The Pirate Bay's 'Lawsuit' Against Anti-Piracy Group More About Exposing Double Standards In Enforcement

from the looks-like-it dept

We stayed away from the story that made the rounds last week, concerning the claims that The Pirate Bay was going to file a lawsuit against Finnish anti-piracy agency CIAPC for setting up a site that parodies The Pirate Bay, using a copy of TPB's stylesheet. Knowing how TPB operates, we assumed that this was not an ordinary situation, even as eager reporters mocked the site for its apparent hypocrisy. Having seen how TPB has acted in the past, we figured there was more to this, and this week the details are starting to come out.

TPB has now said that it has reported the parody CIAPC site to the Economic Crime Unit. Why? Well, it appears the whole thing is really about exposing the double standard by Finnish law enforcement. You see, recently, Finnish prosecutors went after a parody site by Finnish "software developer, researcher and internet activist" Matti Nikki. So, TPB, is noting that it just wants to see the law applied equally (by which it means, showing how farcical the law is, knowing that law enforcement will never prosecute this):
“In a similar case, the prosecution and the Helsinki Court of Appeals have found that a parody site can violate the moral rights of the original author. Changing the logo or making slight edits to the text are not enough to remove this liability,” they informed the police.
The Finnish EFF supported this claim, explaining to TorrentFreak (in the link above) that seeing how prosecutors reacted would be quite telling:
“It’s interesting to see, how the police reacts to Pirate Bay’s demands. On facts the case is indeed very similar to Matti Nikki’s case, in which the prosecutor decided to bring the charges on behalf of Save the Children.

“The law should be the same for everyone so now the objectivity of the Finnish police is going to be tested. Anyway as others have already pointed out, even if Pirate Bay loses the case, it’s a victory for their cause.”
So, while others were mocking, it appears there was a much more serious thought process going on here. One of the following possibilities are likely to occur:
  • Finnish prosecutors do absolutely nothing, thus exposing their complete double standard in enforcing the law.
  • A lawsuit happens, and TPB "loses" the case, as it's an obvious parody situation which should be allowed -- and thus, TPB reinforces the protections for parody.
  • A lawsuit happens TPB actually wins the case, which most people would equally recognize as preposterous after seeing the initial press coverage of the story.
It's looking like this was, yet again, a more clever move than many gave them credit for initially.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    All about Sharing

    TPB is sharing, not only culture, but ideas. It wouldn't surprise me if they were sharing ideas with the users to find the best way to go about winning on ANY outcome. It just shows how sharing IS caring... about many different things and POVs

     

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    Xanatos, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:47am

    Excellent!

    My incredibly complex plan is coming to fruition. At the rate this is going, win or lose, it doesn't matter, I still win.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Of course.

     

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    Altaree, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    The big question is: How deep with the Finnish gov't dig?

    Will they quietly ignore this and for the "fringe" media be the only ones to champion this story? Or will they kick up a fuss and get everyone talking? *gets popcorn and hopes for the later..."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    great move by the crew

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    the chances are the Finnish police will ignore it completely and then simply throw the 'double standards' out. the next time that CIAPC brings another case, then the standards come back into force. we all know the rules. when it's the general public or someone standing up on their behalf, the law is biased against them. when it's governments, industries, corporations or rich/famous individuals, the law is biased for them. whatever the case is about, the people lose, end of story! the jibe from CIAPC about them wanting TPB to sue them could now mean they get a severe arse-kicking. if only!!!

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Actually they want TPB to sue them... so they can force their names out of secrecy. They do not know who is behind TPB, despite claims it is still the original people, and they want a new set of heads to collect in a kangaroo court.

    It is sad that once again we see the high court low court treatment in the world and the powers that be seem to have no problem with it. I wonder if they might have a problem with it when those condemned to the low court rise up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    As you pointed out the pirate bay is sending a message about the double standard.

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Other issues aside, I'm not sure the CIAPC site qualifies as "parody". Though what constitutes parody is largely subjective, I don't really see any attempt being made to "lampoon" or "mock" The Pirate Bay; it is merely a replication of the webpage with re-direction of the links.

    That being said, I'm very much in favor of a generous interpretation of parody, and would be entirely satisfied should the courts accept CIAPC's send-up as fair usage.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    I think this is great stuff !
    Fuck the MAFIAA !

    Can they Sue for each time someone "Clicked" on that fake Website ?
    Can they Charge them up to $150,000 USD per Click ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    I would say that the worst case scenario here would be that the case gets ignored and CIAPC is successful in using the media to turn the attention away from their double standards and over to TPB, without TPB getting a word in and explaining their side and the reason for this lawsuit.
    It has happened before.
    But the other scenarios do sound quite positive, so that's what I will be hoping for.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Library

    TPB is no more dangerous, and very similar to a library. That's also one of the main reasons libraries are damaged by the rules minimalists want.

     

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    Mega1987 (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    Xanatos gambit

    Oh boy... we got an apprentice of Xanatos here....

    We're all screwed...

    In a good way. :p

    *maimed with a 2x4 to the head.*

    Odin: Shut up, NEET.

     

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    ethical (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:20pm

    TPB is organized crime period

    A library pays the people who wrote the books. TPB sells ads to enable people to consume products without compensating the owners and creators. All ad networks are in the process of pulling ads from organized crime sites like TPB. 99.99% of the content indexed by TPB is there without the permission of the people who made the content. In The US, consuming that content is against US Federal law 17 USC 106 and 200,000 people have been sued since 2010 for doing so.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:57pm

      Re: TPB is organized crime period

      In other news, the postal service, the phone lines, automotives, the internet, and many other things are also used in illegal activities, and yet rational people realize that the blame for an illegal activity rests on the person, not the tools they use.

      Also, if you're going to go for hyperbole, might as well go all the way and just go with something like '112% of the content indexed by TPB...', as you'd have just as much proof either way.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

      Re: TPB is organized crime period

      Oh, for fuck's sake! The US isn't fucking Finland. Are you that much of an incalculable moron that you cannot understand the basic concept of sovereignty?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 5:32pm

        Re: Re: TPB is organized crime period

        The US isn't fucking Finland.

        no. as in apples are not oranges
        then again.. I thought the US was fucking everyone.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 12:10am

      Re: TPB is organized crime period

      Really, now? My family recently donated a bunch of books to our local library - you're telling me that the original authors got paid somehow?

      200,000 people sued? Is that "sued" or "subpoenaed"? Are those people named or just random John Does assigned to IP addressed you magicked out of your ass?

       

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        Tobias Harms (profile), Feb 19th, 2013 @ 2:03am

        Re: Re: TPB is organized crime period

        Not sure how it works in the US but in Sweden the authors gets payed a small sum every time book is borrowed from the library. So in that case yes the authors do get paid.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 8:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: TPB is organized crime period

          So libraries in Sweden have to pay another "you are a pirate" tax? No wonder Terry Deary is so pissed off.

           

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      Karl (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 11:24am

      Re: TPB is organized crime period

      A library pays the people who wrote the books.

      Beyond buying the copies, no, they don't. The users of TPB buy copies, too - otherwise the material couldn't be on TPB at all.

      So, a copy is bought at retail price by a distributor, multiple people consume that copy for free, and the distributor doesn't charge or make a profit. Sounds pretty much like a public library to me.

      In The US, consuming that content is against US Federal law 17 USC 106 and 200,000 people have been sued since 2010 for doing so.

      Merely "consuming" that content is not against the law. What is against the law is copying and distribution (and other activities, which aren't relevant to users of TPB). So, for example, buying a bootleg DVD from a street vendor is not copyright infringmenet - even though that puts money directly into a for-profit infringer's pocket.

      Ironic, then, that users are punished - and punished unreasonably - for infringement that does not make the infringers any money whatsoever.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 12:58am

    TPB uses kopimi.

    kopimi (copyme), symbol showing that you want to be copied. use kopimi in your own fancy. kopimi may be put on homepages or blogs, in books, in software, as sound logos in music or whatever.


    TPB says "copy me" and they got copied. Not a parody, just copied, just as TPB told them they could.

    So, there's a fourth outcome. The case gets thrown out because they had permission to use TPB's CSS.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 1:22am

      Re:

      Are CIACP going to plead that kopimi is a valid license?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 1:42am

        Re: Re:

        Let's not forget. The RIAA and their alphabet clones are very keen on prosecutions even where legality is proven. Hell, they DMCA their own stuff and can't even tell what stuff is theirs on YouTube. License be damned; throw the book at them, as they have demanded for so many others.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 7:09am

        Re: Re:

        It's a license? I thought it was just a blanket, "Do whatever." and not a license in the sense that there's a long text written out that makes it legal.

         

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 19th, 2013 @ 4:32am

    Hahaha epic win. I was actually digesting the move too trying to figure what was the true meaning behind it. These guys are simply awesome.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    win win win

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 19th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    "•Finnish prosecutors do absolutely nothing, thus exposing their complete double standard in enforcing the law. "

    Only problem is, the double standard couldn't be any more exposed, it's already widely known and expected that copyright law is only for it's buyers, so this choice is just business as usual.

     

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