Sweden Trying To Update Copyright Laws; May Face A Fight

from the the-pirate-bay-force-is-strong-there dept

While there has been plenty of teeth gnashing by the entertainment industry, it still does appear that The Pirate Bay is legal under copyright laws in Sweden. While there is a trial going on, there is also already plenty of accusations of corruption involved in the trial (the prosecutor had a business relationship with a record label), and many still feel that The Pirate Bay will eventually be vindicated. However, there has been tremendous international pressure (much of it coming from US diplomats, with soundbites written by the US entertainment industry) to get Sweden to change its copyright laws. And, now, apparently some new "antipiracy" legislation is about to be introduced.

The plan is to require service providers to hand over the details on anyone who a copyright holder has "probable cause" to believe is file sharing. How that probable cause is determined remains something of an important open question. Just seeing the IP address shouldn't be enough, but it's not clear if the courts will agree. What will be more interesting is to see how the Swedish citizenry reacts to the introduction of this bill. While it hasn't caught on much elsewhere, the Pirate Party actually does have a decent following in Sweden, and the political party has already expressed its extreme displeasure over the wording of the bill.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2008 @ 9:48pm

    "...many still feel that The Pirate Bay will eventually be vindicated."

    When "pigs fly". I wonder how many is "many"? 10? 100? 1000?

    Noted from linked article that the Pirates have their own political party. Of course IP reform is its sole platform. Seems a bit narrow for a political plank.

     

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  2.  
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    JC, Oct 23rd, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    Re:

    "Seems a bit narrow for a political plank."

    Hmmm. Apparently, planks consisting of "IP must be absolute and last forever, even if we don't do anything with it ever", "Abortion is bad", "Abortion is good", etc, etc, etc, are all fine.

    And who do you work for, AC?

     

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  3.  
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    SteveD, Oct 23rd, 2008 @ 11:46pm

    Re:

    'Technically' the Pirate Bay is legal under Sweedish law, so it probably will be vindicated unless they can nail it on something else.

    But I find the 'probable cause' bit rather worrying too.

     

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  4.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 24th, 2008 @ 12:42am

    Re:

    When "pigs fly". I wonder how many is "many"? 10? 100? 1000?

    Well, anyone who understands copyright law in Sweden, but, you know... that can't be too many people.

    Noted from linked article that the Pirates have their own political party. Of course IP reform is its sole platform. Seems a bit narrow for a political plank.

    Perhaps you should actually take a look at their platform. Oh, I forgot, you're the same guy who called some well respected economists "nutty" without ever actually reading anything they had written.

    So why should it surprise me that you would totally brush off the position of the Pirate Party without understanding the slightest thing about them.

    And yet, you will come back and say that your only interest in commenting here is to "clarify" points of law that we get wrong and that you never ever ever insert your own opinion into matters?

    Hmm. "When pigs fly." Is that a legal term?

     

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  5.  
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    Jonas, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 3:37am

    "Of course IP reform is its sole platform. Seems a bit narrow for a political plank."

    Eh, no. That's just a myth, which everyone that hasn't read or heard what their leader(s) say thinks. Admittedly, the name of the party does make it easy to fall into that trap.

     

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  6.  
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    Buzz Lightyear, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 6:01am

    Pigs Flying...

    The Pigs aren't actually flying... they're falling.... with style...

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re:

    Please feel free to read Sweden's copyright law at the following site:

    http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/2707/a/15195

    I must admit I did not mention the "privacy" part of the platform, but only because it is not the "lead off" issue. Clearly, copyright law is its major concern, with privacy being in large measure causally related to copyright enforcement. For the sake of completeness I will note its platform comprises amending copyright law, repealing patent law, and amending privacy laws. Of course, its positions regarding copyright and patent law do face formidable hurdles, not the least of which are Sweden's membership in the EU, international treaties, etc.

    I well understand what TPB does. Yes, it runs a search engine, and seems to enjoy making note of this whenever a copyright holder contacts it. What you seem not to fully appreciate is that there is more to infringement under copyright law than just direct infringement. In the US Grokster learned this the hard way in a 9-0 decision by the Supreme Court. Even if Swedish law is more lenient as TPB proclaims, the principals at TPB have yet to realize that more is in play than just Swedish law.

    Your constant replay of the word "nutty" borders on "vexatious" (this is a veiled attempt at humor). In all candor, "nutty" is a far better term than "disingenuous, transparent, biased, misleading, patently wrong on points, poorly researched, etc., etc." The authors and I do agree, inter alia, that property boundaries need to be identified with specificity. BTW, these comments pertain to the work by Boldrin and Levine, which I have read in its entirety. The book by Bessen and Meurer is not online in its entirety, though there are sufficient portions online to gain an appreciation for the points they are making. If you would like, feel free to send me a copy in hardback and I would be pleased to read it and prepare a review.

    As for my personal opinion about patent and copyright law, I purposely try to merely talk about what the law is, and not what I believe it should be. I see nothing useful to be gained to do otherwise. I reserve my opinions for committee work within organizations such as the ABA. There change can be affected. Here it cannot.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    "The authors and I do agree, inter alia, that property boundaries need to be identified with specificity."

    This comment should have been associated with the Bessen and Meurer work, and not that of Levine and Boldrin.

     

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  9.  
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    Meatwall, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 9:10am

    Re: Pigs Flying...

    OK, that made me laugh my arse off! Thanks for the morning laugh!

     

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  10.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 24th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I must admit I did not mention the "privacy" part of the platform, but only because it is not the "lead off" issue.

    Not only that, but you falsely dismissed them as a one issue party, and also ignored the amount of success the party has had in Sweden.

    Once again, your ignorance and tendency to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts is showing, MLS. What's troubling is your inability to admit this.

    Of course, its positions regarding copyright and patent law do face formidable hurdles, not the least of which are Sweden's membership in the EU, international treaties, etc.

    And, whenever someone doesn't want to admit that the laws are troublesome, they fall back on "international treaties! international treaties!" It's how we know you have no real argument.

    If you would like, feel free to send me a copy in hardback and I would be pleased to read it and prepare a review.

    You have a problem with purchasing the work yourself? For someone who insists that sharing is immoral, I'm surprised that you would suggest we share a copy of the book.

    As for my personal opinion about patent and copyright law, I purposely try to merely talk about what the law is, and not what I believe it should be

    This is so obviously false I don't know what else to say. "When pigs fly" is an opinion. "Nutty" is an opinion. Calling patent reform patent "deform" is an opinion.

    You express your opinion quite frequently, and many times it's been shown to be based on ignorance.

    The more you insist that you do not share your personal opinion the more obvious it is that you are lying.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is being disagreeable something you were taught at home, a genetic predisposition, or is it something you learned in college/business? Whichever it may be (I rather doubt the first), you have learned it well.

    You have opinions re copyright law and that is entirely appropriate. Unfortunately, the tide of the law is in the opposite direction, and all the economic arguments in the world by you, economists, and some in academia are not going to change that anytime soon. TPB can launch all the protests it wants, but at some point in time it is likely to start facing some real legal challenges, and not just those from local prosecutors in Sweden. So many of its supporters are so focused on Swedish law, as interpreted by TPB, that they do not fully appreciate the potential application of other national laws that can profoundly impact TPB.

    Nutty is an adjective, and in the context of Boldrin and Levine particularly apt. While I chose to use that particular adjective, some of my colleagues have used words far stronger in criticizing "Against Monopoly". In all candor, when I first read it I was struck by its "wiki-like" content.

    Of course I do express opinions, but not when it comes to what the law "is" or "should be" (other than to agree that the DMCA is a tad draconian, a view shared by the majority of my peers). When a law is misstated I will speak up. For example, your criticism of a Judicial Conference publication was in at least one significant legal respect plainly wrong. While copyright law is a federal matter and subject to federal preemption (other than pre-1978 works still under state statutes), states still retain leeway to enact related legislation. Contrary to your constant refrain, at least two states have enacted legislation under which unauthorized copying is a criminal act under their "theft" provisions.

    "Patent Deform" is not a phrase I coined. It was in use long before I sat down to analyze the legislation before Congress. Were you even modestly familiar with the policies (MPEP), regulations (37 CFR) and laws (Title 35, US Code) now on the books, as well as the relevant jurisprudence at all levels of our federal courts, I daresay you would much better understand why the proposed reforms are little more than meaningless window dressing. But don't take my word for it. Try reading many of the presentations made by other steeped in the law, including the members of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and particularly Judge Michel. Now, you will find a few academics like Lemley, Rai, Noveck, etc. who heap praise on these so-called reforms, but they are generally a quite small, but vocal, minority. None of these "new-wave" academics even come close to legal experts of the stature of persons such as Chisum re patents, Nimmer re copyrights, Milgrim re trade secrets, and numerous others who have devoted their careers to the objective study of law.

    As for the Bessen/Meurer book, it is clearly subject to the first sale doctrine, so sending me your copy is in no way problematic. Of course, once I have read it I would certainly return it to you.

    With kindest regards I remain..

    Sincerely yours,

    MLS

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    KB, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Anonymous Virgin

    Mate, you seriously need to get laid. I usually like reading what's published on here, at both ends of the spectrum, but you're so far up your own arse it's not even funny. It's like you're Judge Dredd (more like Judge Judy) or something... "I AM the law..."

     

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