Copyright

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
copyright, copyright trolls, isps, sweden

Companies:
bahnhof



Bahnhof Continues Its Crusade Against Copyright Trolls, Claims Swedish Copyright Law Divorced From Reality

from the good-guys dept

While it's always great to have ISPs side with their customers rather than capitulate to copyright trolls or the governments that allow them to operate, few go to equal lengths as Swedish ISP Bahnhof. Bahnhof is known for taking all kinds of actions to protect its customers and for fighting back against copyright trolls as viciously as possible. Happily, Sweden's Pirate Party has recently declared its own war on copyright trolls, giving the ISP an ally in the region.

But as the crusade by Bahnhof continues, the person in charge of the ISP's communications has published an open post on the company's site attacking the very heart of the laws that allow copyright trolls to operate in the first place. Here's how Carolina Lindahl sets the stage for what is currently going on in Sweden.

Lindahl notes that the Swedish Government sees a need for strict copyright infringement penalties while keeping the barriers for creators to go to court low because they often have limited resources.

“In copyright litigation […], it is often the author himself who is a party, and usually the author has limited financial resources,” the Government’s code for Penalties for Certain Serious IP violations reads.

When it comes to the low barriers in the Swedish legal system for allowing copyright holders to unmask ISP customers and go after them for settlements, this is the entire justification. And, look, you can understand how this would seem logical to many people. A musician, or author, or indie filmmaker needs to be able to protect him or herself from copyright infringement in a way that is low-barrier in cost and time. It was with those types of content makers in mind that the Swedish government organized its current copyright law.

The problem for that same government is that Lindahl is dedicated enough to have dug into the data to find out if the premise that built these laws actually holds up. It does not. Not even close.

Lindahl sifted through the legal paperwork related to copyright infringement cases filed at the Criminal Court, to see which companies are behind them. The research uncovered 76 cases, the majority of which formed the basis for the tens of thousands of piracy settlement letters that were sent out. Only five of these cases were filed by the creator of the work, Lindahl notes. In other instances, the creators were represented by intermediaries or licensees, such as Copyright Management Services and Crystalis Entertainment. While these companies may have the legal right to pursue these cases, they are not the original creators of the films they sue over.

“The government’s claim – that it is often the author himself who is a party – does not seem to be correct at all,” Lindahl writes.

Lindahl goes on to note that the other premise, that these plaintiffs are authors of limited financial resources, is also untrue. Going through the cases that have led to copyright trolling efforts again, they tend to have been brought by organizations that have millions in revenue. Because of a reality that differs from the government's premise, Lindahl argues that the end result is the extortion of citizens who actually are of limited means.

“The result is an extortion operation that is profitable for already profitable media companies and costly for young people, retirees, and other individuals on the margin, without the capability to tackle sudden costs of thousands of kronor."

Frankly, this is as complete a takedown of the false reasons for allowing copyright trolling to be legal as I've seen to date. The Swedish government has a problem in that it's reasoning for setting this copyright system up is on the record. That reasoning, as Lindahl has shown, is flawed beyond use. So that makes the law rather flawed as well.


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  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 Jun 2018 @ 5:32pm

    When Copyright becomes used more often to commit theft than to defend from it, perhaps there's a bit of a problem.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 9:50pm

      Re: Let us know you're robbed FIRST by a content producer!

      When Copyright becomes used more often to commit theft than to defend from it

      Thus far we have at least hundreds of sites gaining money off tens of thousands of content titles that they didn't make and paying nothing to those who did make it. Kim Dotcom got an undeserved $175 million, with which he's managed to avoid justice for years.

      You just let us know you're robbed FIRST by a content producer. -- Instead of AFTER you've robbed them, violated clear law, and enjoyed value without paying.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2018 @ 7:22am

        Without Paying!

        enjoyed value without paying.

        So, just exactly how much are you paying Techdirt for the privilege of post your crap here? Surely you wouldn't do so without paying, would you?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 6:16pm

    This is precisely why copyright enforcement, not copyright law, deservedly gets so much backlash.

    Copyright infringement is regularly portrayed as theft, but at no point is any attempt made to restore what was stolen. The IFPI made it clear that any money from the Pirate Bay trial was simply going to fuel more lawsuits to be tossed at citizens, and how much money from HADOPI and New Zealand's 3 strikes actually made it to Beyonce or Rihanna?

    Of course, the usual trolls who claim they make a killing from copyright won't tell us how much they get, or who they are, or put up any facts or stats that can be verified. A wise scammer does not show his hand.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 9:52pm

      Re: -- So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine!

      This is precisely why copyright enforcement, not copyright law, deservedly gets so much backlash.

      Exactly! So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine! We should pity those who can't help downloading without paying, perhaps make a Right To Couch, Console, and Content.

      Copyright infringement is regularly portrayed as theft

      That's because it's theft! Removes chance for income.

      The IFPI made it clear that any money from the Pirate Bay trial was simply going to fuel more lawsuits to be tossed at citizens [who are breaking the law].

      Good, let pirates pay to stop thefts.

      how much money from HADOPI and New Zealand's 3 strikes actually made it to Beyonce or Rihanna?

      Who cares? They're rich, I'm sure don't complain, and even would rather it go toward protecting the chance for others to get rich. But you pirates are attacking ALL income from creative work.

      Besides, we don't enforce laws on basis of money. It's cheapest to just shoot you pirates without trial, if you want to put all on a MONEY basis.

      No, in copyright we try to maintain a reasonable balance that allows people to offer their own products for others to voluntarily buy or forego. Pirates violate rights of producers.

      who claim they make a killing from copyright

      Who would those be? I've missed them for 8 years, think you're hallucinating...

      won't tell us how much they get, or who they are, or put up any facts or stats that can be verified.

      OKAY, "AC", first, YOU tell us all that about yourself, and include all the content you've downloaded without bothering to pay. We'll see that you get a fair trial, then are jailed, 'cause that's The Law direct from US Constitution, an EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to control copies.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 11:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Expected blue balls to pick up the bait, was not surprised when he lost what little mind he had left and shit his pants.

        So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine

        Enforcement wouldn't have received the backlash it did if your heroes didn't have such a reckless method of enforcement, i.e. sue everyone because it's easy. When you have to call up children at kindergarten, masquerading as their grandparents to harass a confession out of them, any rational person would call you out on it. That's why you get backlash. It's telling to see that after nine years of trolling this site, you still can't appreciate that.

        That's because it's theft

        Legal precedent, and the way actual, analog theft is enforced, would disagree with you.

        Good, let pirates pay to stop thefts

        Except that, of course, your only method of allegation is to believe that every single IP address found (read: randomly generated) by Malibu Media belongs to one suspect. Who hasn't been brought to trial and definitively found guilty, of course, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

        Who cares? They're rich, I'm sure don't complain

        Funny, because it's precisely the claim that rich celebrities would stop being rich that drove much of the copyright education in the early 21st century. But for some reason you'd still rather harass a senior citizen because Beyonce might be a hundred dollars poorer.

        Besides, we don't enforce laws on basis of money

        Except for all the times your precious copyright lawyers (lawyers who you would rather shoot, instead of have them enforce your copyright for you) bitched about having to follow proper subpoena procedures being too expensive, of course.

        Who would those be? I've missed them for 8 years

        Precisely because they refused to leave a name or hint at what they actually produced instead of posturing claims with no citations, you knuckle-dragger.

        YOU tell us all that about yourself

        Sorry, I'm not the one fantasizing about the NSA being used to stop copyright infringement. You're the authoritarian copsucker.

        out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2018 @ 1:02am

        Re: Re: -- So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine!

        There's so much wrong, I just had to play...

        "So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine! "

        Except - nobody except the voices in your head has ever said that here. I'm sorry that you lack the intelligence to consider anything other than a binary situation between zero enforcement and raping someone's entire income because they downloaded a song. But, that's why you can never have a discussion about the real things people say here - you either don't understand them, or your entire persona is dependant on pretending not to.

        "That's because it's theft! Removes chance for income"

        Except, that is an outright fiction. A lie. You are living in a fantasy world, because you actually got fooled into believing that.

        "Who cares? They're rich"

        Because if the money's not going to the big label popular artists first, it sure as hell isn't going to the independent artists who need it.

        "It's cheapest to just shoot you pirates without trial"

        Yet again, you show you don't care about due process, the law, or even if the people you're attacking are really doing the things you accuse them of. You just want blood doesn't matter what the truth says.

        "Pirates violate rights of producers."

        ...and producers quite often violate the rights of both artists and the public. Why do you worship the middlemen so much?

        "OKAY, "AC", first, YOU tell us all that about yourself, and include all the content you've downloaded without bothering to pay"

        OK, "AC", how about you first - and what if the truthful answer is "zero"? Oh, and I can't help but notice that you said "without paying" and not "in an infringing manner". Probably because you're too brainwashed to understand the legal free content exists.

        "We'll see that you get a fair trial"

        Yet, you've stated you're completely against those, according to you an accusation is enough to shut someone's business down and throw them in jail - unless they work for your favourite corporations, of course.

        "an EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to control copies"

        ....for a limited time and with numerous legal exceptions, and only to promote the progress, not to make profit ad infinitum.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 26 Jun 2018 @ 3:12am

          Telling priorities

          Yet again, you show you don't care about due process, the law, or even if the people you're attacking are really doing the things you accuse them of. You just want blood doesn't matter what the truth says.

          In addition to what you noted I find it particularly funny and telling that just a few sentences above blue was bangng on the 'infringement is theft' drum, which, even if it was true, would still be leagues better than murder without a trial.

          Theft is bad, terrible, a crime to top all crimes!

          Executing someone merely based upon accusation? Eh, no biggie.

          They really are the gift that keeps on giving, the eternal source of entertainment.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2018 @ 2:09am

        Re: Re: -- So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine!

        >The Law direct from US Constitution, an EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to control copies.

        Wrong on two counts:
        1)The constitution only allows copyright, but does not require it.
        2)It is a right to make copies, and not to control all uses of all copies for all time.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2018 @ 2:59am

        Re: Re: -- So long as there's no enforcement, copyright is fine!

        "Besides, we don't enforce laws on basis of money. It's cheapest to just shoot you pirates without trial, if you want to put all on a MONEY basis."

        And I daresay you'd approve of such an evil action.

        Your idols bought laws designed to attack commercial infringers, then turned around and sued filesharers.

        I daresay you'd oppose any sensible reform that restricts the trolls to the original intent of stopping commercial infringement only.

        You call supporters of sensible copyright reform thieves, but approve of extortion and imply you'd support murder.

        You're nothing but terrorists.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 7:28pm

    I shudder to think what would happen to dinner parties around the world if they moved on from music to meatballs.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 9:53pm

      Re: OMG! THEY'RE GONNA TAKE YOUR MEAT AND BALLS!

      I shudder to think what would happen to dinner parties around the world if they moved on from music to meatballs.

      Oh, THANKS "AC"! Now I'm going to have nightmares tonight! -- OMG! Next would be meatloaf, Melba toast, and meringue! NO!

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Jun 2018 @ 9:01pm

    One might have to wonder how companies enjoying huge profits need low costs & few barriers to their claims, that are often supported with a millisecond of "proof" & demands the person named on the bill pay them... if they did it or not.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 10:05pm

    Ya know, there IS an EASY way to avoid, though! -- Go on, GUESS.

    Did you figure it out? -- Probably not! Because you pirates regard empty content to try and fill your empty heads as absolutely essential, can't conceive of entertaining yourself or anything so dull as a book. You're so addicted to stoopy entertainments that will break laws and morality to get a fix of content.


    Oh, I know: you and they are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law after full criminal process. You want the full panoply of protections from Western law while you violate its basic principles. -- No, that's not a practical system. You pirates more or less correctly say the losses are minor, so you get abridged justice too.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 10:15pm

      Re: Ya know, there IS an EASY way to avoid, though! -- Go on, GUESS.

      Note to self: spending too much time here...

      Best hoots around, though. Hope those rumors that Masnick isn't going to front the $39.95 hosting fees next month aren't true. -- Oh, Masnick must be loaded if he pays Geigner even penny a word just to re-write from TorrentFreak.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 11:02pm

        Don’t be so hard on yourself.

        You’ve been here 9 years and have a completely unbroken record of failure. That is surly an accomplishment of some kind. Don’t let the streak die!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2018 @ 11:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Still abusing The Onion Router - a tool you claimed is exclusively used for piracy, because surely only Internet pirates would ever want to mask their IP address - to spam a site you claim is both insignificant and loathe with every fiber of your being.

        You fucking TOR pirate, blue boy.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2018 @ 1:15am

      Re:

      " there IS an EASY way to avoid, though! -- Go on, GUESS.:

      If you're talking about not pirating content, not only does that not avoid people like you making shit up about me, it also doesn't shield one from legal action. There's plenty of stories here about innocent people being prosecuted - you can tell which ones they are because that's when you start whining about "anomalies".

      "Because you pirates regard empty content to try and fill your empty heads as absolutely essential, can't conceive of entertaining yourself or anything so dull as a book."

      So, books aren't pirated as well? I know your grasp on the real world is tenuous at best, but I'd have thought you'd at least maintain some internal consistency with your accusations.

      I'll try to remember to bring this up next time you include book piracy among the lies you tell about others here, though.

      "You pirates more or less correctly say the losses are minor, so you get abridged justice too."

      So, people don't deserve due process so long as they're accused of the "right" kind of crime? Fair trials are OK for rapists and murders it seems too, just not for the crime of potentially depriving a corporation of income?

      Once again, that head of yours is a scary place, and I'm always glad the real world doesn't reflect it in any way.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 26 Jun 2018 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re:

        Fair trials are OK for rapists and murders it seems too, just not for the crime of potentially depriving a corporation of income?

        Wait, isn't he the same guy who keeps screaming about "natural persons" and how Masnick is a corporatist? Or am I getting my anonymous trolls mixed up?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Jun 2018 @ 11:16pm

    Speaking of lack of funds...

    (You can always tell when an article has hit a nerve when TD's biggest fan shows up in force... keep up the good work providing entertainment blue, the site just wouldn't be the same without you.)

    If the concern is that victims, in this case copyright owners(which are apparently usually not the actual creators) lack the funds to make use of the legal system to protect themselves, one wonders how much care was put in place for those on the receiving end of such demands.

    After all, if the legal fees for one side of the legal equation must be kept low to ensure that the poor beleaguered creators/copyright owners can make use of the system, then what about the other side? Are the fines strictly limited such that a single case isn't enough to bankrupt someone? Are there penalties in place and applied for when the system is abused not to protect the rights of creators but for monetary gain?

    Given it sounds like copyright trolling/extortion is still a viable 'business model' in the country(as it is in the US), I suspect the answer to the above would be 'no', with concern given to only one side and not a care given for the other.

    Funny how that works.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2018 @ 7:04pm

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each film that he'd paid
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

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


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