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UK Pirate Party Forced To Give Up Legal Fight

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the live-to-fight-another-day dept.

Piracy 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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245 comments

Help! (5, Funny)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | about a year ago | (#42337457)

Help! I'm being repressed!

Re:Help! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337509)

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

Re:Help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337851)

I think I speak for most people when I say "I think you're an idiot!"

Re:Help! (5, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42337939)

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

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/4/25/1345/03329 [kuro5hin.org]

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 Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers.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:Help! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337949)

I think most people care

You have a sample bias, then.

Re:Help! (3, Informative)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42338133)

What sample bias that every single person I know personally has copied something from the internet or the radio, or recorded off of TV, or shared something they purchased with someone else who has then made copies of it themselves?

More specifically the institutions pushing for more insane copywright laws have done MORE to damage peoples personal and public image of authors and creators. I think there would be less piracy if there was not such an overwhelming force making people feel like its OK. Take for instance streetside CD shops. These were commonplace in El Paso, TX 5-6 years ago before enforcement started a heavy crackdown. I think people reasonably felt justified in what they were doing. They were not evil people or stupid people, people just did what they thought was right anyway. Was it legal no, was it fair to the original authors still living no. Was it educational to me, hell yeah. I can certainly see why they would do this.

If we had a poll that the laws as they stand now are unfair and have been used wrongly. The overwhelming majority would want a shorter term and more stringent controls on "who" gets to own intellectual property and how its transfered.

Even the so called mass of idiots of youtube would fit in that sample.

Re:Help! (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#42338401)

I second that. I have yet to meet a person over the age of ~5 that has not committed an act of "Piracy".

Re:Help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337581)

Yep, a bunch of scumbag leeches whining they can't get shit for free. *plays world's smallest violin*

Re:Help! (2)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42337675)

The song you're playing is under copyright! You owe ASCAP 200$.

Re:Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337765)

Ok. I'll pay. I'm not a freeloader.

Re:Help! (1)

trum4n (982031) | about a year ago | (#42338063)

But since i heard you play that, its a performance. So that $200 becomes $200,000 per person. And since there's a window open, a chance that people outside heard it, we will just say 500 people were there!

Onanism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337487)

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

Re:Onanism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337545)

"money trumps justice"

Depends how you define justice as you seem to define it as 'being able to steal content from producers'.

Stealing is the lowest of crimes.

Re:Onanism (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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 (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#42338057)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338127)

did you cut in a share of all your profits to every person who influenced your ideas, or who you, let's face it, copied and borrowed ideas from when you wrote your shit?

Re:Onanism (1, Insightful)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Onanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338161)

Speaking as an artist, if your art depends on a profit motive than it isn't art at all.

You are free to get a "real job".

Re:Onanism (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#42338315)

I did get a real job. It pays the bills, and occasionally, if I can find time, I still write.

My art doesn't depend on having a profit. My art depends on having the time, ambition, and inspiration to produce it after I come home from my real job.

Re:Onanism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338177)

Bonus points for both managing to side-step the argument and missing the point of your excerpt.

To answer your question, just look around. I'm sure there will be some gems in this very thread. If not, thumb through past piracy threads we've hosted here. Failing that, just Google it. It quite literally requires a staggering level of willful ignorance to ask that question.

More to the point of your red herring, though, that the value you have determined for your product will be impacted by piracy is not in question; it is the extent to which that can be labeled "theft" which is so contorted by the industry to be laughable. If you are a content producer, then you have been exposed to all of the talking points regarding this subject, so spare us both the circle-jerk routine.

Re:Onanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338267)

You are fighting a loosing battle against your end consumers. Sneaker net will win in the end. USB drives are starting to touch 256 gig each for a reasonable price. You can show up at a friends house with a empty 4TB drive and wish you brought 2. Collections will tend towards bigger and bigger as people aggregate their stuff together. Your stories will be a few files file out of thousands of others.

Your market has shifted. Is it 'right' or 'wrong' that is up for debate. But do not pine for the past (it is gone). What are you going to do about it now? Do not 'hope' for it. What are you going to do about it? How do you add value? That is what people are willing to pay for and do not worry about those who are cheap (yes there is such a thing as a bad customer). Your main product now has little value (even though you put tons of work into it). For example I raked my yard, it took 2 days to do and some blisters (estimate about 600 dollar of my time to do it). That work has NO value now other than a job well done.

A more interesting way to go is the 'There's a sucker born every minute' route. Apple has pulled it off masterfully. Their computers and phones are arguably no better than anything else out there. However people pay a premium for it. Buying entertainment such as you sell (I assume) you need to make people think 'shut up and take my money'.

Perhaps you could write a story on it? Call it 'the pile' about some dude searching for the ultimate warez collection. How he goes thru dozens of groups, and parties, shady chars, looking for it. Then in the end realizes the pile is a waste of time and how he decides to pay for it all, for the rest of his life... You could do it as the heros journey. Then put a patina of 'why are you stealing this when you could be paying me?' Kick in a USB drive signed by you if someone can prove they bought it from you...

Re:Onanism (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about a year ago | (#42338339)

First and foremost, copyright infringement doesn't necessarily mean theft. There are a lot of factors to look at. If people were passing off your work as theirs, you'd have a sticking point, but only for that subset of infringement. The reason is that at that point they are stealing people who would have been paying customers of yours.

Most "pirates" have no desire to profit from your work. Your work could not be easily accessible, reasonably priced, they want to sample before they buy, or they very well are freeloaders. These are the four main reasons why copyright infringement happens in this day and age.

Personally, I like to sample things before I buy them. I have bought a lot of stuff because I was able to do this, whether is was through legal means or not. There is a small percentage of the time that I just simply do not like the price - sometimes I don't even bother sampling if I see the price is not in an acceptable range. There's an even smaller percentage that I'm just being a freeloader. The last two are corrected over time if I like the product enough - by this I mean that I will eventually pay for it.

Now, concerning the bulk of what you have written, It's sort of clear that you have some understanding of the underlying reasons why people may pirate your work. You will never ever ever eliminate piracy from your work, and you will never know how many people fit the roles of paying customer vs different types of pirates. The only thing you'll ever know is that X amount of people paid for product Y.

I don't buy the idea that you have no clear route of making income from your work due to piracy. You have a lot of different avenues at your disposal. How you choose to utilize them is up to you. Since you've been trying to compare piracy to physical theft, this analogy should work for you. Store owners don't complain they have no clear route of making money due to theft at their stores. They realize it's a part of business and they do what they reasonably can to limit as much as they can.

Re:Onanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338239)

Instagram was about to steal photos from people. Is that the same kind of stealing?

Re:Onanism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338325)

When I watch a movie I pay for it by purchasing the DVD, watching it on Netflix or whatever.

When I listen to music I pay for it.

I expect my neighbors to do the same. Downloading the content through a third party and avoiding paying the producer is theft, this is not opinion, this is not a misunderstanding. This is what we call the English language and words have meanings.

My moral superiority does comfort me as I am a responsible person and will not face penalties for my actions as I do not steal. Nor do my children as I have taught them to value the efforts of producers of content and to live a moral life.

You on the other hand cannot say this, you are a thief and a criminal.

Have a good day.

Re:Onanism (-1, Troll)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about a year ago | (#42338337)

Debunked with bullshit by people who want to feel good about being thieves. It's not surprising you've convinced yourself.

Re:Onanism (3, Insightful)

zentigger (203922) | about a year ago | (#42337631)

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 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337807)

Absolutely right. This isn't about theft, it's about the right to be an whiny, entitled freeloader.

Re:Onanism (1)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#42338155)

It's about greed. The only reason you don't see that is because you're paid not to.

Re:Onanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338335)

Yeah it's so greedy to be paid for your work. I presume that's why you ask for no payment for work and services you provide, right?

Re:Onanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337833)

He's only using the same way that it's used here [slashdot.org] here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org].

Re:Onanism (5, Insightful)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42337643)

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.

Re:Onanism (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#42337831)

My thoughts exactly. "I could not afford to defend myself" is never the right outcome.

Re:Onanism (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#42337893)

Doesn't the UK have a "loser pays" system for lawsuit legal expenses? That creates some different dynamics here, since it means that unless the Pirate Party is very certain of their case, they could end up liable for both sides.

Re:Onanism (3, Interesting)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about a year ago | (#42338031)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338217)

Never mind the fact that even IF the Pirate Party won, AND was awarded full legal costs to be recouped (which in and of itself means that they had to somehow magically intially come up with the money to pay the legal fees for the entire length of the trial), what are the odds that they'd even see one thin dime from BPI after the fact? An army of lawyers could keep delaying, and coming up with excuses, appealing, and using every trick and loophole in the book to generally avoiding paying for probably decades if need be.

This is upper caste vs. lower caste. The upper caste is going to make it as absolutely difficult as humanly possible to even get one red cent out of them. In all actuality, should such an eventuality come up (which it never would, because being upper caste, BPI would have long since bought their victory, which is obviously the case because that's exactly what they've done... thrown money at the problem until the Pirate Party backed down), there wouldn't be a single payment made to the Pirate Party ever, over any length of time.

Re:Onanism (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#42338279)

And even if they are certain of their case that does not mean they have the money needed to pay their lawyers long enough to even reach a judgement.

Re:Onanism (5, Insightful)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about a year ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338105)

Wrong. Stealing is one of the worst and coolest of crimes.

The golden rule... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337557)

...he who has the gold rules.

Consider: money can be seen as an abstract representation of how much influence one has over others. Seeing as how politics is largely just the exercise of influence over others, it should be obvious that we can no more take the money out of politics than we can take the medicine out of health care.

Re:The golden rule... (1)

capedgirardeau (531367) | about a year ago | (#42338101)

Yes, maybe as what you said. But we are not talking about politics and legislation, we are talking about the legal system which should be the one place that the playing field is level and it clearly is not.

Re:Onanism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337573)

Exactly what I was coming in to say. YAY, BIG MEDIA! Congradulations on once again out-moneying your opponent. Seems to be status quo. But hey, this is the upper caste vs. the lower caste, so it was a pretty safe assumption who was going to win no matter what.

Money (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337899)

As the old saying goes, privatize the profits, socialize the losses.

As Jack Sparrow said, "Take what you can, give nothing back". Makes me wonder who the real pirates are :P

Re:Money (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year ago | (#42337907)

Doesn't bother me, I'm not, nor will I ever be, a customer of BPI

(pardon the narrow view, but I'm just making a point)

Re:Money (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#42338295)

There is no actual "Justice" available. Its for sale these days, all it takes is enough litigation to break the opposition, or the threat of it, and your principles, justice, honor etc, is meaningless. So we have gone from "Justice is Blind" to "Justice is a Whore"...
This is why corporations are so evil I think, it enables people with an agenda to wield bigger bank accounts with zero risk to themselves and use those to bludgeon free speech and political opinion to death.

crowdfunding for this fight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337521)

Start a crowdfunding campaign for this cause. They will cover costs in a few minutes.

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (4, Interesting)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42337687)

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.]

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337923)

fighting this case to trial could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds

"Your honour, we are not an ISP and do not fall under the provisions of the ruling"

"Case dismissed"

Total cost: one pint of beer.

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42338331)

"Your honour, we want a new order against the Pirate Party because they are acting as a service provider within the scope of s97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and are providing access to a website that they know is being used to infringe copyright."

"OK, here's your order - also, as the law is (mostly) clear, they were wasting all our time, so I'll make them pay all your costs on an indemnity basis."

Cost, a few hundred thousand pounds, plus more to appeal.

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338005)

Almost as if the people who support the Pirate Bay are cheapskates who don't want to contribute financially to things that benefit them. Who would have thought?

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (3, Insightful)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#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.

Heh. Sue for damages. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338349)

Really.

Sue for damages caused by being forced to abandon their distribution method for their content.

Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#42337867)

I think you have a typo.. you wrote 'in' instead of 'for'. Easy mistake to make.

Well there's a surprise. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337539)

Did anyone really expect a party made up of software pirates to actually _have_ any money?

Re:Well there's a surprise. (-1, Troll)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42337695)

But we're Pirates, who steal all sorts of stuff from musicians and creators, and deprive them of £billions in income a year - all that money must go somewhere.

Oh, wait...

Re:Well there's a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337813)

Indeed. For all the billions they steal every year, you'd expect them to have a little more bite to their bark. They must be spending it all on amphetamines.

Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (-1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#42337555)

to keep fighting for digital rights however they can

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.

After all, it doesn't cost someone a single dime to create the software in the first place so why should they have to pay for it? Everything's free, right?

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42337623)

listen you greedy capitalist pig

you should be happy to live off the pennies you make on selling t-shirts and coffee cups

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42337641)

I'll let others do the usual list of reasons why pirating is better for all mankind, and just point out that the digital rights referred to may be the access to resources on the internet (TPB), being allowed to host a proxy (as they had doe), or redirect (as some others do).

It is most unfortunate that they're basically giving up the fight. It makes their statement that they'll continue to fight the good fight elsewhere a bit hollow. I realize one should fight the battles one can win, live to fight another day, lose the battle but not the war and all that - but it still sends a message that when faced with legal threats, they'll back down pretty quickly.
Given the great number of 'pirates', mounting a legal defense fund should have been easy. Getting those 'pirates' to put money into that fund may be easier said than done for obvious and non-obvious reasons, though.

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | about a year ago | (#42337811)

I'll let others do the usual list of reasons why pirating is better for all mankind

Excepting those who don't get paid for their hard efforts.

and just point out that the digital rights referred to may be the access to resources on the internet (TPB)

Access all the resources you like, so long as it's not focused, even if "only" partially, on something illegal.

being allowed to host a proxy (as they had doe)

Nothing wrong there, host all the proxies you like, so long as it's not focused on something illegal.

or redirect (as some others do).

Redirect to your heart's content, so long as you're not focusing on something illegal. Wait, am I repeating myself?

It's not about digital rights. All the so-called "rights" you list are not at risk.

And despite the raving spewing forth, doing illegal stuff is also not at risk.

If you're really serious about digital rights and so forth, learn some marketing and put forth a proposal as to how business models should evolve. Back it up with numbers and hard data (not just "if only everyone did this, then such-and-such would work" or "me and my friends would support this, go on, give it a try"). The cop-out I see all the time on Slashdot is "business models need to evolve". So suggest this magical evolutionary path, then. If you can come up with a realistic and feasible roadmap, you'll make a lot of money. Otherwise you're just taking stuff because you can and because you're too damn cheap to pay.

Everything else is sophistry, and the reality is that no matter how much business models evolve they will most likely be a losing proposition regardless because people like being able to get stuff for free with low risk of getting caught breaking the law.

"Digital rights"? Please...what about the right to produce something, choose a business model that says "I want to be paid for this artifact up front, not when or if you feel like it", and bear the consequences of people rejecting your chosen business model by NOT BUYING YOUR PRODUCT and doing without it rather than just taking it?

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year ago | (#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:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338175)

I noticed that none of the artists you listed have recorded anything in a long time.

It is because of those pirates, no doubt.

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338359)

given that buddy died over 50 years ago, all of his recording are out of copyright (at least they are here in the UK) as it only extends 50 years from the year of recording/release.

If you have a recoding of Bach playing his own compositions - please share with the rest of the world.

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42337911)

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!

Shut up and take my money (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42337767)

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 [theoatmeal.com] for Game of Thrones without compensating Disney for ESPN, an unwanted service?

Re:Shut up and take my money (0)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42338039)

And how should one compensate HBO for Game of Thrones without compensating Disney for ESPN, an unwanted service?

So if you're at the store where they sell boxes of mixed chocolates and you really like the dark chocolate and nougats but hate the creamy and vanilla chocolate what is your idea of fair compensation? Because your other points were pretty good but that you don't like the commercial bundle is something quite different than "the author is neither giving the work away nor selling it".

Re:Shut up and take my money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338213)

The chocolate manufacturers are bright enough to realise that by packaging the dark chocolates by themselves (or the nougat for that matter, but not the coffee creams, obviously) that people will, if they are priced accordingly, buy them.

Quality Street (or more precisely whoever makes QS) made a point of this tactic by introducing "Big Ones"

http://www.chocolatemission.net/2008/10/october-31st-quality-street-my-caramel.html

presumably working on the basis that people who wouldn't buy a mixed selection of sweets would buy their favourites.

It has seemed to work from them, but then they're only selling sweeties, not trying to control what we see and hear at a price that suits them alone.

Re:Shut up and take my money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338075)

Does the copyright owner have the right to *not* sell the work? It is my understanding of the law that the answer to that question is "yes" in many/most circumstances. Compulsory licenses for streaming music are one exception: you must license your work at the stated rate if there is a compulsory license law in effect. Barring those exceptions, however, if you own the rights to distribute a copyrighted work you also have the right to *not* distribute that work. It's incredibly frustrating (and stupid) for the various studios (both movie and music) to intentionally restrict the things they release. However, a lack of distribution does not invalidate their copyright.

Re:Shut up and take my money (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#42338187)

However, a lack of distribution does not invalidate their copyright.

It should. A right (to restrict distribution) without a corresponding duty (to do said distribution yourself) is unbalanced. And worldwide distribution at that. 'N' years without publishing and presto, right lost, similar to what happens with trademarks. (See also my answer to the OP for more on this notion.)

Re:Shut up and take my money (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#42338153)

Sometimes the author is neither giving the work away nor selling it.

Which is why I use to suggest anti-copyright activists should start hammering into their (and their opponents) discourse the much needed counter-concept of "copyduty".

Copyright discussions are always about currently on-sale IP, but the tons upon tons of nowhere-to-be-legally-found copyrighted content out there that's dying is quite worrisome. From the three branches of IP, trademark is the only one that comes with a duty: if you don't actively use and protect your trademark, you lose it. Copyrights and patents should be the same. In fact, as much as I'm against copyrights as a matter of principle, I wouldn't mind an eternal one provided lack of worldwide (because: Internet!) publishing/manufacturing for 'n' years after creation/invention caused it to automatically expire. Sure, some extremely successful stuff would go on under tight corporate control for centuries, but the huge amount of stuff that would end up freed would more than make up for that.

Let's start talking about copyduty whenever possible. It's a must.

Re:Shut up and take my money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338405)

So basically, you believe I, as an author, should be required to release ALL my work on your time schedule and via a channel that you desire.

I will not produce anything under those terms. Ever. I will go get a construction job rebuilding Initech first.

Copyright gives me exclusive rights to control the distribution (or lack thereof) of my work and that's the way it needs to stay. It doesn't matter to me one whit whether you want a copy of something I don't want to sell or you don't like that you have to pay Disney to view my work or that you have to wait awhile for DVD release. (Do you also demand I release the many, many pieces of crap I've written but not published over the years?)

The problems as I see it are:

-Copyright terms longer than 14 years. I'd be okay with 28 years. But there has to be a limit. Life+ridiculous isn't working.
-DMCA
-Possibly, though I'm not 100% on this: The ability to transfer a copyright.

Focus on fixing that and you'll have my support. Otherwise, keep your mitts out of my cookie jar.

Extremes are always absurd (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42337785)

Actually, software piracy is pretty minimal in the UK - at least, through personal downloading (rather than commercial-scale forgetting-how-many-computers-you-are-allowed-to-install-it-on infringement); according to Ofcom's recent study [ofcom.org.uk], only 2% of Internet users have illegally downloaded any software ever (compared with 6% for TV and film, and 8% for music). And as for it being free, about 85% of software that was acquired online *was* free.

That said, the study is a bit dubious because they claim only 17% of Internet users have ever downloaded computer software... I was under the impression that Firefox had a larger market share than that in the UK...

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337905)

When they speak of "intellectual property", they mean the ability to create a system of artificial scarcity for information, and demand real money that took real work to make, for a mere copy that took *zero* work to make. (A copy of the work that some poor schmuck, who didn't get shit, made, of course.)
In other words: To get free money while sitting on their fat asses. Forever, until the end of the universe.
Even for imaginary copies. Any price they want, because of their illegally enforced (yet utterly delusional) monopoly.
And you have the audacity add insult to injury, by calling *US* leeches!

Even though it's statistically *proven* that 1. sales didn't go down *one bit*. It only shifted to things like iTunes, and prices got into an actually realistic range again; 2. file sharers are *by far* those who spend the most money on information (like music, movies, etc); 3. all small labels, except for the cartel of the big ones, actually noticed that the more they uploaded their stuff for file sharing, the more popular they got, the more money they made.
Those are all facts, and you an look them up.

Fuck off, you fuckin' criminal and organized crime supporter! You know *shit*, and are dumber than a decorative cherry on top of a plate of monkey feces! Go learn at least the *basics* of the psychics of distribution of information, before you open your mouth full of shit! And stop gobbling the jenkem-flavored FUD Kool-Aid of the Content Mafia!

s/psychics/PHYSICS/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337959)

P.S.: I bet you will cling to that typo like a motherfucker, because it's the only thing you got.

P.P.S.: If you chose a delusional business model that has no relation to reality, and it then comes crashing down as reality approaches like a freight train at full speed... Don’t come crying to me!. Boo-hoo; Fuck youu!

Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338185)

I wish Slashdot would learn some damn economics.

The cost of producing a copy is the (marginal cost) + (fixed cost)/(total copies sold).

If I spend $1,000,000 making a movie and sell $1,000 copies even if the process of copping and distributing the film is $0 (It never is, servers and bandwidth do cost money), it still costs me $1,000 per copy because no copies can be made until the original exists. So unless I sell it at > $1,000 each I'm loosing money.

This is why pirating hurts artists. It doesn't matter that making the copy is free, because your not paying for that. You're paying a share of the fixed cost associated with creating the work in the first place. And if a particular work doesn't make it into the black the odds of that artist getting another chance shrink.

You can argue that copyright terms are too long, or that the *AA organizations are abusing their partners, or that the second order effects of piracy sometimes included increasing legitimate sales. However none of that changes the fact that it is not free to produce a digital copy, and claiming otherwise is an argument from ignorance that you need to cure yourself of before you can be taken seriously by the people in a position to do anything about copyright law.

That's fine. (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42337589)

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

Other proxies (2)

Meneth (872868) | about a year ago | (#42337637)

So, what other proxies can UK residents use to circumvent the block? TOR [wikipedia.org], obviously. But that can be a bit slow. Here [piratereverse.info]'s a fairly long list.

http://fucktimkuik.org/ (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#42337787)

http://fucktimkuik.org/

Links to a random proxy and hasn't gone down yet.

The silly thing? I actually stopped for a long time with file sharing because it just wasn't worth it anymore and not much fun. Now it is.

Challenge accepted!

Re:Other proxies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337863)

It's no longer about actually accessing the site. A political party can no longer support their own manifesto because a company has decided it's a bad thing for the business. The political part can no longer go to court to show that company the status quo of the situation because there isn't enough money to have a civil debate about cost/benefits to the whole of society.

A political party is no longer able to back it's politics because it is unable to attempt to show the world the politics are a good idea. How is this a positive move for anyone?

Re:Other proxies (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about a year ago | (#42338379)

And the BPI guy had the nerve to suggest they weren't trying to censor us or restrict our freedom of expression...

And the game of whack-a-mole continues.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42337659)

After well over a decade, it's not even interesting anymore.

Re:And the game of whack-a-mole continues.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337841)

Ah well, it remains very interesting to BPI and their ilk, who eventually win because people like you get bored and stop resisting.

Re:And the game of whack-a-mole continues.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337951)

And what's their endgame?

What constitutes 'winning'?

Re:And the game of whack-a-mole continues.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338169)

A combination of:

1) Strict laws punishing people for attempted copyright infringement (complete destitution of middle-or-lower class families per file shared).
2) Strict laws forcing all hardware to have back doors that allow for remote monitoring of all use (to enforce the above laws). Harsh punishments here too.
3) Strict laws forcing ISP's to perform deep packet inspection on all communication, at their own cost (which is passed on to consumers), with harsh punishments for using encryption or anything to skirt this.
4) Strict laws forcing all software (OS and application level) to disallow any data-duplication options that might be used for copyright infringement (with harsh penalties).
5) Automatic royalty collection for all distributed music, regardless of whether or not it is copyrighted, regardless of the means of distribution. Major players will transmit a minute fraction of this royalty to the artist provided said artist has signed the appropriate contracts (otherwise they just keep it all, and sighing up costs more than what is given back in most cases).
6) A tax on all forms of data-transmission (physical and electronic) to compensate artists for the illegal infringement that is still going on. Actual artists will only see a minute fraction of this compensation, provided they are properly signed up (which costs more than the amount returned in most cases).

Note...every single point on this list has either already been enacted, or has been proposed and pushed, by industry lobbies.

Re:And the game of whack-a-mole continues.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42338353)

Most of those would actually be completely unenforceable with today's technology... and among those that might even be theoretically enforceable, even at a minimum would require cutting the nation off from all communication with outside countries, including all forms of international travel, unless you could get the entire world to agree to a single governing body.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337679)

Folks, goto to http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn - buy and use. End of story.

Add another crime to the list... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337791)

1. Creation and sustainment of a cartel for the purpose of organized crime.
2. Creation of a model of artificial scarcity (imaginary property) through manipulation of and lying to government officials.
3. Conspiration to commit usury in millions to billions of cases. (Mere copies are not worth anything since they didn't require work to make. Let alone at those prices.)
4. Racketeering, blackmail and extortion in tens to hundreds of thousands of cases.
5. Distribution of propaganda, slander, libel and hate-speech at the expense of millions, if not billions of cases. (Calling people "pirates" and all those hate ads.) ...

How linking to a proxy to TPB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337829)

Will they still be liable to compile a list of quality PirateBay proxies and redirect people to them when they try to access the proxy?
How about them linking to a website that redirects people to proxies when they try to access the Pirate Party proxy?
What I'm trying to say is: when do people stop being liable for links/proxies?
What if I'm running a free SOCKS proxy? Am I still liable for the content that passes through?

Silly Pirates (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42337977)

The Courts are for the Super Rich and Mega Corporations!

True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42338135)

We all just need to stop consuming their product... Listen to alternative music and documentaries. In a few years they will be to broke to do anything . . .

How convenient for them (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#42338149)

As a result of this proxy their site has jumped into the top-ten UK sites for traffic from being down in the mumble-hundreds. That's going to be a pretty penny in traffic costs.

Suddenly from on high comes a reason for them to shut it down.

The court order in question specifically lists the six ISPs that are required to block the Pirate Bay. The Pirate Party is not on the list. Neither is my ISP. The BPI is not suing my ISP. What makes the Pirate Party so special?

Perhaps someone from the Party could state right here what provision in legslation has them so spooked:

________________

Disclaimer: I do not respect the Pirate Party. Nor the Green party, for that matter. Or the Tories, Labour, Lim Dems...

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