by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 2nd 2008 7:59am
Last fall, authorities in the UK shut down OiNK, a private file sharing community, complete with plenty of hyperbole over what was going on. In discussing how silly this was, we pointed out that it seemed like the only real charge here was "felony interference of a business model." We meant it as a joke (interfering with a business model isn't a crime -- it's called competition, normally). However, it looks like UK authorities are taking it seriously. They're going around arresting users of the site and charging them with "Conspiracy to Defraud the Music Industry." Most specifically, those who uploaded albums before they were released are being hauled off -- even though the UK doesn't treat pre-release infringement any differently than post-release infringement. Other countries do have such laws, and the entertainment industry has long pushed for "pre-release" leaks as being considered criminal, rather than civil, offenses. But without such a law in place, it does seem a bit extreme to claim that anyone uploading a pre-release album is guilty of "conspiracy to defraud the music industry." There was no conspiracy to defraud -- there was just people who want to listen to music and share it with others. No one seems to be able to explain how this is actually a criminal issue at all, rather than a civil issue. In the meantime, we're waiting to see if the police try to arrest Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who has proudly stated that he was an OiNK member who supported the site.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Russian Copyright Law Allows Entire News Site To Be Shut Down Over A Single Copied Article
- IP Lawyers Tell Copyright Office To Stop Screwing The Public By Opposing Cable Box Reform
- But Wait: Copyright Law Is So Screwed Up, Perhaps The Rolling Stones Are Right That Donald Trump Needed Their Permission
- How A Supreme Court Case On Cheerleader Costumes & Copyright Could Impact Prosthetic Hands And Much, Much More
- IsoHunt Settles The Last Of Its Lawsuits, Laughably Agrees To 'Pay' Recording Industry $66 Million