Norwegian Parliament Approves Extreme Version Of SOPA; Ignores All Sorts Of Rights If Someone Yells Copyright

from the incredible dept

A few years ago, I was in Norway for Nordic Music Week and got to meet with a number of people from all sides of the music industry there. It was very interesting to see how many of them were adapting to the changing environment. It was quite encouraging to see many were learning how to adapt and change with the times, embracing the internet to the fullest extent. Of course, one thing I noticed while there was that the major labels were entirely absent. Instead of spending time with the folks who are actually innovating and adapting it appears that they were, instead, doing what they do best: lobbying for incredibly overreaching legislation that wipes out all sorts of rights as soon as someone screams “copyright infringement.” The Norwegian Parliament has now approved some legislation for copyright reform which is a major step in the wrong direction.

TorrentFreak has a good summary of what’s in the law and its current status (almost certainly to be approved shortly). It has the standard “completely shut down anything and everything and block access if it’s seen as a “pirate” site” bit that was so controversial under the SOPA proposal in the US:

…rightsholders may apply to the courts to have ISPs “prevent or impede access” to sites that have “extensively made available material that clearly violates copyrights.”

Website owners will be named as opposing parties in such procedures but if the owner of the site is unknown or has an unknown address “..the case can be decided without the person concerned being given an opportunity to comment.”

Think about both of those provisions for half a second and you realize how troubling they are. Lots of “legal” services also are used to infringe “extensively” on copyrights, but we don’t kill them off because of that. As we’ve noted, nearly every important technological innovation that has helped the entertainment industry started out as something that was used almost exclusively for infringing uses — mainly because the entertainment industry refused to adapt. Radio, cable TV, the VCR, the DVR the MP3 player, YouTube etc. Under a law like this, all of those would have been effectively outlawed.

In fact, think about the incentives here: this bill gives the entertainment industry incentive NOT to adapt and change with the times. The more it offers legitimate and authorized content, the harder it will be for them to shut down these sites. That’s ridiculous. What kind of government would pass a law that effectively tells the entertainment industry not to embrace innovation? Apparently, Norway’s.

And do we really need to even bring up what happens when no adversarial hearing happens where a site owner is allowed to present their side of the story? This law will lead to blocking access to tons of sites, many of which probably will have substantial non-infringing uses — including many that are helpful to those who embrace them.

Oh, and it gets worse. Because under this law, if you scream copyright infringement loud enough, privacy laws go out the window for the public. Because, you know, “piracy!!!!!!” trumps privacy:

In dealing with end-users of unauthorized material (i.e the general public) the amendments are designed to make it easier for rightsholders to pursue individuals without falling foul of Norway’s data protection laws. Once passed, the new legislation will exempt personal data from the Personal Data Act when processing of such data is necessary for the pursuit of a legal claim.

While there are a few privacy safeguards in place, it seems like this law gets it backwards. Rather than exempting such data from the Personal Data Act with a few protections, why not create a clear test that needs to be met before any personal data could be revealed. At the very least, this should include clear and compelling evidence of actual harmful infringement by the individual, as well as the opportunity for the anonymous individual to mount a defense/response prior to being revealed. Somehow, I doubt that will happen.

Of course, what this really shows is that, even if SOPA was defeated in the US, the industry is still hard at work getting similar laws approved around the globe. Just wait until a little ways down the road where an attempt is made to “harmonize” various laws to try to force the US to match such laws in other places.

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Comments on “Norwegian Parliament Approves Extreme Version Of SOPA; Ignores All Sorts Of Rights If Someone Yells Copyright”

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53 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: At this rate...

Agreed because copyright relied on copying being controllable, and limited to corporations because of the expense of the equipment to make copies. Now that anyone can make copies, it can only be protected by intrusive control and monitoring of user devices, along with draconian laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Just wait until a little ways down the road where an attempt is made to “harmonize” various laws to try to force the US to match such laws in other places.”

The thought of putting pirates in death camps, forcing them on a grass diet, and shooting them while their mouths are full of rocks is looking more like a reality at this rate. They’re already at the point of making us more like China or Iran all in the name of maximizing the profits of some incompetent CEOs and Hollywood degenerates.

Ninja (profile) says:

Of course, one thing I noticed while there was that the major labels were entirely absent.

Of course, they don’t care about music. They care about money and control. A music festival incentives independent creations, artists not signed with labels. Why would they waste their time when they see themselves as gatekeepers and not as enablers. If the major labels were truly a good thing they would be there keeping an eye for talents that are worth ENABLING.

Anonymous Coward says:

funny how all the countries that fought so hard against being ruled by a Fascist country are now bringing in laws that the original Fascists would have been proud of. the people are being completely ignored, their rights are being completely ignored and ALL THIS OVER MOVIE FILES! what the hell is wrong with them? the industries involved here and those that are being ‘encouraged’ to go down the road of fully supporting these industries have no idea of or are completely ignoring all the warning signs of what this really means. surely the people of Norway are not going to just sit back and watch their country become what Hitler tried so hard to do? surely the people dont want to be totally oppressed like others are, do they? this is going to mean there is a new dictatorship and all thanks to the USA entertainment industries! unbelievable!!

horse with no name says:

troubling

Think about both of those provisions for half a second and you realize how troubling they are

Yes, they are troubling because they don’t let people hide behind being anonymous, or hiding under the skirts of an ISP. It says that if you are unreachable or not able to be identified, you don’t merit more legal protection than the plaintiff.

Good on them. They got it right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: troubling

I love how Mike thinks that anyone who doesn’t embrace piracy with open arms is just a Luddite who refuses to “adapt and change” with the times. Yeah, because creating a valuable product and selling it to the exclusion of others is such a crazy dinosaur business model. Mike’s pirate flag is flying high on this post. I appreciate when he’s honest about it like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: troubling

I find it much more troubling that people think copyright is worth protecting by establishing total surveillance and control over peoples digital devices, while removing the freedom of speech that is enabled by an open Internet. A side benefit of achieving this protection will be total control over the knowledge people can obtain, it is much easier to control a population is they are only taught what they need to know to function as a cog in an industrial machine.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: Re: troubling

It isn’t about shaping reality. Any system that grants one side almost unlimited ways to hide from prosecution is entirely unfair. This new law addresses those attempts to hide and removes them as a way of avoiding legal action. It’s a huge kick at those people who try to hide their illegal actions online.

Ruben says:

Re: troubling

More troubling is the fact that entitled entertainment industry fatcats are willingly ignoring the massive distribution network that has been built and waits at their disposal.

I mean, they really could be raking it in were it not for their hubris, arrogance, cockiness, pedantry and obstinance.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: troubling

It appears they have looked at it very closely, and have found that there just isn’t any money in it compared to what they are already doing. That might change in the future, but for now, the online world is freebie central, which is a hard place to make a bottom line business case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Norwegian Parliament Approves Extreme Version Of SOPA; Ignores All Sorts Of Rights If Someone Yells Copyright”

“(almost certainly to be approved shortly).”

Which is it Mike? Has it been approved or is likely to be approved soon?

It matters not, the sky is still falling. Bawk, bawk, bawk…..

Anonymous Coward says:

why even watch their movies, play their video games or even listen to their music (MGM and the likes). know that by supporting them your screwing yourself.

are their crappy movies, games and music really so good that you’ll screw yourself by using their product?

you already know they don’t like you, why buy their products.

Anonymous Coward says:

Controlled Consumption / Ted Striphas

Ted Striphas (Indiana University) might flag these sorts of repeated controversies as part of the ongoing shift in contemporary consumer capitalism towards a “controlled consumption” model. See his excellent 2009 book Late Age of Print (cf 45 and passim) for a development of this idea in connection to copyright and e-texts.

Note that much of his book was written c. 2005, so a few trivial technological elements (cf around e-reader technology) may seem stale. And pp 32-34 should have cited Pimps and Ferrets instead of Siva 🙂

But if all this copyright crap is part of a larger shift it models of controlled consumption, then the ongoing development of supporting legal and technological apparatus is likely to continue until some alternative is found.

Or the shit really hits the fan. Historically speaking, no one has cared about copyright in times of major crisis — Matt Brady took all those US Civil War photos without any copyright, and no one in power cared.

Anonymous Coward says:

And do we really need to even bring up what happens when no adversarial hearing happens where a site owner is allowed to present their side of the story?

How do you have an adversarial hearing when the website owner doesn’t wish to be found? It’s impossible to justify and has been standard operating procedure for most operators of criminally infringing websites. This law provides an opportunity for such a hearing, but doesn’t allow the infringer to prevent a hearing by going into hiding.

out_of_the_blue says:

I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

Take this one: “entertainment industry refused to adapt”. — No, problem with COPYING is that it’s always easier, CAN’T be adapted to, that’s the BASIC WHY that copyright exists.

Since I’m late — after my valuable screen name has been copied above — that’s all I write.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
Where Mike “supports copyright” but always overlooks or excuses piracy.
03:49:38[d-402-2]

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

@ “Shadow Dragon (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:58am

yawn You bore me with your predictable trolling posts.


Well, a glance at your comment history shows that you greatly enjoy flinging stupid and ineffective ad hom at me!

I’m not here to entertain you, sonny. You nasty little trolls are so self-centered with your demands that someone entertain you that pollute the site with off-topic ad hom, and then think I’M the one trolling.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
Where the fanboys troll the site with vulgar ad hom, and call anyone disagreeing “trolls”!
04:35:19[f-226-1]

AC Unknown says:

Re: Re: Re: I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

Could probably say the same about you, Blue. You fire off ad-homs like nobody’s business, especially towards the operator of this blog (especially when he could easily drop his “no banhammer” stance, drop the banhammer on you, and you’d have no recourse under the law.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

@ AC: “So valuable [a screen name] you won’t register it.”

Actually, sonny, a troll using the same attack registered it a couple years ago, which suits me fine!

The value of the screen name is proven by that YOU took the bait of that playful gibe to attack — while ignoring the topic and any substantive points.

Of the posters here, I’m the MOST: influential, copied, railed at, mentioned (often in advance), and yet substantive too.

At times I engage in flame wars, but so many wish to engage me that it’s impractical! — Flame on, all, hoping for my notice.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

problem with COPYING is that it’s always easier, CAN’T be adapted to, that’s the BASIC WHY that copyright exists

?Adapting? doesn?t mean ?cutting off fundamental rights to the people in an effort to shoehorn control of culture into the hands of a small number of gatekeepers who can afford to sue their own customers en masse and pay off politicians in order to keep that control and prevent culture from spreading to a far wider audience?.

Just so you know.

Lord of the Files says:

Re: I like finding Mike's flawed assertions. -- Easy to do.

“No, problem with COPYING is that it’s always easier, CAN’T be adapted to, that’s the BASIC WHY that copyright exists.”

Can’t be adapted to? Isn’t that a bit like saying man will never figure out how to fly? Just because you believe the earth is flat doesn’t mean it actually is, ootb.

Zem (profile) says:

Ship of Fools

Stage 1. Pass new legislation based on wording provided to you by friendly Quisling.

Stage 2. Discover the shocking truth that that wording is indeed copyrighted.

Stage 3. Look on in dismay as the Quisling legally hacks the government and every politions computer.

Stage 4. Watch as they make a movie out of it.

Stage 5. Feel that as a polition you did the right thing. All because Brad Pit is playing you in the moviie.

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