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Sweden's New Copyright Laws Put to the Test

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:53 am

Antipiratbyrån (APB), the non-authority that oversees intellectual property rights in Sweden, has accused a 28 year old alleged file-trader of sharing multiple movies on the DirectConnect P2P network. As this is the first case of its kind in Sweden, APB is only seeking penalties against one circumstance of infringement.

Sweden is considered one of great strongholds of file-sharing, as its file-sharing to civilian population ratio is perhaps the strongest in the world. Currently, 800,000 individuals engage in file sharing in a country of only 9 million, or a ration of 1:9. Comparatively, approximately 7 million individuals engage in file-sharing in the United States out of a population of nearly 300 million, or a ratio of 1:43.

This trial puts more than the young man’s finances at stake. APB has so far been largely unsuccessful with enforcing intellectual property rights and has witnessed its reputation diminish significantly.

Perhaps the most prominent slap in the face to APB is the unfettered operation of ThePirateBay.org. ThePiratebay, a Swedish BitTorrent indexing site, completely <a href=http://thepiratebay.org/legal.php target=_blank>ignores</a> copyright infringement notifications, and continues its operations without disruption. The APB has been powerless to stop them.

In addition, APB's reputation was further eroded during its mishandled enforcment action against Swedish ISP Bahnof. Bahnof, one of Swedens oldest and most respected ISPs, was raided on the behest of APB. APB contended that Bahnof was running an warez FTP server named Enigma.

Just when it appeared APB had won its first victory against piracy, it was discovered the mole who infiltrated Bahnof was the one responsible for uploading warez onto the FTP server. The situation caused a sever backlash against APB, and led a series of ongoing investigations by the Swedish Data Inspection Board and National Post and Telecom Agency.

Now, APB has brought the fight to the individual file-sharer. In the first case of its kind, it will set a precedent for the hundreds of other individuals that have been charged in online copyright infringement. If the defense was successful in its attack against using an IP address as evidence, its possible the accused could be found not guilty - or simply face a minor fine. This is a "make or break" situation for APB, failure will mean further loss of credibility, while victory will mean the erasure of a lengthy history of embarrassment. The virdict will be reveal on October 25th.
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Postby SlyckScratch » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:21 am

Torbjörn Persson, the defendant's lawyer, devoted several hours to demonstrating the lack of certainty when an IP address is used as evidence - not least due to the fact that in many blocks of flats there are unencrypted wireless networks which allow anyone to link to the internet.

The judges - who, Swedish media were amused to note, were all in their late middle ages - were treated to a platter of terms such as spoofing, hijacking, sniffer and monkey-in-the-middle, all describing ways of exploiting another user's network connection.

If you're going to bring a case you need to bring it against a person, not a number. With so many unencrypted wireless networks around, look how easy it would be to get the wrong person....
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Re: Sweden's New Copyright Laws Put to the Test

Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:34 am

SlyckTom wrote:Currently, 800,000 individuals engage in file sharing in a country of only 9 million, or a ration of 1:9. Comparatively, approximately 7 million individuals engage in file-sharing in the United States out of a population of nearly 300 million, or a ratio of 1:43.


I just read an article linked to from a slyck post today (I forget which one) which claimed there were 60 million filesharers in the USA, which is 1:5 ratio.

Which is the correct figure?
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:38 am

I just read an article linked to from a slyck post today (I forget which one) which claimed there were 60 million filesharers in the USA, which is 1:5 ratio.

Which is the correct figure?


There may be 60 million file-sharers total...but the numbers I used were simultaneous users, which would be substancially less..
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:51 am

SlyckTom wrote:
I just read an article linked to from a slyck post today (I forget which one) which claimed there were 60 million filesharers in the USA, which is 1:5 ratio.

Which is the correct figure?


There may be 60 million file-sharers total...but the numbers I used were simultaneous users, which would be substancially less..


"The RIAA’s campaign against file-sharing services is only a sideshow, however, to its ongoing, two-year-old initiative to sue individual copyright violators. Though the RIAA has sued only about 13,000 of the estimated 60 million Americans using file-sharing software, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, these 13,000 people are disproportionately students."

[Source: http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=508987 ]

So how many filesharers are there estimated in Sweden as opposed to simultaneously connected ones? Even if your figure for the US was based on those connected at any one time, 60 million on a national level (1:5) for the US is a very interesting figure.

First you have to consider how many people in the US have access to the internet (out of the whole population) from a private domicile or office. I suspect this figure would be significantly below the 300 million population.

So, from a democratic standpoint in the US, lets say that maybe 150 million US citizens have private or work based internet access (see you have to account for young infants who don't yet use computers, retired people who don't use computers, people in prisons and of course people who are poor and do not own computers). Even if there are 150 million people in the US with access 60 million of those are estimated to be filesharing, that is over 33%. I suspect in reality the figure is closer to 50-60% of the online population of the US is using file sharing software. That then becomes a MAJORITY. Did I mention democracy? I believe I did. So if the majority of the population that is capable of downloading files via p2p is actually doing so, how comes the laws are being changed contrary to this?

Last I checked, democracy was supposed to stand for a majority rule (without discounting minorities), in other words, if the majority of people say "Fuck off" to the MPAA/RIAA the laws of the country should by DEFINITION reflect that fact. Currently they do not.
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Postby schitauri » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:01 am

AlexanderHanff wrote:So, from a democratic standpoint in the US, lets say that maybe 150 million US citizens have private or work based internet access (see you have to account for young infants who don't yet use computers, retired people who don't use computers, people in prisons and of course people who are poor and do not own computers). Even if there are 150 million people in the US with access 60 million of those are estimated to be filesharing, that is over 33%. I suspect in reality the figure is closer to 50-60% of the online population of the US is using file sharing software. That then becomes a MAJORITY. Did I mention democracy? I believe I did. So if the majority of the population that is capable of downloading files via p2p is actually doing so, how comes the laws are being changed contrary to this?
Wow! Brilliant observation :D
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Postby Mrs. 2p » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:03 am

a majority of people agreeing doesn't make them right. ...even in a democracy. a majority of people raping their neighbors, beating their spouses or forbidding their kids from going to school does not justify a change of legislation in that sense.

i'm not saying certain laws do not need to be changed, i'm just noting that isn't the proper rationale for wanting to do so
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:13 am

schitauri wrote:
AlexanderHanff wrote:So, from a democratic standpoint in the US, lets say that maybe 150 million US citizens have private or work based internet access (see you have to account for young infants who don't yet use computers, retired people who don't use computers, people in prisons and of course people who are poor and do not own computers). Even if there are 150 million people in the US with access 60 million of those are estimated to be filesharing, that is over 33%. I suspect in reality the figure is closer to 50-60% of the online population of the US is using file sharing software. That then becomes a MAJORITY. Did I mention democracy? I believe I did. So if the majority of the population that is capable of downloading files via p2p is actually doing so, how comes the laws are being changed contrary to this?
Wow! Brilliant observation :D


A quick 5 minutes on google provides some interesting statistics (source http://www.clickz.com/stats/sectors/geo ... php/151151 - which is citing the CIA Factbook)

Current Population of the US: 295.73 million
Current Number of people with internet access: 185.55 million (dubious statistics given all the information available regarding the digital divide)
Current ACTIVE internet users: 140.58 million
Estimated number of filesharers according to harvard (linked in previous post by me) 60 million

So lets do the math:

(100/140.58) * 60 = 42.68%

So even with the dubious statistics of the CIA (which I suspect are grossly inaccurate on the number of active users, I expect when you look at digitial divide figures and other polls, this figure will be closer to 100 - 110 million) 42.58% of the capable population of the US are filesharing. This at the very least should be grounds for a national referendum as opposed to the contrary of passing legislation without a public debate as the result of lobbying by the industry.

It is obvious to me, that the american people actually have no democratic rights, or at least none that the institution of government are paying attention to. I would be calling for a referendum on the issue as this clearly shows that the current government in the US is not playing by the rules, the US is most definitely not a democracy based on these findings.

Maybe its time US citizens started demanding a voice in the way their country is run?
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:17 am

Mrs. 2p wrote:a majority of people agreeing doesn't make them right. ...even in a democracy. a majority of people raping their neighbors, beating their spouses or forbidding their kids from going to school does not justify a change of legislation in that sense.

i'm not saying certain laws do not need to be changed, i'm just noting that isn't the proper rationale for wanting to do so


That is not correct, indeed under the definition of a democracy, if the majority of people -ARE- raping their neighbours, then law should echo that. Whether it is morally right or wrong, it is the duty of a democratic government to adhere to the majority, the entire democratic political system is founded on this principle, hense the way voting in a democratic government works (by majority votes).

There are already issues in the US regarding non proportional representation, these findings I have have published in my previous post, simply show that the US is NOT a democracy, no matter how you want to play the odds.

And since the majority of the population do not rape their neighbours, it is like calling apples oranges and a totally redundant comparison.
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Postby rulle » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:19 am

AlexanderHanff wrote: Even if there are 150 million people in the US with access 60 million of those are estimated to be filesharing, that is over 33%. I suspect in reality the figure is closer to 50-60% of the online population of the US is using file sharing software.


It would surprise me if 50% of th U.S. online population have heard of filesharing, let alone used it.
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:20 am

rulle wrote:
AlexanderHanff wrote: Even if there are 150 million people in the US with access 60 million of those are estimated to be filesharing, that is over 33%. I suspect in reality the figure is closer to 50-60% of the online population of the US is using file sharing software.


It would surprise me if 50% of th U.S. online population have heard of filesharing, let alone used it.


Suprising or not, these figures were taken from valid sources.
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:22 am

That is not correct, indeed under the definition of a democracy, if the majority of people -ARE- raping their neighbours, then law should echo that. Whether it is morally right or wrong, it is the duty of a democratic government to adhere to the majority, the entire democratic political system is founded on this principle, hense the way voting in a democratic government works (by majority votes).


I think you are taking 2pstudent's point the wrong way. I understand her point...that simply because a majority of individuals view a circumstance a particular way, does not mean its right. A year ago, a majority of US citizens supported Bush and the wars. Does that make it right? Not according to the rest of the world...
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:25 am

It would surprise me if 50% of th U.S. online population have heard of filesharing, let alone used it.


I agree. Even with 150 or so million users online, only half of those probably ever used a file-sharing application. Even fewer would use it more than a few times.

I still run into people who used Napster and nothing since...although statistically that should be relatively rare.

Interestingly, I run into many people who use LimeWire. LimeWire has undoutably become the mainstream application of choice. Everyone I know who uses it absolutely loves it.
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:26 am

SlyckTom wrote:
That is not correct, indeed under the definition of a democracy, if the majority of people -ARE- raping their neighbours, then law should echo that. Whether it is morally right or wrong, it is the duty of a democratic government to adhere to the majority, the entire democratic political system is founded on this principle, hense the way voting in a democratic government works (by majority votes).


I think you are taking 2pstudent's point the wrong way. I understand her point...that simply because a majority of individuals view a circumstance a particular way, does not mean its right. A year ago, a majority of US citizens supported Bush and the wars. Does that make it right? Not according to the rest of the world...


I agree, but regardless of morals, as I previously stated, it is the duty of a democratic government to reflect the views of the majority. A government is there not to assert its own morals on the population, but to reflect the needs and demands of their majority by making policy that is in line with such things.

We can argue white is black all day, it doesn't change the facts. Governments that try and impose morals/ethics and policy that is contrary to public majority are called Dictators.
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:29 am

I agree, but regardless of morals, as I previously stated, it is the duty of a democratic government to reflect the views of the majority.


I am not so sure of that. If that were the case, we would have abolished tax laws centuries ago...
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:35 am

SlyckTom wrote:
I agree, but regardless of morals, as I previously stated, it is the duty of a democratic government to reflect the views of the majority.


I am not so sure of that. If that were the case, we would have abolished tax laws centuries ago...


Again, I am sorry to disagree, but I feel I must. If tax laws were put to public vote I expect you would find the majority do vote for taxes when they are given the facts as to what taxes are supposed to pay for. Tax is not taking something from people, tax is for people to support themselves as a society. People who see tax as having something taken from them, simply don't understand the point of tax.

[Edit] In fact Tax is put to public vote every 4 years, or at least in the UK. Tax always plays a large part in the election campaigns. Parties that declare they will introduce taxes the majority don't agree with, simply don't get into power. The same as any part of an election campaign manifesto is voted on directly by the people and determines which party gets into power.
Last edited by AlexanderHanff on Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jarrad » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:39 am

You're confusing theories with actual governments, the theory of a pure democracy is that the majority consensus will get it their way, actual governments like America are not like this, this isn't a criticism because it is hardly practical for such a government to exist.
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Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:40 am

And to be even more technical, the United States really is not a true democracy, its a Republic...
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:44 am

jarrad wrote:You're confusing theories with actual governments, the theory of a pure democracy is that the majority consensus will get it their way, actual governments like America are not like this, this isn't a criticism because it is hardly practical for such a government to exist.


No I am not confusing anything with anything. Any government that does NOT reflect the opinions of their people in the policies they draw up, is a DICTATOR. Theory and practically do not even come in it, it is a fundamental definition regardless.
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Postby jarrad » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:03 pm

Well dictatorship and republic don't really do it justice, it's a constitutional democracy which is a little more specific than even a representative democracy.

Although a republic and dictatorship do share things in common, you are right to an extent, but they are also very loaded words, so I tend to avoid comparing them because it gives the wrong impression.

A dictatorship is like communist China under Mao rule or Iraq, it is absolute rule by a single leader completely unrestrained, America is not like that.
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Postby AlexanderHanff » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:06 pm

jarrad wrote:Well dictatorship and republic don't really do it justice, it's a constitutional democracy which is a little more specific than even a representative democracy.

Although a republic and dictatorship do share things in common, you are right to an extent, but they are also very loaded words, so I tend to avoid comparing them because it gives the wrong impression.

A dictatorship is like communist China under Mao rule or Iraq, it is absolute rule by a single leader completely unrestrained, America is not like that.


Dictatorship does not have to be associated with an individual. Dictatorship can be a governing institution made up of many individuals. The point of a dictatorship is that is dictates what will happen as opposed to asking the people what they want to happen.

However, this is an interesting debate.
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Postby RottenFoxBreath » Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:20 pm

SlyckTom wrote:And to be even more technical, the United States really is not a true democracy, its a Republic...


i would class the united states of america as a corporate dictatorship.
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Postby randomuser » Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:41 pm

As for the topic at hand, the headline of this item is a little misleading. This case has nothing to do with the new copyright law in Sweden since the infringment took place before the new law was introduced.

In fact, the accused has admitted to downloading the movie (and it's only one movie he's being charged for) but is denying that he made it available afterwards.

The most interesting aspect of this case comes if he is found guilty however. If his sentence is only a fine, then the police can't ask ISP's who holds a certain IP-number in the future in which case copyright infringement will be almost possible to prove.
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Postby WitchHunterRobin » Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:52 pm

AlexHanff wrote:Governments that try and impose morals/ethics and policy that is contrary to public majority are called Dictators.

No, I still think we just call them politicians and judges.

That's what they do everyday. This is a republic, not a democracy. Officials promise to abide by the majority's needs to win their respective offices, but quickly follow the money from interest groups.
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Postby darkened » Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:07 pm

I've said it before...

Revolution any one?
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