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European Human Rights Court Rejects Pirate Bay Founders' Appeal

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the freedom-of-expression dept.

EU 183

A bit over a year since having their case rejected by the Swedish Supreme Court and appealing to the European Human Rights Court, it looks like basically all legal options have been exhausted for the Pirate Bay Founders: their case has been rejected. From the article: "The EHCR recognizes that the Swedish verdict interferes with the right to freedom of expression, but ruled that this was necessary to protect the rights of copyright holders. In its decision the Court also considered the fact that The Pirate Bay did not remove torrents linking to copyrighted material when they were asked to. 'The Court held that sharing, or allowing others to share files of this kind on the Internet, even copyright-protected material and for profit-making purposes, was covered by the right to "receive and impart information" under Article 10 ... However, the Court considered that the domestic courts had rightly balanced the competing interests at stake – i.e. the right of the applicants to receive and impart information and the necessity to protect copyright – when convicting the applicants and therefore rejected their application as manifestly ill-founded.'"

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183 comments

same as Hadopi... (2)

lfourrier (209630) | about a year ago | (#43160311)

the french constitutional concil justified Hadopi by the balance between freedom of expression and property rights.

If freedom of expression (which doesn't really legaly exist in Europe as strongly as in the US) must always be balanced with property rights, only money can really speaks its mind.

Re:same as Hadopi... (2, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43160675)

Well copyright itself is a constraint on free speech, because you are not allowed to communicate copyrighted material. With perfect free speech, only the first person uploading a work could be held responsible, making copyright unenforceable. So some limitation of free speech is a necessity, the problem is where to draw the line. In my opinion, linking to infringing material shouldn't be infringement in itself, nor should a site be held responsible for the infringements commited by its costumers. But current EU law doesn't prevent that.

Re:same as Hadopi... (0, Offtopic)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43161003)

I don't think any of you understand what "free speech" is.

Clue: It's not the right to say anything, anywhere. It certainly isn't the right to give a Hollywood movie to somebody else.

Re:same as Hadopi... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161093)

Let me guess: "free speech" means whatever Joce640k on Slashdot says it means.

What do I win, Bob?

Re:same as Hadopi... (3, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | about a year ago | (#43161217)

Erm, you seem to mistaken. Not sure if just shilling or willfully ignorant, but "free speech" means "free to speak", therefore the freedom to say whatever you want, anywhere(sorry, should I have prefaced that with a snarky "Clue:?")

Whether you feel that brings about too many problems(shouting "Fire!" in a crowded room) and wish to regulate certain portions of it is a different argument. But "Free speech" is exactly that.

In regards to that separate argument, I do feel some limits on speech can be reasonably agreed upon if it is required to protect the safety of people should that speech serve no other purpose but to harm the innocent by a literal and quantifiable definition of harm(in other words, "harmful thoughts" or anything upsetting a status quo should not be sufficient grounds on which to curb the freedom of expression, nor should one's "sensitivity" to a topic, but the aforementioned yelling of "Fire!" to incite a harmful panic upon a crowded room would be as would knowingly be taunting a diagnosed case of depression into committing suicide).

What you appear to be proposing is that economic interests if a party wishing to perpetually control distribution of data should also trump it. That is certainly an argument to be made, but please do not attempt to mask it,

Re:same as Hadopi... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43161245)

What about defamation laws, etc.? What are your feelings on those?

Re:same as Hadopi... (5, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | about a year ago | (#43161467)

They are as nuanced as my statement would indicate. If the defamation is an untruth or a willful alteration of context meant(as in, literally "meant" as in the presence of mens rea) to cause literal, quantifiable harm to someone otherwise innocent of the accusation(s), I believe in the curbing of that instance of the defamer's freedom of expression in that case for the purpose of defending that person against that slander.

Again, this is my personal opinion on the matter.

Re:same as Hadopi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161679)

Define how sensitivity to a topic is not the same as nagging someone to depression?

Re:same as Hadopi... (2)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#43161283)

Nope, but it certainly is the right to finance your own medium to pass on the cryptographic hash of a sections of a Hollywood movie that you think someone else has (as he told you he had it, and told you the hashes). .torrent files have never been IP infringement any more than spanners are robberies.

Have you ever seen that movie about the rich guy who drives around in his flash sports car and picks up the skinny hooker, and eventually falls in love with her, and there's all that sappy music, probably Witney Houston, and a happy ending - Pretty Woman? If not, no matter, you can borrow it of my mate Lisa, she's into all that soppy crap. You don't want to see it - that doesn't matter either - as all that matters is that I propagated some facts about the existence of a movie, and where to get it.

Would you support /. removing my post were the MAFIAA to request it to be taken down, because of copyright infringement?

Re:same as Hadopi... (0)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43161779)

You pointed to a place where you might legally borrow it, a torrent points to where you might illegally download it. I would think that's rather relevant...

Re:same as Hadopi... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43161389)

Nobody understands what free speech is for the simple reason that there is no global objective unambigous definition of it. The UDHR first states that everybody has the right to free speech, and then later that said right can be arbitrarily limited for basically any reason (like being hurtful to "public moral").
I was referring to the idealist (or radical) view of free speech that states that the legality of communication should be independent of its content. The Piratebay tried to use a similar interpretation of free speech in this case, so this view seemed relevant.

Re:same as Hadopi... (3, Informative)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#43161601)

I don't think you understand how "free speech" applies to this case.

TPB is not giving out Hollywood movies, so they are not saying that copyright infringement is free speech. What TPB does is tell you the address of someone else, who is giving out Hollywood movies. They're saying that telling you the address of someone who is committing copyright infringement, should be "free speech".

You're shitting me EHCR, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160319)

The EHCR recognizes that the Swedish verdict interferes with the right to freedom of expression, but ruled that this was necessary to protect the rights of copyright holders.

Well that's O.K then.

Wait...what?

Re:You're shitting me EHCR, right? (3, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43160509)

The question is at which point it interfers enough. Lots of things are rightfully illegal even when they interfer with freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is not an out-of-jail card that justifies anything.

Re:You're shitting me EHCR, right? (2, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43160879)

TPB scored a win for transparency. They lost their case, but forced EHCR to publicly make that bizarre statement to justify it.

Re:You're shitting me EHCR, right? (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43161215)

TPB scored a win for transparency. They lost their case, but forced EHCR to publicly make that bizarre statement to justify it.

Why is it 'bizarre'? By your definition, defamation laws must be unthinkable. Also shouting "bomb!" in crowded places, etc.. Very weird that anybody would see that as a bad thing, right?

Re:You're shitting me EHCR, right? (5, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#43161223)

What's so bizarre about it?

They basically said "corporate profits trump human rights." Not exactly Lewis Carol there.

At least it gives us Americans something to return fire with when Europeans start getting all smug about our thriving proto-fascism.

Re:You're shitting me EHCR, right? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#43161453)

It's not that bizarre an expression. I'm sure I've seen something very similar before. It simply explains how it's OK to trade freedom (of expression) for security (of exclusive rights), which we know's a good thing, isn't it?

Oh noes! (1, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43160335)

What we will do? The court decided there is no right to take someone elses work without paying for it when that person does not freely give it away, nor does one have the right to provide links to such works with the tacit understanding and a wink that the person with the link does not have the right to give the work away.

Oh noes! We can't use the excuse that taking someone elses works, without paying them for it when they don't give it away themselves, isn't a human right!

Those evil European judges, taking away my right to be cheap and not pay someone for their work!

Re:Oh noes! (-1)

cHiphead (17854) | about a year ago | (#43160445)

Name a work that's not based on the work done by others. Name a single one.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160519)

Oh, grow the fuck up already and stop rationalizing. There's a difference between an inspired work that's actually new and blatantly offering (for all practical purposes) an EXACT COPY of a work or, providing links to same with as the GP expertly put it, "tacit understanding and a wink", against the wishes of the original author(s). Which is what TPB and its users are doing.

And before you bring them up, no, introducing a token Linux distro's torrent to TPB doesn't suddenly legitimize their deliberate intent.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160985)

Stop using my fking language you word stealing bum.

Cry me a river, all ideas are stolen, that's how society and the rest of nature works.

I notice you didn't name a single one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161059)

I guess that means all works are the result of theft.

Ug wants his stuff back.

(ps very few people have not gone over the speed limit so I guess that shows that cars should be banned, right?)

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about a year ago | (#43161185)

So how does it work out if I buy a movie and then invite 10 friends over to watch it with me? They didn't pay for it. How does it work if I buy a book and then read it out loud standing on a street corner? The TPB founders are in jail, but by the same logic that was used, J.K. Rowling should be in prison to for having stolen the entire premise for Harry Potter from several authors link [techdirt.com]

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year ago | (#43161241)

Stop trying to rationalise artificial scarcity.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161537)

Stop trying to rationalise artificial scarcity.

Stop pretending the supply is natural.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160529)

So you're saying you wouldn't mind people stealing your companies products too? I assume your company needs that money so they can pay you, but you wouldn't mind giving it away.
Nobody ever really thinks about the regular guys behind the scenes of all those movies and song they pirate, do they?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160999)

I'm in the service industry. You can't copy my (real) work.

Copyright infringement != Stealing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161171)

Read a book.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161117)

Silly question with a silly basis.

An amazing new performance of Holst's "The Planets" gets released on CD. The value of that CD has many sources, such as:
* Holst's original composition
* The performance (including all the pracitce/rehearsal) by the orchestra and conductor
* The actual process of recording, mixing, mastering, etc
* The various physical components of the CD

Someone comes along and rip the CD to a collection of FLAC files and makes them freely available to whoever wants them. Thousands download it, including you. You listen to it and enjoy it immensely. You keep the files so you can listen to them again. You never go out and buy the CD based on the quality of the performance and the recording. You never send payment, in any fashion, to the orchestra members, the composer, the recording engineers, etc.

That recording is most certainly a work that is based on the work done by others. Nevertheless, you, and everyone that aided in making the files available, and everyone that downloaded the files and enjoyed the performance *without paying*, have stolen the fruits of someone else's work. It doesn't matter that the composer is long dead, or that millions of people have heard the piece before, or that the music score is in the public domain. It is theft.

If you want to hear "The Planets" for free, you have many alternatives to choose from... but if you want to hear *this* recording, you need to pay.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#43161301)

Classical music is a bad example to use in chastising people for filesharing.

The major labels long had to subsidize most of their classical music recordings from the profits they made in popular music, just to maintain a culturally prestigious image. If you paid for recordings, great, but your consumer goodwill alone did not sustain the industry. In the 1990s, that system broke down as labels lost interest even in profitable classical music recordings, preferring to abandon the classical canon for crossover gimmickry. Remember Peter Gelb's comment when he was head of Sony? "I'd rather lose a million on a movie score than make $10,000 on small shit." Deutsche Grammophon, Sony and Warner are pretty much dead now, and it is not filesharing that killed them.

The minor labels that are now going strong while the majors have collapsed are often funded by state arts ministries or, more rarely, corporate foundations, not sales of recordings. Even if sales of recordings are low, the bills are already paid. And being familiar with the internal workings of one European national label, I've been told that filesharing is tacitly tolerated since it can build a following and raise interest levels and concert and festival attendence, therefore keeping the cultural funding rolling in even if the recordings don't sell so much. For certain labels, an attempt to disrupt the free FLAC-trading scene would be problematic for their business.

Re:Oh noes! (2)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year ago | (#43161435)

Your argument is invalid.

It assumes that everyone who downloaded the files without paying the original artist would have paid the original artist if they did not download *a copy* of the performance. Without knowing that for certain you cannot make the argument that the original artist has been deprived of anything. Only if you got downloaders to admit their intent, or otherwise discover it, that they would have paid money to the original artist if they could not download it, would terming it theft be appropriate. Downloading in and of itself is not an indication of such intent. Many may have decided to spend their limited income on other things and forgo attempting to acquire that recording entirely, OR possibly have bought it cheaper from a second hand source.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160521)

the inherent problem, in case you missed it, is that by your logic Google needs to be shut down. and the founders fined ofc. Just the other day I was looking for information about a movie and they offered me mostly torrents.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161141)

Just the other day I was looking for information about your mom and they offered me mostly gay transvestites.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43160587)

Kinda my takeaway as well.

What? Those liberal EU judges declared counterfeiting to be... a crime?? Travesty!

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160689)

If you're not even going to bother reading about the case, why go with something petty like counterfeiting, when you can have something with real impact like murder?

Re:Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

LubosD (909058) | about a year ago | (#43160593)

Jokes aside, the linking is what worries me the most. Do you really think that the freedom of speech should be limited to such extent, that you're not even allowed to tell someone "there are people selling drugs in the XYZ street"? Because that's what linking is all about. Telling people where they can find stuff.

Re:Oh noes! (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43160977)

At most, linking to illegal material should be an "accessory to the crime" situation with penalties much less than the person who actually committed the crime. If linking to illegal content is legally/penalty-wise the same as hosting illegal content, then where does it end? I link to a page which links to a page which hosts illegal content. The link to the illegal content is itself illegal so obviously my link to that link should be illegal as well. At the same rate as the illegal content, to boot. What if we put another link or two in between my link and the "points to illegal content link"? At what level would my link become non-infringing? Or maybe that's the plan. Every page that links to another page on the Internet could potentially be linking to illegal content and so is, itself, illegal.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161071)

Where does it lead? Invariably, to the arrest of one Kevin Bacon.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Funny)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#43161349)

Don't police webpages containing names and photos of wanted criminals tell you which local hoodlums you should approach if you need a particular crime comitted - some windows smashed, or some fingers broken? Or even if you want to know where to score some weed? There's no point approaching the ones only wanted for vandalism or battery, much better to approach the ones wanted for dealing - thanks cops for making it easier to find the right guy for the job, and for being accessories to it to!

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43160617)

For some people, "Information wants to be free" to transfer to their computer, but they don't want the dollars in their pocket to be free to travel the other way into the author's pocket.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43160653)

As currencies are no longer based on the tangible like gold, it's pure data-stream discriminatory meme fascism. One virtual stream they want to be free; the other, hells no!

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160837)

The general public pirates movies, music and software at will and nothing short of a draconian police state is going to stop it. Punishing the Pirate Bay founders will accomplish nothing in terms of stopping piracy. Deal with it.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#43160931)

Those evil European judges, taking away my right to be cheap and not pay someone for their work!

Strictly speaking, they're taking away your right to facilitate other people who want to be cheap and not pay someone for their work.

But yes, I think every jurisdiction in the world which recognises a right to free speech will also recognise that copyright infringement isn't included in freedom of speech. I guess you could make a case that this means the entirety of copyright is wrong based on this, but it seems odd to say it only applies in this situation.

Copyright is here to stay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160345)

As are the people devoted to destroying it and circumventing it as possible, forever, on general principle.

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43160361)

And when you say general principle, you mean because you're too cheap to pay the person for the work they did creating the product.

Yup, keep justifying stealing someone elses works. It's really just semantics, right?

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160425)

Stating that people are dedicated to destroying or circumventing copyright is "justifying" it in your lexicon?

Interesting.

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160455)

And when you say general principle, you mean because you're too cheap to pay the person for the work they did creating the product.

Yup, keep justifying stealing someone elses works. It's really just semantics, right?

So noting that people are dedicated to circumventing copyright means "justifying" that, interesting semantic choice there.

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (2)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about a year ago | (#43160915)

Actually, there are cases where there is no way to obtain the information even if one was willing to pay.. have a look at movie release schedules, or out of print books, or how tv programs can be delayed for months before being released in another country. It's not nearly as black and white as you'd like to put it.

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#43161037)

Actually, there are cases where there is no way to obtain the information even if one was willing to pay.. have a look at movie release schedules, or out of print books, or how tv programs can be delayed for months before being released in another country. It's not nearly as black and white as you'd like to put it.

I think you'll find that in the majority of those cases, it's not your willingness to pay and the rights holder/distributor being unwilling to accept your payment - but rather your unwillingness, or incapability, to pay the amount that they desire.

Movie releases, for example, may be related to having the celebrities be present during opening showings. Your willingness to pay the $10 to go see it at your local movie theater isn't going to sway the distributor to send those celebrities over there when they could instead send them to a swanky theater in an uptown location known for such events. But if you wanted to pay $1,000,000 for the privilege, I'm sure they'd be willing to negotiate this.

The same applies to TV programs. Your local broadcaster has no intent of paying the sum asked. Perhaps a cable channel where you pay extra might.

Out of print books can also be brought back into print. If nothing else, buy the rights from the publisher and just print it yourself. It won't be the $4.95 you'd pay for the paperback in a random bookstore, though.

I'm sure are exceptions - the rights holder may withhold the work out of principle, for example.. but I don't know of any.

Whether it is reasonable that they delay releases, take books out of print, etc. rather than just accepting your $4.95 or $10 or whatever is another matter. I like to think that it is not, especially since we're talking things that can be moved to digital format (if it's not already) quite easily.

Re:Copyright is here to stay. (4, Insightful)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year ago | (#43161547)

No, but maybe my basic human right to speak and assemble (including by proxy using electronic means such as the Internet) should not be trumped by

  - artists thinking that they deserve a royalty check every time someone in public experiences someone playing their work
  - artists trying to tell me what I can do with personal property I own after I've bought it
  - artists trying to turn one-time transactions into eternal sources of rent (you can work like the rest of us)
  - such a system necessary to make any of that happen to any degree, including the use of corporations, industry associations, laws, and government agencies.

It really would not be a big deal if copyright infringement penalties were reasonable and copyright terms were also reasonable.

All we needed to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160371)

"The EHCR recognizes that the Swedish verdict interferes with the right to freedom of expression, but ruled that this was necessary to protect the rights of copyright holders."

No place on earth is safe from copyright law. How about space?

Re:All we needed to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160437)

We Zion forces are always open to those that oppose the Federation.

Corporate bill of rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160375)

1. Once a corporation has established a revenue stream, laws shall be written and amended as necessary to sustain this revenue stream. The only entity that may interfere with such a revenue stream is a larger corporation.

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43160623)

Aw, bullshit.

News bulletin - YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO TAKE THINGS YOU DO NOT OWN.

Nor do you have a right to make illegal copies of things you don't have the right to make copies of.

If you disagree with this, then by all means, post your address and a high resolution photo of your keys.

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43160775)

Well Google certainly can. All they have to do is forfeit 20% of a day's income and talk to some people about not taking the things you do not own.
GE certainly can.
GM certainly can.
BP certainly can. ...

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43161877)

This sounds like whining to me.

"But, but, but teacher, Little Johnny got away with it!"

Well, guess what: we aren't talking about Little Johnny. Yes, it's wrong that those companies aren't being held to task for their crimes, but that by no means absolves anyone else of committing the same.

I'm also curious - what, precisely, are you accusing GE, GM, and BP of getting away with, that ordinary people do not?

I will state the caveat that if you are being prosecuted under the same laws you claim those companies broke, and you're being given a much harsher punishment than what they received, you would be wise to contest the conviction on 14th Amendment grounds.

Re:Corporate bill of rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160921)

Just curious, when 3D printing gets to the point that it can make a structurally sound, near duplicate replication of everyday objects, should that be illegal, too?

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1, Insightful)

k8to (9046) | about a year ago | (#43161129)

It seems you are suffering from a form of mind control where you believe that property and "intellectual property" are the same thing.

Let's break this down. I am not going to give you access to take my things.

I'm happy for you to make duplicates of any information I have. For example by hearing the words I speak or reading the words I type, and saying them later.

I could have copyrighted various code I wrote on my own time in a way that denied access to others, but I've never done so.

I could participate in the patent program at my workplace, but I do not do so, and encourage others not to do so.

I don't own any "IP", so you are welcome to all of it.

Granted, I'm not a writer, or a musician, or what have you, so this issue does not strike terribly close to home, but all I wanted to do was deconstruct your silly "let me steal your stuff" false equivalence that you attempted to draw.

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1)

Lithdren (605362) | about a year ago | (#43161319)

This isn't going to be popular, in particular around here, but here it is. Just because you choose to not copywrite something, doesn't mean anything.

If someone has copywrited something, by law, they hold the rights to it. They can do whatever they please, within the confines of the law. One of those things, as they currently stand, is to prevent someone, anyone, from copying it.

If you choose to not participate in IP law, that is your own choice. I applaud you for it, but it doesn't give you any more rights than anyone else, for something that is copywrited.

Now, all this said, I dont feel like people are attacking the right thing. Rather than saying "I have a right to copy and distribute this thing/concept/object/widget/whatever" they should be saying "You dont have a right to keep me from copying and distributing this thing/concept/object/widget/whatever". A subtle difference, but very important. In the former, you're insisting that you have a right to something not yours, in the former you're aserting that its not theirs to begin with. The entire concept of copywrite is out of date and inconsistant with modern times, and needs to be rethought. That is where the fight needs to be, not at this silly level its at right now.

Re:Corporate bill of rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161299)

I see what you did there.

Copying a key would be depriving the original manufacturers right to be the only producer of that key...

Someone better go arrest all those locksmiths pronto!

Re:Corporate bill of rights (1)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year ago | (#43161599)

No, but copying things that aren't really "ownable" except when a massive effort to create artificial scarcity by crippling technology, surveiling internet users, and ruining lives with disproportionate damages isn't the same as "taking" them.

If an artist does not want his work copied then he/she should not release it in a copyable form. Period. Don't want other people to hear your work? Don't record it.

That's it, folks (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160389)

The EHCR recognizes that the Swedish verdict interferes with the right to freedom of expression, but ruled that this was necessary to protect the rights of copyright holders.

Copyrights are officially worth more than human rights.

Re:That's it, folks (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43160475)

The EHCR recognizes that the Swedish verdict interferes with the right to freedom of expression, but ruled that this was necessary to protect the rights of copyright holders.

Copyrights are officially worth more than human rights.

Since when is counterfeiting a human right?

Re:That's it, folks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160557)

That's just the thing, they were not counterfeiting, they were linking to people who were. This puts Google in the same camp. You know, if they didn't have well funded corporate owned politicians.

Re:That's it, folks (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#43160639)

No, they were not counterfeiting.

But don't be so naive to suggest that all TPB is doing is linking (especially at the time; keep in mind that this is all about a very old court case where TPB then was different from TPB now, at least in several technical areas) - let alone that Google and TPB are to be deemed essentially equivalent in these matters.

Re:That's it, folks (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43161067)

That's just the thing, they were not counterfeiting, they were linking to people who were.

Even if they were, that's not what "freedom of expression" is about.

Rightly balanced. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160423)

"However, the Court considered that the domestic courts had rightly balanced the competing interests at stake"

Remember kids, it's RIGHTLY BALANCED when you spend months or years in jail, become forced into financial problems and have any chance at a 9-5 career ruined if you mess with the rightsholders.

Meanwhile, it's RIGHTLY BALANCED for rightsholders to attempt to dictate sweeping changes to the internet.

Temporary Rights Permanent Rights (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160473)

Copyright and Patent rights (are temporary, they are supposed to become public domain within a reasonable amount of time. 10 years was the limit - it should return to that for copyright, but for Patents - should revert to about 2 or 3 years due to the speed at which improvements occur.

In either case, a temporary right cannot be held to be greater than a permanent right.
The rights of corporations shall not be greater than a single human being's rights.

This needs to be the rule of the land everywhere.

Re:Temporary Rights Permanent Rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160661)

Copyright has not been temporary since the advent of the Mouse.

The website hosts no content (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160485)

In the end, the website never hosted any actual copyrighted content. Prosecuting the owners of a website that hosts links and nothing more is insanity. Because of this case, it sets a precedent for prosecution against big players like Google and Facebook if they don't make strong efforts to remove any such links, as apparently a website is 100% responsible for every link it has, regardless of where the content of that link is actually hosted or what the content of that link is.

How anyone can be okay with this abuse of due process and the law is beyond me. This is not good for the future of internet freedom and neutrality, and ultimately freedom of expression, as this court so gleefully pushed aside for the sake of a few corporate dollars.

Re:The website hosts no content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161567)

In fact the copyright holders should thank them for producing a list of copyright infringers. The Pirate Bay even has a search function so the copyright holders can find exactly who's sharing their stuff.

"necessity to protect copyright" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160487)

Where is the proof that it is necessary to protect copyright, or is this just something we all assume is true?

Re:"necessity to protect copyright" (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about a year ago | (#43160721)

Where is the proof that it is necessary to protect copyright, or is this just something we all assume is true?

Asia.

Re:"necessity to protect copyright" (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#43160911)

Where is the proof that it is necessary to protect copyright, or is this just something we all assume is true?

Asia.

I think you may have misinterpreted the question, or at least your answer appears to be incomplete.

The question is whether it is necessary to protect copyright. The fact that there are quite a few copyright violations in Asia - and we're not talking torrents here, but truckloads of DVDs complete with cases, liners and everything .. not to mention physical goods that aren't easily converted to a digital medium - does not in itself prove that it is necessary to protect copyright.

You'd have to go into copyright holders' investments and whether or not they have recouped those investments and made enough of a profit on it to create further works - and if they haven't, whether or not copyright infringement can be seen as a largely contributing cause of that being the case.
( In fact, if they did recoup their investment, some might say they would do well to check whether copyright infringement helped through spreading the word, etc. I don't hold that belief, but there's no reliable numbers either way. )

I.e. if you make a movie at a total cost of $1,000,000 (this includes everything, right down to expenses expected until a next production) and the return on it is $4,000,000, but it is calculated that without copyright infringement the returns may have been $5,000,000 then I'm sure you would much prefer to have that $1,000,000 over not having that $1,000,000. However, would the protection of copyright (let's, for the sake of argument, assume that this is infallible and costs you $0) actually be necessary, given that you still made $3,000,000 profit?

This lies at the basis of the often simplistic argument that studios/actors/whatever make 'enough' money anyway so 'pirates' doing what they do best doesn't hurt them at all.

From that point of view, it could well be argued that it is indeed not necessary.

Of course that won't necessarily apply to every single copyrighted work.

Re:"necessity to protect copyright" (1)

Lithdren (605362) | about a year ago | (#43161461)

An interesting point of view I haven't really heard before, at least put this way, but I see a major flaw with it.

The holding of a copywrite, or the releasing of such to the public domain, doesn't guarentee a right to profit, one way or another. Copywrite needs to stand on its own, profit is more of a supply/demand question that really shouldn't involve the law and how its written, short of sane regulations.

To copy a film and declare it fair because the producer made a profit, doesn't make any sense. It would be like syphoning gas from a hybrids gas tank, because it already gets good enough gas milage as is. The question isn't weather or not the driver of that car really needs all that gas, the question is weather or not the gas is theirs to begin with.

As with the gas, as with copywrite. Producing something and selling it clearly is a right we all have. The question is, does producing something give you a natural right to its existance? And if so, to what point does that hold true? Forever? Most here would argue that yes, you have a right to its existance, and therefore its ability to be copied/sold without your involvement, but not for very long. If someone takes something you made and sells it at a profit, you deserve some of that profit, but your kids dont.

Things get murky when you involve corporations; me working for someone and producing something for them, do they now own it, or do I? If they own it, for how long? Do I have any rights to it, even if I dont work there anymore?

The whole concept is broken currently, nothing short of a total redesign will fix the problems we're running into, in my opinion.

Re:"necessity to protect copyright" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161717)

The gas analogy is no good. A copy of something does not remove the original.

The main argument for copyright is that it creates incentive to produce useful articles (entertainment is a use) and thereby promote progress. There are plenty of examples of people creating useful software, books (fiction and non-fiction), movies, music, and just about anything else that currently qualifies for copyright that was not made under this incentive model. Quite often these things only have copyright so that the legal code can be twisted to prevent people from denying others the ability to copy. So progress can and does occur without the artificial monopoly on copying. Which goes back to the question whether it is necessary to protect copyright. In at least some cases, it appears that it is not.

So if progress occurs both with and without copyright, perhaps some more sophisticated questions might be: Is progress is faster with copyright? How much progress could be made if all the people spending effort protecting copyright (like DRM and prosecuting infringement) did something else?

Re:"necessity to protect copyright" (3, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43161489)

Artists want to create, the parasitic industry that surrounds them need copyright to survive without working. I am all for buying an album or a painting from the artist directly. Fuck everybody else.

Last straw for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160551)

The result of this decision ended any hope I held for democratic acknowledgement of the fact that copyright law, in its current form, has no place in the modern world. I'm now officially a black hat and hereby vow not to further waste energy on legal/political approaches to copyright.

Your Brain (1)

oxidus60659 (2854533) | about a year ago | (#43160575)

"The defendant once watched a movie at a friends house and he didn't own a copy of it. The majority of the movie is now physically and biochemically stored in his brain. Therefor, he is technically in possession of copyrighted materials and by describing a scene in the movie to another friend, thus sharing it, he is violating some 1200 (exaggeration) copyright laws." - At this point, I am honestly waiting for the day this article is published.

Re:Your Brain (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160997)

At least you could sue them for copyright infringement when they publish that article?

Human Rights (4, Insightful)

Etherwalk (681268) | about a year ago | (#43160705)

Human Rights may include the right to freedom of expression. It does not follow that human rights include the freedom to copy someone else's entertainment work.

There would be a much stronger case if we were talking, for example, about protest videos or the like. And a significantly stronger case if we were talking about art making a political statement. But mostly we're talking about people who can't afford to or don't want to pay (high) market rates for entertainment. It is bad that we criminalize it, and insane that we make it a felony, but it's not a human right to get the entertainment of your choice cheaply.

The problem isn't that it's wrong to criminalize copyright theft to a small degree--it's that our criminal systems are designed so badly that small degrees of criminality can have extreme consequences.

Re:Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161439)

Copyright infringement is not theft.

Re:Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161633)

Oh quit being so semantic. If 'Copyright theft' had a fine of the purchase price of whatever you stole and nothing more, I'd be happy with it. That's exactly what GP is saying.

Re:Human Rights (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161571)

We do have the right to copy someone else's entertainment work. EXCEPT that we've collectively agreed to surrender that right for the sake of promoting the creation of such works. Copyright is an artificial and arbitrary limitation of our rights, a sacrifice for a noble goal.

Freedom of expression is a HUMAN right. It is absolutely necessary for the human race to progress intellectually, socially, and culturally. A limit on freedom of expression is a limit on the transmission of ideas, which prevents people from making informed decisions, therefore limiting their power to do what is best for them and for society as a whole.

Any limitations on freedom of expression should be considered very carefully, with a bias toward not imposing those limits at all. Certain forms of expression are patently harmful, which is why we have laws against shouting "fire" in a crowded theater or ruining someone's reputation with provably false claims, therefore limiting such speech is justified.

Copyright is a different case altogether. The only "damage" it does is the reduction of revenue generated by the artificial construct of copyright itself. It's like if I promised to give you three cookies then only gave you two. It's might be unethical, but you're no worse off than you were before, i.e. there was no damage done.

Therefore, freedom of expression should trump copyright in all cases. ALL cases. No exception.

I would not have a problem with the decision if the court determined that the defendants' freedom of expression was not interfered with. There is a good argument for that opinion. I have a problem with the fact that the court never even made that claim. Using the term "balance" is a travesty. It elevates the artificial concept of copyright to the same status as the fundamental human right of freedom of expression. This is not just frightening, but horrifying, especially coming from the European Human Rights Court. The organization that should stand as a bastion of human rights has just shown that it can no longer identify what those rights are, or what they mean.

Translation (0)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43160741)

We know you're right and all about this freedom of expression thingy but you know, we have to consider the rights of these companies that paid to get us into office so sorry, you know, we got to do right by them and you know, if we get into this business of free speech then you know, we might not get paid in the future. You know, a man's gotta earn his living, I've got a family to feed lobster to and you know, these cars they gave me aren't going to maintain themselves.

Fundamental Misunderstanding (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43160955)

This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of a torrent:

"The Court held that sharing, or allowing others to share files of this kind on the Internet..."

Torrents do neither of those. A torrent is merely an instruction set that the client uses to connect to other clients, where the sharing and allowing takes place. Providing that instruction set is no more sinister than my telling you how to get across a river: my having given you directions to the nearest bridge should not implicate me in the murder you committed after following those directions.

It is what the client does or does not do with the information provided by a torrent that is most relevant to the potential act of copyright infringement. Of course, big media knows and understands this; they also know how damned expensive it is to address properly, which is why we're now subject to such abortions of justice as seen here with TBP.

3D Printing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161125)

My old question used to be - what if you had a replicator and could copy anything to have one of your own, would you use it?

Now I ask - if you do a 3D scan of an object and print out multiple copies of it and give them away for free, are you breaking the law?

The technology to do this reliably at-home for cheap isn't there, yet, but it will be. You can already get 3D models of objects with a Kinect [ponoko.com].

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161149)

They contacted a human rights court? Thats the act of a desperate and very guilty person.

They did wrong, no matter how you slice it, no matter how you word it, or try and justify it, at the end of the day what they did was illegal and now they are paying the price for it. They must have really had some balls to try and contact a human rights group.

That would be like a guy who gets caught robbing a bank and is caught mid robbery, is on video and seen by dozens of people and when he goes to court he wants a human rights group to get him out. As if to say he assumes because he is guilty that human rights will allow him to go free.

Supreme court, ha? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43161235)

A bit over a year since having their case rejected by the Swedish Supreme Court a

- I would like to go over the personal computers of these Swedish Supreme Court members with a fine brush and reveal all of their own personal transgressions related to various copyright violations.

You cannot legally ... (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about a year ago | (#43161361)

... take someone's copyrighted work without paying them for it. Or, abet the taking and distribution of copyrighted work. It's really very simple and has nothing at all to do with freedom of speech. And someone posting on the internet that it DOES have something to do with freedom of speech or otherwise rationalize that it's o.k. to take copyright work without paying for it, doesn't make it so. And if you DO think like that, then I hope you enjoy your date with that French model you met on the internet.

They didn't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161665)

They pointed to where it was already available by someone else. And they are going to prison for that. Even though there are laws protecting them from that. Even though those laws that protect them from that and they did not comply with do not actually cover this issue. See, the DMCA in the US only covers hosting the content yourself. Google could tell the copyright cartels to fuck off and shut down their automated DMCA notice service immediately as they are doing nothing wrong according to existing law by pointing to infringing content, because *that is not illegal!*

Apparently though now copyright theft is legally equivalent to illegal drugs.

If you tell someone where to buy illegal drugs, you are committing a crime in the US and can go to prison for it. Regardless that you may not buy, sell, or use them yourself.

Now apparently even if you do not even have the infringing material in question, you are still guilty of a crime if you point to where infringing content is available. At least according to Sweden and the EU parliament.

That's why its a free speech issue. See, you are only telling people where to find it. You did not make a program to circumvent any protections on it. You did not make thousands of copies. You did not sell copies. You did not even download a copy. You talked about where to get one. Admittedly you gave specific information, but what is the difference between that and telling someone to Google for it? Or the difference between telling them to Google for it and telling them to try looking online? Is criminality of information sharing dependent upon how specific your information is then? Where do you draw the line?

captcha: common

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