Hollywood scores win over Pirate Bay, 4 convicted

Apr 17, 2009 By KARL RITTER , Associated Press Writer
A crowd of journalists press to get a copy of the Pirate Bay trial verdict Friday April 17, 2009 at the court house in Stockholm, Sweden. Four men linked to popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay were convicted Friday of breaking Sweden's copyright law by helping millions of users freely download music, movies and computer games on the Internet. In a landmark ruling, the Stockholm district court sentenced Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom to one year each in prison. They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to a series of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures. The Pirate Bay provides a forum for its estimated 22 million users to download content through so-called torrent files. (AP Photo/Fredrik Persson)

(AP) -- The entertainment industry won round one Friday in a legal battle against file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, with guilty verdicts and one-year prison sentences handed down to four men accused of running and financing the popular site.

The defendants vowed to appeal, setting the stage for a lengthy copyright dispute between music and movie corporations and an online swap shop they say has deprived them of billions of dollars in lost revenue.

In its landmark ruling, the Stockholm district court convicted Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom of helping millions of users illegally download music, movies and computer games.

All four received one-year terms and were ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

"We can't pay and we won't pay," Sunde said in a defiant video clip posted on the Internet. Mockingly, he held up a hand-scribbled "I owe U" note to the camera. "This is as close as you will get to having money from us," Sunde said.

With an estimated 22 million users, The Pirate Bay has become the entertainment industry's enemy No. 1 after successful court actions against file-swapping sites such as Grokster and Kazaa.

Lundstrom helped finance the site while the three other defendants administered it.

Defense lawyers had argued the quartet should be acquitted because The Pirate Bay doesn't host any copyright-protected material. Instead, it provides a forum for its users to download content through so-called torrent files. The technology allows users to transfer parts of a large file from several different users, increasing download speeds.

The court found the defendants guilty of helping users commit copyright violations by providing a Web site with "sophisticated search functions, simple download and storage capabilities, and through the tracker linked to the Web site."

The case focused on dozens of works that the prosecutor said were downloaded illegally. They included songs by the Beatles, Robbie Williams and Coldplay, movies such as "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and computer games including "World of Warcraft - Invasion."

Judge Tomas Norstrom told reporters that the site was "commercially driven," which the defendants have denied.

John Kennedy, the head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, called the verdict good news for anyone "who is making a living or a business from creative activity and who needs to know their rights will be protected by law."

The Pirate Bay had assured users the trial wouldn't affect the site, and it remained operational after the verdict. Authorities temporarily shut it down in May 2006 after seizing servers and computer equipment during raids in several locations in Sweden. But it soon reappeared, running on servers elsewhere.

Andre Rickardsson, a computer expert and former investigator for the Swedish security police, said the ruling could encourage the entertainment industry to threaten Internet operators with lawsuits unless they block access to the site.

File-sharing wouldn't go away, he added, but users would likely turn to more advanced technological tools to hide their activities.

"It's not as if people will turn around and say 'oops, I'll have to stop file-sharing now.' Instead the reaction will be 'oops, what can I do to protect myself from getting caught'."

Sunde's lawyer Peter Althin said he was confident that higher courts would dismiss the case against The Pirate Bay, which he described as a battle between the corporate world and "a generation of young people who want to take part of new technology."

The verdict comes as Europe debates stricter rules to crack down on those who share content illegally on the Internet.

Last week French legislators rejected a plan to cut off the Internet connections of people who illegally download music and films, but the government plans to resurrect the bill for another vote this month.

Opponents said the legislation would represent a Big Brother intrusion on civil liberties, while the European Parliament last month adopted a nonbinding resolution that defines Internet access as an untouchable "fundamental freedom."

Earlier this month, Sweden introduced a new law that makes it easier to prosecute file-sharers because it requires Internet Service Providers to disclose the Internet Protocol-addresses of suspected violators to copyright owners.

The country of 9 million has one of Europe's highest rates of Internet penetration, but has also gained a reputation as a hub for file-sharers.

Statistics from the Netnod Internet Exchange, an organization measuring Internet traffic in Sweden, suggested that daily online activity dropped more than 40 percent after the law took effect on April 1.

---

Associated Press Writer Karl Ritter contributed to this report.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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earls
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2009
*jaw drop*

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.
O2L
2.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2009
I couldnt believe it.

Would love to be at the party tonight though :D
Sancho
4 / 5 (4) Apr 17, 2009
Hard to feel much empathy for the entertainment industry, where rewards seem more than adequate for job performance. I have a sister-in-law who is still earning fat royalties for working on a successful sitcom that ended its run in the late '80s.
docknowledge
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2009
"They can't stop us." "They can't stop us." "They can't stop us."

"Wait! They stopped us! That's not fair! We have a right to steal!"
RFC
2.7 / 5 (9) Apr 17, 2009
Yeah, the entertainment industry only makes the content. Shame on them for making money on it. Everyone should be able to steal it. Come on!



I'm constantly shocked at how somehow when theft occurs on the internet, there is this contingent that insists it's not theft. How abysmally stupid does a person have to be?



And what the hell does it matter that the entertainment industry makes good, even obscene, money on their product? If I make good money at my job, does that mean people can steal my stuff? Who the hell are you (Sancho) to tell me or anyone else what I should get paid for "adequate job performance?"



The truth is that very few of these millions of illegal downloaders facilitated by Pirate Bay and others would have the nerve to steal a magazine off a store rack. But if they can do it digitally, in a realm where enforcement is near impossible and anonymity is the standard, they have no problem with that. Cowards.. the very definition of a coward.



Go ahead, Sancho... go into a store and try to steal something you think is overpriced. Throw some money on the counter as a token of what you think is "adequate." You'll rail and insult me in response, of course, but the reality is that you would NEVER do that. You don't have the guts and never will.



The recent Wolverine movie was stolen. The recent release of Demigod has been screwed up because of pirating. Legit customers suffer because of DRM that has to be imposed to protect work-product. Thanks a lot, Sancho and your yellow-bellied ilk.



People bitch about copyright laws, but don't complain about common law theft laws. So, if you write a song and someone steals it, that's somehow okay. If you build a car and someone steals it, it's a felony. Nothing is wrong with copyright law in principle... it's just a problem for the bastards that don't want to pay for anything.



Digital pirates should be beaten to an inch of their cowardly lives. They have morals and ethics of convenience and self-satisfaction. They don't understand work, they don't understand consequences, and they don't give a damn about the damage that they're causing.



And they would all howl the loudest if anyone stole anything of theirs.

SincerelyTwo
3 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2009
There isn't an infinite amount of wealth in the world. Most average people with computer skills take freely knowing that in reality the artists will make enough money. Most people cannot practically pay for all of the art they want to experience. Period.

Pay for it? Pay with WHAT?!

The argument that comes back from the law abiding butterflies is usually an example of themselves who consume sh*tty mainstream media. The world of art is massive, with extreme depths - and people want to experience it, PERIOD.

Most laws are out-dated, impractical, unreasonable.

Americans have the right to protest, hackers are* protesting, this is our protest. The government and the private agencies they support attempt to enforce a world THAT CANNOT BE RATIONALLY OR PRACTICALLY REALIZED.

You truly are the idiots, for putting ethical principles beyond the bounds of f*cking REALITY!
SmartK8
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
The companies vs people 101.. Don't hold your breath.
earls
4 / 5 (4) Apr 17, 2009
The difference, RFC, is that magazines and cars are tangible objects. If they fell out of Star Trek style replicators, how could they be stolen? If someone bought the magazine or car, then replicated it, gave it to their friend, where is the theft?

You're ranting about ignorance of the law, yet demonstrating it all the same. By the letter of the law DOWNLOADING isn't illegal, it isn't copyright infringement, it isn't theft. But don't misunderstand, I CAN understand how downloading can constitute as theft, as in depriving the creator of revenue they would have received had those copies not been made available.

It is UPLOADING (sharing, distributing) that IS copyright infringement and illegal. However, where does theft come into play here? You're stealing something by sharing something for free? Both the uploader and downloader are guilty of theft in your eyes?

Returning to the tangible magazine and car, distributing free copies of such (even if legally purchased) would be consider theft? Copyright infringement on the design of the car and magazine? The copyright law is an artificial construct with no other purpose than to generate money.

DRM would be in place whether piracy existed or not. The difference is, piracy gives consumers an alternative. Without piracy, DRM would be exceptionally rampant and extremely stringent. You would be at the every whim of corporations and they would punish you for more money in every possible way they could. Look at cellphones.
SmartK8
2.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2009
RFC: Earls is right. The situation would be comparable, when an original record was stolen, or an original score on which that song was written. Not when you've made a copy also usually a lousy one. I wouldn't mind a bit (a handy word) if someone come to me and ask me if he/she can make a copy of something I posses with some special device of his. If there'll still be the original afterwards. Those companies are making profit on a copy of the music and you don't even buy the right to own it and not even to get it free in all forms (CD, DVD, Blueray), but rather you're billed twice or more times. Is this moral according to you ? I'll make a similarily inaccurate analogy as you did. Would you like to buy a car which (in the same instance) is sold to many different customers ? Would you share gladly ? This situation is not about stealing and laws, it's about different world views. Was Robin Hood considered the hero or the outlaw ? Which side you're on ? You're saying, that if someone don't have money they shouldn't download a free music, as they're not allowed to steal food. But the people do have only one life, and they want to experience the reality to the most. You can't say: "You're poor, so your life experience will forever lack certain stimuli. Be it music, movies or other culture". If faced with this choice, and relatively low-risk free alternative, people will always choose richer experience in their life. The laws are man-made, and are simply not enough to oppose the threat of dying without experiencing particular need and we all know that where's demand..
QubitTamer
not rated yet Apr 17, 2009
Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhhh!

Gyyyaaaaarrrrrrrrrr!

Pyrates!!!
Soylent
4.3 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2009
Copyright law wasn't finely crafted and handed down to us mere mortals by the gods.

It was originally invented as tool of religous opression and eventually redesigned in an attempt to maximize the common good. Not to maximize profits, not to maximize quality, nor the volume of art created, but a compromise to try and maximize the total enjoyment of art. A short monopoly was granted to the artist so they could try to recoup their expenses, after that time control of the intellectual property in the art entered the public domain.

Copyright interests have long lobbied to pervert the original intent of the law to maximize their profits.

They repeatedly lobbied for the strengthening of copyrigth and extension of time limits largely successfully; they've repeatedly tried to ban or artificially limit every new technology that has come along(radio, television, the VCR, the cassette player, the mp3 player, the internet) largely without success.

For the first time in history it is now possible for anyone to enjoy almost any art, with a few clicks of a button as well as contribute meaningfully to the art scene without being a necessarily being a professional. The cost of reproduction is rapidly approaching zero. There is such a stupendous oversupply of art available that no one person could read, watch or listen to more than a miniscule fraction of it all.

There is such an immense oversupply of art and such a low cost of reproducing it that the common good has shifted strongly towards allowing greater access to material while the law has shifted towards ever tighter restrictions. This is an increasingly untenable situation and only one of two things can happen; either the internet will be destroyed or the copyright industry will be destroyed, it's too late and too polarized to find some happy medium inbetween.

The destruction of the copyright industry does not imply a destruction of the entertainment industry. If you include all entertainment media they are doing better than ever; the losses in the selling of useless plastic coasters are more than made up for in games, particularly online games that sell additional services like MMOs, music concerts etc.
QubitTamer
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2009
Ok... i made my pirate growls post (see above), now for my thoughts...

In the beginning, you had to be present at the location of the entertainment in order for the photons to strike your optic nerve and the sound waves to enter your ears... Payment for entertainment was easy because you could look the entertainer right in the face and see they needed your contribution... Oh and i forgot that life was nasty, brutish, and short, so you would want to pay to be entertained anyway... Oh and there were no commercials... probably.

Later came writing. Creativity was now recorded and could be played back (i.e. re-enacted) in many different places and at many different times and even in totally different languages. However you still had to go somewhere and be physically present and you still had to look the entertainers in the face and see they were people just like you and needed to earn a living just like you. Did the original author or creator of the entertainment get paid? Probably not. And there were still no commercials... probably.

Then came radio and TV. Now you didn't need to go anywhere other than into your living room and no longer were you looking anyone in the face. Who felt the need to pay? The solution? Commercials! Now a whole new branch of entertainment was created that relied SOLELY on the sale of products or services that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the entertainment... I am sure that Ivory Soap was probably played as a commercial somewhere when Ben Hur was being shown on TV... where's the intersection there?

Lastly, comes the internet, DVRs, and digital copies. This is pandora's box... the ultimate double-edged sword... There are revenue models that are emerging and will be quite profitable for the majority of law abiding people who will use these mainstream channels for their on demand content. I watch most of my shows now on Hulu and i am just happy to watch the little 20 second commercials that are in there vice having to record my own shows and deal with my slow to respond DirecTV DVR. Hulu has EVERYTHING i want to watch, whenever and wherever i want to watch it. As a matter of fact, if i was a bachelor i would probably dump satellite and just use HULU, if i could pay them for hi-def for all my shows...

Finally... i have been to open air markets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are dozens of merchants in these markets who sell nothing but pirated movies, music, and games. You can get anything you want and they will even take orders for mix dvds to be available in a few days. The concept of paying the entertainers or content creators for their work is laughable to everyone involved in this massive government allowed piracy. The people pay a dollar or two for the mass produced copied dvds and maybe a buck or two more when they order a custom mix (Gimme all the Matrix and all the Lord of The Rings in ipod format please!)

The whole debate and legal wrangling about copyright and revenue loss is completely a western industrialized nation concern. Hollywood and the RIAA know that most of Asia / Africa / South America will never pay a dime for their movies or music so they focus on getting as much revenue as they can from the countries who enforce copyright law.

So these 4 dudes are going to go to jail for doing far far less than what you can see happening all over the world every second of the day.

Instead of spending so much money prosecuting people like these 4 Swedes, the content creators should create new revenue streams and content delivery mechanisms for the law abiding people who support them.

If I could pay $5 to see X-Men Origins in full high-def in my living room the same day it debuted in the theater then that's $5 more than the movie studio would ever have gotten from me because i rarely go out to a theater to see any movie. Plus that revenue is probably a lot more than the studio would see from my $9.00 theater seat...

It's stupid to waste so much money on prosecuting only a small fraction of the people pirating in the world. It's a temporary thing i think until all the old stuffy dinosaurs of the entertainment industry die and are replaced by smarter more-tech savvy digital age people who will just build new revenue streams where they can.
RFC
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 17, 2009
Geez... where to start?

"Laws are out-dated"... while some laws need some updating (as is almost always the case and why it happens on a daily basis everywhere), existing laws are not in principle out-of-date. An artist or creator of content has a right to control and be paid for content. And you guys think that if you're too poor to afford it or think it's overpriced, well, then the artist or content creator should just suck it up.

Would you apply that to your work product? Assuming you all have jobs, would you allow someone to shortchange your effort and sweat because of their circumstance and by their whim? (We are not talking about instances where YOU decide to give away your services... we are talking about when someone else decides to give them away). I know what you'd say to that if put to it. The principle you're fighting for is theft. Obtaining the work of an artist or creator of content and dictating the terms of that contents' dissemination WITHOUT the creator's consent.

And would you let that happen to you? Let me hear one of you say it - "Yes, I would gladly work for free and at the whim of others."

Let's see - "hackers are protesting." Are you kidding me? So when someone steals a copy of the latest Blink 182 album, which they could buy for $20 new or (god forbid) wait a while until it comes down to $9 bucks or so... they're actually protesting?

When the guy breaks into your house or car to steal your stuff, he's protesting, right? That's a ludicrous argument.

"Downloading isn't illegal." Well, that's just rich. So if you know a guy that stole some goods, and that guy gives them to you for free... and you KNOW they are stolen goods, somehow you think that's okay? That's called trafficking in stolen goods and possibly conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

Not long ago, a couple in PA got a ton of money deposited in their bank account because of a bank computer error. Well, they turned around and started spending it and moved to Florida. They were recently arrested on those types of charges. Their argument: "We didn't steal it. We didn't put it in our account. We committed no crime." The State's argument: "You knew it wasn't yours, moron." Guess who won that one?

And purpose of copyright law is to all the artist or content creator to control the dissemination of his work. When you knowingly interfere with that right, that's copyright infringement and/or theft. Downloading/uploading doesn't have nearly the significance some of you might wish. You know it's not yours, and only in rare cases with the technical aspects of the crime have any bearing on a judge sending your case to the jury.

The whole "tangible objects" argument. Damn, are you really that stupid? You think that because something can be easily replicated, it should make it free? So an author spends months or years of his life creating a book, and you think (since a book is so easily copied), the author should get ... what? Do tell! What should the writer get? Who decides that? You?

Let's pick a salary for an author. Say, $50,000 a year (a good sum, and a bit above average US income, but let's just say). Do you see books on the shelf going for $50,000? No, you see them for $10 or $20, because the ease in duplication allows for a dramatic lowering of price. God, do you really need this explained to you?

Justify it all you want, but you're stealing something that a person worked hard to create and is entitled to sell with copyright control. And if anyone did anything like that to you, you'd scream bloody murder. Ease of duplication matters to enforcement and special technical provisions of the law, but it does not change the fact that you are stealing something YOU did NOT create and taking it for your own purposes.

"DRM would exist if there was piracy or not." WTF kind of argument is that? Do you have the slightest idea how many resources are spent on coming up with new forms of copyprotection because old ones are cracked? It's analogous to people having locks on their doors. Sure, everyone has them, but in the high crime neighborhoods, they have several, alarms, cameras and additional security measures. But they would be there even if there wasn't crime, right? The level of security usually is behind the level of threat, not ahead of it.

"Robin Hood." If you've actually read the story, that dealt with the nobles basically extorting oppressed peasants. Not exactly comparable here. We're talking about content protection and theft. Moreover, I don't think any of you could seriously argue that this is about depriving "the poor" of culture... What? Copyright protection of the latest DVD's of "Lost" will somehow oppress the cultures of countries or the underclasses? Yes, such protection may mean that, for a time, certain people may not have free access to content, and will have to suffer with the infinite amount of content already available in the public domain.

"It's unrealistic to believe you can enforce these laws." Yeah, so if a pedophile is hard to catch, you just give up and let him molest as many kids as he wants? Sometimes, the difficulty in enforcement changes the means of enforcement or makes the cost-benefit analysis tougher... but it doesn't make it any less of a crime.

And that's the thing, isn't it? You guys don't quite get the whole crime concept or thievery concept. It's just you at your pc loading up Limewire or whatever and downloading some songs. No big deal. No one can force you to think of it's impacts, and besides... "everyone is doing it."

That's what makes you cowards. You have tailored your ethics and morals to your most frivolous desires and impulses. This isn't about your needs, or protests or "culture" with a capital "C". This is about your own lazy, insidious, base disregard for the rights of people that will contribute a whole hell of a lot more to this world that you ever will.










Sirussinder
5 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2009
And from the ashes of Napster arouse new more powerful file sharing sites than ever before. And from that came the almighty Pirate Bay. From the bruised but still in business Pirate Bay will arise even more sites more powerful than the likes of the mighty Pirate Bay....
earls
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2009
Welp, I'm convinced RFC. After being insulted a half-dozen times, I'm ready to reform my ways and turn over a new leaf. I see the light. This Kool-Aid tastes great.
Teller
1 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
Whos down to make a self perpetuating virus that hosts the future file sharing site so the only way to stop the sharing is to shut down the internet. That would show them. :-D
Soylent
5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2009
Would you apply that to your work product?


Yes. If someone makes an identical copy of my work without paying me it doesn't bother me in the least.
Edylc
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
The problem is the only way they could actually stop downloading is if they put everyone who did it in jail, because someone will always find a way to do it, and when one site gets shut down another will start.

I know for myself, if I download something illegally it's because I never would have bought it but wanted to check it out, and if I like it I will buy it, because I'm picky about quality, obviously not everyone does it that way though.

Take for instance, I never would have seen the movie hotrod if I had to pay for it, I watched it online and decided I was extremely glad I didn't pay for it.
I also got an entire season of a tv show, really liked it, and went out and bought the rest of the seasons, over $200 worth I wouldn't of spent if I hadn't downloaded it.

Another thing, I'm trying to make a living being a musician, my band has over 30 thousand friends on our myspace page and we've sold maybe twenty cds. Yet a lot of people have our music, a lot of witch wouldn't have it otherwise though. So I can see the downside to this, and a plus side. It's why bands sell T-shirts for thirty dollars and hoodies for sixty or seventy now. So I have mixed feelings on the issue. If illegal downloading was the X-men, I'd be Magneto.

I feel like this is an argument not one side can win.

There will always be the people (like me) that pay for things they would normally pay for if you couldn't illegally download it, even if it's there to download. Meaning, the things we do download are downloaded because they just happen to be there and you think ahh why not, as if it were on tv. People watch The Rock of Love but holy good lord, do you think anybody would actually rent or buy that show? Only reason it's watched is because it's free, yeah you pay for cable, but you pay for internet too.

Then again, I'm sure every point I've made could be turned around and used as reasons why we shouldn't.
But I'm just one person with an opinion, as we all are, and when it really comes down to it that's all there is, opinions, witch will never all be the same.
Sirussinder
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
In the early 1900's technology brought about the corporate media industry in the form if radio, TV, recording studios, and records, etc.

Now new technology is making and will make them obsolete.

They should show some dignity and not fade out all the while fighting, kicking and screaming its not their time to go.

Even though it must be a shock to them to find out they were not as invincible and immortal as they once thought.
Sirussinder
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
Exist by new technology, obsolete by new technology.
S3ND3R
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
LOWER COURT JUDGES BOUGHT OUT AGAIN!? OH NOSE!
Fazer
5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2009
I got your back, RFC, and I'll go down with the ship, holding a copy of my pocket Constitution.



Dudes, I can understand why everyone does this sh*t. It's been going on for a while now. It goes way back in history, but I would say copying first reached critical mass when prople realized they could make copies of movies on VHS and give them to their friends...aww, how nice.



I also tend to agree that artists, and especially media companies need to keep up with the times and develope modern distribution channels and inventive revenue streams. I love stuff that is free but requires watching commercials, whether on TV or on the internet.



But none of that really matters. Stealing is stealing. A person has the right to decide what to do with the product of their own efforts. If they want to give it away, that is their choice. If they want to sell it to you directly, ditto. If they instead want to sign over their rights to someone else, or to a company, that is their choice. It then belongs to whomever they sell the rights.



No one has any right to DEMAND to be able to enjoy the fruits of someone elses labor. If you don't like the price, don't buy it.



Why don't you be honest with yourself, even if just once in your life: If you want to see a movie so bad, doesn't that mean it has value? Shouldn't you pay (with money, which is the trading equivalent of your own effort) for things that you value? If you don't value them, why do you want so badly to have them? If you DO value something, but consider the price to be too high, then the best way for you to send a clear signal to the seller is simply to not buy it. By stealing it, you are telling them that you DO very much want that product, which tells them that they need to try harder to get paid for their product because it is obviously in such high demand that people would resort to stealing in order to get it.



As for illegal copies just "innocently" floating around on the internet, consider this: When the first person "releases" a copy of something, say a song, on a trading site, he IS getting paid for it. How? He is getting paid by your support of him. He is building a reputation on that particular site.



What? "Rediculous", you say? You mean to say that you don't have an ego? You mean to tell me that all of these people rushing to be the first to post a copy of some hot new song on Pirate Bay are doing it purely out of love for mankind? Heck no, they are doing it because it makes them feel big and bad and important. They live off of the attention they get. Who has the most followers, who has the most hits, the most bits, the most twits, he, he.



Its the new coin of the land. Trading news and gossip is as old as spoken language, but for the first time in history, there is a medium by which people can trade back and forth all over the world for the latest juicy tidbit, or the lastest greatest song or software.



Some little punk from a small town, way out in the boonies, or a cheap flat in the biggest city, can be king for the day, or maybe the hour, because he just uploaded the first pirated copy of Fast and Furious, and now his reputation has gone through the roof and he just beat out Xhead23 who he has been after for weeks.



Then someone second hands (well, third hands) that copy on another P2P site and BAM, his ratings go up. And god forbid one of the downloaders freeloads and never uploads anything to share: What a MOOCHER!!!



Are you kidding me? I cannot for the life of me believe that it is a social CRIME to be a moocher on a network that does almost nothing but pass around STOLEN GOODS!



PLEASE, GOD! TAKE ME NOW!!! GET ME OUT OF THIS MADHOUSE! (and I don't even believe in any god, so you KNOW I must be desperate)



Okay, all kidding aside. I don't want to piss everybody off or insult them, because I really think some of you never seriously thought about the consequences of not recognizing one of the most fundamental rights of man.



Your body is yours, it is your property. Whatever you do with your mind or body is YOURS. We have to trade in order to live, and our property is the ONLY thing we have to trade. Whether you spend your time and effort making pizzas or designing rockets, you are trading that time and effort for money, which represents the effort of others. If you then want something that you cannot make yourself, you have to trade for it. You could go work at Dominoes for an evening to pay for your pizza, but it is a lot easier to just use the money that you already worked for: It represents the value of your effort! Don't throw it away, and certainly don't steal it from others!



Guys, and gals: Honest trade is the only thing we have to live by (unless you can live off the land), and it is protected by the greatest document to ever exist. Do you really want to throw the Constitution out the window? Do you really want to live in an anarchy? I know some of you would like anarchy, but for those who still have some respect for themselves and for their fellow man, do the right thing and trade honestly.



The alternative is slavery.



Fazer
not rated yet Apr 17, 2009
BTW, sorry about the extra spaces between paragraphs. Does anyone know why that happens? I certainly didn't put them there! Although, I must say, it does look pretty cool. Next time I'll put 10 spaces.
x646d63
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
I still don't get it. TPB was not providing copyrighted material. They were neither the copiers, nor the distributors of such.

If they are guilty for enabling copyright violations--in theory because they knew it was happening--then everyone else who enabled should be thrown in jail, too.

That should include the energy companies providing electricity to run the servers, the hardware companies that provided the servers, the software vendors, yada, yada. ALL OF THEM know it happens, so all of them should be guilty.

Where do you draw the line?

The line should be drawn at the source: the person who distributed the illegal copy. But the internet has a way of making that very difficult, so instead they are perverting the law and cherry-picking who they want to punish when they can't punish the actual responsible parties.
bmcghie
4 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
I had a huge post all written out, then got pissed off with this whole issue. Bottom line: Make content people are WILLING to pay for, and they will. Well, I will. I do. iTunes and Beatport.co.uk are the best! Oh yeah, and don't forget to make your distribution method easy to use and user friendly (aka don't use some stupid proprietary format slathered in DRM code).
earls
not rated yet Apr 17, 2009
x646d63, it's called vicarious infringement:

http://www.quizla...ment.php

It may fall under contributory infringement as well:

http://www.quizla...em_1.php

The difference between Google and TPB is that Google complies with requests to mitigate copyright infringement, while TPB flaunts it in the face of the copyright holders.

I would have more respect for copyright laws if they had any semblance of fairness and balance. But as Soylent precisely pointed out a dozen posts up, the law has been exploited to the fullest... And not by those that actually create the copyrighted works, but those that stand to profit the most - the middle man "distributors". They rape the creators and they rape the customers without shame, care nor respect. Their "business" is a strictly numbers driven, a pure greed power-grab. And they don't care how many bodies they have to step over to get it.

RFC (and ilk) are tearing up over the starving artist and the death of entertainment, but both are irrelevant - this has nothing to do with them. Art and artists will flourish with or without copyrights and corporations, as art is innately human, driven by spirit, not greed.

I simply fail to understand how the "pirates" can be assailed for their absence of "ethics" and "morals" when this absence is most pronounced in the entertainment industry itself.

People ridicule the oil/gas/car industry for not doing enough for the environment and the future, but at least they pretend with their puppet wind farms and prototype electric cars. When was the last time you heard about the entertainment industry doing anything good or nice for ANYONE?! There is no RIAA park, no MPAA foundation for cures, IFPI school or hospital. They take, and take, and take, and when you find a way to take back, they take away your freedom.

You know how money much actors and musicians have... Exactly how much do you think the global industry has? It's only but a handful of corporations that control ALL of the media throughout the entire world... We're talking hundreds of billions, if not TRILLIONS of dollars.

Copyright law started out lasting about 14 years. Now, "if it is a work-for-hire produced by a corporation, the term is 95 years from publication, 120 years if not published."

They sue for distributing television shows no longer ran on television nor available in stores, they sue for dancing to a song in a non-commercial online video, they sue the sick, the elderly, the young, the poor, they take everything from everyone in every divisible way possible and they give NOTHING.

Do you feel bad? Because I don't. Not. At. All. Where is the evidence of the alleged pain and suffering piracy causes? And I don't mean in "profits are down 20% this year" I mean the literal pain and suffering.

Fazer, the extra spaces between paragraphs are caused by by editing your post.
Fazer
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2009
Earls, thanks for the tip on editing. I had to fix one error and it did all that?

I have to disagree with you on the "big evil company" argument. Any artist who signs up with them does so willingly. You could argue that they are often young and inexperienced, but by that argument you could condemn just about anyone who hired young people. You sign the contract, you live with the consequences.

I also don't agree about the big companies owning it all. I could post my songs on iTunes in a matter of hours if I wanted to, and collect the lion's share of the revenue. I haven't done that only because I don't think my music is good enough, so I let people download it free, at least for now. That is my choice. But my poiint is that there are many outlets for independent artists now on the internet. Most of them probably don't make a living for an obvious reason: Unless you are very talented, it takes the resources of a company that specializes in creating media and marketing to really get a good return on an investment, and that is what each contract is, an investment.

As for copyright duration. You all have a good argument there. The Constitution grants Congress the right to award patents and copyrights for a period of time, but it does not dictate how long these exclusive rights should last. I doubt anyone alive at the time envisioned double-lifetime copyrights. It does seem excessive.

That said, it IS the law, so the right thing to do is convince lawmakers to change it. That is a tough road to take, but the alternative IS anarchy. You can't have it both ways: you can't call on the Constitution to protect some freedoms and reject it on other counts. You gotta live with it or change it, or else no law has any meaning. Of course, I'm talking about the U.S., but the same principal applies to any country with similar laws. Do people, and especially governments, break other laws, heck yeah! But we have to try to maintain some order. It's on us to follows the laws, it's on us to make sure they are just, and it's on us to revolt if and when a government gets out of control.

So, are you revolting? :P
earls
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2009
Any artist (who makes the cut) does so willingly precisely for the resources of mega-corps to promote their media to levels of worldwide consumption.

In doing so, you are selling your soul to the devil, as both you and your intellectual property now belongs to them - virtually forever. In return, you are given fame and a fraction of the profits. But because your product is so diluted in such an enormous market, its value drops amazingly low. It is only through artificial market-shaping copyright laws that value is derived and enforced. Piracy circumvents these laws and the true market value is realized.

You can make a living from writing, programming, singing, photographing, recording and producing any other type of media without becoming a millionaire superstar - all without the risk of piracy.

I'm not the one who wants it both ways, the mega-corps do - huge exposure, and huge profits.

It's simple supply and demand...

Low Supply, High Demand = Large Profit
Low Supply, Low Demand = No Profit
High Supply, High Demand = Small Profit
High Supply, Low Demand = No Profit

You can't keep the supply low when you can instantaneously duplicate the product. But that's what they want... They want the benefits of technology... The Instant highest supply for the highest demand market, at the highest possible price for the highest duration possible.

Do you see a trend here? "An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth." What word is that the definition for? Be sure to answer in the form of a question. ;)

"It's the law! It's the law!" That may be true today, but the model is simply unnatural and unsustainable. It really doesn't matter what the law says or what the industry believes - they've already lost. They absolutely, positively CANNOT stop this trend. It doesn't matter how much money they have, how much power they have, how many laws they write, how many people they sue, how many people they lockup - It's equivalent to trying to stop the sun from shining. Their business model has reached critical mass, it cannot be exploited to any further degree.

Their comments demonstrate just how despicable they are: http://www.ifpi.o...417.html

"We're doing this for the people, the artists, the creators, the independents..." No, they're doing it for the almighty dollar. The bottom line in their bottom line business.

And we're not talking about curing cancer, furthering the study of physics, exploring space, saving the environment, educating people, providing food, shelter, water to the improvished...

We're talking millionaires dressing up in costumes with computer generated claws coming out of their hands or millionaire rappers dancing around rapping about about murdering you with a bunch of emptied skulled "candy girls" hoes or financing divorces from backup dancers for mentally unstable rednecks who drop their kids... For industry executives who use the 90x more exorbitant profits indulge their children with Lexuses and BMWs while they fly around the globe in private planes to drink cocktails on the beach in third world beach resorts while the native peoples work for less than US minimum wage to clean up behind them.

The only counter-argument I can imagine to the utter non-sense is "lol capitalism, sucks to be you poor boy, the law sez alls fair in movies and music for 120 years, biatch!" Because how can someone in good conscious and of sound mind honestly defend such a concept?!

Again, they'll try to play the starving artist, death of arts card... But that is so far beyond and irrelevant to the reality of the situation I fail believe that person is exercising any sort of critical thought. But so be it.

Constitution? "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face!"

http://www.google.com /search?q=george bush god damn piece of paper

:p

Yes, the revolt is on. And with some more famous words, "you're with us, or against us!"
Fazer
not rated yet Apr 18, 2009
I am against you.

And I am going to bed to sleep peacefully in my sheets printed with dollars signs and my commemorative 1776 themed comforter, a copy of Atlas Shrugged on the night stand, bookmarked at Francisco D'Anconia's big speech, "So, you think that money is the root of all evil?..."
Soylent
not rated yet Apr 18, 2009
BTW, sorry about the extra spaces between paragraphs. Does anyone know why that happens? I certainly didn't put them there! Although, I must say, it does look pretty cool. Next time I'll put 10 spaces.


They happen when you edit a message. Physorg is buggy and adds a bunch of extra blank lines that you have to manually remove.
Sancho
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2009
My point, simply, was that the entertainment industry seems to be compensating itself excellently, despite digital piracy. Their draconian efforts to grab the last dime strike me as gratuitous. By the logic of RFC, in order to maximize profits, public libraries and museums should be converted to the pay-per-view model. I am simply saying there is an element of greed at work here. When the industry converted to digital from vinyl, it reaped a windfall: if I had downloaded from Napster a digital version of a vinyl product I already owned, was I the pirate, or was it the corporation seeking a windfall profit on a technological innovation in which it had virtually no investment?
Liljencroowna
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2009
I'm sorry you all. I feel ashamed of being a swede today... :/
nxtr
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2009
The interesting thing about stealing is that is it a state of mind. I have had people brag to me about stealing something, but when I was not impressed, they sort of shrank a bit, as if they felt guilty about their shameless act.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't want to see a person who takes things without paying. That is a loser IMO.

Keeping the trojans out of the "free" file-sharing "helper" software is also what the criminal pays for his loot, it's just that his time means less to him, since he is a thief.



we all have to face only ourselves when deciding about theft. And yes, downloading art without the artist's consent is stealing. Justifying it is stealing your self-respect, whether you can see it or not.
docknowledge
not rated yet Apr 18, 2009
Sancho, I don't know if you've been there, but I look at the greed in Hollywood, the shallowness, the billboards that proclaim "image is everything", and I wonder how much lower the human race can get. It's easy to feel repelled by stars, directors, and producers who have no discernible morals, except seeking money and fame. But at the same time every one of them is hurt, a thousand other artists are too. Ones who can't make ends meet and go work taking tickets in a theater, a pizza parlor, whoring, joining the Peace Corps, joining a company making tax software, joining the IRS (I'm not speaking hypothetically, these are acquaintances). Stealing a little may put a stick in the eye of Madonna, but it does more than that to other artists: it changes their whole lives. And you will never get to see what they might have created.
NeptuneAD
not rated yet Apr 18, 2009
It is trying times for the industry, I wonder how long it will take before they come up with a decent consumer model that takes into account the needs of the consumer and the needs of the artist, instead of only taking into account the middle men whilst pretending it is in the name of the artists.
warmer
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
when they mention world of warcraft I wanna laugh, because the real money is made on monthly fees not on the sale of the software. The software should be free if you have to pony up $12 a month to play. I've known people that have played online games and spent $500 over a few years on 2 games. That's insane.
acarrilho
5 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2009
It's a paradigm clash. The world of replication and automation where no one would even have to work for a living (entirely possible at this point of technological development if you think about it), versus the world of greed and accumulation of wealth and power, governed by those few who would have it all.
Soylent
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
The number of people who are simply to thick to understand the not-so-subtle difference between copyright infringement and stealing is quite amazing to me.

If you nick something of mine, it goes missing, I am deprived of its use. If you go look over my shoulder while I'm programming and copy bits of my work, nothing of mine goes missing. If you can create derivative works that are even better or more successful than my section of code, good on you, I should have no right to retard the development and spread of ideas.
Fazer
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
So, by your definition, if an actor is performing before an audience, who paid to see his act, and someone hides a video camera in the theater and broadcasts it on the internet, that is NOT stealing?

If he then finds out about it, he should NOT assume that it might reduce the number of paying attendees and take action to stop it?

And, heaven knows, he should NOT be so greedy as to expect to be paid whatever price he sets, from anyone who CHOOSES to see his performance?

Face it, YOU want people to be slaves for YOUR enjoyment. You want, no, you DEMAND that products that YOU want should be available to you when, where and how YOU want them. Its all about YOU and no one else matters. If you feel like it, you MIGHT toss them a few measely crumbs, but they better not come to expect it, those ingrates!
earls
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
You are finally getting it.
Fazer
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
Getting what? If by 'getting it' you mean that I understand that there are people out there who prefer that no one have any rights and that we should just live by mob rule, yeah, I get it.
Arikin
not rated yet Apr 20, 2009
By current laws these four are guilty of abetting by linking to copyrighted content with full knowledge of it. They should get the jail term for abetting but the fine for lost sales revenue of the downloaded media is the responsibility of the end user who uploaded and/or downloaded.

If you don't agree with the law then help change it if you have enough people who agree with you and money for lobbying.

The case had to be judged by current laws of Sweden not any ideals on either side of this argument.
insectking
not rated yet Apr 20, 2009
It isn't whether it is stealing or not. By current American copyright law I am a criminal if my friend borrow my DVD or if I sell a used book.

This is a Robin Hood problem. The guys behind enforcing the law are looking more and more like big bully boys while the guys behind Pirate Bay are looking more and more like the underdogs. The point is most computer users at least dabble in software piracy - ironically this includes ALL the guys behind enforcing the law.

In closing, this could be seen as a traditionally hypocritical "Do as I say, not do as I do" interpretation of law.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2009
After reading some of the comments above I have only this to say:

If I download a song then I should pay the artist for his time and effort as well as the crew that assisted in making the song.

I should not have to pay anyone who was involved in marketing, packaging, disk minting, or any other ridiculous aspect of the recording industry.