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Piracy Censorship Crime Media The Internet

Two Arrests In Denmark For Spreading Information About Popcorn Time 244

An anonymous reader writes: You may recall Popcorn Time, the software that integrated torrents with a streaming media player. It fell afoul of the law quite quickly, but survived and stabilized. Now, out of Denmark comes news that two men operating websites related to Popcorn Time have been arrested, and their sites have been shut down. It's notable because the sites were informational resources, explaining how to use the software. They did not link to any copyright-infringing material, they were not involved with development of Popcorn Time or any of its forks, and they didn't host the software. "Both men stand accused of distributing knowledge and guides on how to obtain illegal content online and are reported to have confessed."
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Two Arrests In Denmark For Spreading Information About Popcorn Time

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  • Confessed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:06PM (#50348385) Homepage Journal

    NEVER confess to anything! All they've done is to hang themselves. Gubbermint says, "We don't like what you're doing." Your response? Are you really going to tell gubbermint, "Oh, I'm so sorry - please, just lock me away for a few decades!"

    The better response is, "Prove your case, assholes!"

    • >> are reported to have confessed ...by whom? TFA doesn't cite anything at all.

    • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:27PM (#50348565) Homepage Journal
      But they each weighed as much as a duck, and therefore were made of wood. . .
    • NEVER confess to anything! All they've done is to hang themselves.

      This is Europe, not the USA. They're likely to get pretty light sentences at most if not just probation and a fine. If Hitler were miraculously still alive and arrested today in Europe, he wouldn't get the death penalty and any sentence more than a few years might be viewed as excessive given his age.

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        It depends on whether the prosecutors think they can get an easy pinch. Probably they were threatened with the wrath of Khan if they DIDN'T confess. The Man usually says something like "Look, we've got you dead to rights you know, we will squash you so thin like a bug if you make us take it to a trial. Or ... you can get off much lighter if you just confess."

        Faced with the choice between the ruination of their life, or basically a bad hair day for some months, or a very few years, and considering the expens

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        If Hitler were miraculously still alive and arrested today in Europe, he wouldn't get the death penalty

        So? The Nazi Germany didn't do anything that other countries, including Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, etc., had not also done. The only difference is that Hitler did it to white people.

        More people were killed [wikipedia.org] in forced labor on rubber plantations, than in all the Nazi death camps combined.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Wow. There's no reverse-Godwins Law, you know. You can't stretch the thread out into infinity by saying ludicrous shit about Hitler.

        • Hitler was worse, while I am able believe more people where killed in rubber plantations than death camps. The main purpose of the death camps was to kill, they specifically had gas chambers to kill people. While the plantations being cruel and inhumane, (well all forms of slavery really) their primary purpose was to make money, so greed was the driving factor not hate.

          from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          The group selected to die, about three-quarters of the total, included almost all children, women with small children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be completely fit.

          If you wanted a work force you would not kill the children, since they would grow up to be labor. In

          • This is not clear cut. It's not far off the debate on the relative cruelty of life sentences vs death sentences.
            • I am not actually saying that working someone to death is not worse than just killing them. It might well be. I am saying the motive of greed is not as bad intentionally trying to kill someone, because you hate them.

              To me a large part what drives how someone should be punished is what drives them to do it, e.g. if someone accidentally kill you then the punishment should be less than if they intentionally do it.

          • So Hitler's primary crime was to be not capitalist enough to work his slaves to death and instead kill them outright, is that what you say?

        • Re:Confessed? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Peter H.S. ( 38077 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @07:26PM (#50351041) Homepage

          So? The Nazi Germany didn't do anything that other countries, including Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, etc., had not also done. The only difference is that Hitler did it to white people.

          More people were killed [wikipedia.org] in forced labor on rubber plantations, than in all the Nazi death camps combined.

          That is misleading; those figures for Congo are "depopulation" losses, not people killed. No other comparison points implied, but several western countries these days are being "depopulated" due to falling birth numbers, that doesn't mean there are secret massacres going on. "Depopulation" also includes population losses from people deciding to only have 1-2 kids instead of 3-4 kids needed to sustain the population.

          Sure, there were huge atrocities going on in Congo, but the numbers you are quoting aren't only about people being killed as forced labor on rubber plantation as you claim. According to your cited source, the majority died of "sleeping sickness", still a killer disease in Congo these days.

          The Death camps however where targeted killing machines, murdering people sometimes minutes after they had arrived by train. They also killed millions of people in a very short time, basically a couple of years, while the Congo depopulation took 40 years. The Nazi war on the eastern front killed +27 million people in 3-4 years in comparison.

          Also of interest is that the (at least) 6 millions Jews killed was just the warm-up, since Mischlinge (half/quarter/etc Jewish descent) was next, and with the "General Plan Ost", the Nazi regime basically intended to exterminate all Slavic people from Poland to the Ural mountains except for a small amount that was to be kept as slaves.

          Saying that Hitler and the Nazi regime only did what the British, Belgians etc, had done previously is just plain out wrong. There has never been anything remotely like the Nazi Death camps before.

          There has also never been anything in both scale and intentions that have ever matched the Nazi regime when it came to Genocide, not even Stalin's USSR.

      • you forget that under the right to be forgotten, google would probably have to delist half of the web.

      • "This is Europe, not the USA. They're likely to get pretty light sentences at most if not just probation and a fine."

        Let's try applying logic to this question. If the European sentence for mass murder is assumed as being one breivik, a unit of punishment equal to 21 Earth years, then Adolf Hitler would have gotten a full life sentence of Br 4.0, and the Popcorn Time boys would get about a microbreivik suspended.

        But this is law, not logic. The MPAA/RIAA occupies the same place in European jurisprudence that

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        If Hitler were miraculously still alive and arrested today in Europe, he wouldn't get the death penalty and any sentence more than a few years might be viewed as excessive given his age.

        If Hitler was alive in present day Europe, he'd be elected to office in heartbeat :(

    • No. You ask 'Am I being detained?' if yes you say 'Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer...'

      Not talking will save you legal fees too. Just shut up, let them make their own case.

      • This ^, cops are not interviewing you so you can go on your marry way. The more you say the deeper in shit you'll be. Best advice I got from a cop is "zip it, zip it good!"
    • Dude,

      That's in the US. Denmark is a separate country, with an entirely separate legal system. It may be wise to tell them "yes I did those things you are alleging, and if your interpretation of the law is correct I am guilty," and then fight the interpretation of the law.

      For a really prominent example of the Bad Things that happen when you try to apply American rights in a non-American legal system look at Amanda Knox. In the US claiming a confession is coerced is a no-brainer. It's pretty much the only way

      • Dude,

        That's in the US. Denmark is a separate country, with an entirely separate legal system. It may be wise to tell them "yes I did those things you are alleging, and if your interpretation of the law is correct I am guilty," and then fight the interpretation of the law.

        For a really prominent example of the Bad Things that happen when you try to apply American rights in a non-American legal system look at Amanda Knox. In the US claiming a confession is coerced is a no-brainer. It's pretty much the only way to get a confession thrown out. In Italy it got her convicted of (and sentenced to a few years in jail for) slander.

        Because coercion of a confession is normal and expected in the US, and it is only the degree of coercion that make it illegal (not unlike torture in the mid 200x), so it worth discussing, and not considered an unusal or extreme charge to bring up casually. In the rest of the world, coercion is illegal, period! It is like accusing the presecusion of beating their wives or the judge of taking bribes. Even in legally dubious countries like Italy that is just crazy.

        It has to do with the lack of right in America

        • That's just an absolutely ridiculous take for anyone even remotely familiar with the Knox case. At no point in the proceedings did the Italian justice system live up to the barest minimum standards of justice of the industrialized world.

          This is not unique to Italy, although there were quite a few Italian quirks to the whole fiasco. Claiming that a prosecutor being able to successfully throw his weight around to defend the honor of the Italian legal system is somehow an indictment of the rights afforded US

    • NEVER confess to anything! All they've done is to hang themselves. Gubbermint says, "We don't like what you're doing." Your response? Are you really going to tell gubbermint, "Oh, I'm so sorry - please, just lock me away for a few decades!"

      The better response is, "Prove your case, assholes!"

      No, the correct response if you are arrested and interrogated is "laywer" and then shutting the hell up. Not being rude to the police. Your odds of saying anything that will make them change their mind and decide not to prosecute you are like 1 in ten thousand. Your odds of shutting up and saying "lawyer" helping you are much, much, much higher.

      There are places where "lawyer" does not help. These are mostly places where the cops feel free to beat the crap out of you, so being nice to the cops there is e

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      That's a nice terrorist manual you have on your passenger seat.

      See you. Trial? I just said the one word that turns you from a suspect into an enemy combatant. Now, into that eight by ten room where I'll keep you until you grow old and die.

    • Confessed to have posted the information is one thing, confessed to that action as a crime is another. Imagine for an instance to replace "Popcorn time", with "Bit torrent". That I made an article of how to use Bit Torrent, for instance for downloading software such as Linux - is completely legal.

      I have not used Popcorn time, but I believe it is used for much more than downloading illegal movies. For instance if I made an instructional movie for how to use the computer creative commons and made it available

      • I just noticed TorrentFreak had a link to the English version of their site prior to it being taken down, and it had a video of using the application for watching copyrighted content such as HBO's "Games of Thrones", so I guess they really did mess up...

  • Thoughtcrime! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adam Simons ( 2881717 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:07PM (#50348403)
    Next, we should go after the language teachers because they facilitate this illegal behavior by teaching people how to read and write. If that doesn't make sense, then you are much smarter than these authority figures because that has about as much to do with committing a crime as what these people have done.
  • by Linkreincarnate ( 840046 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:09PM (#50348419) Homepage
    I didnt know about it before and now I do. Thanks sweden. Now sue yourselves.
  • Is there a law? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captnjohnny1618 ( 3954863 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:09PM (#50348425)
    Against this:

    "Both men stand accused of distributing knowledge and guides on how to obtain illegal content online and are reported to have confessed."

    ?

    If there is, then they are probably in violation. But aren't there other resources on how to do illegal things that don't get shut down? Plenty of folks have written about how to get onto Silk Road and buy drugs and yet we haven't seen those sites disappear... curious. Just goes to show they don't care about whether its illegal or not, only if it *slightly* affects their bottom line. But we all knew that already, didn't we?
    • Re:Is there a law? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:20PM (#50348503)

      In order to exceed the speed limit follow these steps...

      1. Turn on your car
      2. Put your car in a drive gear.
      3. Depress the accelerator pedal until the speedometer shows a value higher than the posted speed limit. (Try to avoid obstacles.)

      I'm off to the police station to confess. Bye /.

      • (Try to avoid obstacles.)

        But in my monster truck that takes the fun out of it!

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        All-time prize winning post.

      • Your analogy is good but it's not a 100% comparative. If you included information about where the police is and isn't so that you can speed without getting caught that would be more like it.

        Or how to setup a police radar...

        Because speeding isn't considered as much of an offence as stealing it doesn't get the same response from the authorities.

        • What does stealing have to do with this case?
          Copyright infringement is not theft

          • Your now ready to become a lawyer.

            Copyright infringement is still a criminal offense (One that still has many grey lines).

            • There are only three scenarios where it is a criminal offense in my country. All of which must involve selling, hiring or for use in the course of a business.

              Anything a person does for their own use is a civil matter.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          The more important difference is that the speeding could theoretically lead to someone's death, the copyright infringement could not.

          • Which is why it's much easier to proceed with a crime that has no consequences so it's why it takes precedence over the one that is less likely. (I'm referring to the people making use of the information, not the ones providing it).

            Most people could speed excessively today but don't (key being excessive). There were studies done on this and believe it or not most speed limits are set based on driver comfort zone with a few exceptions such as school zones. Most people don't want to get in an accident so they

            • by sjames ( 1099 )

              Somewhere, right now there are probably 2 or more young drivers jokingly following the instructions on how to speed.

              They probably don't expect it to be a problem. Honestly, neither do I.

      • In order to kill some civilians / infidels, follow these steps...

        1. Combine (insert materials here) to make an effective bomb
        2. Transport bomb via (specific technique) as to not arouse suspicions
        3. Have an alibi of some sorts, (this) is a good one
        4. Pick (specific day/time) for maximum effectiveness
        5. Detonate bomb!

        Hey, don't arrest me, I'm just exercising my free speech here! There's nothing legally or morally wrong about the information my website has to offer, so fuck off you socialist ba
        • by unrtst ( 777550 )

          Then you may not want to read this article on Wired, "10 Guns, Bombs, and Weapons You Can Build at the Airport": http://www.wired.com/2013/12/t... [wired.com]
          Let alone the myriad of books that have been published on exactly the topic you describe, and loads and loads of "fiction" in movies, tv, books, etc following the same. You must really hate Dexter.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      I've no idea about Danish legislation on this so can't comment, but if there is then presumably it would apply to your Silk Road example too, but maybe there just aren't any such sites hosted in Denmark and/or by Danes that have come to the attention of the authorities there yet. On the plus side, with a good lawyer, they might just be able to get off and establish a line in the sand on this kind of thing that would then apply to sites doing similar things for Torrent index sites and similar scenarios that
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nosPAm.nerdflat.com> on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:26PM (#50348551) Journal

    Both men stand accused of distributing knowledge and guides on how to obtain illegal content online

    That what they were distributing was information on how to break the law is wholly irrelevant to the subject at hand, which is that they were sill ultimately arrested for distributing knowledge... effectively making legislating what people are allowed to even *THINK* about.

  • Prosecuted for the distribution of knowledge? I thought the Danes would be better than that....
  • Counterproductive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mu51c10rd ( 187182 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:45PM (#50348693)

    These arrests seem counterproductive. I was not aware of Popcorntime at all, but with this media coverage, am now more inclined to take a look at it. The media companies need to rethink their strategy. These services become more popular when they get them in the public eye (Napster, Limewire, Gnutella, PirateBay, etc.)

  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:47PM (#50348715) Homepage

    Crime shows and heist films are educating bank robbers and future murderers, teaching them how to plan bank robberies and how to hide murders. They even show the process of how the police typically catch other bank robbers and murderers, further educating them on how to avoid police detection. The entire cast of CSI needs to report to the local precinct ASAP.

    • If I was planning to do a bank robbery or murder, I would not base my plans of a TV show, while they may show some actual police processes they are probably full of make believe too. While I am not familiar with actual crime investigations processes I can tell there are lot of flaws things I know about.

      One example seems to be how they almost always seem to send in two people to apprehend a known armed criminal, when I would think a swat team would usually sent in. I know this is to build drama, but I doubt

    • Except those TV shows are fiction - those techniques don't work.
      The process they show is made up to the point it doesn't usually obey the laws of physics.

  • Libraries are next (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:50PM (#50348737)
    May as well dismantle libraries next. They are chock full of information that could be used to subvert the state. The last thing government wants is a well-educated populace.
    • by d'baba ( 1134261 )

      Nah, don't dismantle them. Too much work. Just taint them with a massive number of titles like:

      Physics - Born Again
      The Chemistry of Transubstantiation
      The Science of Sin/The Sin of Science
      Eureka, I've Found YHWH

      • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

        or replace the nonfiction shelves with face displays of Rowling, James, et. al.

        Pander to the belle du jour, tits and ass hunger of the teenage boy (or girl), while deliberately starving the wider populace of actual useful knowledge like how to bake bread (I'm utterly shocked but not surprised at how many people DON'T know how to make bread but know all the fucking cheats for Candy Crush!) or how to make and use a penny stove (without googling - what's a penny stove? Don't try and double bluff me, I make and

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          Well, I used to make my own bread (when in the US where the bread universally sucks), but I had to look up the penny stove. Ha, OK, it's a can stove. But what's the penny for ?
  • Until now ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @01:55PM (#50348777)

    ... I was unfamiliar with Popcorn Time. But thanks to the Danish police, I am now familiar with the service. The Danish police need to arrest themselves immediately!

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      I had never heard of RojaDirecta until the US shut it down. Turns out it's the best source for beautiful HD sports streams with no BS. Thanks for the info, DOJ!

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