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

from the looks-like-it dept

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

TPB has now said that it has reported the parody CIAPC site to the Economic Crime Unit. Why? Well, it appears the whole thing is really about exposing the double standard by Finnish law enforcement. You see, recently, Finnish prosecutors went after a parody site by Finnish “software developer, researcher and internet activist” Matti Nikki. So, TPB, is noting that it just wants to see the law applied equally (by which it means, showing how farcical the law is, knowing that law enforcement will never prosecute this):

“In a similar case, the prosecution and the Helsinki Court of Appeals have found that a parody site can violate the moral rights of the original author. Changing the logo or making slight edits to the text are not enough to remove this liability,” they informed the police.

The Finnish EFF supported this claim, explaining to TorrentFreak (in the link above) that seeing how prosecutors reacted would be quite telling:

“It’s interesting to see, how the police reacts to Pirate Bay’s demands. On facts the case is indeed very similar to Matti Nikki’s case, in which the prosecutor decided to bring the charges on behalf of Save the Children.

“The law should be the same for everyone so now the objectivity of the Finnish police is going to be tested. Anyway as others have already pointed out, even if Pirate Bay loses the case, it’s a victory for their cause.”

So, while others were mocking, it appears there was a much more serious thought process going on here. One of the following possibilities are likely to occur:

  • Finnish prosecutors do absolutely nothing, thus exposing their complete double standard in enforcing the law.
  • A lawsuit happens, and TPB “loses” the case, as it’s an obvious parody situation which should be allowed — and thus, TPB reinforces the protections for parody.
  • A lawsuit happens TPB actually wins the case, which most people would equally recognize as preposterous after seeing the initial press coverage of the story.

It’s looking like this was, yet again, a more clever move than many gave them credit for initially.

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Companies: ciapc, the pirate bay

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

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

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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

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

saulgoode (profile) says:

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

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

Anonymous Coward says:

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

ethical (profile) says:

TPB is organized crime period

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

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: TPB is organized crime period

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

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

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: TPB is organized crime period

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

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

Karl (profile) says:

Re: TPB is organized crime period

A library pays the people who wrote the books.

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

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

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

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

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

Anonymous Coward says:

TPB uses kopimi.

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

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

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

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