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Which side are you on in The Pirate Bay case?

The Local · 9 Apr 2009, 14:19

Published: 09 Apr 2009 14:19 GMT+02:00

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Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström

I’m going to pull out my Swedish passport on this one and claim to be neutral.

The problem is that I understand the desire of artists and film companies not wanting their intellectual property being accessed for free. That is their livelihood. They depend on the income from the creation of their work. I wouldn’t be all that pleased if I went to work every day creating amazing marketing material (which I obviously do) only to find out that someone else was using it without handing me my paycheck.

That being said, I place some of the blame on the people who distribute music and film. They have failed to evolve with the technology that hosts their work. They have failed to realize that music and film are no longer consumed as they once were.

Instead of embracing the new medium, the music and film industry fought against it. Much like newspapers in the United States were unable to evolve with the advent of online news, the music and film industry has been unable to work effectively with the online world.

In the end, I don’t know where I stand. I do know that I have never used the Pirate Bay. Take that for what it is worth.

Claudia Tenenblat

Claudia Tenenblat

I agree with the idea that authors have rights over their creations, whether those are music, pictures, films or paintings.

In this sense, file sharing should be considered piracy. However, file sharing is also a widespread reality and the industry must find another way to protect copyright, other than trying to forbid the inevitable.

There are some ideas around, such as collecting fees from internet providers on a monthly basis and putting them into a pool to compensate the authors, for example. The fact is the current model is outdated and even if the "Pirates" are convicted - as seems likely - the copyright/free download issue won't go away.

Sanna Holmqvist

Sanna Holmqvist

My basic view on this is that people should get paid for the job they do. Composers, filmmakers, writers and painters alike. Just like everyone else.

I am a journalist myself, and I don't particularly appreciate it if someone steals something I have written and makes money from it without compensating me. Who would?

Just because it is possible and easy to do it, it is still not right (just as shoplifting is not). I haven't been following this case closely enough to say anything about the people that are in charge, but nothing this far has impressed me very much or changed my conviction that it should be the people doing the job who earn the money from it. No one else.

You might say that most of the people downloading don't make money from it either; they just listen to the music. But they do make money, in the sense that they do not pay when they ought to.

Robert Flahiff

Robert Flahiff

Actually, I hope they both lose. My problem is that both parties take their point of view and opinions to the extreme. As a rule, I want to know that when I buy a product whether it be a book, music, or film, that the money being made by it goes to the artists that actually produced it.

On one hand, I see the record and film industries as bloated, greedy enterprises grasping tooth and nail to an antiquated business model that is inefficient and totally out of touch with today's consumer and should die a natural capitalist death.

On the other hand, the Pirates’ point of view that they can just take whatever they want without reimbursement to the creators of the content they "share" is so foolish as to not warrant discussion.

What is really needed here is a system that gets media to people the way they want it - fairly, cheaply and on-demand. If the record and film companies can do this, they will be saved.

Simple case in point - a standard Swedish Compact Disc. Say you groove on the new Lars Kristerz disc just released. You can pony up the 179 kronor for it at your local Quik-E-Mart or maybe save a few kronor on an on-line retailer, who will then screw you on shipping charges (another topic for another day).

You get your disc and are glad. Are you 179 kronor glad when you know from experience that burning a disc of music yourself at home costs about nothing and maybe a bit more when you print out the liner notes? And the band maybe gets 10 kronor of the cash for each disc? Nope. And that is why a person like myself would be tempted to "share" from a site like Pirate Bay. But that would really screw the poor slobs in the band - they get nothing in this model.

I like what bands are trying now - releasing music for download themselves and asking the listener to pay what they want. I am a fan of this idea because I know the artists get the proceeds and will work to keep production standards professional.

Story continues below…

I know I could only stand so many "movies" on YouTube or the sound quality of some mp3 downloads. Even book publishers are starting "print on demand", which may help them in the long run.

A pet peeve of mine lately is internet video stream blocking by sites like NBC, HBO, and Hulu - these companies are practically begging me to go to Pirate Bay and screw them over. I think that is a perfect example of squeezing sand so hard it runs through the fingers, as they try to hold control over their content.

Tiffany Hoffman

Tiffany Hoffman

The Pirate Bay is a service which has been used to traffic copyrighted material, but that's not its intent. What people choose to upload or download on the web is an individual matter.

Through Google a person can find information on making bombs or murder, so does that mean that the Google team is responsible for murder? Of course not. Both Google and Pirate Bay are outlets for distribution. Trying to make an example of the Pirate Bay guys will solve nothing.

As for the new IPRED law--I can see the benefits for the industry, but it's unnerving to think of giving up rights of anonymity online. Instead of trying to catch the criminals after the act, I think it makes more sense to come up with a better solution to the overall problem.

With the internet, there are greater risks of copyright infringement and there is less protection and privacy. If technology gurus are figuring out ways to beat the system, then there should be an equal number of technology solutions that keep the system intact.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:48 April 12, 2009 by bomani2k
A Global Price Fixing Entertainment Cartel wants to pervert Swedish law (IPRED), and punish and kill new technology (bittorent/pbay) and its bearers.

I find it strange more people are absolutely horrified at the proceedings. Artist Raping music cartel fights to survive! Protect artists? Sue the industry for the sharecrop contracts foisted on performing hopefuls by this same cartel.

Napster II. The technology will employ greater encryption, DarkNets and VPN's will flourish and a payment solution will emerge.
15:27 April 12, 2009 by Eddymu
Absolutely agree and therefore I support TPB all the way – The record and film industries need to embrace the new technologies of the world, attempting to silence or suffocate them just will not work. There are too many people ready to take over where the last left off so the only way is to move with the times and negotiate better deals for the artists and provide more comprehensive and efficient delivery to the customers.

If something cannot be sourced relatively easily then I will resort to alternative methods – along with millions of other people! That said, I remember Radiohead releasing their last album for free with an optional donation – over 70% of downloads were associated with a donation, therefore I say we are all not thieves, we just want accessibility to the items we seek and most are willing to part with a some cash for that kind of service.
19:56 April 12, 2009 by Keewee
I really don't like the attitude of the Pirate Bay supporters, but I applaud the fact that Pirate Bay exists. The emergence of file sharing is forcing the music industry to look at itself in the mirror, and the reflection is not pretty. One can only hope that the result of all this wrangling is a solution that allows small artists to escape the immoral contracts forced upon them, and delivers music to consumers at a price that actually reflects its value, a cost that should be much reduced given the impact technology has had on distribution, recording, and scouting.
22:16 April 12, 2009 by kaze
Whether piracy itself is right or not is meh, not going to go into that.

I do support TPB though- to punish them for what the users do is like cracking down on a company that makes bolt cutters due to thieves using them.
14:05 April 13, 2009 by psychomax13
I'm throwing a totally new point of view to that situation.

TPB is a search engine, isn't it? It gives us only torrent results of what we're looking for. So, what about GOOGLE then? Have you ever tried to search the same "thing" that you are looking for in TPB and in GOOGLE? Just try it and you will be extremely surprised to the results google gives you... The illegal results of google, which leads the users to download this content, is at least five times more than the results you can find in TPB.

What can we say now is that the judge is trying to find someone to blame!!! For sure that somebody is no bigger than GOOGLE itself.

I'm leaving the rest in order you to consider this again and again in an objective point of view...
14:24 April 13, 2009 by fazoolmein
I'm not trying to denounce the panelists, but it seems that apart from one, most of them dont even know what the Pirate Bay case is. The panelists are talking about copyrights and stuff, yet the pirate bay case is essentially that the pirate bay servers do not store any copyrighted materials on the servers. Maybe the question itself is misdirected or maybe I got something wrong.
14:25 April 13, 2009 by Miss Kitten
That's really the heart the matter, isn't it? The point that the defense continuously made is that the companies attempting to sue the Pirate Bay are going after the wrong people. No copyrighted material is stored on TPB's servers, and therefore the owners of the site are no more responsibile for search results on TPB than Google is responsible for its search results. If someone found a website with instructions for how to make a bomb on Google, no one would even think of blaming Google. Naturally they'd blame the person or persons who produced the website in the first place.

The defense asked witnesses for the prosecution why they didn't pursue action against the people who uploaded the torrent files onto the internet in the first place, since it was they (the uploaders, and not TPB) who were responsible, and their answers were rather feeble, "We don't have resources for that" and the like. It's much easier for them to shoot the messenger, which of course doesn't do a thing to help their cause.
14:33 April 13, 2009 by Joemath
Filesharers should pay a minimum admission price for entering the sites where downloads occur.

In addition, each download should be charged at an agreed upon price. I believe that the

freedom to download should be upheld. The other side of the coin involves compensating

the artists involved.

I own 10 copyrights and a patent. My own government uses my stuff constantly

without fair compensation. From personal experience, I believe that the fairest thing

to do is to provide a small stipend for the use of the material.

To summarize, the right to download should be upheld with a small entrance

fee for the privilege accorded.

Joseph S. Maresca
14:35 April 13, 2009 by Kibiri
"Totally new point of view", eh? TPB is much more than a search engine. They run the torrent trackers, which facciliates the distibution of content between peers in a the user swarm. Huge difference between a search engine and a tracker.
19:42 April 15, 2009 by randomboy
> Marcus Cederström [...]

> I wouldn't be all that pleased if I went to work every day creating amazing marketing material (which I obviously do) only to find out that someone else was using it without handing me my paycheck.

I suppose you would be upset if someone would be using your work for a commercial purpose, making money that should have been yours. I don't think you would mind if I downloaded your awesome work and looked at it in the privacy of my own home, would you?
21:39 April 15, 2009 by Beavis
It is the record companies that should be put on trial. They are the ones responsible for destroying music since the 1970s.Very few artisits receive any if a tiny percentage of the profit from their music. The corporate monster that is the record companies need to be put on trial and made to pay, not the teenager who downloads a few songs off the internet as they are interested in music.
23:17 April 15, 2009 by nic_tester
Well, seems the laws they are bringing to bear on TPB have not been tried before. So, if they are found guilty I think the penalty should be rather lenient, especially since it apears not even the lands judicial expertise are quite sure if what they did was illegal. How can you expect laymen to understand what is illegal then?

But what do I know, maybe swedish law doesnt work that way.
02:17 April 18, 2009 by nice1stu
I'm firmly on the side of Pirate Bay, not because I believe it is right to infringe copyright, but the case was whether Pirate Bay assisted or facilitated in the infringement of copyrights... The media industry opted to sue them for assisting or facilitating the infringement. By finding them guilty it opens many possibilities. What about blank media manufacturers... like Sony, they produce blank CD and DVDs which assist and facilitate the infringing of copyrights. What about Photocopier manufacturers, Hard Drive manufacturers... there are now endless possibilities... this is why I am on the side of Pirate Bay. This is the wrong way for the media industry to try to prevent copyright infringement, and the guilty verdict could have far reaching consequences not only in intellectual property law, but could set a precedence in other civil and criminal law.
11:07 April 21, 2009 by celticredhawk
I think this is a tough one. But for me the judgement creates one question.

Does this mean that I am no longe responsible or breaking the law when or if i download stuff. If the pirate bay are legally resposnsible, then how can I be? Surely a line of defense is "its not my fault, it's theirs"

Just a thought
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