allows users to download copyrighted files (in an easier manner) and thus makes such files available to the public."  And the court found they did.

Tim Kuik, director of Dutch copyright protection group BREIN cheered the decision, stating, "This is a collaboration between FTD and its users where they knowingly provide access to unauthorized files.  It’s clear that this is more than just talking about files like FTD wants people to believe."

Brein is suing the FTD in a second court case.  That case will go to court in October.  Kuik wants to see FTD shut down entirely and taken off the internet.

FTD may soon have a bit of vengeance, though.  Dutch elections are this week, and due to decisions like this one and the Sweden's multi-million dollar verdict against the owners of 
The Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party is picking up steam.  Writes a party spokesperson, "When reaching landmark decisions that overturn years of jurisprudence, neither the judge nor the issue is served when it turns out that the judge in question is in business with the copyright-lawyer from the party benefiting from this shocking verdict. The fact that this joint enterprise mainly offers courses on 'counter-piracy' at €900 per day, makes the situation appear even muddier still. If the Netherlands wants to avoid looking like a banana-republic where the law is for sale to the highest bidder, it is urgent that parliament takes control of the debate on copyright-reform, and brings it back into the public arena where this discussion belongs."

It has been established that the judge serving on 
The Pirate Bay case was a member of copyright organizations and may have financially benefited from the decision.  The Pirate Bay admins are currently appealing the case, hoping for a more unbiased day in court.  Despite the seemingly liberal nature of the Netherlands it has been leading the way in copyright enforcement, banningThe Pirate Bay and other sites entirely.

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RE: Free Speech
By reader1 on 6/9/2010 9:44:01 AM , Rating: -1
This was a good decision, but ultimately unnecessary. Closed-platforms are taking over and you won't be able to share files or discuss file sharing on them.

RE: Free Speech
By MrBlastman on 6/9/2010 9:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'm suprised your platform for existing has not been closed yet.

RE: Free Speech
By Varkyl on 6/9/2010 10:08:40 AM , Rating: 4
Obama is that you?

RE: Free Speech
By mcnabney on 6/9/2010 11:25:03 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't recognize Reader1 than you don't come to this board often enough.

RE: Free Speech
By Varkyl on 6/9/2010 12:44:04 PM , Rating: 4
No I do recognize his garbage but I am starting to wonder about who he really is. And that is why I asked the question.

That and it was a joke.

RE: Free Speech
By Camikazi on 6/9/2010 10:08:20 AM , Rating: 1
You know you should get a leg-up on everyone else... Go to your closed platform, pretend file sharing and talking of it is against the rules and disappear from here please.

RE: Free Speech
By Murloc on 6/9/2010 10:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
you can always hack closed platform and make them open.

RE: Free Speech
By reader1 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Free Speech
By themaster08 on 6/9/2010 10:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
Do you ever shut up about closed platforms?

RE: Free Speech
By JediJeb on 6/9/2010 10:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
I can't decide if he is actually an Apple or MicroSoft fan, since both seem to have this mentality.

RE: Free Speech
By reader1 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Free Speech
By The Raven on 6/9/2010 11:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
Hell, you can make your own platform. They can close them up and we can/will make new open ones. You can't stop freedom. Ever. You can screw with it, but you can't stop it permanently. People will eventually rise up if the costs are too high.

RE: Free Speech
By hughlle on 6/9/2010 11:05:01 AM , Rating: 1
when was that last time ANY locked, closed, restricted, tie-activated, younameit commercial software was not hacked wide open. i'd be interested to know if there is one, i doubt it.

it's been how many years and we havn't even managed to stomp out flesh and blood real pirates, they still run up and down the water taking boats and recieving huge ransoms, and they think they are going to be able to control everyone on the earth? hehehe, amusing, very amusing

RE: Free Speech
By corduroygt on 6/9/2010 1:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much anything tied to a server, as long as you don't hack the server, is locked.
Examples include xbox live, your cable box, the apple app store, etc. You'd have to hack the provider's servers for that.

RE: Free Speech
By Sonikku13 on 6/9/2010 10:17:43 PM , Rating: 1
That will only happen if there is censorship of the internet. And that infringes on our human rights. "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." - Article 19 of the UDHR. This article guarantees freedom of expression. By your logic, reader1, you're agreeing to violate human rights by censoring the internet. "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein." - Article 30 of the UDHR. Unfortunately, you can't take away human rights from people, especially in first world countries. However, there is this thing called electronic civil disobedience. "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin. The people who have decided not to let their human rights be taken away have turned to electronic civil disobedience. "Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.…The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip." - Ronald Reagan. The ease of information transmission due to the internet doesn't allow the repression of minority views - proxy servers can bypass internet censorship in China. Because of proxy servers - closed platforms will never completely (my definition is 100% market share) take over. There will always be a free, open alternative. There will always be file sharing networks.

And yes, I know I'm fighting a troll...

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