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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: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By Iaiken on 6/9/2010 10:11:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Isn't socialism grand?


I find that Ironic since the whole Anti-piracy push (and all the pressure resultant from it) that lead to this debacle originated in the "land of the free".

The US government wanted to keep the whole damned thing secret until it was enacted as law in all of the participating nations. Here in Canada, the request for information on it in wound up going all the way to the supreme court before it was finally OK'd. This lead to the Canadian governments backpedaling (much to the disappointment of the US) for almost a year after the public outcry.

So before you poopoo the Dutch, you might want to look at your own governments desire to be able to search, seize and destroy electronics at customs solely on the suspicion that it contains infringing materials. The US governments toadying to the RIAA and MPAA is where the impetus for this whole mess came from.


RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By MrBlastman on 6/9/2010 10:18:14 AM , Rating: 5
While our own Government has not been innocent (when has it ever?), they can not bar our right to talk about things unless they amend our constitution to absolve the first amendment. In order to do that, they'd have to remove the second amendment also.

Good luck with that.


RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By reader1 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
By Digimonkey on 6/9/2010 12:36:49 PM , Rating: 3
They can block whatever discussions they want if you're on their site. That in no way has to do with violating your freedom of speech.

If you wrote an article on a different site about how to block adds, and a site like The Tech Report sued you and won in a court of law, now that would be a violation of your freedom of speech.


By rcc on 6/9/2010 1:54:44 PM , Rating: 3
That's always been the case. Freedom of speech only guarantees that the government won't impede your right to say whatever absurb thing trips your trigger..... within limits.

However, if you stand in someone's house and expound on your opinion that his daughter is a slut.... he has the right to evict you.

Same with a web site. It's not public space, so they are free to put whatever restrictions they like on their forums, etc. If you don't like their restrictions, it's your right to take your custom elsewhere.


RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By AssBall on 6/9/2010 11:06:38 AM , Rating: 5
Well said Mr. Blastman. And I'm going to get auto-rated down, but I'll say it anyway.

Let any motherfucker in power that wants to even try to dick with either amendment just try it and and be a personal witness to the shit storm they induce. I'll take a free American redneck over a pushed over conforming Dutchman any day.


RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By Dorkyman on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By AssBall on 6/9/2010 12:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Your mother IS ashamed of me!


By quiksilvr on 6/9/2010 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
He was referring to the motherfucker comment, I think...


RE: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law...
By mcnabney on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
By Azure Sky on 6/9/2010 1:38:32 PM , Rating: 1
and this somehow suprises you?

most of these "revolutionists" are just big talkers who also believe that if its called the patriot act, it must be patriotic!!!

you know thats a big part of why alot of people voted for it, they just didnt have the time to read and understand the act, so rather then risk not getting re-elected due to people bringing up how UN-patriotic they are(because they didnt vote for it) they just caved in to bush admin and voted it into law.

Im sad to say I am american, our govt caters to the mpaa/riaa and anybody else who has the money to pay the right people off....

i just need to win the lotto and move to a nice island someplace where I wont have to deal with this crap :P


By Lazarus Dark on 6/9/2010 9:41:07 PM , Rating: 3
It was my understanding that the DMCA does limit free speech, in that it is illegal under the DMCA to actually discuss how to break copy-protection.

Or did I remember that wrong?


By wrekd on 6/9/2010 10:25:51 AM , Rating: 5
What? The land of the free?
Whoever told you that is your enemy.


By dtm4trix on 6/10/2010 3:40:46 AM , Rating: 3
As an American i totally agree with you on this. Our government is in the back pocket of big business. Our politicians are as corrupt as they come. It is big business and the top 2 percent of the richest people in this country who determine policy. And now with a recent supreme court ruling regarding election campaign contributions big business has solidified its hold over the government. No politician will dare oppose this for fear that the lobbyists will back the incumbent's challenger who may be willing to play ball. It's a sad state of affairs in this country today, with the left and the right, and those who think they are totally free are dead wrong.


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














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