IFPI Using Disputed Pirate Bay Verdict To Claim Web Hosting Companies Are Liable

from the stretch-the-truth-much? dept

After the entertainment industry partially won its Supreme Court decision against Grokster, it didn't take long at all for the RIAA to start claiming the ruling said stuff it didn't. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruling said that a site could be found liable if it induced infringement by encouraging such uses. This was already quite surprising to many because the idea of an "inducement" standard for copyright is not found in the law (in fact, some in Congress had introduced an "INDUCE Act" to try to put it into the law -- suggesting that even Congress didn't think copyright law includes an inducement standard). However, the RIAA falsely started claiming that the Supreme Court ruling made all sorts of file sharing apps -- even those that did not encourage unauthorized copying -- guilty of infringing copyrights.

So, it should come as little surprise that the RIAA's international wing, the IFPI, appears to be doing the exact same thing with the recent Pirate Bay ruling (which, of course, is still being appealed and is highly disputed due to conflicts of interest with the judge in the case). The IFPI is apparently going around to web hosting firms who host other torrent trackers, and claiming that The Pirate Bay ruling makes them potentially criminally liable if they don't take down the tracker sites. But, of course, The Pirate Bay ruling was specific to the facts in that case, which are somewhat different from a random web host hosting a website for someone. Still, it just goes to show the lengths that the industry will go to in order to twist any legal ruling to try to shut down sites it doesn't like.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Tor, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:29am

    Swedish law

    It seems that ISPs are protected against damages but not necessarily against criminal liability. Let me quote the swedish law:
    16 § A service provider which transmits information that has been given by a client in a communications network, or which provides access to such a net, shall not on the basis of the contents of that information be liable to compensate damages or pay sanction fees, in case the provider does not:
    1. initiate the transfer
    2. select the recipient of the information, or
    3. select or modify the information.

    19 § A service provider which transfers or stores information on someone else's behalf may only be found guilty of crime if the crime was committed intentionally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:32am

    How it works

    The RIAA and IFPI represnt the groups who loose out on collecting the COMPULSORY MECHANICAL LICENSE. As of 1996, this was $.091 for songs 5 minutes or less, or $.0175 per minute or fraction thereof per copy for songs over 5 minutes.

    So if someone puts together a Youtube video and doesn't have the right paperwork, so the labels unleash the trove of lawyers and sue them for $250,000 per illegitimate copy of what would normally be their share of a $.091 song.

    Even by following the original spirit in which the copyright law was written, if someone physically reproduced a song that is less than five minutes, and made one million copies, the COMPULSORILY license would be in the amount of NINETY ONE THOUSAND ($91,000) DOLLARS.

    But in reality, there is no physical copy, so COMPULSORILY MECHANICAL LICENSING doesn't apply, so their request is based on smoke and mirrors.

    So they try to muddy the water by saying it's STEALING. But it's NOT because they still have in their possession the gold and platinum masters.

    Why do you think the RIAA ranks the music the way they do? It's because back in the 1950s and 1960s, they physically pressed the vinyl using Gold Masters, because they last longer than a Silver Master.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Matt, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:49am

    Re: Swedish law

    I thought you were going to include something about criminal liability? I don't see anything there unless a provider does it "intentionally", which is not even an issue here, let alone damn hard to prove in any court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    What next, Jury all RIAA employees? Judge on the MPAA payroll?

    The Pirate Bay Verdict is a JOKE!

    The Judge was in on it with the RIAA, Hardly a win!


    Go to hell and be with your RIAA, MPAA and other co-herts that need to burn in hell!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Vincent Clement, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    This is the same IFPI that said:

    Canada has one of the world's highest levels of internet piracy and one of the weakest IP enforcement systems. The country suffers from serious legislative deficiencies and a lack of engagement by its enforcement authorities.

    The IFPI are nothing but masters of deception.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    MadJo (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    I want to dunk these morons in a vat of acid. :(

    How long until we have people in charge there who actually have a clue how it works?
    And how long does it take before companies start reigning in their legal teams?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    chris (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 8:31am


    How long until we have people in charge there who actually have a clue how it works?

    how about never? does never work for you?

    And how long does it take before companies start reigning in their legal teams?

    yeeahh, i'm going to have to go with never.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Tor, May 7th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Swedish law

    If you do something criminal and are indifferent to the consequences of your actions even though you understand the risk/dangerousness then that counts as intent under Swedish law. I should have pointed that out. It's called "indifference intent" (I'm not sure what the corresponding term is in English).

    For example this kind of intent is what the prosecutor in the Pirate Bay referred to - the TPB guys knew the consequences of their actions but were indifferent to the result.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Ricardo, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: How it works

    It's lose not "loose". If you lose something find it. If something is loose, tighten it up. I hate that one. It takes away any integrity in your reply.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    MadJo, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm afraid you are right. Oh well, it's fun to dream.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    midlantan, May 8th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    AC: No

    Anonymous Coward - RIAA/IFPI don't represent those who would be collecting compulsory mechanical licenses, as you suggest in your semi-coherent post above. They represent performers, not songwriters or composers. Also, countries outside the US don't necessarily follow the same compulsory licensing scheme for mechanical rights that the US does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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