IFPI, RIAA, MPAA, and their international allies have led a crusade
against copyright infringement over the last decade, which has
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
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
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.
quote: for instance, they don't have a situation where an insurance company says "Nope, we won't cover that".
quote: US has been Socalist for well over a century now
quote: It has? Since when? Lets see: 1. I can still own my own company. 2. I still file my own taxes every year to declare how much I owe. 3. I still can choose where I work and what career path I take. 4. I can choose whether I go to college or not and what to major in, regardless of my previous performance in school.
quote: I believe the ONLY "freedom" you loose in a socialistical influenced market is the taxation... I have to pay taxes for the public services the government provides, private enterprise exists as a competition to the service provided by the government and my freedom as an individual is affected how?
quote: There is no 'private enterprise' in socialism. It all belongs to everyone.
quote: Wait a second. Are you confusing Socialism with Communism?
quote: There is no 'private enterprise' in socialism.