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Piracy United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK Pirate Party Forced To Give Up Legal Fight 245

Grumbleduke writes "The UK Pirate Party has been forced to shut down its proxy of The Pirate Bay. The Party had been running the proxy since April, initially to support the Dutch Party's efforts, then as a means of combating censorship after the BPI obtained uncontested court orders against the UK's main ISPs to block the site across the UK. In a statement released through their lawyers, the Party cited the impossibly-high costs of legal action for their decision, but vowed to keep fighting for digital rights however they can."
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UK Pirate Party Forced To Give Up Legal Fight

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  • Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @12:56PM (#42337487)

    And once again money trumps justice. Makes you proud to be human.

  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @12:57PM (#42337501)

    When it comes to court cases, being right (or at least being not-wrong), it often matters less what the law says and more what your bank account says. And, as long as the world works this way the bullies of litigation will continue doing what they do and passing along their legal fees to customers.

  • That's fine. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:08PM (#42337589)

    There are still many, many, many Pirate Bay proxy sites left.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:12PM (#42337617)

    You can keep calling it "stealing" if you wish, but that talking point has been debunked to death. The bottom line, at least as far as this situation is concerned, is that one party has been forced into submission not through actual court order, subject to the legal process, but by the threat of such overwhelming legal action that the fear of bankruptcy is the motivator.

    That you seem to think "stealing" is worse than that is a sad indication of the general public's complete misunderstanding of the issues at stake here.

    I hope your faux moral superiority comforts you at night when your children are sentenced to served time in a debtor's prison.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zentigger ( 203922 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:13PM (#42337631) Homepage

    I'm sure your digital overlords will be proud that you, their lackey, are so faithfully following the scriptures.

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of theft.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:16PM (#42337643) Journal

    The point is that the legal merits don't even matter because the Party can't argue them. It doesn't matter whether what they were doing was legal or illegal, right or wrong, no one will be able to find out because they can't afford to fight the case.

    Some people may view this as the right outcome, but I would suggest that no one should think it was for the right reasons. Justice should not be dependent on wealth.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:31PM (#42337767) Homepage Journal

    When they speak of digital rights they mean the ability to get any piece of software without compensating the person/people who created the software, and who are not giving that software away.

    Sometimes the author is neither giving the work away nor selling it. For example, how should one obtain a copy of the film Song of the South, the TV series Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea, or the English version of the video game Mother (the Famicom game before Earthbound) while fairly compensating the author? And how should one compensate HBO [] for Game of Thrones without compensating Disney for ESPN, an unwanted service?

  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:38PM (#42337831)
    My thoughts exactly. "I could not afford to defend myself" is never the right outcome.
  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:44PM (#42337901)
    You are absolutely right! Last week a friend of mine wanted digital copies of some of my CD's. Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, and of course...Bach. I told him to sod off with that glowing feeling in my gut, the knowledge that with one less dirty rotten thief these artists have a better chance of being fairly compensated for their works and will continue to create new music. Plus, I'm sure that when these artists die their works will be released into the public domain in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Re:Help! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flayzernax ( 1060680 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:50PM (#42337939)

    I think I speak for most people when I say "I don't care." []

    I am so sensible, Sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress?

    I think most people care and most people understand that the monopolies have and are doing more damage then piratical distributers of information.

    Your authers are not and have not been compensated fairly for a long time. The works of tolkien were removed from the public domain in 1994 and given to a holding company in trust of tolkiens estate. They are no longer benefiting from his work, we are being punished. And people like Peter Jackson and the hollywood stuidos he works for and represents are the only people who can benifit monetarily from this work.

    Yet because of the damage monopolies has caused. And the turning of copywright into personal property to be handed along from institution to institution has done, we and our descendents and all those living now are paying the price far worse then a simple tax or compensation for people who have done work.

    The point is that the law is not fair and there is no fair way to change the law. The beast has become to great and we are locked in a death rattle with a python crushing us. Sensible people are not allowed to give voice to defend the public domain and what should be fair, and a fair law.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMathemagician ( 2515102 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:58PM (#42338009)
    If it's "stealing" why isn't anyone charged with theft? They're charged with copyright infringement. Doesn't that tell you that it's copying not stealing?
  • Re:Onanism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:02PM (#42338057) Homepage

    You can keep calling it "stealing" if you wish, but that talking point has been debunked to death.

    Really? Please do show me where it's been so mortally debunked. As a producer with copyright (an author of short scifi stories), I can take my words and ideas, and sell them to people who want to read/hear/otherwise-consume them. A pirate (self-declared or otherwise) can take my story, dump it on The Priate Bay, and suddenly there's a smaller market of people who will pay me for my work.

    Without piracy, I have a clear route for making an income from my work. With piracy, I have to hope that my work becomes a loss leader for itself, reaching a wider paying audience through a non-paying medium. Sure, sometimes it will work. I've encountered a few folks who've seen some of my work freely and wanted more. On the other hand, I've also encountered folks who have outright asked me when my latest piece will be on TPB, rather than buying it.

    That hurts. I am not a content-producing machine who lives on the happy thoughts of readers and the mental occupation of fans. I am a human, and I need to profit from my work. Piracy removes my income without my choice, forcing me to effectively rely on handouts from those who like my work enough to pay. My art has returned to patronage. Long live the king!

    Why do people complain when the government limits the choice of Internet providers, but the pirates removing my ability to choose my own business model is somehow a good thing?

  • Re:Onanism (Score:1, Insightful)

    by hazah ( 807503 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:11PM (#42338137)
    Holy crap, batman.. Does it ever occur to you that if you don't have a clear path to income from your work, is that your work is absolutely worthless to everyone but you? You are not entitled. In fact, if you ever want me to read your crap, I'm going to go ahead and ask that you pay me for my time.
  • by hazah ( 807503 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:19PM (#42338205)
    Straw-man. Unlike the aggressor, the people are average and live average lives with average incomes. Unlike the aggressor, there is not an endless coffer from which to resupply. When the choice is to eat, or to fight an uncertain battle, the fallout is far from surprising.
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:52PM (#42338545) Homepage Journal

    You should read Doctorow. It won't cost you a dime, he puts his books on boingboing for free and credits that for his standing as a best selling author. IINM "Makers" is the one with a good explanation for teh worth of piracy, but I could be wrong. Hell, read them all, they're free. You might wind up with a few copies on your shelf and him with an extra buck or two.

    I wonder why libraries never put print authors out of business? I wonder why I have a dozen Asimov books on my shelf, when every single one of them is or was available at the library? After all the library is a monstrous pirate haven, with all those people getting books, CDs, and DVDs for no cost whatever! The horror! Close down all the libraries!

    Nobody ever lost money from piracy, but many talented artists have starved from obscurity. And IMO anyone who can't understand that is not very intelligent.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:54PM (#42338565) Homepage

    Interestingly enough, I have been exposed to all points regarding the subject, and my opinion is partly as I said before. The "piracy is absolutely not theft" argument is just as much bullshit as the "piracy is absolutely theft" argument.

    Yes, theft and copyright infringement are different. One's a civil matter and the other's criminal. One results in the loss of a physical item, and the other results in someone gaining a copy. The implementation details are obviously different What remains the same though is the offense. If you steal $1 from my wallet, I'll have $1 less than I would without your interference. If you copy one of my books rather than buy it, I'll have (let's say) $1 less than I would without your interference. Of course, you may not have bought my book in the first place, and I may have dropped that $1 bill by accident. There's probabilities involved, I know, but that's not the point.

    The point is that it's no longer my choice what happens to the book or the bill. I produce something, but I'm not allowed to decide what happens with it. I had a bill in my wallet, but I'm not allowed to choose how I spend it. That's where the analogy to theft comes from: pirates aren't stealing an object. They're forcing their way.

    That's always the issue that gets forgotten when someone "debunks" the "stealing is theft" analogy. A big deal is made about how information wants to be free, and how the producers make record profits, and how piracy leads to so much more exposure, but they none of the pro-piracy advocates seem to care that this all happened by the pirates' sheer overwhelming force.

    Yes, it's terribly wrong that the Pirate Party can't afford to fight. It's also terribly wrong that producers don't let their work go free once it's passed a certain age, or profitably, or some other nice metric. It's also terribly wrong to force someone else to live by your choices.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:28PM (#42338955) Homepage

    In fact everything I've released so far has been released creative-commons.

    That is your choice, and in fact it's one I rather like. Yeah, I'm human. I like getting free stuff, too. Some of the stuff I've written that I don't particularly care about (one-off philosophical rants, or abandoned worlds, or even just an interesting character that doesn't fit anywhere else) I've just dropped to public domain. Maybe somebody will care about it someday.

    It's the choice that matters. I choose what my writing effort is worth. Sometimes it's worth money, sometimes it's worth the catharsis of writing, and sometimes it's worth a quick strike on the delete key, but it's my choice, not the pirates'.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:40PM (#42339107) Journal

    What remains the same though is the offense. If you steal $1 from my wallet, I'll have $1 less than I would without your interference. If you copy one of my books rather than buy it, I'll have (let's say) $1 less than I would without your interference.

    No, because I wouldn't have bought your crummy book anyway. You didn't lose anything on me.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sFurbo ( 1361249 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:24PM (#42339867)

    What the fuck gives you the right to decide what happens to my work?

    Freedom of speech for starters.
    Furthermore, the idea of owning ideas is ludicrous. That is not how humans work. We copy good ideas, and that fact is what makes us humans. It is what have allowed us to be where we are today. Without copying, fire would be reserved for one tribe, the wheel for another, and farming would be a local phenomenon in the middle East and China.
    Finally, your work has been influenced by countless others before you, so if you claim that copying an idea is stealing, you are as much a thief, and more, than the people pirating your work.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:42PM (#42340143) Homepage
    Then as far as I'm concerned, you don't exist, so I want nothing to do with you. I don't want to put effort into writing a book for your enjoyment, because you don't think my effort's worth anything.
  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:55PM (#42340405)
    Then you really shouldn't mind these non-existant people grabbing your book from PirateBay.
  • Re:Onanism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @06:34PM (#42341819) Homepage Journal

    In the absence of income from their work, there will be no professional writers. Period.

    God, I despise this fallacy. There were tons of work before modern copyright existed, and tons more when it was sensible, before our current insanity. Books were written, music was created, art was made... Hell, if you completely removed money from the equation (magically no one will pay, ever, which is implausible at best), music would be made, books would be written, and art created.

    I don't get paid a cent, and I still do photography (I don't want to get paid, I do it for its own sake), my girlfriend has never made a cent, and still paints. I know many a friend who plays free concerts, and social gigs, just because they love making music, and love making people happy with it.

    Another faulty preconception you include is the fact that artists shouldn't have real jobs, like the rest of us. I don't actually see any reason to believe this, as most artists DO have real jobs, even if they dream of being the next big-wig famous, remarkably rich, artist. There is no "right" to be a self-employed artist who has the money to only do art. You might get lucky, you might have the remarkable talent in self-promotion to make this happen, but there is no right to this. Again, most artists struggle, most artists have a normal job like the rest of us, only the very top of the herd can live off their art, and only after years and years of hard work usually.

    So: no more Jules Vernes, no more Robert Heinleins, no more Iain M. Banks, and no more consistently high-quality streams of work from writers who are free to concentrate on writing, because their writing pays the bills, instead of being forced to focus on plumbing, or selling cars, or doing double-entry accounting, because the bills MUST be paid.

    So how did these people ever manage to get to where they are today while having a normal job? There is a catch 22 here, since to be a good writer you can't have a job, but in order to shed your job you have to be a good writer. This is bullshit, again. 90% of all artists work, or they're starving and either near homeless or just plain homeless.

    To be honest, I can live without your book. I don't actually give a shit. I can live without 90% of all culture (and do, culture is vast, and their is now way to engage it all). I don't NEED obscenely successful books or music, or art. And as stated previously, it all would still exist anyways. Half the art in our house was painted by friends and acquaintances, half the shows I go to are local kids, and friends. Books haven't quite gotten there, but in a few years they probably will be. And actually most of the crap they makes enough money to allow the author to quit their job, is probably crap. Sure, you can say Heinlein, but I can retort with Twilight, or Daniel Steele, or now the 50 Shades of Grey lady, or...

    I realize that most idiots sincerely believe that professional-quality writing is something that "anybody can do." Being idiots, they are, of course, completely, utterly, and profoundly wrong about that. In fact, there is only a relatively small percentage of the population who have the inherent talent to write well enough to eventually become professionals at it. Idiots like hazah are almost certainly not among them.

    How do you know Hazah isn't, or can't be an author? Do you personally know him or her? And what makes you think you can be one, or be professional? How many authors think they are, try to publish something, and then are never heard from again because no one cared? Don't get me wrong, I wish you luck, but you have to realize that everyone who ever tried to be an author probably felt the same way. Most of them were wrong. Hell, I used to think I would be the next Thomas Pynchon, but sadly I couldn't be, even if I had 60,000 words. I still write, but now just because I enjoy it.

    Also, as a tangent, their might be more Jules Vernes

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