Anti-Piracy Group Says That Just Talking About File Sharing Should Be Illegal

from the hush-up-now dept

Earlier this year, we noted that the Dutch Usenet community FTD was suing BREIN, the local "anti-piracy" group, for suggesting that FTD was a criminal operation. As the case moves forward, FTD is pointing out that as a Usenet group, all that it enables is discussions and doesn't see how discussions -- even if about file sharing -- should be infringing themselves. In response, BREIN still insists that a Usenet provider can, in fact, be a criminal organization, and asked the court to fine FTD $70,000 per day if it doesn't get people to stop talking about file sharing. But, no, copyright doesn't conflict with free speech at all... right?


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    moore850 (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    seriously?

    Obviously they mean discussions like, "hey guys, get your pirated files at (some specific URL address)." Imagine how hard it is to police that. And no, you can't just take people's stuff that they are selling and post it for your friends to get for free. If you want to give away stuff, make your own stuff and give it away... my guess is after all your own personal hard work, you won't feel so comfortable when people are taking your stuff (unless you intended to give it away, which is your right alone as yes! the copyright holder).

     

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      Richard (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:24am

      Re: seriously?

      Obviously they mean discussions like, "hey guys, get your pirated files at (some specific URL address)." Imagine how hard it is to police that.

      Yes it's so hard that even trying is pointless - so short of outlawing all communication you can't do it. Try extending the concept of talking about filesharing - even directly telling people where stuff is directly available - into the offline world and you'll see how ridiculous it is. Remember - ordinary word of mouth can transmit a message to the whole world in six steps.
      And no, you can't just take people's stuff that they are selling and post it for your friends to get for free. If you want to give away stuff, make your own stuff and give it away... my guess is after all your own personal hard work, you won't feel so comfortable when people are taking your stuff (unless you intended to give it away, which is your right alone as yes! the copyright holder).

      Copyright holders need to realise that the game is up. Technology has made their "property" undefendable. It can only be used now as a promotional tool.
      (btw this does not mean that I approve of infringement - merly that I recognise that others will do it and they cannot be stopped.)

      They should listen to an old evangelical saying:

      "He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose!"

       

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        Lobo Santo's Ugly Cat, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:08am

        Re: Re: seriously?

        Copyright holders need to realise that the game is up. Technology has made their "property" undefendable.

        By that logic, Ferrari made speed limits "undefendable" many years ago. In fact, every car made and sold in the US pretty much makes a shambles of speed limits, because every one of them can exceed the limit, thus rendering those limits moot.

        (yes, that was sarcasm, in case you missed it)

        Richard, basically there are some laws and rules of life that have nothing to do with your ability to do something or not. It has to do with respect and respecting the rule of law. The very basics of file sharing is to ignore the rules of law, to disrespect the wishes of the copyright holders, and to thumb your collective noses at any law that says otherwise. It's a fail from the word go, and if it wasn't for mob rules and a slow legal system, it wouldn't be an issue.

         

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          Ryan Diederich, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:33am

          Re: Re: Re: seriously?

          Not the point. We know its illegal, and morally wrong. The fact of the matter is that right now there is now way to block ONLY copyrighted items from being shared. There are plenty of home-made pieced of artwork, indy films, homebrew games, etc, that CANNOT be silenced or controlled.

          There will always be theives. The point is that the thieves arent stealing, they are just not paying. There is a big difference, and if they never would have paid in the first place, why stop them?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

            I dispute that it is morally wrong. I just paid $58 to see 311 in concert. You are not going to convince me that I am morally wrong to have a couple of old mp3 albums on my hard drive that my friend gave me back in 1999 which made me like 311 in the first place and buy the rest of their discs. I honestly don't give a rat's ass what they or their record label permit me to buy while calling myself moral. I celebrate their music and shower them with praise and money as I see fit.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

            "I personally believe it is morally wrong."


            There, fixed that for you.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

            "We know its illegal, and morally wrong."

            If only you were the ultimate authority of morality. Too bad you're not.

             

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            MrWilson, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

            Funny, I consider it morally wrong to knowingly give money to organizations that participate in the corruption of the government, that violate democratic processes, and that advocate for tools that can be used for the suppression of human rights.

            But, you know, it being immoral to download a song you can listen to for free on YouTube is clearly the greater evil...

             

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          Haywood, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 6:38am

          Re: Re: Re: seriously?

          "By that logic, Ferrari made speed limits "undefendable" many years ago. In fact, every car made and sold in the US pretty much makes a shambles of speed limits, because every one of them can exceed the limit, thus rendering those limits moot."

          Sarcasm or not, unless you live in a lot different part of the US than I do, they are just signs at the side of the road that give the police the right to play whack the mole for profit. My last trip to the city, 70 in a 60 wasn't enough to keep folks off your bumper, 80 seemed more reasonable and customary.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

            ..and the police can still stop you, and still write a ticket, and you would still be guilty. Which means that the cars capable of more than the speed limit do not inherently make the speed limit moot.

            You may be physically able to trade files, but it doesn't change the underlying laws that say it's illegal.

             

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              Rasmus, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: seriously?

              Some laws are just so morally wrong, or anti human rights, that you have an obligation to mankind to break them over and over again, until those laws are rewritten.

              Any law that prohibits free speech is such a law. Any law that restricts access to knowledge is such a law.

              Speed limits is not such a law. Copyright in its current incarnation is such a law.

               

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          BBT, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re: seriously?

          It's not that technology makes it possible to copy files. It's that technology makes it impossible to stop people from copying files.

           

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          Urza9814, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:46am

          Re: Re: Re: seriously?

          "By that logic, Ferrari made speed limits "undefendable" many years ago. In fact, every car made and sold in the US pretty much makes a shambles of speed limits, because every one of them can exceed the limit, thus rendering those limits moot."

          You say that's sarcasm but it's entirely true. Have you never been on a highway where the speed limit is 65 yet everyone is going 90? Hell I've been on highways in a group of cars that will go flying past a _police car_ at 20+ MPH past the speed limit and the police don't even care. On the major highways, they only care if you're reckless - weaving between cars and such. If you're just speeding - well hell, even they do that.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: seriously?

          and the Autobahn doesn't have speed limits in many parts yet their accident and fatality rates are less than that of California and many other places.

           

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      Stander, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:29am

      Re: seriously?

      You are engaged in an illegal discussion, I am reporting you to BREIN, expect a knock on your door soon.

      Pinky: Hey, what are we going to do today BREIN ?
      BREIN: Why take over the world, of course.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:08am

    I called the Royal Dutch Consulate yesterday because I received an email from UPS.

    I was a little worried because I thought someone hacked my UPS account and was sending overnight letters from Holland to Palto Alto using my account. Needless to say, I contacted UPS and they confirmed that the Consulate actually sent a letter and I had nothing to worry about.

    This, in turn persuaded me to contact the DC office of the ROYAL NETHERLANDS EMBASSY Consulate, which I have to say, were real interesting fellows who I'd love to buy a few Heinekens if I ever ran into them. I let them know it was a professional courtesy and that I contacted them.



    I guess the point is this: On Tuesday, I actually walked into a UPS office with a big plastic deer under my right arm and wanted to mail it to Mike but the UPS representative I talked to, (oddly named Mike) didn't know who Masnick was. Yes, I shamelessly wanted to send him a big plastic deer and Mike (the UPS guy) said he couldn't take it because:

    1) It wasn't boxed (I tried to reason with him that it wasn't funny if it wasn't boxed)

    2) They didn't think that because it was going to Mike Masnick was a good enough reason to send an article at no cost.

    So I guess, Mike, you need to work on a few things.

     

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    Jonathan Hartley, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:11am

    hey moore850

    @moore850,
    Hey, you make some valid points, and that point of view does have some credibility. But to suggest that it is remotely compelling or important enough to allow bullying corporations strip individuals of their rights of assembly and speech, purely in pursuit of higher profit margins, seems silly to me.

    Remember, we are not talking about defending artists here. Organisations like BRIEN are funded by, and act on behalf of the labels, who famously screw the artists out of every dime they possibly can. If they really wanted to help the artists they could start by not ripping them off massive amounts using creative accounting and then only giving them a few % of record sales to pay it back. All they actually want is to line their pockets. So which is more important?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:12am

    I wonder if there's any real way to block talking about downloading copyrighted material without also blocking chat about perfectly legal activities? I somehow doubt it...

    Not being familiar with the site, I also wonder what the nature of such discussions are. Is it merely technical (i.e. "I've downloaded all but 1 part, how do I use a .par file to complete it?"), or actually infringing (i.e. "hey guys, I just uploaded a new rip to the alt.binaries.movies group").

    The former could certainly be done without direct reference to copyrighted material and be totally within the realms of the law, while the latter would just give the copyright police evidence without having to lift a finger...

     

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    daddycoy, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:17am

    This could benifit the filesharers

    if you say filesharing is illegal, then thats illegal, and if they talk about filesharing its illegal, haha this is funny ignorant morons

     

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    lololol, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:19am

    so that means if they talk about filesharing its illegal, there wasnt alot of thought in that

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:40am

    If they made crimes of people just talking about crimes EVERYONE will be in prison, Oh wait, We ARE in prison. This Earth has become the prison of the just!

    GOD, Please just crack this rock in 2 and save the rest of the galaxy!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    FU BREIN

     

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    JustMe (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    Re: Post 2

    WTF?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:50am

      Re: Re: Post 2

      Yes! It's absolutely true!

      The folks at the Consulate were amazingly cordial and I really would enjoy splitting a beer tab with them.

      And the deer, well... That's why I thought there was a problem in the first place! It was insane as it was, but to get an email from UPS the next day, well, that just takes the cake.

      I wish I could make this up.

       

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    richard, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    rights

    my rights where are they ? i feel like sueing someone for taking my rights away!

     

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    richard, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:49am

    rights

    i have rights to talk about it

     

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    i want that law passed, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:08am

    so they can be arrested

     

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    WammerJammer (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:27am

    Free Speech

    You've got to be kidding? Free Speech?
    Not an option anywhere.
    The best free speech is to keep your damn mouth shut, your head low and your hoodie up.

     

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    SpEcIeS, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    George Orwell and his thought police

     

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    SpEcIeS, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 6:48am

    George Orwell and his thought police

     

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    JUNC JOHN, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    LET GO A LITTLE STEP FORWARD - INTERNET SHOULD BE ILLEGAL

     

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    1812lsd, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    #1 - The first rule of File Sharing Club is, you do not talk about File Sharing Club.

    #2 - The second rule of File Sharing Club is, you DO NOT talk about File Sharing Club.

     

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    NullOp, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Police State

    Oh Yes! Lets move to a police state just to satisfy the money grubbing, bastards ripping off artists in the name of "Art!" Once again I say, leave the media on the shelves this Christmas! Strike a blow for freedom!

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:55am

    They came to arrest me yesterday... when I asked, what are the charges? They said, "you were talking about file sharing". They ended up having to arrest themselves, and everything was doubleplusgood.

    George Orwell was spinning in his grave, laughing the whole time.

     

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    batch, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Copyright maximalists = the new Scientology.

     

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    taoareyou (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    When will IP disappear?

    Laws come and go. What is right and wrong depends not only where you live but when you live. Old ways constantly make way for new ways, but that doesn't mean the changes come about with no struggle.

    Intellectual property is a concept that will eventually disappear as technology evolves to the point where a system of trying to monetize an infinite good costs more than it generates.

    When will that time come?

    When the companies trying to protect IP cannot pay the governments enough to cover the actual costs of enforcing it.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    RE: bizzare plastic deer story

    um.. put the crack pipe down, back up slowly and everything will turn out ok....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

      Re: RE: bizzare plastic deer story

      You sound like a neighbor who does that type of stuff for a legitimate living on a federal level.

      PS Based on your semi-recommendation of sorts, I saw him this afternoon- as he doesn't work Fridays. He told me I need to continue finding a way to get this big plastic deer to Mike.

       

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    The eejit (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:26am

    Actually, this is a FANTASTIC move; ban all talk of filesharing, then you cannot exist under the law, as that's all you talk about.

    Brilliant!

     

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    aep528, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    So exactly how many countries have laws that protect "free speech" in any privately run communications medium. What was that, none? Thought so. No, even the US doesn't.

    Please stop using the "free speech" crap unless you are talking about censorship by a government agency in the US.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Umm, yeah, if lobbyists successfully bribe the GOVERNMENT into making talking about something illegal, that would be a violation of free speech, you know...by the GOVERNMENT.

       

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