A court in Sweden has jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay (TPB), the world's most high-profile file-sharing website, in a landmark case.

Now the IFPI should go after Google for doing the same thing (hint, type the name of a copyrighted bit of media and the word 'torrent' into Google's search box).

Once Google has been found guilty they should go after the ISP's, after all, it is their service that lets people download illegal content.

After the ISPs, they should sue Apple and Microsoft because they make the software that runs on your computer that lets you connect to the internet to download copyrighted content.

After Apple and Microsoft they should sue the power companies because they provide the power that computers use to download illegal content.


My question would be – how much of those damages payments are actually going to go to the artists? I know that if I were an artist being handled by one of the big companies I'd ask for that amount to be pointed out in my royalty payment. I think it'd be a rather small amount.

15 thoughts on “Illegal”

  1. Interesting wording through the “impartial as always” BBC news.They haven't been sent to jail, they have been found guilty in the first of a series of degrees of trial….


  2. Really this is just a futile attempt to deter any other sites, such as Limewire, that enable downloading of copyrighted material.Will it work? Will any other sites close becuase of this?

    It's the same vein as passing an over the top sentence for one speeding motorist and expect it to reduce road accidents en masse.

  3. Totally ridiculous verdict. Swedish courts have just made themselves a laughingstock, unless they reverse this nonsense on appeal or, as you say, at least are consistent and go after Google.Christ in a pancake hat with cherries on it.

  4. Not arguing for the ruling, but the comparision to Google is ridiculous. The main difference is that Google does not run a tracker to facilitate the sharing of torrents.

  5. I'm not sure about the ruling but I think there is a fundamental point that is dogging teh interweb. If we assume that people won't pay anything for music (or many other things) then other than for the love of it, why would anyone make music ? How is the artist to eat ?I appreciate that there is stuff out there, often put out by big record companies, that you might consider rubbish but someone else probably loves it and yet all these musicians need to earn money at some point. The argument that the industry is to blame for not embracing online music doesn't wash either – if it costs money then significant numbers of people will carry on stealing it. Maybe I'm old fashioned, I prefer bying music on CD after all, but until I can take bread for free from Sainsburys then I don't get to take music for free from musicians.


  6. (Google does not run a tracker? Maybe I misunderstand you, but have you heard of spiders and robots? The principle of thing seems the same to me. They search the web and serve up the results.)Re how should creative people be paid? We live in a tech age. It's feasible to census what people are using / enjoying. A tiny tax on the products necessary to do the enjoying — the mp3 players, the TVs, computers, headphones, printers, paper, etc. — could then be distributed among the creators proportional to how much use their creations get.

    Certainly, it wouldn't be a perfect correspondence, but, guess what?, it's even less perfect now. And this system would *reward* the artists when their art was shared, as it should be. The only people who would lose by it would be the current middlemen parasitizing the creative people.

    And they'd never be so dishonest as to use all their ill-gotten gains to keep their bloodsucking system going, would they?

    (Angry? Me? What gives you that idea? I do have a dog in this race since I write science fiction.)

  7. I should add that even though that payment method has seemed like the obvious solution to me for years, recently I've heard of variants on that idea being tried in (if I remember right) Ireland, France, and Holland. I don't think anybody in those governments reads my blog ;-D , but it's so obvious even government bureaucrats can figure it out.

  8. Before kneejerking on this one, be sure you understand just what Pirate Bay (along with Mininova and others) are doing. And work out whether you really believe that films, books, music etc. once one copy has been sold should be free to all. Would you like all means of production to be taken over by the State and the product freely distributed? Or just entertainment media? As a computer user, can you get your head round the concept of intelluctual property having worth?

  9. The ramifications are that just by *linking* to infringing material you are committing an offence. Google links to things, ISPs link to and host things, etc.It's like holding the Royal Mail culpable for the child porn that is sent through it on a daily basis. Or crowbar manufacturers for the actions of those that use crowbars to rob houses.

    If they had gone after axxo, one of the people who actually rips and uploads copyrighted material then I would have no problem with the verdict.

    Ask why Pirate bay was targeting rather than Google.

    I fully understand and agree with the principles of IP – although I may disagree somewhat with the way those principles are implemented.

  10. As I understand it they were found guilty of aiding distribution of copyrighted material, not the actual distribution of material. However, jail time does seem somewhat excessive and it does seem that there is influence from the US on this one. I predict this is going to go back and forth in the courts and won't be resolved for quite some time. Something similar happenened here in Finland in 2007 with a site called Finnreactor and the hosts were ordered to pay 400,000 euros in damages – although the case appearently is still open and is being taken to the Finnish Supreme Court by some of the defendents.

  11. What I wrote was not a kneejerk reaction, it was an opinion formed afetr having given it thought and applying my knowledge as a Law Student with an understanding of how the law operates.Tom has explained that ramifications very well, so I wont go into them again.


  12. I have always felt that the dammages claimed by the record industry are massively exagerated in any case. They frequently claim that every download represents a sale which is simply not the case. If you are paying for music you are likely to only want to spend money on stuff you particularly like. If you are downloading for free you are more likely to grab a lot of stuff of only passing interest that you would never have been willing to pay for,.The reccord industry may have a problem, but I do not believe it is the fault of the illegal file sharers. Statistics show that people are very willing to spend money on entertainment and if anything the ammount they are spending is higher now ever. The catch is that while a few years ago all that money may have gone to the Record companies, now a lot of it goes on buying DVDs and video games. People only have so much to spend, so with a greater range of things to spend money on it is inevitable that the record industry is going to see its sales going down.

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