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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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  • by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:21PM (#42337687) Journal

    The Party did. It raised over £9,000* in the last couple of weeks from supporters. Which is great... but just getting preliminary advice over the last couple of weeks has cost £1,600, and fighting this case to trial could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. While it might be possible to raise that money, the feeling seems to be that it could be spent better elsewhere (although, of course, those who donated to the legal fight should have already been emailed to explain how they can get their donations refunded).

    I find it particularly ironic that we are told pirates are stealing money/income from artists etc., but it turns out pirates don't have that much money - whereas the BPI Ltd (all of whose funding would otherwise be going to artists etc.) seems to have plenty of cash to throw at lawyers and legal actions.

    *But less than £10,000 - you can't make this up...

    [Disclaimer: I am a member of, and work for PPUk, but was not one of the individuals sued.]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:32PM (#42337777)

    Don't forget the absurdity of the other extreme, which is exactly what many interested parties are after:

    1) Everyone must pay for every individual use of every bit of software and data on every piece of hardware they own.
    2) Software patents ensure that only the patent owner can produce any software that is even remotely similar to the outright-obvious thing patented.

    This results in a world where the few wealthy players are the only people who can produce any software at all, and they can price gouge horribly for it.

    Don't even start with "anyone can get a patent." It has been clearly demonstrated many times that only the super-rich can afford the litigation costs that come with defending a patent.

    THAT extreme is morally corrupt, economically devastating, and exactly what groups like BPI are pushing for. Neither you nor anyone should be surprised that the people who suffer from this are resisting in the only ways they can.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:46PM (#42337911) Homepage Journal

    Speaking of sophistry - I'd like to know which artists are going hungry due to piracy, and which artists are going hungry because *IAA affiliated companies don't pass the profits on to the starving artists. Give me a list of artists who have missed a meal because pirates "stole" their music, so that all us "pirates" can send them a dollar or two. Oh, those poor suffering artists! The idea just hurts my soul!

  • Re:Onanism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ConfusedVorlon ( 657247 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:59PM (#42338031) Homepage

    costs can be awarded so that the loser pays, but is isn't as straightforward as the loser always paying what the winner's legal bills are.

    the judge has a lot of discretion here.

    nonetheless, you're right about the dynamic. The BPI is threatening the individuals here. The law is far from clear cut.

    It is very unlikely that they would win and recoup their full legal bills from the opposition (even if costs are awarded, they don't generally actually cover the full legal cost of your case).

    It is perfectly possible that they could lose and still have to pay massive legal bills for the BPI.

  • Re:Onanism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:18PM (#42338831) Homepage

    Or there might be a larger market of people who will pay you for your work. There will certainly be a larger market of people who will see your work.

    There might very well be a larger market, but I don't get to choose it. I could also get a larger market seeing my work by hiring trucks to drive down city streets with loudspeakers playing a reading, but that might not actually be what I want. What the fuck gives you the right to decide what happens to my work?

    If and only if you can get a publisher to buy it.

    Or publish it myself, or hand it to friends and say "give this only to people who'll appreciate it". Again, I can decide where and how my work is distributed, and from that how much risk I must take. I can work with a publisher that will edit my work, likely improving my profit, or I can work with one that will leave my dialect alone, opting for the purity of the art. Piracy takes away that choice.

    You realize those people aren't going to be your customers *ever*, right?

    I do indeed. My usual response to such inquiries is something to the effect of "thanks for the interest, but I really don't want my work to be distributed like that. Here's a sample of what I'm working on, and if/when it's finished, it'll be available at this store". They aren't my customers, but I'll try to convert them anyway, and sometimes succeed. If not, then I've lost nothing more than if they didn't even ask.

    You have no inherent right to have your business model supported by government intervention.

    And you have no inherent right to make me write for you for free, with or without government help. I should be the one to choose how I work, and I choose to write stories for a bit of money.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.