BPI Threatens To Sue UK Pirate Party Leaders Personally Due To Internet Proxy

from the wac-wac-wac'ing-that-mole dept

With the BPI (the UK equivalent of the RIAA) successfully getting access to The Pirate Bay blocked via many UK ISPs, it’s apparently turned its quixotic sights to the UK Pirate Party for daring to set up a proxy — as if there aren’t hundreds, if not thousands, of other existing proxies out there, and plenty of ways for people to get to the site if they really want to. And, rather than just threaten legal action against the Pirate Party UK (PPUK), the BPI has lovingly sent threat letters to six members of the PPUK National Executive, suggesting that it is ready to sue each of them personally. The BPI is claiming that it has to do this, since it can’t sue the party directly, and apparently takes offense at some claims that this is an attempt to bankrupt the leaders of the PPUK. Of course, that’s hogwash. Being threatened with a personal lawsuit — especially by an organization that represents a group of multinational, multibillion dollar companies — is, without question, a threat of being bankrupted. The BPI does have another choice: give up this silly game of whac-a-mole, stop trying to censor the internet, and teach its member companies how to adapt with new and smarter business models. But, apparently, it’s easier to bankrupt your critics.

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Comments on “BPI Threatens To Sue UK Pirate Party Leaders Personally Due To Internet Proxy”

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43 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

‘The BPI does have another choice: give up this silly game of whac-a-mole, stop trying to censor the internet, and teach its member companies how to adapt with new and smarter business models.’

i do wish you would watch your language, Mike. swearing at an entertainment industry like this and inferring that it has a brain or common sense could easily get you into serious trouble!!

the update on torrentfreak:
‘BPI?s Adam Liversage told TorrentFreak that they had no other option than to go after individual members as the Pirate Party is not a ?legal personality.? No direct threats were made to bankrupt any of the members.

?Our solicitors then wrote to PPUK?s National Executive seeking legal undertakings that they would remove the proxy. ?Pirate Party UK? as an entity cannot give undertakings ? it has no form of legal personality and it isn?t incorporated ? so the proper legal course is to write to the members of PPUK?s National Executive personally.?

?The subsequent allegation made by Loz Kaye that BPI has ?threatened? him or other party officers with ?bankruptcy? is completely untrue. BPI has not threatened Pirate Party UK officers with bankruptcy.?

Liversage further said that BPI first tried to resolve the matter amicably for a number of weeks. However, Pirate Party UK continued to make clear that they had no intention of removing the proxy.

if there are no threats here, then i dont know! if someone told the BPI or any other of the industries to shut down a proxie that gave access to movies to, say, the people in China, they would tell whoever to piss off!

Duke (profile) says:

Re: Re:

[Commenting in an entirely unofficial capacity here. I have very few more details than are public knowledge.]

“Our solicitors then wrote to PPUK?s National Executive seeking legal undertakings that they would remove the proxy. ?Pirate Party UK? as an entity cannot give undertakings ? it has no form of legal personality and it isn?t incorporated ? so the proper legal course is to write to the members of PPUK?s National Executive personally.”

This is entirely true.

“The subsequent allegation made by Loz Kaye that BPI has “threatened” him or other party officers with ?bankruptcy? is completely untrue. BPI has not threatened Pirate Party UK officers with bankruptcy.”

This is open to interpretation. The BPI have accused officers of the Party of acting illegally, and told them they were instructing solicitors to write to them. There is a clear implied threat of litigation there. Litigation in England is very expensive (?100,000+ for a first instance decision), and I imagine that is enough to bankrupt most of the people involved.

“Liversage further said that BPI first tried to resolve the matter amicably for a number of weeks.”

My understanding is that they sent an email (which was leaked to the press before the Party had a chance to read it) asking that the proxy be taken down. The Party said no. They then emailed that they were sending in lawyers. Whether that is “trying to resolve the matter amicably for a number of weeks” or not is another arguable point.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And your message is what? Waste time, money and effort on plans that have been shown over and over and over again not to work? Or to do what I’m suggesting and do what actually does work.

Utter bullshit. Copyright has been working for centuries and it’s still working quite well today. The ones messing it up are the selfish scumbag pirates that you spend day after day defending. Good grief, even your silly book club uses books produced under the copyright model. Stop pretending like your alternative methods have proven themselves so worthy that we can just chuck the current system. You are far, far, far away from that point. Keep up the great work in exploring the alternatives, but please stop being such an angry douche about the fact that the vast majority of the world disagrees with you.

out_of_the_blue says:

What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

Not a question of free speech but of deliberately and knowingly linking to infringing content. Of course here at Techdirt, Pirate Mike and his fanboys dodge stating the facts so can pretend to high-minded and moral justification.

Click here for Mike “Streisand Effect” Masnick!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
Help make Mike the #1 quipper on the net! — Click one for The Quipper!

DannyB (profile) says:

What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

Don’t confuse OOTB with facts about proxies. A proxy can be used to access infringing content. Therefore a proxy is a tool of piracy. Just as an optical mouse or a keyboard is a tool of piracy and the makers of such should be personally bankrupted.

That keyboards, mice and proxies have vast non infringing uses should not be used as an excuse.

Planespotter (profile) says:

What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

ootb once again proves that he is actually a ghost from the 1800’s…

“knowingly linking to infringing content”… Can you please post a link to a film available to download directly from the Pirate Bay’s servers.

Oh you can’t because there exists no actual infringing content on the Pirate Bay, merely little lines of numbers and letters.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

@ #6

i too have donated and i too want what the entertainment industries are doing exposed for what they are really doing, ie, trying to make a load of money without doing anything themselves. the trouble is, the UK government has too many friends in that industry and will back it to the hilt, whilst also ordering (behind closed doors, of course) that the courts do whatever the industries want. let’s face it, look at what the UK courts have done to those running websites that only link to other places on the net, a practice that has not been changed to illegal as far as i know. those people have been imprisoned simply because the judge has basically ‘made the practice illegal’ and decided to rule accordingly, in favour of the industries charges

Anonymous Coward says:

What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

If The Pirate Bay was in any way a haven of criminal activity of infringement on a massive scale then surely the website would have been seized and shutdown by now. It can’t be that impossible for the Swedish authorities to shutdown one of their very own Swedish .se webdomain names can it, right? By locking up the founders of The Pirate Bay has it stopped the massive infringement of copyright the copyright holders are screaming about, NO it hasn’t because the website is still operational. Surely by shutting down the website would stop the massive infringement of copyright? It is absolutely pointless for the BPI or any other copyright holder to shutdown the pirate party proxy or even shutdown proxies because that is not going to put an end to the massive infringment of copyright that the copyright holders scream about because whilst The Pirate Bay is still operational people will still be able to access it directly or indirectly through a proxy or VPN. Only by shutting down The Pirate Bay website will it stop The Pirate Bay being accessed too. By not shutting down The Pirate Bay website proves 2 things, 1. That the website is not illegal or 2. That it is impossible for the Swedish authorities to shutdown one of their own Swedish .se web domains.

Anonymous Coward says:

What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

All ISP’s are facilitating copyright infringement on a massive scale on a daily basis as they allow people to access to the copyright and these ISP’s are profiteering from copyright infringement on a grand scale by making/taking money from people to use their service to commit copyright infringement.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

Can we just be done and say that copyright holders are facilitating copyright infringement until the they come up with unbreakable copy protections AND ensure that all of their newly created works (no matter what stage in the creation process[1]) are locked up in that unbreakable copy protection?

[1] Remember, internal leaks account for almost all pre-released infringing content, and a lot of post-release infringing content as well. So every step of the process needs to be unbreakably copyprotected. Sure, it’s going to be hell to create stuff when a group of creators can’t easily copy their work to each other, but that’s what you get for wanting entitites further and further away from the actual infringement to be held responsible for facilitating said infringement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What's the purpose of Pirate Party's proxies? -- Infringement.

The only almost unbreakable copy protection is to put the ONLY copy on a rocket, and send it off towards some other star. This assume that the creator of the work is the only one to have seen it, and that they are prevented from creating another copy (they might object to the extreme measures needed to guarantee this).
Any copyrighted work needs to be available to the person who bought it, and so they can copy it using various techniques. Any encryption used to try and enforce copyright has one huge flaw, the audience and attacker are the same person.

vilain (profile) says:

up the anti on crazy

And by threatening MPs, the next step is for all the Board members of BPI can be pulled into local police stations and questioned about ALL their activities around this threatening behavior. Police interrogation and the information used to assemble a case against BPI for the UK equivalent of racketeering. Love to see these guys behind bars.

Anonymous Coward says:

We never said nuttin

Mr Joe Schmoe here says we threatened to hospitalize him.
We never said nuttin like that, foirst we tried to rezun wid da guy. We told him to clear outa town. When he wasnt willin’ to do dat we tolds him if he was still around by da weekend we wud break both his legs, but we didn’t say nuttin about hospitals da only time we said anything that cud be miscontrused in any ways was when big frank told him that hospital food is hard to eat wit no teeth.

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