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IFPI: If Lawsuits Aren't Working In Denmark, We'll Seize Computers To Get Evidence

from the um,-wow dept

We just wrote about how the Danish anti-piracy group was dropping its lawsuits against individual file sharers after realizing that Danish law made it almost impossible for the industry to win those cases. However, as pointed out by brokep, the international wing of the recording industry, the IFPI, wasted little time in trying to spin the news in its favor (Google translation of the original). The IFPI insists that the lawsuits won't stop, but just that the anti-piracy organization was realizing it needed more detailed evidence -- and this means that it will now start seizing computers to get evidence. Now, the Google translation trips up over the word "beslagslaeggelse," but multiple Danish speakers have confirmed that the word means "seize" or "confiscate." Of course, that raises some questions about why a private organization representing record labels has any right to seize computers of individuals. I think they were better off when they just admitted they were going to give up on the counterproductive legal strategy.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    wow

    wow, that's pretty crazy. I imagine they're going to get sued by the people they're trying to sue for this one.

    I thought you can only take a physical possession in most cases when cases are criminal, even outside of the US (where my inquiry is obviously aimed)?

    Oh wait! I got it! This is what they meant by "graduated 3 strikes!" First we threaten you, then we steal your computer, and then we actually take you to court!

    /solved.

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Danish

    "Now, the Google translation trips up over the word "beslagslaeggelse,""

    ...okay, this probably says more about me than the Danish language, but when I saw that word my brain came to a screeching halt and just started shouting to itself, "Consonants! Too many fucking consonants! Let's go have a beer!"

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Seizing versus Stealing?

    "...and this means that it will now start seizing computers to get evidence."

    I wish it was illegal to (publicly) threaten to break the law, then these asshats would cease to exist.

     

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  4.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Danish

    My brain did that with the word "Danish". As it happens, it also does that with the word "Beer". Come to think of it, it happens with almost any word there is. Maybe I should drink more beer and contemplate this particular problem.

     

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  5.  
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    Tor (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    The translation of beslagslaeggelse is indeed correct.

    "Of course, that raises some questions about why a private organization representing record labels has any right to seize computers of individuals."

    They most probably don't, but if Danish law is any similar to Swedish law (which I'm more familiar with) then they may request that an enforcement officer enters private property in order to secure evidence in a civil case. This must be preceeded by a court decision. However, such a search may only occur if the need for the evidence outweighs the violation of privacy etc. If I have understood the situation right, in my country it is very seldom that courts decide about this type of searches in people's homes because of just that balance. Rather it's typically used against companies. However, with the types of ridiculous damages awarded today you of course never know how that balance works out.

    The mere presence of these so called "infringement investigations" (searches) in the context of the implementation of the EU enforcement directive (IPRED) caused something of an uproar here when that directive was implemented into national law. The Pirate Party probably gained many votes just on those headlines.

    The law is probably similar in Denmark and these private organisations would not find it easy to convince their courts that these types of searches are proportional measures. It's somewhat alarming of course, but I would guess it's mostly a PR trick - when it doesn't work out they go ask the politicians for more effective means.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    Yeah...they..."ask" the politicians.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    You know another great way to get evidence? Waterboarding.

    Is it safe? Where have you hidden the files? The digital files? Start talking, or else.

     

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  8.  
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    paul, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    unlikely to be themselves...

    I'll assume that they intend to file some form of legal suit in order to gain the evidence by having law officers seize the equipment for them and gain the evidence. However, there must first (at least in the US) be a reason to attain a search warrant even to set foot on property.

    I know where I live you don't kick in someone's door and try to steal from them unless you are 10 feet tall and bullet proof. However, as I said, I doubt they plan to do this themselves.

     

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  9.  
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    Ekky Ekky Whoop Patang!, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Of course, that raises some questions about why a private organization representing record labels has any right to seize computers of individuals."

    And here we have the beginnings of a dictatorship, which is now known as the European Parliament. You now understand that because of your apathy and laziness, we now have a superstate, which is self-governed by the rich and for the rich. We, the ordinary man, are having our basic rights taken from us covertly and being ordered to hand over your worldly goods. This is just the beginning.

    Europe's Global Village doesn't work. That's why Hitler failed, that's why Empires Fail! This is war against the corporations. We are mere pawns. We will soon be told to swear allegiance to a corporation.

    God help us all!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    God sold us out a long time ago. Surely you can understand? He made a killing!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    Just make sure you have the files on a non-waterproof flash drive hidden somewhere near your face.

     

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  12.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    welcome to the brave new world.
    Personal rights and freedom in the trashcan on the left and all your money in the bin on your right. Also please leave independent thought and desire to change the status quo at the door. Please enjoy your stay and no you can't leave.

     

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  13.  
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    zcat (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re:

    LOLWHUT?

    Flash drives, yes.

    Where to store them? Get an old microwave oven from a thrift shop, the sort with the analog timer. Have it set up on a solid state relay under computer control.

    Then all you need is a Big Red Button with Molly-guard over it for when they break down your door; Total and irrecoverable destruction of your flash media in less than a second.

     

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  14.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/harddrive bs=1m
    then
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hadrdrive bs=1m

    is supposedly damned impossible to recover.

    then get the magnets.

    I liked the large magnetic field in the doorways in cryptonomicon.

     

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  15.  
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    Keith, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

    Seize!!!

    Well I am not breaking the law because I am not "Stealing" music files.... I am Just "Seizing" them to analyze if I wish to purchase them at a latter time...Lol.

     

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  16.  
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    Haha, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They may not know what to do with a system that does not autoplay upon insertion of their usb infringeware device

     

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  17.  
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    smartass, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    doing it right

    leave actual pirated stuff on said machine
    have the giant embeded electro magnets actived upon htere entry with there own power source.

    let them see all the pirated goods.
    let em leave and it all gets wiped on way out.
    SUE THE BUGGERS
    ENJOY owning your own island make laws that allow for piracy tell wipo and acta lovers to get bent, drop a fibre line over to other islands like yours ......

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    they can WIPO my ass

     

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  19.  
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    Pjerky, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just use a paper shredder that can shred CDs. Should be able to take care of a few SD cards. Or you could use the disposal. Or if you want to get really fancy just get a miniature black hole generator.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    Re:

    This must be preceeded by a court decision. However, such a search may only occur if the need for the evidence outweighs the violation of privacy etc.

    So what does it take to get such a court decision? A mere accusation? Because from all the case dismissals it's clear that they don't have much evidence. Could I accuse Microsoft's Danish division of copyright infringement and have all their computers seized?

     

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  21.  
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    Tor (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re:

    "So what does it take to get such a court decision?"

    I believe all it takes is reasonable suspicion of infringement and a decision by a court that has to consider whether the measures are proportional considering the negative effects for the party that would be subject to them.

    According to Swedish law (and the legal system of nordic countries as I said is often quite similar) the enforcement officer may not remove any object from the place of investigation - only make copies of records (I just learnt this). If the term "beslagslaeggelse" is correct it would indicate that either the Danish law is more far-reaching or that this is wishful thinking on IFPI's behalf.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 11:20pm

    I believe all it takes is reasonable suspicion of infringement and a decision by a court that has to consider whether the measures are proportional considering the negative effects for the party that would be subject to them.

    So, it's a purely subjective call on the part of a judge. That sounds like it all depends on who you are then.

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:35am

    Nothing good will come from this .....

    Nothing good will come from this, for the record labels. If we learned anything from the pirate bay, its that there is a growing awareness of the actions of the record labels. In the beginning they pushed and got away with it. Now the labels push and there are consequences. The one that comes to mind is the formation of the pirate party. The current path the labels are following will lead to more seats being taken by the pirate party. This is going to be fun to watch.

     

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  24.  
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    zcat (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If they're following the usual forensic procedure they won't be relying on any software on the computer. They'll bring their own live CD which will probably be linux-based and something fairly similar to backtrack. And they'll make a complete dump of the disk contents so they can go looking at previously deleted data, access times (hint; mount your filesystem noatime ;) and so on..

    Also if you plan to zero-wipe, remember it takes a long time and you may only have seconds. Full disk encryption helps here, you only need seconds to erase the keys at the start of the volume and the rest of the disk is irrecoverable (even if they force you to disclose the password)

     

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