Court Goes Censorship Crazy Against Dutch Pirate Party

from the whac-whac-whac-a-mole dept

We've been covering the attempts by Dutch anti-piracy operator BREIN to play a legal game of whac-a-mole to block The Pirate Bay by forcing ISPs to block access, then blocking proxies that provide access, and now blocking anyone from even talking about ways to get to The Pirate Bay. Bizarrely, a court in The Hague has agreed, and has come out in favor of blocking the Dutch Pirate Party from even discussing some of this stuff:
The Court specifically ruled that the Party’s reverse proxy has to remain offline. It was further ordered that Pirate Bay domains and IP-addresses have to be filtered from the Pirate Party’s generic proxy. In addition the Pirate Party can’t link to other websites that allow the public to bypass the blockade. These orders are only valid when paired with an encouragement to circumvent.
Basically, telling people how to get around a block, even if it's linking to a general proxy (not a specific one) is now barred in the Netherlands. The fact that the court now is telling proxies how they can work is a huge overreach. That seems like a pretty blatant restriction on free speech. The thing is, do the folks at BREIN actually think this charade is effective? All it seems to be doing is enraging tons of people in the Netherlands, and doing absolutely nothing to stop them from going to The Pirate Bay.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Difster (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    The first rule...

    The first rule about The Pirate Bay is, "Don't talk about The Pirate Bay."

     

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    Squig (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Elections in September

    Since the Dutch governing coalition broke two weeks ago there will are upcoming elections on September 12th. The PPNL is at 1% in the polls without having started campaigning, this may come back to hurt Brein / the efforts of the MPAA and RIAA in the Netherlands big time.
    Noteworthy is also that the Netherlands are the first country in Europe to have passed a net neutrality law - one day before the verdict against PPNL was issued.

     

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), May 12th, 2012 @ 3:09am

      Re: Elections in September

      Sadly, that Net Neutrality law wouldn't have prevented this verdict, even if it had been in place for months.

      The Net Neutrality law just makes it harder for ISPs and other service providers to charge extra money for use of services like Whatsapp and Skype over their pipes.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Apparently the court is unaware...

    ...of multi-stage proxies.

    But the citizens won't be. For long.

     

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    Ruud (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    Despite all their efforts, it is still easier in the Netherlands to find The Pirate Bay than to find a site where you can legally download MP3 files.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    BREIN are only interested in getting their own way, like the rest of the entertainment industries and their lackeys. it seems they have managed to get the Dutch court to remove all forms of civil liberties. i dont know whether the Pirate Party will take this matter further, but it certainly appears they have to. giving in now will surely be a big mistake. with other ISPs in Holland being forced to ban access to TPB as well now, i wonder when this madness will end and what will have been lost in the mean time. i also wonder if those at BREIN and similar organisations realise that they are also losing the same civil liberties as they are getting taken from everyone else and wonder what the circumstances will be that makes them realise what they have done. in this sort of situation, overall, there really are no winners!

     

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    Zos (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    I'm kind of loving it. Massive overreach eventually results in massive backlash.

    There's a little voice in my head when i read these, it sounds like Cory Doctorow: "now you have two problems".

    I wonder which will happen first, backlash, or a the judge having a ragegasm and popping a blood vessel because that damned interwebz won't bow to his will.

     

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      Ninja (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      I'm hoping for a massive backlash against BREIN. Even those I know that don't quite agree with TPB and "piracy" think this is too much.

      The sooner BREIN dies the better. I wouldn't feel any pity if I saw Tim Kuik begging for money on the streets. Not with these blatant attacks against human rights of millions.

       

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    H Klang (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    Stem block

    I can't tell what this posting is about. I see the letters on the page quite crisply, and I can also see the URL at the top, but something is all fuzzy. There is an annoying buzz, or a whirr, but I can't tell where it is coming from. It seems to be inside me. Help !

     

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    drewmerc (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    thev dutch pirate party should just link to the british pirate party as they have a nice proxy link of there own

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    These orders are only valid when paired with an encouragement to circumvent.

    Simple. Their website should now say, "If you follow these simple steps, that would be circumvention. Please don't do that."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Best Way To Fight Back

    I think one of the most effective ways to fight back is to contact distributors, i.e.-Amazon, Best Buy, etc. and tell them as long as they carry RIAA/MPAA company affiliated products (CD's, DVD's etc.) that you will no longer do business with them. If enough people complain, they will pressure the RIAA/MPAA to lay off. Money talks.

     

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    Keii (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Not specifically related to this article, but in general...
    This is the Earth we're heading towards...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmY56Q1Gx-Q

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

    ...This is like telling a teenager not to access porn. The more you insist on it, the more effort they'll put into doing it to spite you.

    Does this judge think he can keep non-Dutch sites from explaining how to reach TPB? And if not, how does he expect this ruling to be anything but a farce? The internet does not stop at the border and politely check in with the guards.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Someone seriously needs to send these people a simple, one line email with a link to a page talking about the steisand effect.

     

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    Drew (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 11:26pm

    They could just embed a text document in a image. Make it the leader of BREIN and load it up with a list of proxies,torrent sites,usenet, or anything else that would help :P

    It would be great to have the BREIN leader knowing that every image of him on the net possibly has a rar inside it packed with YOU GOT F'D IN THE A stop! HAMMER TIME

    I've been testing sites just out of curiosity to see how much data I can store inside one with no errors. Any site with image compression will not work but there are plenty out there. The best I've found so far is 35 megs but I'm sure I will find a better one soon. Big enough to pack TPBs whole site into.

    Then you could be like WOW THAT BREIN DUDE IS COOL AS HELL he's hiding treasure in his images!!!

     

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    Beech, May 12th, 2012 @ 1:14am

    I think it would be fun if the Pirates obeyed the order entirely...by linking to a page which linked to proxies. "Hey, want to get to the piratebay? These guys will tell you how"

    After the next court order, link to a page which links to a page which links to a proxy. "Here's some guys who will point you to some guys who will get you to the piratebay."

    How many layers of links do you think it will take for the court to realize how stupid it is?

     

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    Rick Falkvinge, May 12th, 2012 @ 3:10am

    Same judge as in FTD case

    It is worth noting that this is the same judge (Chris Hensen) as in the FTD case two years back, who then ruled that talking about file names is legally the same thing as distributing the actual files so named, and therefore ordered the discussion forum FTD shut down.

    In the aftermath of that ruling, the judge (Chris Hansen) was discovered to be running a commercial anti-piracy business with the very plaintiff in that case; a business which was the subject matter of the trial. In most countries' laws, that makes the judge textbook corrupt.

    With that background, perhaps it is not so surprising that somebody once corrupted to that level stays corrupted:

    Dutch judge who ordered Pirate Bay links censored found to be corrupt (Falkvinge on Infopolicy)

     

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), May 12th, 2012 @ 3:15am

      Re: Same judge as in FTD case

      It's a sad state that despite the obvious conflict of interest, he still gets to reside over the cases from BREIN. And usually those are ex parte, so a very one sided argument follows.

       

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 12th, 2012 @ 4:18am

      Re: Same judge as in FTD case

      What standards are judges supposed to be held to in the Netherlands? Does this sort of thing simply go unremarked?

       

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        Cerberus (profile), May 12th, 2012 @ 10:30am

        Re: Re: Same judge as in FTD case

        The problem is that patent lawyers, judges, the whole sub-profession all know each other. They are not actually corrupt in the conventional sense (I'm convinced no money exchanged hands), but people get pulled into the same perspective on things if they hang out together too much in congresses, workshops, etc.

        The fact that the judge and the lawyer taught in the same course organised by the Dutch Bar Association is not very remarkable, and the fees that the Association receives from participants ( 925) most probably stays there; I expect the lecturers to get paid by the hour. It should not be considered a commercial operation, certainly not a "business", however much I agree with Mr Falkvinge in general.

        However, this judge is known for low-quality judgements and overextending copyright laws: he ruled that downloading was illegal in a certain case, based on some British jurisprudence, which is not at all relevant: downloading is and has always been legal in the Netherlands. So this guy has to go, even though there are no signs of corruption; that's why, knowing this, the Pirates' lawyers did not try to have the judge recused.

        As to what will happen, I expect this to be overturned by a higher court, if the Pirates appeal. They really should.

         

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      Ninja (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 7:39am

      Re: Same judge as in FTD case

      I remember that case and it was absurd then. If I had seen the name of the judge (and the connection to FTD) before I wouldn't be surprised. Thanks for the tip.

      It would be very interesting if the Pirate Party used this information and added very specific goals to take money out of the judicial system to their goals. I have this feeling this would boost their popularity a lot. Obviously they'd need to tell ppl how they were gonna do that but I think there are ways to attack the problem. It's interesting, here in Brazil if you work for the Govt you can't run any businesses related to your area (meaning none at all in fiscal areas) in the sphere you work for (ie, if you work at the state level you can have a business in the neighboring state). Maybe they could follow something in that line.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    Hmm, where's the obligatory Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it quote? Oh, nvm.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Yep the right wingers got a hold of Dutch politics. The people are screwed.

     

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