How Copyright Lobbyists Are Making The Child Porn Problem Worse

from the sweeping-things-under-the-rug dept

Over the years, we’ve noted that the entertainment industry has gleefully tried to link “child porn” to internet filters, in an attempt to make it easier to force censorship around the globe on the woefully stupid theory that this will somehow reduce infringement. At times they’re completely upfront about this, admitting that “child pornography is great!” because it gets politicians to do what they want. Rick Falkvinge has another such story of an industry exec enthusiastically embracing child porn on the belief that hyping up child porn will help get their filtering/censorship plans through. The article does a nice job highlighting similar stories around the globe.

But the key point is all the way at the end of the article. All of these attempts to link filtering to child porn doesn’t help stop the problem of child porn. In fact, it makes it worse. Falkvinge quotes a group that helps victims of child porn:

But more emotionally, we turn to a German group named Mogis. It is a support group for adult people who were abused as children, and is the only one of its kind. They are very outspoken and adamant on the issue of censoring child pornography. Censorship hides the problem and causes more children to be abused, they say. Don?t close your eyes, but see reality and act on it. As hard as it is to force oneself to be confronted emotionally with this statement, it is rationally understandable that a problem can?t be addressed by hiding it. One of their slogans is ?Crimes should be punished and not hidden?.

This puts the copyright industry?s efforts in perspective. In this context they don?t care in the slightest about children, only about their control over distribution channels. If you ever thought you knew cynical, this takes it to a whole new level.

The conclusion is as unpleasant as it is inevitable. The copyright industry lobby is actively trying to hide egregious crimes against children, obviously not because they care about the children, but because the resulting censorship mechanism can be a benefit to their business if they manage to broaden the censorship in the next stage. All this in defense of their lucrative monopoly that starves the public of culture.

We’ve made this point before about those who try to censor based on child porn claims. Like most folks, I find child porn to be a horrific and dangerous issue. But the way to deal with it isn’t through censorship and filters. It’s to go after those who are actually responsible for the stuff. It’s to track down and prosecute those who are creating and distributing the stuff. Putting up filters for censorship doesn’t stop those who are creating and distributing. It just drives them further underground. If anything, it actually makes it more difficult for law enforcement to track them down and stop them.

But, thanks to copyright industry efforts, that’s what we’re getting. And for what? So that they can get ISPs to start putting in filters in a weak and unworkable attempt to stop infringement. It’s really quite sickening that some in the copyright industry would go this far, but when you see just how often copyright lobbyists bring up child porn, and advocate for filters, it’s hard not to be disgusted at the lows to which they’ll stoop in their quixotic battle, where the end result is actually to make life worse for the victims of child pornography.

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Comments on “How Copyright Lobbyists Are Making The Child Porn Problem Worse”

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66 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Anyone with half a brain could see past any of the lobbyists’ anvils.

When they bring up “child porn,” these are the same people who have no problems hiring men who pee on teenagers.

When they bring up “terrorism,” these are the same people who have no problems hiring men who glorify gang violence.

When they bring up “safety and well-being,” these are the same people who have no problems hiring men who discourage children to continue their education in favor of endless hedonism.

I could go on forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

It may or may not be true that censoring/filtering technology would increase the amount of or damage from child pornography.

But it takes quite a leap to get to the conclusion that copyright industry lobbyists accept this debatable proposition, and lobby for censoring/filtering technology despite believing it would increase the amount of or damage from child pornography.

evilned says:

You want to solve Child Porn? Here's how

I wish I was able to attend a hearing where these people are making all these claims. I would reply thus:

“Good day. The other people testifying have made a lot of noise about stopping child pornography. Their solution will do nothing to stop it. I have a fair better solution and it will work.

It won’t be easy of course. The execution of this solution will require actual effort.

If you want to end Child pornography, simply track down the makers of child pornography and shoot them in the head. No fuss, No muss, (other than brains on a wall), and it will stop that child molester dead in his tracks…literally.

After you have liquidated a few of these scum, you will see the manufacture of child pornography come to a virtual end.

Thank you.”

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

That would actually be quite difficult. Wyden at least understands this to a certain degree. But think about Kloboucher, Cornyn, or Leahy, who have been in the system for a while and are pretty sure to profit from it in a number of ways.

Honestly? The best way to get good ideas to go to the surface would be the very thing that senior politicians would oppose.

Term limits.

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

That sounds like the 1984 sub plot…

Oligarchical Collectivism

” …the High (who rule); the Middle (who work for, and yearn to supplant the High), and the Low (whose goal is quotidian survival). Cyclically, the Middle deposed the High, by enlisting the Low. Upon assuming power, however, the Middle (the new High class) recast the Low into their usual servitude. In the event, the classes perpetually repeat the cycle, when the Middle class speaks to the Low class of “justice” and of “human brotherhood” in aid of becoming the High class rulers.”

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re:

What you have is a multitude of groups, in different areas all rushing towards the same goal, to become monopolies. Pharma, energy, content, communications, banking, defense, food, etc all trying for government granted monopoly rents. They are only interested in their own little piece of the pie, and fail to see the larger pictures. Once they reach monopoly status they fail to innovate and believe nothing will ever change. That leads to disruptive technologies coming along to destroy them.

Content – the internet
Pharma – immortality
energy – cheap local wind mills, solar cells, and energy storage devices
communications – Quantum Entanglement
banking – BitCoin or something similar
defense – SCRAM projectiles
food – automated hydroponic gardening
Manufacturing – 3d printing and robotics

We are headed towards a more distributed world, where not only are the content middle men removed, but so are the rest of the middlemen. The revolution you seem to expect will be the content industry repeated for other sectors. With them dying slow painful human rights removing deaths.

Rinse – Lather – repeat ….

Anonymous Coward says:

The funniest part here? This blog post plays the exact some cards, but in reverse. The case is made (but sort of fails) to state that blocking doesn’t hurt child porn (buy helps it), so…

in order to help stop child porn, stop blocking illegal file trading.

Think of the children!

It’s amazing to watch Techdirt stoop this low, and not seem to notice how two-faced it is.

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

Well, that’s mainly a problem with the system.

*WARNING POLITICAL INTRIGUE AHEAD*

I know that the US is set up with a two party system. The problem is, both parties are so far apart from their ideals, that they’ll do anything to remain in power, society be damned. Yes, Repubs believe in a sort of smaller government. But Dems believe in using the government as a weapon in general.

Both parties get to pick the parts of the other two branches, however indirectly.

The executive is made from the buddies of Obama or Bush respectively. The parts don’t matter. They stay after he’s gone other than the heads of certain branches. With regards to the judicial branch, the Senate gets to pick those favorable to their interests.

So you have a system that’s inherent to the two parties, screwing over others. The most important thing is to keep the system flowing, much to the chagrin of those that want to change it.

Just something to think about…

Does unlimited spending mean a victory?

Ninja (profile) says:

Re:

What weed are you smoking?

But no srsly, there’s truth in your statement because the copyright morons are using CP to promote censoring tools they could use later and this has the side effect of hiding the problem (CP) instead of solving it. And he’s also pointing out how low and underhand is this tactic MAFIAA is using.

So uh… If he’s creepy for pointing this absurd out then make me a creep too. And yes, we might be desperated by how low MAFIAA is getting and how many innocents are being hurt in the path MAFIAA chose to walk.

Oh, before I forget. TROLL.

Eileen (profile) says:

Re:

The problem is their positions on everything else. I mean, I will probably vote Ron Paul, because he seems like the only person NOT owned by someone. But it will be with an uneasy conscience, because I really don’t agree with him on most social issues. And not the small things like abortion or gun control… but roads, public schools… that’s where me and the libertarian ideal diverge, big time. I’d hate to vote for a libertarian to avoid modern serfdom, only to watch them create an enormous, uneducated underclass by essentially destroying education.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Actually, Masnick didn’t say it; MOGIS said it. Masnick only quoted them (That’s what the indentation is supposed to show, you will learn that when you make it to third grade). Actually, to be very nitpicky, MOGIS didn’t even say copyright enforcement makes child pornography worse; only that it doesn’t fight it as the MAAFIAA claims.

Anonymous Coward says:

Putting up filters for censorship doesn’t stop those who are creating and distributing.

Umm, don’t you think that CP caught in filter represents a slowing in distribution? It’s impossible to completely eradicate but I find any effort to slow its distribution to be worthwhile. As we have seen, the more accessible and numerous the channels of distribution, the greater the volume of content. Look at the explosion in the volume of conventional porn with the rise of the internet.

If I told you I'd have to kill you says:

You want to solve Child Porn? Here's how

That is irrelevant. Actual police units are doing that already, or at least so they say (if you want to question police numbers and statements, that’s another bag). Child pornography has already become completely underground. There would be no way to actually filter it against those who want it, short of much more extensive eavesdropping, snooping and privacy invasions than there is now, to a point that would have repercussions on many areas of the economies and legitimate activities. (Effectively, the same would happen if we took seriously the copyright maximalists’ positions)
All child pornography that is not underground today, are honeypots set up by police or deputized civilians Chris-Hansen-style. In order to catch underground producers and users, police have to infiltrate moles in the sharing communities hoping someone to identify themselves as Dave from Missouri, and look for clues in the materials such as landmarks, weather, speech accents, and things of that sort. It works, but at a much lower rate and a much higher cost than detecting copyright breakers who are for the most part still above ground.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

You give Anonymous Cowards on this site a bad name.

If you are going to make ludicrous claims such as that, please sign up for an account so we can hold you responsible for your views or leave. Saying such things adds nothing to the subject matter and only shows your ineptitude at understanding how the internet really works.

Mike and the group have it dead on right. Whether you seize a domain, censor the results, or destroy the server, if you do not go after the person(or people) who manufactured the content, you have done nothing to solve them problem. You have simply pushed it out of sight and out of mind. Since your are doing nothing to solve the problem, you are only helping the problem a long.

Ole Husgaard (user link) says:

Re:

amonymous wrote: “and exactly what did falkvinge do with this information when he got it, assuming he had proof of who said what? who did he pass the information on to? what happened next?”

It looks like he is trying to imply that Falkvinge is lying.

Having followed this case from the start, and having investigated every possible angle of it, I think I can give a meaningful answer to that.

We do not have a video or audio recording as proof of what Johan Schl?ter, the Danish anti-pirate lawyer speaking at the event, said. The only audio recording of this event seems to be one that the US Chamber of Commerce made, and they are not willing to share it. But I am sure that if this audio could clear the main speaker invited to this event by the US Chamber of Commerce of having said that child porn is good at the event, it would have been released.

What we do have are three witnesses.

They all said the same thing after the event. A short while after the event I was in personal contact with both Falkvinge and Engstr?m (now a member of the EU-Parliament), and they both told me the same story as Falkvinge is now telling. The third witness, Oscar Swartz, I do not know personally, and had no contact with. But at that time he was writing for ComputerWorld in Sweden, and he got an article published which told the exact same story.

What tells most about this, however, is the lack of response from the anti-pirate accused of saying that child porn is good, Johan Schl?ter. He has known about these accusations for years, and he has never even tried to refute them.

Schl?ter’s problem is that if he calls the witnesses liars, he risks being sued for libel. Suing the witnesses for libel would be just as problematic. In both cases there is a major risk that the court would subpoena the US Chamber of Commerce for the sound recording from the event, and this recording would then make the court determine – publicly – that the accusations are true.

Anonymous Coward says:

Did you even bother to read your own quotes?

How did you miss

They are very outspoken and adamant on the issue of censoring child pornography.

Censorship hides the problem and causes more children to be abused, they say. Don?t close your eyes, but see reality and act on it. As hard as it is to force oneself to be confronted emotionally with this statement, it is rationally understandable that a problem can?t be addressed by hiding it. One of their slogans is ?Crimes should be punished and not hidden?.

Then you go on to say, “Like most folks, I find child porn to be a horrific and dangerous issue. But the way to deal with it isn’t through censorship and filters. It’s to go after those who are actually responsible for the stuff. It’s to track down and prosecute those who are creating and distributing the stuff.”

Couldn’t resist going ‘fuck you’ to all of us that are victims of sexual child abuse.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Child porn and copyright

The way I believe it all works is this:
The entertainment industry offers big bucks to politicians (“campaign” funds, unlimited by a recent Supreme Court decision).
Some politicians say “Fine, but how to I explain this to my idiots (excuse me, “constituents”).
The EI then says, easy, “child porn”!
SP then says, “where’s the money, I am sold”.

Ole Husgaard (user link) says:

Re:

Rick Falkvinge wrote: “We passed the information on to the public. The next thing that happened was the the public voted us into Parliament.”

That is the ultra-short story, omitting a few interesting things that happened after the event.

This event was in the week-end. On the following Monday The Pirate Bay (TPB) got a new member. He was quite active uploading torrents for the next few weeks. What he was uploading was not illegal, but quite disturbing. It was a mix of “barely legal” (but legal) porn, mixed with non-pornographic pictures of often nude children (again legal). Quite unusual for uploaders at TPB he was mostly active at weekdays from 8 am until 16 pm. This new member suddenly stopped uploading after about four weeks.

A few days after this new member stopped uploading these disturbing but legal torrents to TBP, it was leaked to the Swedish press that the Swedish police was going to put TPB on the Swedish child porn censor list.

There was a lot of writing about this in Swedish press, and many were wondering, because they could find no child porn via TPB. The Swedish police, however, maintained that they had evidence that child porn could be found via TPB.

In the end TPB was never placed on the child porn censor list. The main reason was probably that nobody could find any evidence, and that some ISPs were threatening to stop using the child porn censor list because of it, because nobody could find any child porn. Although the Swedish police still maintains the claim they have evidence, nobody have been charged with any crime because of this.

IMHO this was probably just some anti-pirates who got inspired by Johan Schl?ter’s speech about child porn being useful to stop file sharing.

So why did Johan Schl?ter say what he did at this event?

He said so because he was right about child porn being useful for anti-pirates. He had run a case against an ISP trying to get a court injunction against the ISP to block access to allofmp3.com, and he won the case. The court reasoned that, because the ISP already had the infrastructure in place for censoring child porn, it would incur no extra cost for the ISP to also censor allofmp3.com. Soon almost all ISPs in Denmark started censoring allofmp3.com, as they did not want to have court costs trying to keep their net open.

How could he get an injunction like that? Because local Danish law does not correctly implement the Infosoc directive (a piece of EU legislation, which Denmark has to correctly implement in local law). The main legal argument in the case is based on this faulty implementation of Infosoc.

The top civil servant responsible for a correct implementation of the Infosoc directive at that time, Peter Sch?nning, did not do his work properly. He is no longer a civil servant. He later left to become a partner at the Johan Schl?ter law firm. Today he is specializing in heading court cases abusing this faulty implementation of Infosoc, and he managed to uphold the censoring of The Pirate Bay on appeal.

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