Danish ISP Blocks The Pirate Bay; But Is It For Legal Reasons... Or Competitive?

from the legal-excuses dept

A year ago, recording industry lobbying group IFPI successfully convinced a Danish court to force ISP Tele2 to block The Pirate Bay. This came after a similar ruling that forced Tele2 to block access to AllofMp3 (which, you'll recall was the big "threat" prior to The Pirate Bay). Of course, these blocks don't work particularly well, and seem incredibly annoying for those content creators who actually want their content distributed through systems like The Pirate Bay.

Tele2 appealed the ruling, and another court found that, indeed, ISPs should be forced to block access to The Pirate Bay. While that case is being appealed to the country's Supreme Court, it appears that other ISPs are being pressured to start blocking as well. Denmark's largest ISP, TDC, is now blocking access to The Pirate Bay.

Torrentfreak suggests that TDC is worried about a similar lawsuit, and did this as a preventative measure, but I have to wonder if some of the thinking is competitive. Last April, TDC announced a deal whereby its customers could download unlimited music... though it was really more of a subscription rental service that included DRM. So, basically, here's a way that TDC gets to block out a "competitor" to its own service, and then blame the legal rulings for being able to do so...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Business as usual.

    Ya know, when the gangs in Mexico are going to screw you over, at least they have the common courtesy to put the gun to your face--none of this subterfuge backroom sandeces!

    At least a gun to the face is an honest representation of their intentions!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Fear of the Dumb Pipe

    everything these ISPs do is a response to thier fear of becomming a dumb pipe. Who wants to be paid for supplying a service when you can get paid for content over and over and over and over and over . . .

     

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      Evil Mike, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:19am

      Re: Fear of the Dumb Pipe

      If you are the paid "dumb pipe" to just about everybody, there's good money to be made.

      It's like "super cheap shoes" vs "lifetime warranty shoes"
      You can sell super cheap shoes over and over and over; but eventually people get sick of paying for the same crap. With lifetime warranty shoes, you may only sell one pair per customer, but there are enough people being born the world over to keep you in business for... well, for as long as there's a population to sell to.

       

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    identicon
    Ima Fish, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:28am

    "AllofMp3, which, you'll recall was the big "threat" prior to The Pirate Bay."

    It's astonishing that a service which sold music at a price people were willing to pay was somehow a threat. You know the music industry is in trouble when the free market is a threat to their business model!

     

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      hegemon13, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      The problem wasn't the cheap price, it was the fact that they kept all the money. Labels and artists received none of the money you paid to allofMP3. Supposedly, they had tried to negotiate deals, and those deals were refused. All the same, they were profiting commercially directly through sales of someone else's work, then paying no royalties. That is the one kind of copyright violation that I think needs to remain illegal with stiff penalties. There is a difference between personal enjoyment of art/culture by those who can't afford to buy it and commercial exploitation.

       

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    Mogilny, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:41am

    douche bags

    ISPs are douche bags. They run a subscription business in a saturated market. In an attempt to prop up dead beat revenue growth, they'd try anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:46am

    Europeans are dumb

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      People are dumb. Everybody. We all slip into and out of a state of idiocy many times a day, often without hurting "innocent" bystanders in the process.

       

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    identicon
    Tim, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 9:49am

    I've become increasingly fed up with the negativity of this blog. Yes, I read the post about this exact sentiment a little while ago. And while I feel it is justified to report the shortcomings of the digital revolution, it's become increasingly frustrating to read every article title and already see the negative slant the writer has placed on the content.

    Pirating is illegal for a reason. Yes, you can give away you're creative goods through a sly free marketing campaign (see NIN and Radiohead). But in the end, the artist has an inherent right to sell their valuable created goods if they so choose. They join a record label to get exposure. Regardless if you believe the labels are ass backwards at the moment or not. Remember that any unsigned musician can distribute their creative goods through P2P means instead of joining a label. The fact of the matter is that they have chosen to sell it and make a decent living. They have a right to make a better living than the rest of us because they have an uncommon ability to create art.

    If it's for sale and you want to own a piece of it. Buy it. If you can't buy it, tough shit. That's how the market works. If everything was free in this world we would have no way of keeping a productive and intelligent society. We'd be no better off than the worse economies of the world where nobody gives a shit about any laws in place. Slippery slope, I know. But a comparison nonetheless.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      You're confusing value with worth.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Evil Mike, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      You obviously have no idea how economics or the monetary system works.

      Please refrain from commenting until you've obtained both education and the ability to reason.

      (Additional study: After your econ classes; learn about how a "resource based economy" works.)

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Tim, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        And please learn how to contribute to a debate before resorting to degradation.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Evil Mike, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I've become increasingly fed up with the negativity of this blog. Yes, I read the post about this exact sentiment a little while ago. And while I feel it is justified to report the shortcomings of the digital revolution, it's become increasingly frustrating to read every article title and already see the negative slant the writer has placed on the content."

          Opinion, irrelevant.

          "Pirating is illegal for a reason. Yes, you can give away you're creative goods through a sly free marketing campaign (see NIN and Radiohead). But in the end, the artist has an inherent right to sell their valuable created goods if they so choose. They join a record label to get exposure. Regardless if you believe the labels are ass backwards at the moment or not. Remember that any unsigned musician can distribute their creative goods through P2P means instead of joining a label. The fact of the matter is that they have chosen to sell it and make a decent living. They have a right to make a better living than the rest of us because they have an uncommon ability to create art."

          Laws exist to assist those in power (see: money) in staying in power (again, see: money).
          Value: the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else. (emphasis added)
          Given the rapidly declining price of music, and the rampant piracy of music, obviously the value of recorded music is very low. However, I will concede the value of the artist's time (a one-time expenditure) in creating said work.

          "... If everything was free in this world we would have no way of keeping a productive and intelligent society. We'd be no better off than the worse(sic) economies of the world where nobody gives a shit about any laws in place..."
          People will naturally be productive and creative--money is entirely irrelevant to it.
          In Hong Kong, an experiment involving complete relaxation of import/export laws and workplace standards took place--amazing economic output ensued. More taxes + more laws == worse economy.

          Also, you, sir, are obviously ignorant. Go get some education, and learn to think while you're there.

           

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    •  
      icon
      deadzone (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      It sounds like maybe you should stop reading Techdirt then. Things are negative for a reason. The state of things just sucks right now! There are plenty of Think Tanks out there that will feed you positive, happy-go-lucky, everything is great stories. Seek them out and be happy.

      The reality is that this is a war. War is hell, and war is negative. The Entertainment Industry is holding us hostage while they attempt to protect a dying business model that can't be saved by using any means necessary with no regard for the negative consequences that might come about.

      Piracy may be illegal but it's not going away. The Entertainment Industry doesn't even seem to be aware of this. Nope they choose to ignore this fact and trot out one terrible idea after another, most of which involves some other entity doing the work for them, with no regard for the actual cost, time, and resources it might take.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      "They have a right to make a better living than the rest of us because they have an uncommon ability to create art. "

      That is one of the more rediculous theories I have heard in a long time. They have a right . . . LMAO

       

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      Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      I've become increasingly fed up with the negativity of this blog

      How is it "negative" to show new business models that work well, and decry moves that limit those business models? That seems innately positive to me.

      Pirating is illegal for a reason.

      Indeed. Who said otherwise?

      Yes, you can give away you're creative goods through a sly free marketing campaign (see NIN and Radiohead). But in the end, the artist has an inherent right to sell their valuable created goods if they so choose.

      Indeed. Who said otherwise? You seem to be confusing the idea of selling a good you created vs. limiting what others can then do with it. That confusion leads you down a very confused path.

      And, actually, where do you get the idea that the right is "inherent." It is not. It is a choice made by the gov't for a reason... and plenty of studies have shown that the reason given by the gov't doesn't actually match up with what happened in reality. Doesn't that seem like a problem to you? Or do you except the reason and ignore the data?

      They join a record label to get exposure. Regardless if you believe the labels are ass backwards at the moment or not.

      What does that have to do with an ISP blocking The Pirate Bay?

      Remember that any unsigned musician can distribute their creative goods through P2P means instead of joining a label.

      Um, they can't when your ISP blocks all the P2P offerings, can they? That was the point of this post, or did you not read it?

      The fact of the matter is that they have chosen to sell it and make a decent living.

      No, they have chosen to *try* to sell it and to *try* to make a decent living. We all have the right to try, but success or failure is determined by the market. And no one is trying to limit the market.

      They have a right to make a better living than the rest of us because they have an uncommon ability to create art.


      Wow. That makes absolutely no sense at all.

      If it's for sale and you want to own a piece of it. Buy it. If you can't buy it, tough shit.

      Fair enough.

      That's how the market works.

      Um... no. A market DOES NOT WORK by having a gov't set up a monopoly on a product, and telling one supplier it's the only one who can sell it.

      A market DOES NOT WORK when an ISP is told by the gov't that it needs to block a site despite tons of legal things that are shared via that site.

      If everything was free in this world we would have no way of keeping a productive and intelligent society. We'd be no better off than the worse economies of the world where nobody gives a shit about any laws in place. Slippery slope, I know. But a comparison nonetheless.

      Dude, if you want to complain about what we write, at least complain about what we write. Don't make up something ridiculous like "everything in the world should be free." We've said no such thing.

      You seem to totally misunderstand what I have written. I'll take the blame and say it's my fault, but I have never said that piracy was ok. I have never said everything in the world should be free. You seem to ascribe to me beliefs I do not have.

      Hell, this post wasn't about anything you wrote in your comment.

       

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      identicon
      nasch, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      If it's for sale and you want to own a piece of it. Buy it. If you can't buy it, tough shit. That's how the market works.

      What are you referring to, the legislature?

      bah-dum-ching!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 11:28am

    I doubt anyone who uses the TDC download service knows (or cares) what The Pirate bay is all about...If I remember correct all of the danish ISP's are actually helping out Tele2 in this case with a lawyer or some money :)

    /a dane

     

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    Ed, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Getting free content is too easy for them to even realize. Example: go search for any song you want on www.playlist.com and use the download helper in Firefox and the song is yours.

     

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    Adam, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Agreed: things are negative all over right now, it's hard to be positive about anything. We live in a system that favors rich and powerful and prioritizes financial gains over everything else and at any cost (see current slump in USA). And it's not just USA any more as we can see.

    Adam

     

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    Seb, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 8:51am

    Many people blocked by government/ISP have good chance to bypass these restriction by using a VPN service. About VPN and a short Unblock by VPN FAQ.

     

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    PP, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Of course the government can...

    ... tell the ISP when they are aiding and abiding in a criminal act. The moment the government does so, that company is obligated to make sure they follow the law.

    This includes blocking the access to illegal material. EVEN if a bit of legal material will be blocked too.

    And frankly, how much of TPB's stuff is legal?

     

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