Early-Morning Raid Sent To Confiscate 9-Year-Old's Winnie The Pooh Laptop For Downloading Music

from the a-question-of-priorities dept

One of the biggest problems with the current approach to dealing with alleged copyright infringement is the totally disproportionate nature of the action undertaken in response to it. The "three strikes" collective punishment of households that is available in France, New Zealand and South Korea is one example of this. From Finland, we learn about another completely over-the-top action:
CIAPC, the company that had The Pirate Bay blocked by ISPs in Finland, tracked an alleged file-sharer and demanded a cash settlement. However, the Internet account holder refused to pay which escalated things to an unprecedented level. In response, this week police raided the home of the 9-year-old suspect and confiscated her Winnie the Pooh laptop.
The specific details are worrying:
Tuesday morning the doorbell of the family home rang around 8am and the man, who works in the hospitality sector, had quite a shock. Police were at his door with a search warrant authorizing the hunt for evidence connected to illicit file-sharing.
This kind of early-morning raid would be more appropriate for dealing with serious and dangerous criminals than 9-year-old girls (barely even mentioning that the girl's father claims her attempts at downloading failed, leading them to go purchase the music legally anyway). Similarly, the fact that for such a trivial case the account-holder's name and address were obtained from the ISP, and a search warrant issued, shows how out of control the law has become in this area.

Under the malign influence of the copyright companies, it would seem that the police force is now little more than a bunch of heavies sent around at ridiculous hours of the day to frighten people who refuse to pay the arbitrary sums demanded. It's hard to square this colossal waste of police time and public money with the deadly threat of terrorism that we supposedly live under: is intimidating members of the public in this way really such a priority for the Finnish state? It's also disappointing to see the legal system in Finland and elsewhere acquiescing in this terrible perversion by powerful lobbies of what is supposed to be even-handed, proportionate justice for all.

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Filed Under: excessive, file sharing, finland, kids, laptops


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 26 Nov 2012 @ 5:44am

    "barely even mentioning that the girl's father claims her attempts at downloading failed, leading them to go purchase the music legally anyway"

    Erm, forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't the excuse for the totally disproportionate punishments that they're directed at seeders rather than downloaders (although torrents make it difficult to make a real distinction)? Assuming that the account given is correct, they were raided for an action they hadn't carried out. Fair enough if it's a failed terrorist operation, not so good for a corporation not getting some profits they imagined they should have.

    On top of that, this proves that the market solution works - you know, the one I and many other have been advocating for years that doesn't involve wasting police time and criminalising innocents. The girl tried piracy, then found that the legal option worked better. That's all that's really needed - make legal options better than the illegal ones. Assuming the pricing is affordable for her parents, she's almost certainly going to pay as her first option in future. Or, at least would have been before she had her property stolen.

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