Dutch Pirate Party Refuses To Shut Down Proxy Service Based On Demand From Anti-Piracy Group

from the standing-its-ground dept

The Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is somewhat famous for its overreaching efforts. While it succeeded in getting ISPs to block The Pirate Bay's website, it's been going after a bunch of proxy sites that have helped people get around the block. Its latest move may run into some difficulty however. The Dutch Pirate Party has its own proxy offering, and BREIN is demanding they turn it off. The Pirate Party, however, is standing its ground. As TorrentFreak reports:

Last week the local Pirate Party also received a letter from BREIN, demanding the shutdown of their Pirate Bay proxy site hosted at tpb.piratenpartij.nl. However, unlike the site owners that were previously contacted by the group, the Pirate Party is not caving in. They would rather fight the case in court.

Today the Party informed BREIN that the proxy site will stay online. To show that The Pirate Bay can be a useful communication tool the Pirate Party sent the letter through a torrent file, hosted on the BitTorrent site at the center of the dispute.

“The demands are ridiculous,” Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak.

“A private lobbying organization should not be allowed to be the censor of the Dutch internet. We were also amazed to find an ex-parte decision attached, threatening Dutch minors with €1000 per day fines for operating their proxy. If we would have yielded, their trick would immediately be played out against numerous other private citizens.”

The larger point in all of this, of course, is just how completely and utterly useless BREIN's game of whac-a-mole is. There are so many proxy sites out there, and many are used for perfectly legitimate reasons. Trying to block every single one of them is a fool's errand. Those who want to go to TPB will figure out ways to get there.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Coises (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    The purpose of whac-a-mole

    I think you misunderstand the purpose of whac-a-mole. Like laws against recreational drugs or prostitution, no one in touch with reality imagines the censured activities will stop. The point is to keep the activity marginalized; to ensure that it can’t be openly discussed, that everyone who engages in it must be fearful and suspicious of everyone else, and that those who don’t engage in it can be made fearful and suspicious of those who do. It keeps it abnormal (at least from the perspective of the larger society).

    The legacy content industries figure the only way they can compete with “free” is if their offerings have a unique cloak of legitimacy, which only works if a feeling of illicitness is attached to the others that cannot be shaken. The goal must be to maintain that stigma—they understand that law without enforcement is just a suggestion—no one could expect to succeed in actually stopping unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works, but it is possible to keep a significant part of the population scared of it.

    Of course, with all such prohibitions, lots of people’s lives are seriously damaged, but no one cares about that... it’s just collateral damage.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:37pm

      Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

      But, what happens when the "significant part of the population" becomes less than half?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:49pm

      Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

      "The point is to keep the activity marginalized;"

      You got this much right. It is more though to create a situation where doing the illegal act has enough risk, or the amount of effort is high enough, that it is no longer desirable.

      The content industries cannot compete with free on this level. They are being beaten by their own products. It's pretty hard to do much after that.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

        Re: Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

        "The content industries cannot compete with free on this level."

        [citation needed]

        Just because some of the content industries might not be able to exist without copy protection laws does not mean that all content industries will be unable to.

        Content will exist without IP laws and hence so will content industries. To say otherwise is ludicrous. and for those content industries that can't exist without IP laws, good riddance. It's not my job to subsidize them by sacrificing my right to freely copy.

        and, as a citizen, I want my government to be representative and to take my opinion into consideration when making laws, and not just the opinion of big corporations that benefit from IP laws. The opinion of all citizens. As citizens it is our duty to make the government act in our best interest.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:13am

        Re: Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

        Copying is only illegal in your fantasy world of absurdity.
        For everybody else it is the normal thing to do and no amount of laws and crappy rhetoric will change that ever.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

        You are misinformed, you can compete with free and your own products and can even become a billion dollar company.

        Microsoft does open source, so does Intel, IBM, some pharma companies, Red Hat, Arduino and a lot of other people.

        Quote:
        The content industries cannot compete with free on this level. They are being beaten by their own products. It's pretty hard to do much after that.


        Business Insider: Red Hat Rubs Its Billion-Dollar Year In Bill Gates' Face March 28, 2012

        Software companies are publishers too and they have to compete with free.

        But it is not just software publishers jumping on the open source bandwagon.
        Focus: Open Source Open World

        Could Open Source Principles Revolutionize Drug Development? by Sam Dean - Feb. 24, 2012

        Project Gutenberg

        Quote:
        "When I had a reply saying that they liked it and I'd have a worldwide display on The Pirate Bay homepage, I pulled off my hair," Vergara said. "I think its been a while since I've opened my eyes that wide. Now 'The Chase' is having massive exposure. I'm so damn happy. This is the kind of things you were not expecting in life, I guess."

        IBTimes: Pirate Bay Promotion 'Promo Bay' Attracts 5000+ Artists, Sticks It To RIAA and MPAA By Dave Smith: April 5, 2012

        This guy offers free music I don't see him complaining, http://danosongs.com/

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:50am

      Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

      Then they failed miserably at that too.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:53am

      Re: The purpose of whac-a-mole

      Big content is facing the same issues as most current oppressive governments, an age of free and unlimited communications. There actions are causing a global subconscious and conscious Streisand effect of resentment. I can't wait for the dam to break and the backlash to happen.

       

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    Some Guy, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

    Wow, a few politicians with integrity. I thought that wasn't supposed to happen.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:28pm

      Re:

      Or maybe Pfizer didn't offer one of those politicians a nice job afterwords? Or it didn't contribute enough in campaign contributions? Who knows.

       

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    Mark, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:23pm



    Can we changed that from 'Dutch internet' to 'The internet'. Why limit sanity to only the Dutch.

     

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    Watchit (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Good for 'em! I hate these companies and organizations that think they can extort money out of unsuspecting citizens, who have done nothing wrong, without facing any consequences! It warms my heart to see people stand up against that vile practice, doubly so when it's the government actually doing its job.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 9:22pm

    I get so sick of these people.

    They keep repeating the same mistake over and over again. The solution is simple: CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL and there will be no such thing as "the piracy problem".

    They waste so much of their money, our money, and the resources of our legal system trying to stamp out a problem they don't need to fight. They just need to refocus their business model and monetize other parts of the creative industry, parts that don't predicate on controlling ubiquitous copying and communication.

    How long are they going to waste time and money fighting this impossible war against natural human behavior and just restructure the industry to fit the new environment? For crying out loud, they waggle their plastic fingers at us and say we are the problem, but they fail to take a good hard look and what they're doing. They never stop and think, "Is there something else we could do that doesn't perpetuate a conflict with our own customers? Is this the only way this can be done?" I mean seriously, are they so lacking in the faculties of divergent thinking? Can they not conceive multiple strategies instead of beating the same dead horse? What's the deal? Can't they try something besides forcing everyone to abide by their preferred methods of brute force legislation?

    They really need to knock this off and try something less adversarial for a change. If they want to make any headway on this, they need to stop seeing it as a war to win, but instead as a puzzle to solve.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 8:07am

      Re: I get so sick of these people.

      What business model do you suggest for a content only company to take?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 8:38am

        Re: Re: I get so sick of these people.

         

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        Gwiz (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 9:25am

        Re: Re: I get so sick of these people.

        What business model do you suggest for a content only company to take?

        I don't know. I am not a handsomely paid executive of a content company. I don't earn my paycheck for knowing that.

        All I know is that this new business model needs to not infringe on my Constitutional rights of privacy, due process and free speech. Nor shall it impede on the openness of the greatest communication platform ever built, the internet.

         

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        Greevar (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:16am

        Re: Re: I get so sick of these people.

        Well, the first thing would be to come to terms with the fact that content isn't the only thing they have to offer the market. Anybody that is worthy of being called a content creator must have something that is imperative to the creation of content. They must have talented people to create that content. It takes the time, labor, and talent of those people to create the content people enjoy in the first place. Without them, their content wouldn't exist. So logically, the plan would be to consider selling the value of the service they provide in making the content. The same way landscapers or contractors promote their skill and time to transform resources into finished creations. This works better because controlling access to labor is much easier than controlling access to information.

        So it would work as thus: Determine how many hours a project would take to complete, calculate how much per hour it takes to pay your costs (the salaries needs of you and your staff, supplies/utilities, etc.), and multiply the hourly rate by the number of hours required to complete it (with proper padding for the unforeseen) to find what the project will cost and, thus, how much funding your services will require. Then, you need to make sure the people interested in seeing this project happen find you and give them a reason to put their money into it. Since these people are likely to also be the people who want to enjoy the content you're creating, you just need to find that little something extra (that doesn't cost much, or nothing at all) to compel them to pitch in.

        The Doublefine Kickstarter project comes to mind. They offered very special bonus incentives to encourage greater investment in order to increase the chances of it being a success. When you offer something people really want and you offer something beyond that which makes the original more valuable to your audience, they will be willing to put their money in to get those added value bonuses. The bonuses could be as simple and cheap as insider access (production updates, exclusive teaser content, exclusive chats with the team), limited runs of physical goods (advanced boxed copy of the content so you can have it before the masses, autographed posters), or bigger things like meeting the team in person or a launch party.

        When all is said and done (everybody is fairly paid and the project is complete), you release the content for free. Why? It's because obscurity is your worst enemy, but your content is your best marketing tool. You're going to use your work to attract more customers to you so that you can sell bigger and better projects to them. The more paying fans you have, the grander your content can be. If properly executed, your fans will pay your bills and staff (including you, the boss man) fairly and they get the content they want, plus any added value rewards proportionate to their monetary contributions. The works you release is the marketing tool that brings in more customers and, thus, more money. The most important thing to do is to establish a relationship with your audience and keep them engaged with you. The second they start to forget about you, you start loosing customers. Keep them engaged and you will keep your customers. Art is communication and an integral part of any relationship, thus you need to maintain that communication or the relationship will end.

        This is, by no means, a complete and ready to go plan and it's not meant to be. That would take market research and experimentation to determine the proper incentives to motivate people to contribute. These are guidelines on which to build an effective content company in a world that knows content is not a finite unit of property and is accustomed to getting any and all content they desire despite your desires to control it. I think this is far more realistic than controlling content by creating impotent laws that can't stand up to the reality of communications technology that can always defeat any restriction you throw at it.

         

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    Johan Q. Publique, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:51pm

    Winning battles and losing wars ... it's their foolish way.

    @All: Please stop trying to fix the copyright cartels.

    It's actually kind of fun to watch these miserable old clueless buggers flail and fail.

    They'll never win - their day is done. Time and evolution have rendered them impotent and obsolete. Soon, they'll be dead.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 12:42am

    Don Quixote springs to mind: "Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth. [...] if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 2:43am

    everyone has different ideas about what is good and what is bad. a lot of times, the 'bad' has to be tolerated so the 'good' can continue. so, why should any site be shut down because SOMEONE classes SOMETHING on that site as BAD, without the bigger picture, the good on that site, being taken into account as well?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Yep type in thepiratebay.org

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    from what i saw elsewhere, the deadline has now passed so this will go to court. i dont know if BREIN will try to worm out of it but with so many peoples hopes riding, i am sure, on the Pirate Party, i for one want this to go to court. i expect BREIN to play dirty and have as many of the entertainment industries as possible behind them. i hope the Pirate Party act in a similar 'play dirty' manner too. win or lose, surely this will at least set some sort of precedent? if the Pirate Party lose, i wonder how any cloud service will be able to operate, given how virtually impossible it is to monitor every file on the service? i would think the losses from those services closing or not even starting will far outweigh those of the entertainment industries.

     

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    Alex Austin (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Easy

    Take down tpb.piratenpartij.nl, put up tpb1.piratenpartij.nl. Link to tpb1 from tpb, but make sure it's a manual rather than an automatic link. Add some wink-wink language and you're good. Next letter, take down tpb1, put up tpb2. Rinse, Repeat.

     

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