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Piracy The Courts The Internet United Kingdom Your Rights Online

Music Industry Suits Could Bankrupt Pirate Party Members 215

An anonymous reader writes "Music industry group BPI has threatened legal action against six members of the UK Pirate Party, after the party refused to take its Pirate Bay proxy offline. BPI seems to want to hold the individual members of the party responsible for copyright infringements that may occur via the proxy, which puts them at risk of personal bankruptcy. Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye criticized the latest music industry threats and reiterated that blocking The Pirate Bay is a disproportionate measure."
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Music Industry Suits Could Bankrupt Pirate Party Members

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  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @08:38PM (#42304603) Homepage Journal

    If so, the money they get from the SLAPP-back lawsuits could fill the Pirate Party's campaign coffers for the next century. This is a very stupid move for any large group of companies to pull. If BPI has even a mote of legal sense, they need to fire their lawyers now, pull out of the suit, and offer a settlement in exchange for the Pirate Party not countersuing.

  • Seems like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @08:39PM (#42304615)

    ...BPI wants to create some martyrs and boost the UK pirate party right to the parliament.

  • by Lisias ( 447563 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @08:58PM (#42304707) Homepage Journal

    This will open a precedent.

    Just think : "Individuals are being charged for felonies committed by the organization".

    Microsoft, Exxon, MPAA, RIAA et all !!!!

    Man, I can't hold myself in the chair, this can be great!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @09:36PM (#42304853)

    Hint: The music industry is tiny. The whole global revenue of the music industry (2011) is about as much as the profits of a single German construction company (Holzwinkel) were before they went bankrupt. It's insane. The whole German revenue of the music industry is as "big" as the revenue of the public transportation company (KVB) of one single 1 million people city (Cologne)!

    That is nothing! If I were a big company, I would just buy the big three [], fire them all, and be done with it. I could file the expenses under "bought new toilet brushes for the entire company", and nobody would even blink. I'm surprised Google and Apple haven't already done it. I mean the cartel watchdogs won't complain. It already is a cartel.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @09:53PM (#42304919) Journal

    First, its civil so no charges being filed, just lawsuits for liability. Second, this happens all the time. A corporation does not shield someone from their own actions. It only shields those who took no part in the actions and those where the evidence isn't sufficient to show someone took part in an action. There is no precedent here other then you knowing about it. Most of the suits will likely be tossed because there won't be enough evidence to show they took any specific actions regarding the claims giving the appearance that no one in a corp gets busted when the corp does.

    This is really a form of harassment and there will likely by some serious judicial blow back once it starts. That is if it is more then a bluff attempting to get party members to pressure the party to drop the proxy. There might even be some blow back if it's a bluff too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @11:52PM (#42305397)

    but there has been very real damage caused by a generation of people who grew up thinking copying music without paying for it is totally acceptable

    And just how much damage? Care to cite your facts and figures? Care to explain to me how copying certain data is objectively not acceptable?

    Don't try to justify your selfishness with "zomg evil cocaine-snorting criminals".

    I don't think they should try to do that, either; justifications are 100% unnecessary. Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, copyright is failing. People will eventually have to find viable business models or die off like anyone else would rather than tell the government to give them monopolies.

    You're hurting the artists you supposedly care about and listen to all day.

    You have not hurt someone if the only thing you did was not give them money (i.e. they didn't perform a service for you, didn't lend you any resources, etc.).

  • by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @11:55PM (#42305413) Homepage
    at $200,000 a song, and not being held to prove intent to distribute, the music industry could prosecute anyone into bankruptcy. fuck them. i paid piracy taxes on blank cd's and blank cassette tapes, taxes which go straight into the RIAA's coffers. yet i record my own music, and am blamed ahead of time for crimes i haven't committed. so yes, fuck the music industry, fuck them all the way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @05:24AM (#42306221)

    Either murder is wrong, or it isn't.

    Either abortion is wrong, or it isn't.
    Either war is wrong, or it isn't.
    Either depriving someone on their freedom is wrong, or it isn't.

    In the real world, things are not always "black" or "white".

    Well... to begin with, "copyright infringement" is not exactly the same as "murder", despite your silly fantasies.

    Second, there ARE several degrees of "copyright infringement", from totally "fair use" cases, to "personal, non-commercial copyright infringement", to "large-scale, commercial copyright infringement". Also, most of these degrees of copyright infringement (apart from "commercial infringement") are NOT a crime in most places in the world.

    Third, there ARE cases where a seemingly wrong thing (e.g. depriving someone of their freedom), might actually be the best thing to do (e.g. in the case that person is a psychopath murderer).

    The pirates in this article have called themselves "the Pirate Party," while engaging in contributory and vicarious copyright infringement to take the rights of creators away from them.

    What is this "contributory copyright infringement" concept you just made up? (Protip: US laws don't apply elsewhere. Kthnxbai.) Also, even the US, there is nothing codified in LAW regarding "contributory copyright infringement" (Protip: jurisprudence is not law). ALSO, you have yet to demonstrate that the people (not the legal entity, but the people) that are being threatened with a lawsuit have, in any way, knowingly contributed to copyright infringement.

    One thing you have to take into account is that all metadata (including cryptographic hashes, checksums and torrent files) is, by definition, non-copyrighted information (even if they refer to copyrighted information), since it is mechanistic, non-creative information. Therefore, having and duplicating metadata CANNOT be considered copyright infringement, even if said metadata refers to an instance of a copyrighted work (otherwise, IMDB would be quite sparse, for instance).

    Also, important to take into account that UK Pirate Party is not storing anything at all: not magnet links nor torrents nor anything. They are simply proxying a connection to some host (which apparently is allowed to still operate.... TPB) and, through that connection, information legally equivalent to consulting IMDB will be transmitted (not copyrighted information, but NON-copyrighted information). You cannot blame the UK Pirate Party if someone decides to take that (non-copyrighted) information and use it for "integrity checking" copyrighted files. AGAIN, it's important to note that the torrent file DOESN'T enable file sharing or trading, it only enables FILE INTEGRITY CHECK after file sharing or trading.

    Selling knifes isn't a crime, killing people is. And the Pirate Party is not even selling knifes: they're just acting like UPS, transporting knifes from the knife shop (TPB) to the customer's home. If you want to prevent this all from happening, maybe you should either go to the knife shop itself (TPB) and close it, or go to the people actually doing the crimes (not TPB nor the UK Pirate Party). Because, otherwise, people just use something other than UPS to get their knifes (e.g. FedEx).

    Even worse for you: nowadays, TPB is not even selling knifes (i.e. torrents), they just give you pictures of how a knife is supposed to look like (i.e. magnet-links) and you're just supposed to ask random people on the street until they hand you something which resembles what you have in the picture (i.e. the torrent you are looking for). This means that TPB nowadays actually transmits non-copyrighted metadata (i.e. magnet-link) regarding some other non-copyrighted piece of metadata (i.e. a torrent). Anything else that might actually involve transmitting copyrighted data between people NEVER involves TPB, by design.

    They then they are complaining about first degree vs. second degree, when they should

The other line moves faster.