Why Is The Justice Department Pretending US Copyright Laws Apply In The UK?

from the insanity dept

We already mentioned the attempt by the US to extradite Richard O’Dwyer, a UK student who ran TVShack.net and TVShack.cc, both of which were seized by ICE. Unfortunately, most of the press reports out of the UK lacked details, and I wasn’t even entirely sure that an actual attempt at extradition had been made, or if there was just fear on the part of the O’Dwyer family. After some digging, however, it appears that this is absolutely the case. The Justice Department, out of the Southern District of NY — the same DOJ offices that have been involved in the ICE seizures — and ICE, via the US embassy in London, made the request to extradite O’Dwyer. I’ve now heard that from three separate sources. I also called the folks in the press office at the US Attorneys’ office in SDNY to see if they were willing to respond to questions about the attempted extradition, and the answer is they don’t want to talk about it at all. I believe the two quotes were “there is nothing in the public record we can comment on” and “there is no additional guidance we can give you,” though they did offer to send me the press release they sent out when they helped seize the TVShack domains. Helpful.

Now, let’s be entirely clear here. Dwyer has not violated UK law. Pretty much everyone agrees on this. In our initial post, we discussed a few similar cases in the UK that showed such site administrators were not liable. UK legal experts have been saying that what O’Dwyer did is legal in the UK as it matches up almost entirely with previous cases where people doing nearly identical things were found to have not violated the law.

So this is a massive jurisdictional and sovereign disaster waiting to happen. Basically, the US appears to be claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws. That’s crazy and is going to come back to haunt US law enforcement. Do they not realize that this is the same thing that other countries have tried to do to US citizens? The US even passed a law, the SPEECH Act, to make it clear that US citizens were not subject to the liability of other national laws, just because such things happen on the internet. To then turn around and pretend the opposite is true for everyone else is just massive hypocrisy.

Separate from all that, it’s highly questionable if O’Dwyer is even violating US criminal copyright law, because there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement (there is for civil copyright law, but it’s nowhere to be found in criminal law).

Effectively, it appears that the US government wants to seize someone and drag them across the ocean to face federal charges for doing something that was (a) perfectly legal in his home country and (b) probably legal in the US. Do they not see how that might create some issues?

Honestly, this seems like the latest in a long series of massive screwups by ICE and the DOJ in the Southern District of NY, who appear to have rushed into the whole “copyright enforcement online” arena without bothering to understand the technical, legal and political issues involved. What they’ve done here is create an international incident, for which there will undoubtedly be ramifications. I’ve heard that while O’Dwyer is fighting the extradition, many suggest that it’s effectively a done deal, that the UK government has agreed to the extradition without any scrutiny of the actual charges. I’m embarrassed that my country would make such a request in the first place, and shocked that the UK would merrily go along with it, sans scrutiny. It’s gone beyond exporting our IP laws through treaties and diplomatic pressure to the absolutely ridiculous stance that the US government can (1) make up their version of copyright law and then (2) automatically apply those made up laws around the globe.

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Comments on “Why Is The Justice Department Pretending US Copyright Laws Apply In The UK?”

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348 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Is there any reason to believe the DOJ is actually “claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws?”

Seems to me they are claiming that if you do what this guy did (or is accused of doing), you’re subject to U.S. laws, but there’s a mighty ocean between that and “anything on the Internet.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Is there any reason to believe the DOJ is actually “claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws?”

Seems to me they are claiming that if you do what this guy did (or is accused of doing), you’re subject to U.S. laws, but there’s a mighty ocean between that and “anything on the Internet.”

You and your reasoning. Such is frowned upon here. Jump on the bandwagon and stretch everything out way past the point of reason. What’s wrong with you? πŸ˜‰

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes. And anyone who argued that a finding of jurisdiction in this particular case means the U.S. has jurisdiction over “anything on the Internet” would be laughed out of court.

Give one example of something that you could do on the internet in (say) the UK that is against US law but where you would be safe from US prosecution and we might believe you.

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

Think about it like this….

On a US hosted web server, it’s not illegal to say “communism sucks”, however that might be illegal on a Chinese hosted web site. Should the US allow my extradition because a Chinese citizen read my post?

Or more accurately, I’m in country FooBar and our country doesn’t acknowledge US copyright. Should the US have the RIGHT to charge (and extradite) me if I have a web site that has a song for download that is copyrighted in the US and a US citizen downloads?

Should all countries be subject to other countries laws on the internet? Be careful how you answer!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

Sure, but whether this is good or bad precedent, it is *not* precedent for the proposition that “anything on the Internet” subjects you to U.S. jurisdiction.

I just wish we could avoid this type of exaggeration and scare mongering when discussing these issues.

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

My reply was to the comment:

“Give one example of something that you could do on the internet in (say) the UK that is against US law but where you would be safe from US prosecution and we might believe you.”

Which I think I did. However, both my reply and Mike’s original message should have met this requirement. The point Mike was making was that the court in the UK already has precedent that what this guy did was LEGAL in the UK. So why should he expect to be prosecuted in the US for something he did LEGALLY in the UK just because it’s on the internet? If I can find an Amsterdam business that sells pot over the internet, should that business be busted because it’s illegal to sell pot in the US?

And yes, I understand that these aren’t EXACTLY the same issue, but the point is that they are equivalent. If the US can have the UK arrest one of it’s citizens for doing something in the UK that is legal, why can’t the DEA shut down the Amsterdam pot shop? It’s Pandora’s box…

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

it is *not* precedent for the proposition that “anything on the Internet” subjects you to U.S. jurisdiction.

I just wish we could avoid this type of exaggeration and scare mongering when discussing these issues.

Sorry I don’t agree. No – one has come up with the example I asked for (not relating specifically to the UK, which has a pretty bad extradition agreement with the US at present).

If you can’t come up with a single counterexample then I think the thesis “”anything on the Internet” subjects you to U.S. jurisdiction” at least if you are in the UK.

Note that this is as much a complaint against the UK government for its appalling extradition deal with the US as it is against the US for shamelessly abusing it. You may be right in believing that it isn’t an issue for most of the world – but it IS for the UK – as both Gary McKinnon and the NatWest 3 have already demonstrated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

Um…have you looked? I did provide a counterexample.

Of course, your question is a bit of a set up in one sense, because it requires someone you make a statement about what we believe a prosecutor will do in the future, which no one can know for sure.

I don’t accept the premise that, if you can’t definitively prove that someone currently stating “X+Y+Z = jurisdiction” will never argue that “X = jurisdiction,” then the two statements are equivalent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Email some friends, all in the UK, all using .co.uk email addresses, saying “hey, you guys want to buy some stock in my company?”

Arguably a violation of U.S. securities law (if it happened in the U.S.), but the SEC isn’t going to bring charges, because there’s no jurisdiction.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:


Their crimes involved communications with the U.S.-resident manager of a U.S. company.

I don’t think the nationality/residence of the manager was particularly important in persuading the US authorities to pursue this case. I heard a radio documentary/interview with one of the three and it was fairly clear that the US wanted someone to plea bargain and give evidence against others. Now in the UK we don’t have plea bargaining so they had to extradite.

IN any case I think your example (using email and a financial issue) is off topic.

If we substitute the web for the internet (excluding email) and confine ourselves to copyright law then I think the general statement still stands.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

You asked for an example of activity online that is not subject to U.S. law, and I gave one.

You attempted to say it didn’t count by pointing to a different factual scenario.

Are we moving the goalposts now or not? I’m not interested in having a discussion where the goalposts are continuously moved.

Restricting the discussion to the web and copyright law is a different discussion than the “anything online” statement in the article.

I still think you’re mistaken on that point (i.e., if this guy’s alleged infringment is subject to U.S. law than any copyright infringement on the web is subject to U.S. law), but I just want to know how often we’re going to change the terms of the debate before we can agree that, under the original terms, the article is mistaken/misleading.

PW (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Really? You can’t see how doing this is normalized to all laws? It’s this sort of shortsighted mindset that has gotten us to this place. I bet you’ll be the first to be surprised when another country asks to have a U.S. citizen extradited for saying something against their god or something equally trivial to us. Sheesh!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“You can’t see how doing this is normalized to all laws?”

Not only that, I can’t see what you mean by that.

If the cops say a guy walking down the sidewalk shooting a gun in the air is going to get arrested, that doesn’t mean “apparently they claim anyone walking down the sidewalk can be arrested.”

Maybe you think that, eventually, the cops *will* claim that anyone walking down the sidewalk can be arrested, but the fact that they say that walking down the sidewalk shooting a gun will get you arrested does not inevitably lead to that conclusion.

I know “the sky is falling” alarmism is the norm here, but I’m just trying to cut through the hyperbole to reality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If the cops say a guy walking down the sidewalk shooting a gun in the air is going to get arrested, that doesn’t mean “apparently they claim anyone walking down the sidewalk can be arrested.”

Oh, I see what you mean. By that example, you mean that the US is the world’s cop, enforcing US laws worldwide. But that’s the very idea that people are objecting to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I know “the sky is falling” alarmism is the norm here, but I’m just trying to cut through the hyperbole to reality.”

Yeah, I don’t know why stuff like this alarms people. Don’t they know that the reality is that everything the government does is for their own good?
/s

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think a more appropriate analogy to the situation would be:
Man walks down sidewalk listening to a boombox(yea a fucking boombox)
Cop asks man “prove to me you paid for the right to listen to those sounds arranged in that order”
man says “uhhh what?”
Man gets arrested. Everyone else now wonders if they are next.

PW (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Funny you would use the cops example. It used to be that they needed probable cause to get a warrant and enter someone’s home, now standing outside and saying “I think I smell marijuana” is sufficient (whether or not it’s actually true). It used to be that you needed a warrant tap a phone line, then it became a subpoena, now an NSL fm the FBI does the trick w/o judicial review. Yes, the slippery slope is indeed happening a little more every day. As for your thoughts that anyone walking down the street cannot be arrested, perhaps not arrested but certainly detained and good luck understanding that difference.

So back to the original point, asking for extradition on matters that have yet to be shown violate any criminal laws in the U.S. indeed opens up a Pandora’s Box. It also leaves our “free speech” nation at greater risk given that we likely do more stuff to violate other countries’ norms than they do to violate ours.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled dreaming about your dad’s ol’ Chevy and eating mom’s apple pie πŸ™‚

ClarkeyBalboa (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re analogy would be more correct if you said “a man was on the left side of the street firing a gun into the air. On the left side of the street, this is legal. The police on the right side of the street didn’t like this, so they pressured the people on the left side of the street to push this man onto their side of the street so they could persecute him”

A non-mouse says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If the cops say a guy walking down the sidewalk shooting a gun in the air is going to get arrested, that doesn’t mean “apparently they claim anyone walking down the sidewalk can be arrested.”

Nice try, but your analogy is incorrect. It would be like them claiming that anyone walking down ANY sidewalk shooting a gun in the air (on U.S. soil or otherwise) is going to get arrested.

You are twisting words to imply that we think EVERYTHING done on the internet will be considered a crime. No one is saying that. The DOJ seems to think that EVERYTHING done on the internet is subject to U.S. laws and that other country’s laws don’t matter. THAT is what people are concerned about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Nice try, but your analogy is incorrect. It would be like them claiming that anyone walking down ANY sidewalk shooting a gun in the air (on U.S. soil or otherwise) is going to get arrested.”

You can’t assume the conclusion when constructing the premise. Well, you can, but you’ll look like you have no idea what you’re doing.

I am not at all trying to imply criminality.

Here is more simplistic explanation of what I’m saying.

If X + Y + Z = jurisdiction, it does not necessarily follow that X = jurisdiction.

Here, X is doing something on the interent. Y is doing it through domain names administered by a U.S. registry. Z is doing it in a manner that (allegedly) knowingly harms U.S. copyright holders.

There are likely many other factors that can be added to that mix, but my point is that asserting jurisdiction in one particular case that happens to involve the Internet does not mean everything on the Internet leads to U.S. jurisdiction.

That is such a basic premise that I’m having a hard time understanding the pushback I’m getting.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I think that is boils down to the simple fact that you are upset that another one of the holes used by freeloaders and those who choose to ignore copyright is getting blocked up.”

Which is not where your deliberate obtuseness leads most people to think. For example, the US has an extradition treaty with Australia. What is to stop Australia from extraditing a game designer behind, say, Mortal Kombat, from ebing extradited for violating the Aussie obscenity laws?

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Is there any reason to believe the DOJ is actually “claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws?”

Who cares if the DOJ claims it. The DOJ is acting like it is true. So they must believe it, with or without any actual statements being made about it.

Seems to me they are claiming that if you do what this guy did (or is accused of doing), you’re subject to U.S. laws, but there’s a mighty ocean between that and “anything on the Internet.”

To be subject to US laws, don’t you have to do something in the US? There is a mighty ocean between US laws and where this guy lives.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“The DOJ is acting like it is true.”

My point is that acting like this guy is subject to jurisdiction is not necessarily acting like every single thing that happens on the Internet is subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

“To be subject to US laws, don’t you have to do something in the US?”

Not necessarily. For example, a German parent corporation can be liable for it’s subsidiary’s acts in the U.S., depending on circumstances.

Other’s who commit acts while physically outside the country, but targeting people in the U.S., can be held accountable in U.S. courts.

It gets very muddled when dealing with the Internet, but that does not mean it’s an all or nothing proposition.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

My point is that acting like this guy is subject to jurisdiction is not necessarily acting like every single thing that happens on the Internet is subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

How so? Where’s the distinction between (possible) copyright crimes and everything else that might be illegal by US standards, that people might do on the net?

Where is it written that copyright is so important that the US can ignore other countries’ laws and extradite for something that’s legal there, but which MIGHT be considered a crime here, but yet they can’t do the same for anything else?

If they extradite some guy for copyright issues, why can’t they extradite a Japanese web site operator for streaming videos that might be considered obscene in conservative US states? Why can’t they extradite a European web site operator for putting up images from Seventeen magazine, since they violate US age of consent laws?

Point out the law that draws the line at extraditing people for (possible) copyright infringement or STFU.

A non-mouse says:

Re: Re:

Seems to me they are claiming that if you do what this guy did (or is accused of doing), you’re subject to U.S. laws, but there’s a mighty ocean between that and “anything on the Internet.”

So, where exactly was he when he supposedly broke U.S. laws? New York? Boston maybe? Nope, he was all the way across that “mighty ocean” in the UK. But since he did it “on the internet”, the DOJ wants to extradite him and bring him up on charges here in the U.S. So yes, numbnuts, the DOJ is actually claiming that anything done “on the internet” is subject to U.S. laws.

Let’s look at it in the opposite direction. Suppose some other country has a law that says it is illegal to speak ill of their royal leader (I know, unthinkable, right?). Now suppose you don’t care much for said royal leader’s political views, and share that opinion with others. Should you be shipped off to that foreign land to face trial for your “crimes”? Does it really make a difference whether you voiced that opinion face-to-face or “on the internet”?

Duke (profile) says:

Re: Re:

From what I understand, the treaty isn’t really that big a deal; yes it loosened the requirements for extradition to the US, but apparently only to put it on the terms we already have for extraditing to the UK [the difference being that the US courts seem to not like extraditing people, so will find excuses, such as the US constitution, to apply.]

I haven’t done much research on UK extradition law (that’s next week’s job) but it looks like it all comes from the Extradition Act 2003, and countries need to show that the person is “accused in [that country] of the commission of an offence” – that’s about it. That’s not a treaty with the US, that’s an Act of Parliament… and it is rather ridiculous.

I’m not a lawyer, but I find it hard to see any *legal* argument against extradition. Apparently the next hearing must be within two months, so expect to hear more in September.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because "We're Different!"

Basically, the US appears to be claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws. That’s crazy and is going to come back to haunt US law enforcement. Do they not realize that this is the same thing that other countries have tried to do to US citizens? The US even passed a law, the SPEECH Act, to make it clear that US citizens were not subject to the liability of other national laws, just because such things happen on the internet. To then turn around and pretend the opposite is true for everyone else is just massive hypocrisy.

That’s because the US gov’t believes that it’s different from, and superior to, everyone else. So, of course, it has different rules for itself! This is seen as perfectly acceptable by most US citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Because "We're Different!"

Actually it’s not seen as perfectly acceptble by most US citizens. You really need to know more of us before you make broad assumptions. Increasingly we live in a police state. I, quite a few of my friends, and a growing underground movement are building up to a potentially dangerous level of outrage. But you have to make an effort to be informed here, otherwise they numb your mind with scandals and celebrities while they abuse the rest of the world. We are not free; we are simply kept quiet, afraid, and distracted. We are not driving; we are simply the cattle that feed the machine.

ClarkeyBalboa (profile) says:

Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

I believe he was referring to the fact that the US has passed laws saying that another country cannot hold their citizens liable for something on the internet that might be illegal in another country. It wasn’t being implied that if you are in the US committing an internet related crime that is illegal in the US that you are not liable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

Well, the first law protecting its own citizens is fine, there’s really no reason to find that unacceptable. But I think he was implying that we are also fine with imposing our laws on the UK under the pretense that we’re somehow different. Truly, we aren’t okay with this, not at all. No one I know is okay with this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

Oh please. What are you going to do? Restart the Youth International Party or the Weather Underground? More likely just fulminate on internet chat rooms, put peace signs stickers on your cars and occasionally shout “power to the people” out loud (when no cops are around). The current generation is so self-indulgent, so soft, so narcissistic and so consumed by immediate gratification that its capacity to affect change is about zero.

Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

Might want to check into some facts into say oh. YAL & RTR, the modern day equivalents, they also have independent media on there side this time round as well. And yes, thus far there ability to affect change is has been slim. Yet the movement is growing under a flag ship of the Tea Party & Campain for Liberty and more to the point the parroting by every GOP presidential candidate of the Principles Ron Paul has beckoned on for 30 years. Oh and btw I havn’t met a face yet in these groups that hark on narcissism. If standing up for individual liberty is somehow synonymous with immediate gratification then count me among them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

“I, quite a few of my friends, and a growing underground movement are building up to a potentially dangerous level of outrage”

You live in a sodding democracy.
Yes it is a rather clunky and outdated form,
and your people do seem to split down the middle about two practically identical right wing, big business capitalist parties but an underground movement is not what you need, try starting an overground movement and elect the odd sane person, you never know, it might just help.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Because "We're Different!"

This is seen as perfectly acceptable by most US citizens.
When I explain these situations to people, I generally get a “wtf our government is doing that?” response. None of the citizens I know are okay with our blatant abusing the rest of the world. It is amazing to me in the fifteen years I have paid attention (since becoming a teenager) how far downhill my government has gone. I have tried to help it be better, but despite my best efforts and everyone else I know, things just keep getting worse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

When I explain these situations to people, I generally get a “wtf our government is doing that?” response. None of the citizens I know are okay with our blatant abusing the rest of the world.

And then they turn around and vote the same people back into office. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the US electorate are telling.

It is amazing to me in the fifteen years I have paid attention (since becoming a teenager) how far downhill my government has gone. I have tried to help it be better, but despite my best efforts and everyone else I know, things just keep getting worse.

And now you know why.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Because "We're Different!"

You really just know nothing about the reality of it all. The ‘elections’ are a joke. You get a select list of pawns to pick among and then the powers behind it all pick whom they want. Yes, I voted for Obama, because in my delusion I thought that it would be something different, but it’s not. We are not a pure democracy, as an aside. We have ‘representatives’ who really do not represent us at all. Everyone gets paid and money picks the winner. We got sold Obama as a “Change” because they felt the minions were starting to align forces in their discontent. They keep us distracted with party poltics, scandals, games, and the elusive promise that if you’d have just picked the right person, it would get better. But the cake is a lie. There is no right choice. Behind the scenes money runs it all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Seems to me they are claiming that if you do what this guy did (or is accused of doing), you’re subject to U.S. laws, but there’s a mighty ocean between that and “anything on the Internet.”

Right. As long as you don’t annoy the US govt or its corporate partners they’ll leave you alone. Probably.

Anonymous Coward says:

Separate from all that, it’s highly questionable if O’Dwyer is even violating US criminal copyright law, because there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement (there is for civil copyright law, but it’s nowhere to be found in criminal law).

But there is such thing as aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement. This has been pointed out to you repeatedly. Why are you pretending that it’s not true?

I’ll add this post to the list.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But there is such thing as aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement. This has been pointed out to you repeatedly. Why are you pretending that it’s not true?

*Sigh* Because we’ve already discussed how that requires a much higher bar. One that is almost certainly not met here.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101028/16144611641/how-acta-turns-limited-secondary-liability-in-copyright-into-broad-criminal-aiding-abetting.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110104/12324012513/did-homeland-security-make-up-non-existent-criminal-contributory-infringement-rule-seizing-domain-names.shtml

I love how you pretend we haven’t addressed stuff when we have.

I’ll add this post to the list.

Oh, look, he’s building a list.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

*Sigh* Because we’ve already discussed how that requires a much higher bar. One that is almost certainly not met here.

So wait, you are admitting that it exists? Let’s be absolutely clear about this. At first you said, “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement.” Now you are saying, “that requires a much higher bar.” Well, which is it? Does it not exist, or does it exist though it has a much higher bar? It can’t be both.

The fact is “contributory criminal infringement” does exist, although it’s not called that. It’s called “aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement,” or “accomplice to criminal copyright infringement.”

Can you admit that your first statement, viz., “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement,” was completely wrong? I hope so.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101028/16144611641/how-acta-turns-limited-secondary-liab ility-in-copyright-into-broad-criminal-aiding-abetting.shtml

That link refers to ACTA. I’ve demonstrated before that aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement is as old as criminal copyright infringement. Remember how I told you that the Marx Brothers were convicted of aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement?

Care to admit that it’s been around a long time, or shall I pull out the unrebutted proof yet again? I’m more than happy to provide all the evidence necessary to prove that you are absolutely wrong about this.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201 10104/12324012513/did-homeland-security-make-up-non-existent-criminal-contributory-infringement-rule -seizing-domain-names.shtml

And you repeat the same wrong statement in that story. You say there, “there is no such thing as criminal copyright inducement.” Inducement, aiding and abetting, etc. are all covered under the concept of accomplice liability in criminal law. See 18 U.S.C. 2: “Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.”

See what it says? “Induces.” Care to admit that you are wrong? I’m more than happy to spend the rest o the day proving it if you want a debate.

I love how you pretend we haven’t addressed stuff when we have.

And I love how you continue to pretend that there is no such thing as “contributory criminal infringement” even though it has existed for a century. Heck, I believe that there are about 20 convictions for just this listed in the legal databases from the past couple years alone. Shall I pull them up for you?

Care to admit you are wrong about this, or can we all expect to see you repeating the same wrong statements about whether it even exists?

I expect you can take a second to answer me. I know you’re a really busy guy and all, but one would think that if what you’ve been repeating is demonstrably wrong you’d want to know–and that you’d admit it.

Oh, look, he’s building a list.

Oh, look, he’s been proved absolutely wrong about this–many times–but will he admit it? Stay tuned folks.

PW (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Guess it’s taking ICE & co. some time to figure out how to come after Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! since by your broad definition here they are also inducing copyright infringement with search results to sites that may have content or may be pointing to sites that have content that may be violating copyright (since these assertions have not actually been proven).

It’s clear you have a long future waiting for you at DHS or ICE since they clearly agree w/your less than persuasive interpretation of these laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Let’s be absolutely clear about this.

Good idea, let’s.

At first you said, “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement.” Now you are saying, “that requires a much higher bar.”

And there you go, lying by misquoting already.

Mike said that “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement”, he did NOT say that there’s no such thing as “aiding and abetting” criminal activity. He was saying that aiding and abetting “requires a much higher bar.” Big difference, and you should know it.

After that big lie, I’m not even going to bother with the rest of your comment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I didn’t get it wrong. Funny that you think I did. Mike’s got it wrong by thinking that anyone other than the direct infringer can’t be criminally liable for infringement. The Marx Bros. are proof, for example. I’ve proved this in detail in other threads, yet Mike continues to say that “there’s no such thing.” That’s wrong. I hope he admits and stops pretending that reality is otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Huh? By “contributory criminal infringement” he clearly meant someone other than the direct infringer can’t be criminally liable. That’s simply wrong as a matter of fact.

I am waiting for him to admit that he’s just wrong about this. It’s not an opinion type of thing, it’s simply a fact that he’s got wrong.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So wait, you are admitting that it exists? Let’s be absolutely clear about this. At first you said, “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement.” Now you are saying, “that requires a much higher bar.” Well, which is it? Does it not exist, or does it exist though it has a much higher bar? It can’t be both.

Yes, let’s be clear. Aiding and abetting is *different* than contributory infringement. That was the point of one of those links and you know it. What you are saying here conflates the two. I don’t know why.

My point, which I thought was clear, and I find it unfortunate that you distort it (and, even worse, that you claim your distortion is an attempt to be clear) is that, at *best* what O’Dwyer has done might meet the level of contributory copyright infringement as used in civil cases (and I’m not even sure that’s true). But what the gov’t has tried to do here is pretend that same standard applies to criminal copyright infringement.

It does not.

There is a *separate* and *different* issue, which is aiding and abetting. And, as I stated, clearly (I thought), that requires a much higher bar, for which there appears to be no evidence that the bar has been met.

The rest of your comment appears predicated on the false notion that aiding and abetting is the same as contributory infringement. That may be convenient for your argument, but it is wrong. The standard being used by the US gov’t here (or, at least is other similar cases) appears to be the standards for contributory copyright infringement on the civil side of the ledger.

Aiding and abetting is very different.

I expect you can take a second to answer me. I know you’re a really busy guy and all, but one would think that if what you’ve been repeating is demonstrably wrong you’d want to know–and that you’d admit it.

Pretty funny coming from you — someone who was proved conclusively wrong, and rather than admitting it, threw a temper tantrum, accusing everyone of “abusing” him, for proving him wrong.

Seriously. I have work to do. Responding to your tantrums is not worth the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

LOL! I knew you’d wiggle out of this somehow. It is abundantly obvious that when you speak of “contributory criminal infringement” that you are referring to criminal liability for those other than the direct infringer. Your past posts proves that what you mean the phrase to mean. Shall I dig them up?

As far as accomplice liability requiring a “higher bar” goes, you’ve trotted this out before. What do you mean by it, precisely? The bar is that of criminal intent and criminal action. How exactly did you determine that that bar hasn’t been met here? Where exactly is your evidence?

How precisely did you determine that the government is attempting to use bar for civil infringement here? What evidence do you have of that? Please explain.

I know you won’t provide the evidence to back your claim. You’re too busy to back things up, right?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

LOL! I knew you’d wiggle out of this somehow.

For someone who keeps whining about the lack of civil discourse, I find it odd that when I respond to your misrepresentations, you accuse me of “wiggling out” of something. I’m not wiggling, AJ.

I think anyone reading this thread can see that.

As for the rest of your demands, I believe I have made myself clear on each of those points. You’re unwillingness to read what I have said is not really my problem. You trying to provide me busy work may be fun for you, but it is not worth my time, especially when you will likely misrepresent my responses yet again.

Have a good day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So you can’t explain why you think the government is applying a civil standard to the criminal charges? I think it’s a fair question to ask you why you think this. If you don’t have 30 seconds to explain it, I find that hard to believe.

And, Mike, it’s really quite simple. In the context of criminal law, contributing to infringement is called “being an accomplice.” Yes the bar is higher, as are most criminal things when compared to civil, I should think.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You don’t understand.

Mike Masnick’s goal is not to provide facts and truth here, it’s to create fear and uncertainty about copyright law.

When people understand that Mike Masnick is the net’s biggest piracy apologist, it becomes easy to see the context of his statements on everything else.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So you can’t explain why you think the government is applying a civil standard to the criminal charges? I think it’s a fair question to ask you why you think this. If you don’t have 30 seconds to explain it, I find that hard to believe.

I have explained it. Clearly.

I could take 30 seconds to explain it again, but having gone through this with you before, I know it is not 30 seconds. It is (1) a few minutes of me explaining my argument as clearly as I can (2) you then misrepresenting it and demanding I respond to unrelated or meaningless attacks (3) me going through and responding again… (4) you misrepresenting and complaining again.

Frankly, it’s not worth it. I’m happy to engage in substantive discussions where there’s a likelihood of learning something. That is not happening here.

I have explained myself. I will not do so for you again. Sorry, you’re just not worth the effort.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

At the very least, stating there is no contributory criminal copyright infringement, if there is secondary criminal liability for copyright infringement under another name, is misleading (whether intentional or not).

Do you agree?

Not at all. Aiding and abetting is extremely different than contributory infringement. I think the only thing misleading is to suggest that they are one and the same.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

What are those extreme differences? I’m ignorant on that topic. I suspect most others are as well, which I think creates the potential for misunderstanding.

Perhaps more importantly, are any of those differences relevant o O’Dwyer’s potential liability? I mean, saying it’s questionable that he’s liable because there’s no criminal contributory liability is misleading, in my view, if there’s similar potential for aiding and abetting liability.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

What are those extreme differences? I’m ignorant on that topic. I suspect most others are as well, which I think creates the potential for misunderstanding.

In the past we discussed this paper which highlights many of the issues:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1166702

Perhaps more importantly, are any of those differences relevant o O’Dwyer’s potential liability? I mean, saying it’s questionable that he’s liable because there’s no criminal contributory liability is misleading, in my view, if there’s similar potential for aiding and abetting liability

Given the details of what the DOJ has said concerning domain seizures and the McCarthy arrest, I don’t think so. It seems clear in those cases that they’re assuming a much lower bar than would be needed for aiding and abetting.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Dude, that article uses the term “criminal contributory liability” as a synonym for “accomplice liability.”

“I use the term accomplice liability in this Article because it is the most common term for criminal contributory liability.”

Could you have possibly taken that more out of context? First of all, it’s in a footnote, and the whole point of that footnote is to explain that there are so many different names for this stuff that it’s difficult to keep track of what’s what, which is part of the confusion. I mean, you didn’t even quote the sentence accurately.

The paper notes that the criminal accomplice liability developed entirely differently from civil contributory infringement, and that trying to take from one to expand the other is a mistake, because they are so different and come from different purposes and histories.

The problem is that’s what’s happening here. The DOJ, from the affidavits and the filing against McCarthy appear to be using the Grokster definition of inducement (which is a civil standard) to defend the contributory claims against these guys.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Sigh. You haven’t explained anything. If you’ve explained it somewhere, simply give me that link. It seems obvious to me that you’re trying to weasel out of being wrong. You are claiming that there’s no such thing, when clearly there is. You are claiming that the government is trying to apply a civil standard to this guy, yet you’ve offered absolutely no evidence of why you think that. You’ve got all the time in the world to explain to me why you won’t explain it to me, but not a moment to actually explain what I’m asking you to explain. Just admit it. You were wrong.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Holy shit. You are fucking crazy. Look around the room you’re in AJ – are there any clowns urging you to start a toe collection? Any floating uncle-heads offering to teach you ‘magic tricks’? Those aren’t real, and you should see a doctor. Or better yet, drill a hole in your head and release the demons yourself – that should also take care of the snakes that fly out of your mouth every time you open it. When you smell toast that means it’s working.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

@AC:

“He’s my bitch. I love proving him wrong and then either (1) trying to weasel out of it, or (2) disappearing and not saying a word. Par for the course for Mike.”

He gets owned all the time. Though his coterie of lickspittles and cheese-eaters continue to give him the necessary self-esteem transfusions to keep soldiering on against the irrefutable truth.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh, yes. It is so absurd, I had forgotten.

Facilitators and Enablers. By “rogue” websites, such as Google, who dare to link to content hosted elsewhere that might be infringing.

Of course, it’s always easier to go after someone who did nothing wrong, because they are in plain sight not trying to hide. Since you can’t or won’t go after the sites with the actual infringing content, they continue to exist and infringement continues. By shutting down some links, you think the infringement stopped because you made it harder to find. The infringement didn’t stop, but now YOU have a harder time finding it. If you stopped the infringement, the site that linked to it would have links to nothing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Honestly? You’re a pretty smart guy, so I find it hard to believe that you *can’t* find a middle ground if you try.

Let’s start with someone who uses using domain names that aren’t administered by a U.S-based registry.

Maybe they have a site that only streams works for which the copyright is held by non-U.S. entities.

Maybe it’s a .se domain, only containing content in Swedish hosted on servers in Sweden, administered wholly by people in Sweden, and the copyrights for the content are owned wholly by Swedish individuals, and there is no evidence that a single U.S.-based person ever visited the website.

That short list was remarkable easy to come up with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Honestly? You’re a pretty smart guy, so I find it hard to believe that you *can’t* find a middle ground if you try.

Especially since “middle ground” is so easy to find. For example, let’s say that someone wants to put a couple of bullets through your head, but you don’t want them to. Simple solution: Compromise on the middle ground and let them only put one bullet through your head. See? Is that so hard?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Do you have a point relevant to our discussion?

I’m not saying that any of those “middle ground” options is the *right* balance for when jurisdiction should or should not be found.

I”m saying that there are middle points between what particular John Doe does on the Internet and anything at all that happens on the Internet.

You understand that right?

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

See my post below, which explains it. I’ll repeat it here.

His example: any number of bullets greater than zero would be unacceptable to you.

Quote I read: Some people say the sun rises in the East. Others say it rises in the West. The truth lies probably somewhere in between.

I say 2+2 is 4. You say it is 6. Can we just both be right by finding 5 as the middle ground?

Sometimes there is no middle ground.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I already explained, in the post prior to his comment, examples of “middle ground.”

Neither he nor anyone else has explained THAT they think, or WHY they think, there is no middle ground here.

That’s why I was asking about the relevance of saying
“sometimes” there’s no middle ground. Only Marcus said he couldn’t conceive of middle ground, and after I gave several examples, nobody else has said that’s the case or explained why they think so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

there points are all of your examples do not provide a middle ground. In any given case you either ARE, or ARE NOT subject to US Law. There can be no middle ground. Its not a case of black and white where there are thousands of shades of gray in between its a case of white or not white, anything that is not white is B, while anything white is A.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

I think it was clear in context that the “middle ground” I was talking about was the actions that give rise to jurisdiction, not whether you are or are not subject to jurisdiction.

“Middle ground” really isn’t a good term.

Rather, imagine a ven diagram. What the accused in this case is accused of doing is a tiny little circle that falls completely within a much, much larger circle of “things that happen on the Internet.”

What people seem to be saying is they cannot conceive of a circle, representing jurisdiction, that encompasses the tiny little circle of this defendant, but does not encompass the much, much larger circle of “things on the Internet.”

That blows my mind.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

you are implying the US jurisdiction encompasses the entire internet, which is not true. The proper image would be a giant circle that is “illegal activities on the internet according to the US”, then a smaller circle that is the “US jurisdiction” and another circle that is “UK jurisdiction”. These two circles do not over lap and only barely touch. They are both inside the realm of “illegal activities….” but the kid is outside the US jurisdiction bubble.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

“you are implying the US jurisdiction encompasses the entire internet, which is not true. “

Seriously? Are you just trolling me?

That’s exactly what I’m saying is not the case. That’s why the jurisdiction circle does not encompass the larger “all things on the Internet circle” in my hypo.

How could you not understand that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Interestingly enough, my wife and I have often referred to people as very” pregnant if they are nearing they’re due date.

At any rate, saying that “the middle ground doesn’t always exist” is a great truism, but not applicable to this case.

As I pointed out, there are plenty of things that happen “on the Internet” that have much less of a connection to the U.S. that what this defendant is accused of doing.

Saying that his activity –> U.S. jurisdiction is not tantamount to saying that those other activities –> U.S. jurisdiction, EVEN THOUGH BOTH ACTIVITIES HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET.

BeeAitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Saying that his activity –> U.S. jurisdiction is not tantamount to saying that those other activities –> U.S. jurisdiction, EVEN THOUGH BOTH ACTIVITIES HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET.”

This case.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110616/03555214716/us-porn-company-wins-default-judgment-against-file-sharer-canada-guy-told-to-pay-64k.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110615/14240014708/us-trying-to-extradite-uk-tvshack-admin-over-questionable-copyright-charges.shtml

Three example from the main page of this site.

It appears the US sees no middle ground.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I guess I’m not making myself clear, or people are not actually trying to understand what I’m saying.

But pointing to particular cases where someone did something on the internet and either a U.S. government attorney or a U.S. court said there was jurisdiction DOES NOT mean EVERYTHING on the Internet leads to U.S. jurisdiction.

I can’t tell if I’m in bizarro world and that actually is a hard concept to convey or understand, or if people just aren’t trying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I guess I’m not making myself clear, or people are not actually trying to understand what I’m saying.

Just because we don’t agree with you doesn’t mean that we don’t understand you. Big difference.

But pointing to particular cases where someone did something on the internet and either a U.S. government attorney or a U.S. court said there was jurisdiction DOES NOT mean EVERYTHING on the Internet leads to U.S. jurisdiction.

What you don’t seem to understand is that the basic underlying principle in this case COULD be applied to virtually everything on the internet.

I can’t tell if I’m in bizarro world and that actually is a hard concept to convey or understand, or if people just aren’t trying.

The concept that I just elucidated is the one that you seem to be having a hard time understanding.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“Just because we don’t agree with you doesn’t mean that we don’t understand you. Big difference.”

I agree.

“What you don’t seem to understand is that the basic underlying principle in this case COULD be applied to virtually everything on the internet.”

I think in order to give an intelligent response to this comment, I need to know what you think “the basic underlying principle in this case” is. Only if you presume it is “we can assert jurisdiction over anyone” do you get to your conclusion that it could be applied to anything. There is no reason to think that is the underlying argument for jurisdiction in this case.

Prisoner 201 says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

The point that you seemingly cannot grasp is that if the united states think that their laws are applicable outside its borders in one case (as shown in the original article) then it follows that the united states thinks that their laws are applicable everywhere.

And since the current state of IP laws etc in the US are shutting down sites left and right, sometimes with no real connection to anything criminal, “anything” is not really too far off the mark, within the context of the article and comments.

Of course eating fruit or breathing is not what we are talking about. But you knew that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“The point that you seemingly cannot grasp is that if the united states think that their laws are applicable outside its borders in one case (as shown in the original article) then it follows that the united states thinks that their laws are applicable everywhere.”

I do not “grasp” that, because it is not true. In fact, that is not how the law works. It is not an all or nothing proposition.

There must be some nexus with the U.S. to apply U.S. law, and you could conceivable meet that in some cases and not others.

I’m amazed that so many people seem not only to disagree with this notion, but to not even conceive of it as a possibility.

Some things that happen in whole or in part outside the U.S. might lead to U.S. jurisdiction, while others might not. Mind blowing, I know, but it is not only theoretically possible, but it actually happens in practice.

A Guy says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Okay then… how’s this?

I bought a blank piece of paper in the United States, I then took my blank paper to Sweden and the UK where it was used to publish information. A person in the United States used a satellite in space to read the information posted on my piece of paper. Maybe I wanted the satellite to read my paper, maybe I didn’t. I don’t see that as very relevant due to the fact that all the printing was done in the UK and Sweden.

The United States then says due the the jurisdictional nexus that occurred when the piece of paper was purchased inside the United States we are going to try you for extradite you back to the United States.

Do you see how ridiculous you sound or are you going to continue to be intentionally obtuse?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I do not know how TVShack worked, but if my understanding of the implications made are correct, he provided a location for people to upload links to “pirated materials”. This means he maintained a forum for people to share information, he did not edit, modify, or provide “pirated materials”. While simply providing a forum where people share pirated materials (with or without the consent of the provider) is illegal in the US, this is not illegal in other countries. Therefore The US is attempting to apply its laws outside its jurisdiction. This would be along the lines of me being extradited for sending a letter threatening the Nigerian government that if they do not stop the spamming prince I will sue them, which in my hypothetical fantasy world is illegal to do in Nigeria but not the US.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“Therefore The US is attempting to apply its laws outside its jurisdiction.”

That’s sort of a hard blanket statement to make. The domains used were administered in the U.S., whereas I understand the servers were outside teh U.S. This individual I understand was outside the U.S., whereas some of his contributors might have been in the U.S. (I don’t know).

I’m not saying any of that should or shouldn’t be enough to be charged in the U.S., just that (a) it’s not as clear cut as all the activity happening in or out of the U.s., and (b) arguing for jurisdiction in a case where there is at least *some* U.S. connection is not equivalent to saying all Internet activities are subject to U.S. law.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

His point WAS relevant to the discussion. Sometimes any compromise isn’t acceptable.

His example: any number of bullets greater than zero would be unacceptable to you.

Quote I read: Some people say the sun rises in the East. Others say it rises in the West. The truth lies probably somewhere in between.

I say 2+2 is 4. You say it is 6. Can we just both be right by finding 5 as the middle ground?

Sometimes there is no middle ground.

Joe Dirt says:

Re: Re:

What does a US citizen accessing the site have to do with anything? If it is hosted in Sweden, then it’s only subject to Swedish laws. To expect otherwise is silly. Which brings back to the US assuming that if you host/do anything on the internet, then you are subject to US laws. The idea that they could just up seize O’Dwyer’s domain is ludicrous enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Targeting U.S. residents with a service or action might give rise to jurisdiction in the U.S., so how many U.S. residents access the site might be relevant to that.

Simply being hosted in Sweden does *not* mean that it is only subject to Swedish laws.

For example, in some cases, U.S. courts can exercise jurisdiction over a domain name administered by a U.S.-based registry.

“Which brings back to the US assuming that if you host/do anything on the internet, then you are subject to US laws.”

Not a single person as provided any evidence that any member of the U.S. government as taken this position.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Targeting U.S. residents with a service or action might give rise to jurisdiction in the U.S., so how many U.S. residents access the site might be relevant to that.

Please explain how it might give rise to US jurisdiction. Is it targeting US users? Can you prove that? Or it is open to anyone anywhere?

Simply being hosted in Sweden does *not* mean that it is only subject to Swedish laws.

Simply being in Sweeden should mean it is only subject to Swedish laws. Otherwise, vice versa should apply and YOU should be subject to all laws in the world too. So be careful what you say online.

Not a single person as provided any evidence that any member of the U.S. government as taken this position.

Their actions demonstrate that they take this position.

herbert says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

which law from where says a web site must not be available to the whole world? a particular country such as China, may block access to a site somewhere else, but i haven’t heard of any web site that has to restrict users of a certain country from being able to access it. certainly not without having been told previously by a court to do that, eg a US court could tell US ISPs to make a particular web site in another country inaccessible to US residents.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

> a US court could tell US ISPs to make a particular
> web site in another country inaccessible to US residents.

Ah, the Great Firewall of the US.

We see how effective that has been in China.

Once again, I will point out that your tools are EXACTLY the tools of censorship. You may not mean it to get used that way, but it will.

I know of multiple ways around such a ridiculous restriction, right off the top of my head. I won’t enumerate them since I value my freedom. (I am not engaged in any piracy whatsoever. BTW, I hope all piracy can be stopped to protect us all from your draconian laws.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

As for your first point, see http://archive.ca9.uscourts.gov/coa/newopinions.nsf/2E84E99FE610B5F88825695200757AB0/$file/9915099.PDF?openelement

It’s not the best link, but it’s on point. Start reading on page 6 where it says:

“In Calder, the Supreme Court held that a foreign act
that is both aimed at and has effect in the forum state satisfies the purposeful availment prong of the specific jurisdiction analysis.”

As for your second point, your conclusion does not follow from my premise. In other words, it is not an either/or choice between “if servers are in X, only X has jurisdictoin” and “anything you say subjects you to jurisdiction everywhere.”

As for your third point, I don’t know how many times I need to say it, or if there is a better way to explain my point, but saying “what X did on the Internet subjects him to U.S. jurisdiction” is not the same as saying “doing anything on the Internet subjects you to U.S. jurisdiction.

BeeAitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Repost of my comment above:

“Saying that his activity –> U.S. jurisdiction is not tantamount to saying that those other activities –> U.S. jurisdiction, EVEN THOUGH BOTH ACTIVITIES HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET.”

This case.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110616/03555214716/us-porn-company-wins-default-judgment -against-file-sharer-canada-guy-told-to-pay-64k.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110615/1 4240014708/us-trying-to-extradite-uk-tvshack-admin-over-questionable-copyright-charges.shtml

Thre e example from the main page of this site.

It appears the US sees no middle ground.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Targeting U.S. residents with a service or action might give rise to jurisdiction in the U.S., so how many U.S. residents access the site might be relevant to that.

You saying this over and over and over dosen’t give it more credibility you know.

Simply being hosted in Sweden does *not* mean that it is only subject to Swedish laws.

Yes, it basically does. They may be subject to EU laws, but most certainly not US law.

For example, in some cases, U.S. courts can exercise jurisdiction over a domain name administered by a U.S.-based registry.

Which just reenforces what I just said – Verisign is a US based registry with it’s servers in the US – so the domain name was ALL they could seize.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I thought I only said it once.

Maybe you did only say it once – I don’t really memorize the all snowflakes next to Anonymous Coward’s names. It’s a lot easier if you at least use an unique name so we can tell all the AC’s from each other.

If you’ve got a similar link/sourc to back up your conclusory assertion to the contrary (swedish servers means only swedish law applies), I’m interested to see it.

I really not going on anything more than common sense here, but based on the common three pronged test used for cyberspace jurisdiction the mere accessibility of a website in a forum will not be deemed sufficient for a court to exercise jurisdiction over the defendant. I really don’t think that a website in the UK is specifically targeting the US, I think it is targeting the UK where it is deemed legal.

And, the more I read on this, yes, maybe my assumptions concerning the server test are not quite accurate.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I’m saying that the argument made by the U.S. attorney is not equivalent to “all Internet activities are subject to U.S. law.”

Yes, I agree those are not equivalent.

One also has to concede that pushing questionable legal theory onto other sovereign nations like this is the leading edge of the proverbial slippery slope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Perhaps so. Perhaps the court’s here won’t accept the assertion of jurisdiction. I don’t know enough about the facts.

What I do know is that the article is misleading when it says “Basically, the US appears to be claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you’re subject to US laws.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

no the US resident would then be subject to the US jurisdiction, according to the law broken by accessing the site. The foreign national that is hosting on a foreign service is only subject to that foreign jurisdiction.

and yes they can exercise their jurisdiction on the US-based registry, however that is limited to disabling that entity on that registry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Targeting U.S. residents with a service or action might give rise to jurisdiction in the U.S ...

I’m not sure what French law has to say on the topic, so I don’t know.

Of course, jurisdiction is a separate issue from extradition. In other words, French courts may say they have jurisdiction, and the U.S. may say go suck an egg when they ask for us to cooperate with extradition.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s ask the basic question:

If a company manufactures a product in China but sells it in the US, are they liable for failures of that product? Answer is yes.

If a company from the UK offers a service in the US (say financial planning), are they subject to US law? Answer is yes.

If a company offers it’s content services in the US to US users, are the subject to US law? Answer is “why not”?

If the company did not offer services in the US, it would be harder to prove. Obviously a wide open website open all over the world can be subject to the laws of those countries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If a company offers services in its own country and an American tourist comes and does business with them, is the company subject to American law? Answer is no.

If a company offers it’s content services in the US to US users, are the subject to US law? Answer is “why not”?

They don’t offer services in the US, they offer them in their own country, where their servers are located. The US users are the ones that come to their foreign site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“If a company offers services in its own country and an American tourist comes and does business with them, is the company subject to American law? Answer is no.”

Actually, it could depend somewhat on the details. Do they advertise in media targeted to U.S. tourists?

This is not an easy question to answer. You apparently think that the location of servers is the key factor. Others might reasonably suggest that location of the service-consumers is a bigger deal.

I don’t know what the answer is or should be in any particular case, but simple one-factor rules are not really applicable or desirable, in my opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Others might reasonably suggest that location of the service-consumers is a bigger deal.

Turn it around. if an American makes a website that offers Nazi memorabilia (no Godwin law reference intended), and for some reason it gets a big following in France. Maybe he even take out ads in French cheese magazines. Should France be able to extradite him to stand trial there?

Or perhaps an American Christian creates a web site that purposefully targets and proselytizes citizens of countries without the same religious liberties, should she be extraditable to those countries?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, I don’t think we should comply with extradition requests in either case.

Maybe the U.K. should comply with our request here. I’m not sure.

But none of that is relevant to the point I’m making in this thread, which is that the application of jurisdiction in one case that involves the Internet is not an indication that all cases involving the Internet are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Obviously a wide open website open all over the world can be subject to the laws of those countries.

Under that logic:

Anyone involved in the production or consumption of pornography would need to be extradited to various Middle East countries including Iran.

Anyone advocating for Taiwan to be recognized as an independent country would need to be extradited to China (PROC).

Anyone expressing religious (or lack thereof) views would need to be extradited to various countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

There are no borders on the Internet. Just because a bunch of Luddite, prehistoric, shit-for-brains, corrupt legacy companies who can’t compete in the real world want to live in magical fairyland doesn’t mean the rest of us do.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Obviously a wide open website open all over the world can be subject to the laws of those countries.

Umm..not quite. The basis of jurisdiction concerning the internet has always been the “server test”. Jurisdiction is where the material is physically hosted. So, no, it’s not obvious and it’s not even correct.

If I am standing on the US side of the Detroit River holding a sign that the Canadian’s can read that say’s something derogatory about Canadians, they can’t legally charge with me with a crime in Canadian court.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The basis of jurisdiction concerning the internet has always been the “server test”. “

Um…link?

I’ve litigated a fair amount of jurisdiction issues related to online activity, and never heard of “the server test.”

This ought to be interesting.

Yeah. I can’t remember where I read that, but the more do read on this, obviously it was incorrect or outdated info. My bad.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

After some more searching about, I was apparently reading something concerning Canadian laws and jursidiction on the internet in which the “host server test” is used (sounds sensible to me). That obviously isn’t applicable in this case.

WARNING: Trying to comment while you are supposed to be working may cause you to end up looking like a moron in a hurry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So what you’re saying is that, if you post a drawing of the Prophet Mohammed and it breaks the law in Turkey, that the government in Turkey has the right, because the drawing was made available on the Internet, to extradite you and put you to death according to their laws. One argument is as good as another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In 1989 the US military “extradited” the ex-CIA employee, Manuel Noriega, from Panama to enforce our federal drug indictment. Perhaps we’ll do the same in the UK.

It would be quite embarrassing to the UK if the US just went in and got him. Just the thought is probably enough to scare the UK into handing him over.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It would be quite embarrassing to the UK if the US just went in and got him. Just the thought is probably enough to scare the UK into handing him over.

Heh. You sound as if the rest of the world is afraid of the US like it was 40 years ago. Not so much anymore, I think.

Besides, if anyone should be afraid it’s the US and we should be afraid of China, not because they will invade us, but, if we piss them off enough they might foreclose on us.

sam sin says:

how can running a web site, in another country, be classed the same as selling drugs and shooting people? what he has done is classed as legal in the UK. if what is happening to this guy was happening to a US citizen, there would be hell to pay, especially if the US government just handed him over to whichever country wanted him. how the hell can what he has done, even if it were illegal, be such a wrong doing as to warrant extradition? at worst, the ‘crime’ is file sharing, for god’s sake, not murder, rape or international drug dealing! the UK government are showing their fear of the US and their contempt, yet again, for their own citizens. sooner or later shit will hit fan!

Alex Macfie (profile) says:

Dual Criminality still applies

I’m pretty sure that the extradition treaty between the UK and US, for all its faults, does at least respect the “dual criminality” principle (extradition is only allowed for something that is a crime under UK law). Therefore, Mr O’Dwyer should walk. If what he’s accused of is not a crime under UK law, then extradition cannot happen. End of story. Since the matter of his extradition has not yet been considered in a UK court, it’s a bit premature to say that the UK is “merrily going along with” the US request. Even under the lax requirements for extradition from the UK to the US, this is likely to be laughed out of court. That said, it is deeply troubling that the US is even trying to extradite him.

A Guy says:

Re: Dual Criminality still applies

Now that makes a lot more sense. I could not fathom how an extradition treaty could not include dual criminality and the article led me to believe that the hearing had already taken place. I now feel much better about both my government and the UKs. You can REQUEST an extradition from anywhere for anything.

I can request an extradition for the Queen of England to my personal court in my living room. I hope the UK would have the sense to turn that down too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Dual Criminality still applies

Now that makes a lot more sense. I could not fathom how an extradition treaty could not include dual criminality and the article led me to believe that the hearing had already taken place.

I don’t see how the article could lead a reasonable person to believe that IF they actually read it.

A Guy says:

Re: Re: Re: Dual Criminality still applies

“I’ve heard that while O’Dwyer is fighting the extradition, many suggest that it’s effectively a done deal, that the UK government has agreed to the extradition without any scrutiny of the actual charges.”

To me, this makes it sound like “a done deal.” Call me crazy. If there is not going to be a substantive hearing that can question dual criminality, then my outrage at governmental incompetence by the UK and over reach by the US remains.

ASTROBOI says:

Hypocrites? Nahhhhhh....

As Bob Dobbs has told us: “The reason I don’t practice what I preach is that I’m not the sort of person I’m preaching to.” And our beloved U.S. government is so unlike any other government that none of the old rules apply. If you want to know the future of the internet, just take a look at the War On Drugs. This is the sort of protection we are likely to face in future. Every week, every day, enforcement will get tighter, punishment stricter, intrusion into individual lives will go deeper. In my home town, last month, a 20 year old man was protected from himself. He was busted for possession of…….A CIGAR! Yes, the insane drug laws now make a law breaker of a man old enough to have served a tour of duty in the middle east war zone for having an unsmoked cigar upon his person. So post links, tweet tweets, post pics on Facebook at your peril. We will close the firewall gap with China and Iran and then surpass them. And we taxpayers will foot the bill. Remember “You can be anyone you want to be on the internet”? Remember cowboys?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hypocrites? Nahhhhhh....

In my home town, last month, a 20 year old man was protected from himself. He was busted for possession of…….A CIGAR!

Oh, come on, everybody knows that pirates love cigars! How were the poor police, just trying to do their difficult job, supposed to know that he wasn’t a pirate? What were they supposed to do, turn a blind eye? Then, before you know it, he’d be hooking some kid up with an infringing song. Is that what you want? The law may not be perfect, but it’s there to protect all of us.

Anonymous Coward says:

They don’t have a reason to act, so they’ll just make one up and go with it. It’s not a valid reason, but they don’t need a valid reason, just a vague, halfway reasonable pretext to quote to the press while they do whatever they want with no oversight.

I know the people executing these operations are mindless lackeys that don’t know how to spell “sovereignty”, much less define it. (They’ve made that fact quite clear on numerous occasions.) However, I do wonder just how far up the ladder that condition goes.
Is there a secret group of masterminds who are manipulating companies and governments into handing them world domination on a silver platter? Or is America’s spiral toward a police state caused entirely by a vast assortments of idiots who have no idea what they’re doing being elected to every position of power?

Honestly, I’m inclined to believe the latter, out of sheer misanthropy.
None of the people involved in this particular case ever gave it any more thought than, “You can’t sue him over there? That’s OK, let’s sue him here instead!”
The widespread demand for bypassing warrants? It’s because none of the people involved are literate. (And none of them have thought of getting a rubber stamp with their name on it.)
Every time someone complains that there isn’t enough transparency at the White House, Obama spends five hours wiping every window in the building.
And so on.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re:

As for your second point, if YOU do X, where X is illegal in some country Z, then why shouldn’t be extradited to Z without any scrutiny by US authorities?

That is what you are supporting here. Why shouldn’t the reverse apply.

I said:
> Otherwise, vice versa should apply and YOU
> should be subject to all laws in the world
> too. So be careful what you say online.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What gives you the impression that I am supporting any sort of extraterritorial jurisdiction?

I am simply trying to distinguish between apply jurisdiction in one particular case v. saying jurisdiction always applies in any case for ever and ever amen. Nobody wants to accept that distinction, which is just amazing to me.

I’m not saying that jurisdiction is, in fact, being properly exercised in this particular case, jsut that, even if the court says it is, that does not mean “internet = jurisdiction” alway and forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

i for one salute this move by the US, since this means that US Citizens are open to extradition to face charges under sharia law in the middle east, to face charges for speaking out against the government in china, for countless other crimes in countless other countries.

i’m thinking that this move, is finally one move too far.

if you seriously push for extending your own laws outside the boundaries of your country, you are basically standing on all fours and handing the world the jar of lube.

Acslawarecrooks says:

Isn't the United Kingdom a sovereign country?

Wtf…..how can any sane person think this is ok….if he is guilty of a crime in the UK he should be tried in the Uk.

Oh wait, it’s not illegal in UK to link to files.

Oh never mind, we are the US Department of JUSTICE. if the law in the UK won’t help we will enact our own justice.
“is that ok Mr MAAFIAA”

UNITED STATES OF THE WORLD!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Isn't the United Kingdom a sovereign country?

He used US based property to commit an illegal act. The US wants to prosecute him. So they have him extradited.

There isn’t anything unusual or wrong about this.

There seems to be a very common trend among the pirates and their apologists these days: take a simple matter and try to blow it out of proportion and/or make it about something that it isn’t about.

The tactic isn’t working. At all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Saying that there must be a jurisdictional nexus does not mean that any connection to the U.S. will suffice. Each case must be weighed on its particular facts. THAT IS MY POINT.

I have not said that jurisdiction is proper in this situation or any particular situation.

All I am saying (and I can’t believe how many times I have to repeat this) is that arguing that one particular set of facts that happens to include activity on the Internet is not the same as arguing that EVERYTHING on the Internet gives rise to jurisdiction.

A Guy says:

Re: Re: Re:

If you examine my analogy, then the US is attempting to extradite due to the use of a publishing median outside the United States, that was purchased from someone in the United States. If our government is allowed to extradite based upon the median, not the location of the publishing, and the entire internet is simply a publishing median based upon IP addresses that the US arbitrarily lay claim to then it would seem that the US is trying to apply its law over the entire internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In your analogy, the medium is outside the us when used. In the case of domain names, they are (arguably) in the U.S. when used.

That is but one distinction.

I only mention it, because these types of factual distinctions are what courts look at when (a) determining jurisdiction, and (b) distinguishing one case from another.

Thus, just because jurisdiction is found in one case, does not mean it will be found in others, even if there are some similarities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because "We're Different!"

You retarded, goat fucking, backwoods, tiny dicked fucktard. Who the fuck do you think you are to speak for all the citizens…or ANY OF THE FUCKING CITIZENS of the US? Everywhere on the internet there are tons of people disgruntled by what the government is doing. Just because you had an ex-girlfriend from the US who told you how teeny-tiny your cock is doesn’t mean that you need to bring that fucking vendetta here. Go back to your god-damned mud hut you fucking shithead.

jamie says:

Is this a joke?????

And what about other sites.. like blinkx.com sidereel.com tvduck.com..they have much more users and are rated higher in search enginest..

Sidereel for instance even have staff that promote tv shows with their sidereel videos and their faces are there for all to see..why are they getting away with this..

This is a complete and utter joke…i always wanted to know why they singled out tvshack like this and the other sites get away with it…

Shower of muppets in the usa honestly GTFO and worry about your own real criminals and not a kid from the uk fucking bullies..

Thomas (profile) says:

That is what..

the entertainment industry is paying the government to do. Large amounts of cash flow into “election campaign funds”, and the industry expects return for their investment. Some countries would call this bribery, here it is business as usual.

If this becomes the norm, just watch other countries demand the U.S. extradite people for “crimes” that are not illegal in the u.s.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Under the extradition act of 2003

“Controversy surrounds the US-UK extradition treaty of 2003 which was implemented in this act. It has been claimed to be one-sided[1] because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens and others for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK (see for example the NatWest Three), and there being no reciprocal right; and issues about the level of proof required being less to extradite from the UK to the US rather than vice-versa[2].”

It means the US can extradite people from the UK for just about anything.

Fairportfan (profile) says:

Re:

Let’s start with someone who uses using domain names that aren’t administered by a U.S-based registry.

Did you perhaps not note that one of the domains seized by ICE was a “.cc” TLD?

Maybe it’s a .se domain, only containing content in Swedish hosted on servers in Sweden, administered wholly by people in Sweden, and the copyrights for the content are owned wholly by Swedish individuals, and there is no evidence that a single U.S.-based person ever visited the website.

Maybe there’s not a scrap of evidence that the guy on the street corner with his pockets full of crack cocaine ever sold a single rock. He’s still going to be prosecuted as a dealer.

Your basic thrust, that just because they did it this one time doesn’t mean that they’re claiming that US law always applies to people outside the US who have not committed any crime in their home country, is either disingenuous or naive.

Based on the general trend of your comments, i’m betting against naive.

It’s like people who claim that laws and court decisions allowing abridgment of due process without warrant or court order to arrest and prosecute criminals don’t worry them, because they would never commit a crime.

Sooner or later, any doctrine that can be used to justify governments doing what they want no matter what the letter of the law is … will be.

Sooner or later, the people in power you agree with, who would never consider you a Bad Guy … won’t be.

Basic principle: Laws in general should be designed to limit governmental power, not increase it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I do not “grasp” that, because it is not true. In fact, that is not how the law works

The DOJ seems to think otherwise.

There must be some nexus with the U.S. to apply U.S. law, and you could conceivable meet that in some cases and not others.

That nexus is the internet.

I’m amazed that so many people seem not only to disagree with this notion, but to not even conceive of it as a possibility.

Not only can they conceive of it, that are alarmed by it.

Some things that happen in whole or in part outside the U.S. might lead to U.S. jurisdiction, while others might not.

Yeah, only in cases where the US gov’t has an interest. Otherwise, it doesn’t care. Kind of self-justifying.

Mind blowing, I know, but it is not only theoretically possible, but it actually happens in practice.

I’ve heard tyranny described in a lot of ways, but “mind blowing” is a new one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Neither he nor anyone else has explained THAT they think, or WHY they think, there is no middle ground here.

The US govt would like to rule the universe. Some think that the US govt should have no jurisdiction at all. The middle ground is that the US govt has jurisdiction only within its own borders.

The US govt is rejecting the middle ground.

Acslawarecrooks says:

Isn't the United Kingdom a sovereign country?

Really, since when was a server located in uk, a site run by a Brit providing links to shows from everywhere in the world ever be described as being “US based property”. When I last checked the United Kingdom was not “the 51st state”

You really don’t see anything wrong with extraditing someone for something that is not a crime in the UK??

You trolls really don’t listen to the arguments do you

Anonymous Coward says:

Because "We're Different!"

Oh please. What are you going to do? Restart the Youth International Party or the Weather Underground? More likely just fulminate on internet chat rooms, put peace signs stickers on your cars and occasionally shout “power to the people” out loud (when no cops are around).

Heh, you don’t know much about the power of the internet then, do you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Because "We're Different!"

You retarded, goat fucking, backwoods, tiny dicked fucktard. Who the fuck do you think you are to speak for all the citizens…or ANY OF THE FUCKING CITIZENS of the US?

He didn’t say that he was speaking for any of them. He made an observation.

From the foul language used, I surmise that this AC is probably an IP maximalist. Abolish IP. The sooner we get rid of the likes of this fellow, the better.

Chargone (profile) says:

Because "We're Different!"

actually, given the US government’s track record, that seems like an incredibly good way to get yourself shot. or arrested for a crime that doesn’t even exist legally and stuck in a cell indefinitely without trial.

undeground’s a good way to go.

not to mention that ‘representative democracy’ is compleate bullshit in the first place (it’s purpose is in NO WAY to give voice to the people. it’s to provide additional stability so the current oligarchs and plutocrats are harder to get rid of and reduce meaningful infighting amongst the elite.)

nevermind that the USA isn’t actually a democracy on any meanignful level anyway. It can’t be. it’s a bloody empire. attempting to run it truely democratically would cause it to either stall compleatly or fly appart.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re:

until you realise that unless there are specific treaties to that effect, there is NO case where US law should apply to things involving the internet which do not take place within the USA (baring the usual ‘country X’s citizens are liable if they violate country X’s laws (or at least most of the main ones) even if they’re in country Y at the time’, but that doesn’t apply here).

Jeni (profile) says:

Linking NOT Criminal

Okay, let me see if I have this right … I’m at home, alone and bored. Friend from Germany sends me e-mail with a LINK to a site and says, “hey so-and-so has a RS download to a great movie – check it out.”

So I do. I DL the movie, watch it, enjoy myself for 90 minutes and delete it.

Now I’m a criminal – and my friend from Germany is, too? And can be extradited? Give me a break! Someone said this is insanity – wholeheartedly agree!

Firstly, who did either of us hurt? Who’s public safety was at risk? Who lost anything more than if that friend were my next door neighbor and brought the DVD over to share with me?

Seems to me “justice” is served when REAL criminals – you know, killers, drug lords, terrorists etc. are the one’s pursued, not people sitting in their homes harming no one and certainly not a harmless hyperlink.

This whole thing is way out there in crazyville. It is starting to look like the Internet and all these ridiculous power grabs by wanna-be New World Order morons are the rumblings of WWIII – I mean shoot, never mind global terrorists who want to kill – GET THOSE VIRTUAL PIRATES!

God have mercy…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You have gotten that very wrong indeed.

“IP Infringement” is often a criminal case. The mass copying of a a CD for sale to the public would be a criminal case. It isn’t much of a reach to consider that a commercial website (one with advertising, membership fees, or other profit motive) who intent is to distribute copyright violating material would be a criminal case.

The standards to make it to a criminal act are stated under the law, and also have been determined by court cases over the years.

The exceptions are not rare. However, in a world filled with individual people violating copyright without a profit motive, much of the current action is civil. It is easy to get tricked into thinking that is the whole ball of wax, and it is not.

The government’s case won’t be the easiest to prove, but once one case is proven and someone found guilty, I suspect you will see a whole run on these sorts of cases. The IP Protect law and others coming down the pipes will also block up many of the technical hidey-holes people have been using to try to avoid civil and criminal liablity.

The landscape is changing. The wild west town of the internet is slowly joining the real world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Nobody has to. He does it to himself, shifting positions, being vague, desperately trying to re-frame what is and is not property, ignoring the laws of the land, and so on.

Last week there was no contributory infringement or no aiding and abetting, now it exists but the bar is high. At least he has stopped with the bullcrap of fourth hand or fifth hand stuff. That was a solidly amusing attempt to re-write the laws and re-frame the discussion, which failed miserably. Even his followers had a hard time with that one.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

> On a US hosted web server, it’s not illegal to say “communism sucks”,
> however that might be illegal on a Chinese hosted web site.
> Should the US allow my extradition because a Chinese citizen read
> my post?

Or more on point, since Average Joe’s latest incarnation is asserting that “targeting” internet activities at the US gives the US jurisdiction over you, what if you “targeted” your comments toward some Chinese activists, supporting them in their fight against authoritarianism?

That’s constitutionally protected 1st Amendment speech in the US, but since it’s “targeted” at China, according to Joe, you could be arrested, extradited, and sent to China for trial assuming there’s an extradition treaty with that country.

The same scenario could play out with someone who denies the Holocaust in a conversation on a web board with a German citizen. That’s a crime in Germany. Protected speech in the US. I know there’s an extradition treaty with Germany, so it would seem they’d have a case for hauling you over there to serve time for exercising your free speech rights.

The Constitution apparently doesn’t apply to you in America anymore if your activities involve “on the internet”. Either that or we’re in a “do as I say, not as I do situation”. Neither of which makes the American government look very good.

This is something Average Joe never addresses. He keeps every response purposely vague or focuses on linguistic technicalities so that he doesn’t have to acknowledge that either the USA is becoming the biggest legal hypocrite on the planet (“our laws apply to you, but not the other way around”) or we’re about to lose some serious legal freedoms in this country as the US governments bends over and starts sacrificing its own citizens the same they’re expecting other countries to do with theirs.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re:

> Obviously a wide open website open all over the world can
> be subject to the laws of those countries.

So you’re criminally liable for saying things on your web site which are protected speech under the US Constitution, but can incur the death penalty in other countries?

Hope you don’t accidentally disrespect Islam or something. Hell, you’ve probably violated some law somewhere just by standing up for the notion of US jurisdiction.

Good luck with that.

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

” It isn’t much of a reach to consider that a commercial website (one with advertising, membership fees, or other profit motive) who intent is to distribute copyright violating material would be a criminal case”

Let’s break this down for you:

“advertising”

So they have Google admob, they’re now a commercial site.

“membership fees”
Some places only post videos with nary a profit motive, but they do have a forum. They were taken down as well.

“other profit motive”
Translation: Anything that a copyright owner (read: not the artist) can use to allege copyright infringement.

“intent is to distribute copyright violating material would be a criminal case”
This comes despite ongoing evidence that most “copyright infringements” occur for noncommercial use and there’s no criminal element as you seem to implicate.

“The standards to make it to a criminal act are stated under the law, and also have been determined by court cases over the years.”

Give some of those court cases please. Otherwise you’re making this up as you go along to support your theory that criminal copyright infringement involves some sort of criminal element that is no longer in filesharing structures.

“The exceptions are not rare. However, in a world filled with individual people violating copyright without a profit motive, much of the current action is civil. It is easy to get tricked into thinking that is the whole ball of wax, and it is not.”

You really need to define your argument. You’re not making a lot of sense here.

“The government’s case won’t be the easiest to prove, but once one case is proven and someone found guilty, I suspect you will see a whole run on these sorts of cases. “
I’m pretty sure the extradition will be the part that gets the most exposure.

“The IP Protect law and others coming down the pipes will also block up many of the technical hidey-holes people have been using to try to avoid civil and criminal liablity.”

You keep saying that without any specifics… Buck?

“The landscape is changing. The wild west town of the internet is slowly joining the real world.”

Well, Buck, good luck in trying to tame it. It’s pretty evident that with all those “hidey holes” that people can use, enforcement will become more and more difficult as more and more people resist US dictatorship. We’ll just have to see how this turns out, especially when the rules are made up by people with a profit motive behind them won’t we?

Jay (profile) says:

Linking NOT Criminal

“Firstly, who did either of us hurt?”

You hurt those poor defenseless artists and sound guys who rely on DVD sales.

“Who’s public safety was at risk?”
The risk of financial investment to older ways of doing business.

” Who lost anything more than if that friend were my next door neighbor and brought the DVD over to share with me? “
You didn’t stream it on Netflix, or Hulu, even though your friend can’t use those services.

“Seems to me “justice” is served when REAL criminals – you know, killers, drug lords, terrorists etc. are the one’s pursued, not people sitting in their homes harming no one and certainly not a harmless hyperlink. “

You are a terrorist. You just don’t know it yet. But we can experiment on you.

For Science.
You monster.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

If you stand by your claim that criminal contributory infringement does not exist, and that saying so without further explanation is not at all misleading, and use that article as your support, I just can’t take you seriously.

You have yet to explain any of the supposed “extreme” differences between criminal contributory infringement and criminal accomplice or “aiding and abetting liability,” and that article treats those terms as one in the same.

The fact that that terms are used either interchangeably or without clear definition between them is directly contradictory to your claim that there are huge differences between criminal contributory infringment and other forms of criminal secondary liability, as well as your claim that a blanket “there’s no such thing as criminal contributory liability” statement isn’t misleading.

darryl says:

Americans have 'no right' to fight crime beyond their borders when the crime was commited within your borders ?

wow, you learnt two things !!

one you can commit a crime in another country even if you are not in that country.

two. That if you commit a crime in a country that you do not live in you are still liable for those crimes.

assume for a second a russian (or any other country) trading credit card numbers of US bank accounts, by your logic, that is fine and ok and there is nothing you can do about it.

Or that they cannot act on email scams from overseas because those people are not US citizens ? of course they can act, they just (rightly) state their case to the DOJ and a crime has been commited on US soil, and take it from there.

Mike, will you ever grasp how the law works ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Government Controlled Freedom of Speach

A complete failure of logic at work. Targeted is one of those amazing words. You sort of got off on a rant and missed the point.

If you offer a product in the US, make it available to the public, and it some how fails, you can be liable, even if your company is based offshore. There is no simple way in civil suits to enforce the resulting claims, but any and all American based assets could be subject to seizure to pay the judgement.

The nature of the internet is to make everything available to every user at the same time. In effect, you are doing business in all of those countries. Even in a simple advertising based site, where your only income is the result of ad sales, you are doing business in those countries in part because those ads are often paid for by local companies in those jurisdictions.

While for the most part this isn’t relevant for legal action, much of US law enforcement of cross border cases is done by finding the part of the “illegal” activity that exists in the US, and then working backwards from there. The domain seizures are a perfect example, as the obtaining the domain through a US registry gives them a starting point.

The owner of the site could have easily limited the site to UK users only. He did not. He made the site available worldwide. That is on par with publishing a newspaper and distributing it to all of those countries. Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t get in trouble in China for sending in a “The communist party sucks donkey d–ks” into the country. They may not arrest you outside of China, but you are very likely to be tried and found guilty inside the country, and god help you if you ever set foot in a place that they can catch you.

Jeni (profile) says:

Americans have 'no right' to fight crime beyond their borders when the crime was commited within your borders ?

darryl, can you grasp the fact that the Internet is not U.S. soil, nor does the U.S. “own” it any more than any other country?

Can you also “grasp” the fact that every time you indulge in your annoying and incessant habit of trying to slam Mr. Masnick you just prove – yet again – how petty and ridiculous your comments are? You sound like a jealous shrew.

Dang. I have GOT to learn to look at the name of a commenter BEFORE reading the whole post…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The standard refrain that ignores reality. Let me remind you once again, you can not stop 100% of lawbreaking in any area. People still get murdered, little old ladies have their purses stolen, and people still speed and park illegally. But in all of these cases, when the penalties and risk for committing the illegal act reaches a certain level, the vast majority of people just won’t do it.

A $5 parking ticket? Everyone parks illegally and takes the risk. A $500 parking ticket? Everyone would be on their best behavior.

1 week in jail for murder? The streets would run with blood. Life and possibly the death penalty? Murder is actually pretty rare in the western world as a result, outside of organized crime.

The landscape is changing. You may not like it, but it is.

Oh, for those who are searching for example of the US applying their laws, consider the poker industry. They now specifically exclude US customers because they understand they would be liable under US laws.

How hard is that to understand?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

If you stand by your claim that criminal contributory infringement does not exist, and that saying so without further explanation is not at all misleading, and use that article as your support, I just can’t take you seriously.

I stand by it, because it’s true. Frankly, I’m not too concerned with an Anonymous Coward not taking me seriously. I have no clue who you are, so why should I care.

You have yet to explain any of the supposed “extreme” differences between criminal contributory infringement and criminal accomplice or “aiding and abetting liability,” and that article treats those terms as one in the same.

Um. Perhaps you’re reading a different article than I am, but that article does not in any way, shape or form, treat the two as the same. The whole point of that article is to explain how they’re very, very different.

From the article:

There is often a mismatch, however, between the guiding
justifications for criminal law and tort law and the very different
rationales for intellectual property protection. In short, the
contributory liability doctrine for the former bodies of law is a poor
fit for the latter. In a companion article, I contend that much more
analysis needs to be done before judges assessing contributory
infringement liability can learn anything useful from tort law?s
contributory liability doctrine.8 In this Article, I maintain that it does
not make sense for contributory infringement law to depend on the
same principles that determine the culpability of criminal
accomplices. Contributory infringement law and its criminal law
counterpart, known as ?accomplice liability,? have evolved in
different directions because they are animated by different principles.
Infringement law?s explicitly nonretributive justification clashes with
the moral basis for criminal punishment of aiders and abettors of
crimes.

The whole point of that article is that the two are different, and it explains why, and it explains why we should be concerned about those who wish to assume that they’re the same.

The fact that that terms are used either interchangeably or without clear definition between them is directly contradictory to your claim that there are huge differences between criminal contributory infringment and other forms of criminal secondary liability, as well as your claim that a blanket “there’s no such thing as criminal contributory liability” statement isn’t misleading

They are not used interchangeably, other than by people who don’t actually understand what’s being discussed, or who wish to mislead. That’s the point.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

Exactly. There is such a thing, and the article he linked to even says so. But does he admit it? No, of course not. And the “much higher bar” argument makes no sense. They just have to show an attempt to aid, abet, induce, assist, etc. in the crime. How is that a “higher bar”? What does that even mean?

I assume most thinking people can read the actual article and understand that nearly everything you say here is false.

darryl says:

Americans have 'no right' to fight crime beyond their borders when the crime was commited within your borders ?

“darryl, can you grasp the fact that the Internet is not U.S. soil, nor does the U.S. “own” it any more than any other country?

except, the fact that all the INTERNET in America is “American Internet” and liable to that countries law’s and statutes.

The server that you contant via your ISP is on US ground, as is the PC you are using now (assuming you live in america).

So if you are able to go to a web site in the UK and conduct illegal activities, then you have commited a crime/tort on US soil.

Also the person who created and hosts that web site (in the UK) is also commiting that crime/tort on US soil (and UK as well, and any other country that maintains any laws that the web break those laws.

I do grasp that just fine thankyou, how about you ?

Jeni, do you grasp that you seem incapable of forming any form or counter to my statements?

Do you know what the definition of someone who does exactly that is ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

LOL! You really are trying to weasel out of this one. It’s really sad that you can’t admit that what you posted is simply wrong. Let’s look at your exact words again:

Separate from all that, it’s highly questionable if O’Dwyer is even violating US criminal copyright law, because there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement (there is for civil copyright law, but it’s nowhere to be found in criminal law).

Effectively, it appears that the US government wants to seize someone and drag them across the ocean to face federal charges for doing something that was (a) perfectly legal in his home country and (b) probably legal in the US. Do they not see how that might create some issues?

What everyone can see is that you don’t think indirect criminal liability exists. The fact is that it exists as has been proved to you many times over. But what do you do? You keep insisting that it doesn’t exist. That is just one more piece of evidence that proves either you are ignorant or a manipulator, or probably both.

A real man would just admit his mistake. A weasel just keeps digging in. You’re weaseling here. It’s sad. And hilarious. I’m still laughing my ass off.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

LOL! More weaseling from an intellectually dishonest Mike the Weasel. What is the point of claiming that “there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement (there is for civil copyright law, but it’s nowhere to be found in criminal law)”? You OBVIOUSLY are saying that there’s no counterpart for contributory liability in the criminal law. This is incorrect, as has been pointed out to you numerous times.

The article you linked to speaks of “Contributory infringement law and its criminal law counterpart, known as ?accomplice liability.” In other words, the criminal counterpart is called accomplice liability. In other words, it exists. That article is not about it not existing.

Just admit you are wrong. Be a man, not a weasel. You want respect? Earn it. Stop being a manipulative weasel who can’t even admit when he’s wrong.

And how do we know you’re wrong? Not only do you claim it doesn’t exist, which it does and as for a century, you claim that what he’s done is “probably legal in the US.” Um, no, it’s not. Why? Because of accomplice liability.

You have lied and tried to weasel out of it by claiming that they are trying to use the civil standard to charge him with a crime. They are not, nor have you provided any evidence that they are. The fact is that they are charging him with a crime. Is inducing someone to infringe a crime? Absolutely. It’s called being an accomplice. The notion of inducing someone to commit a crime being a crime comes from the common law and predates the notion of criminal copyright liability. As long as there has been criminal liability for infringement, there has been criminal liability for inducing that infringement.

Your claim that it’s “probably not a crime” shows how clueless you are. The fact that you repeat this lie even after it’s been demonstrated to be true shows that you don’t care about getting things right. All you care about is spreading lies and FUD. Anybody with half a brain who reads Techdirt can see you only care about manipulating things to advance your “alternative” point of view.

You’re quick to judge and a reactionary and I don’t understand how anyone can take you seriously. You’re a joke and a liar. You’re Mike the Weasel. It’s sad and hilarious all wrapped up in one. Your herd members might buy your lies, but the bulk of those with brains know better.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because "We're Different!"

Heh, wrong. I think copyrights should be seriously cut back (about 15 to 25 years, with works reverting to the public domain upon the death of the holder), trademarks should do nothing more than prevent confusion for the public and any other use or attempted use should result in severe penalty, and patents should be divided by field, with people who are trained in that field examining them rather than some moron with the lofty title of ‘patent examiner’. I’m also a firm believer that people that fuck livestock shouldn’t speak for others.

Oh, and I’m not a ‘fellow’. You fucked that up all the way around, didn’t you?