back to article BitTorrenters seek sanctuary in Pirate Bay

Despite a series of law enforcement and other attacks on illegal file-sharing this year the number of people using the anti-copyright BitTorrent tracker Pirate Bay has almost doubled. TorrentFreak reports that Pirate Bay has leapt from about 4.3 million users at the end of 2006 to more than 8 million at the end of this year. The …

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Anyone know?

Why they haven't announced their relocation to Antigua yet?

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Pirate

The Borg?

"Let us assure you that we are not worried, we are laughing our asses off at it! Cause we are the future and resistance is futile," they write.

They are not 'The Borg'. They are futile in their legal defence!

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Dan

@Andy Barber

Actually Andy, go read why they are laughing at the RIAA and other companies. Simple reason being that due to the law in Sweden they can not be touched as they are not hosting the data. They have numerous details on their website about when they have had the Swedish Police batter down their doors and take away their servers.......and then the Police sheepishly returning them and apologising. The Pirate Bay is safe and secure from legal action until the law in Sweden is changed.

Much like tv-links.co.uk was shutdown and the owner arrested then the case was thrown out of court as he was not storing the data but providing a search engine effectively.

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Thumb Up

So they don't host the data, thats not enough

So they can't be tried/convicted under one aspect of the law, I'm sure they can be tried and convicted for facilitating illegal file sharing. And so they should.

Just because the music / movie / software industry don't provide services at reasonable prices doesn't make it right to steal the products instead.

If you want something, then buy it. If you don't like the price then don't buy it. But don't steal it. If you do, then you deserve to burn in hell.

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Flame

Isn't Hell a bit OTT for file-sharing?

I though buring in Hell was reserved for paedophiles and the like?

Don't file sharers just get to spend 20 years in Purgatory doing sysadmin on MSDoS 4 boxes before they're allowed into Heaven?

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Paris Hilton

Burn in Hell Mr Millar?

So you believe that someone downloading the odd mp3 deserves eternal damnation, perhaps this is an argument that can be used against the RIAA to explain why a crackdown on pirates isn't necessary, they will burn in the afterlife for it.

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burn heretic, burn!

"But don't steal it. If you do, then you deserve to burn in hell."

bit extreme for copyright infringement (it's not stealing as nothing is taken) isn't it?

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Jobs Horns

Burning in hell

Already doomed I suspect, because of all that home-taping (WHICH IS KILLING MUSIC!) that I did in the 80's.

I do love a good religious nutter - they're always worth a laugh.

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Gates Horns

scorched..

perhaps we should just have a 'bit of a scorching' or 'a minor burn on the buttocks' instead?

perhaps kenny works for the Holy Order (Extended Section)of the MPAA?

commonly known as MPAA HOES

no offense but calm down

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Flame

wow thats a bit harsh...

dont you think Mr. Millar... "to burn in hell." for file sharing, seems a bit over the top. i can imagine, sir, with punishments on that scale, come judgment day, you'll just vaporize instantly, leaving behind only a pile of ashes, as i'm sure you have a few skeletons in your closet... much worse skeletons than those held by file sharers..

see, the way i view it is... There is not a man on earth that couldnt stand for trial something, so, until you can part the red sea, or walk across it, you sir, have no right to pass judgment on me.

besides, the pirate bay is only doing its part to battle evil and defend all that is holy... you see, the behavior of the R.I.Ass.A. and M.P.Ass.A. is one of greed, the inanely rich lusting after more wealth and power. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins*... so what the pirate bay is doing is helping to keep that greed in check!

and dont feed me this bullshit that its about the artists, because its bullshit, the artists get screwed just the same as the public does, if the artists got the bulk of the revenue generate by sales, i would be all in favor of the anti-piracy movement, but they dont, they get fucked every time you or i buy an album, in the same way your or i do...

*make no mistake, i am not a religious man, i had to google the seven deadly sins to make sure i got it right...

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Flame

Purgatory?

Pyromancer,

Didn't the Catholic Church scrap purgatory or did I dream that?

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Pirate

They are just like...

...a search engine, mr. Millar, that's not a crime.

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Coat

Movie Industry Shill

Would the movie industry shill please stand up, your taxi is here...

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Silver badge

http://www.google.com/search?q=.mp3

Is my subject line illegal?

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Pirate

@ Dan

Oh OK, so they are not breaking a Swedish law. Are they not contravening EU law? EU law has precedence over 'local' law.

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Boffin

Intellectual Property of Media = Protection for the already well protected

Let's keep this brief:

1. Musicians don't make their money from record sales, their labels do. Musicians make money from touring, merch, and cheezy personal appearances. File sharing will never take these sources of revenue away.

2. I don't feel bad stealing TV shows since the advent of DVR. I don't feel bad stealing movies. I watch movies over and over again, and if its really quite good, I want to see it on a big digital screen with an excellent stereo rather than my tiny comp.

And finally:

3. Variable quality of the downloaded media, possibility of tainted files, and the majority of people who say BT and file sharing in general is "too complicated for them" or "is the domain of computer geniuses" will always provide a ready wave of pod people ready to shove their hard earned dollars into the pockets of those with already full pockets.

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Silver badge

More opinions on the legality of sharing

Tom: I never play records when someone comes to visit because it is illegal to do so. Unless my visitor can prove that he has paid in full and has the legal right to listen to the same tracks, either the music stays off, or out my visitor goes. It is very important to not share music unless it is in a completely safe and legal manner.

Dick: I play my own music instead, but I'm afraid the neighbours could be listening so I sit at the piano and hammer randomly in order to avoid playing something which sounds in the least like anything I've ever heard before. I'm afraid that if someone were to hear a recognizable phrase, they would turn me in.

Harry: I don't go out in public much any more and when I do, I wear three pairs of ear plugs so that if someone is playing a copyrighted recording I will be unable to hear it. I don't want to take any chances on breaking any copyright laws. I certainly don't want to burn in hell.

Anon: Naw, f*** that shit. I just crank it so you can hear it down the block. The neighbours can't complain because if they did, they would have to admit that they heard it, and then they would be violating the copyright, and they know I'd turn them in.

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fon

good points...

very true, Studebaker... If I may add a point or few...

when they sell new release DVDs for £5 each, I will be the *first* to buy *two or three** - people will be buying them all, 'cos they are much better than anything the 'net or the pirates can do...

But... 'stealing **TV** shows' ??? (you do mean the ones that normally arrive through aerial/dish/cable I hope...) how long is it, since you have seen a *new* one that has not had bits chopped out, ads put in, various words blanked, unless it is encrypted(and even this can be fixed..) to stop you recording it??

most just wait a few more months, and get the DVD...

and as for 'downloading it' - it is only USA's fault, for releasing it there first!!! - again, if it was released *globally* for £5, everyone would be happy, except the pirates....

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@Kenny Millar

> I'm sure they can be tried and convicted for facilitating illegal file sharing.

How ridiculous - like Google (and every other search engine) should be prosecuted for "facilitating" paedophile activity, or "assisting" suicides, "encouraging" slimming to death etc. Like any library or bookshop carrying items which could be argued (by you, probably) to have "triggered" certain activities - say, an interest in chemistry leading to the gaining of knowledge about germ warfare. Well; there's an *obvious* terrorist in the making.

> doesn't make it right to steal the products instead.

Not stolen. That involves an item being removed from its owner's possession. I think you're confusing P2P with stuffing a CD in your coat pocket and walking out of the store.

> If you do, then you deserve to burn in hell.

Yeah yeah; hellfire & damnation shall surely follow them and their descendants for all of their days for yea and thrice yea, will they become cursed in the eyes of men. </thunder rumble>

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Flame

@ Andy Barber

So just because the EU made a stupid law means that it suddenly apply to the whole world? Thats like saying that Austrailians should be thrown in jail because in some obsure law in the UK that says you _must_ perform at least two hours of longbow training a week, in front of a clergyman, and we all know that none of us on here have done that...

http://www.dumblaws.com/law/1046

A law ONLY applies to the area that makes it. As such the most that they could do is make it so that the EU routers cannot transmit traffic to the servers, or change the laws in Sweden so that they have to move somewhere else.

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joe
Flame

What is all the hubub for?

Why is everyone bashing the RIAA? They are only trying to make money off the people who can least afford it and aren't doing any serious damage. Now if people were selling the music that would be one thing.

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Gates Horns

Record Industry

To be honest the greed of those in the record industry is the only thing I can see that merits a burning in hell here.

I tend to agree with the Pirate Bay viewpoint, everybody is doing it .....it is the law that needs to be changed to suit the people not the other way round.

And there is no law saying what they are doing is illegal in their country.

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@Joe - Afford it?

They go after students, grannies and little children. Do you actually mean the record labels themselves and not their pitbull?

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Heart

love the music

From isohunt.com' newsboard:

"They're not stealing it because they're going to make money off of it; they're stealing it because they love the band." -- aint that enough?

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Pirate

EU law? What EU law?

The EU doesn't make law. It directs the member states to make law.

That's a bit subtle for some people, but the EU has to cope with the practical details of local legal systems. If they made law, they'd have to specify all the details for every member state--which court hears a case, who investigates, the rules of evidence that apply, even what some words mean.

(English law used to have a quite complicated definition of burglary. The offence was eliminated by the Theft Act, which defines what "theft" is in the eyes of the law. It's impossible for file-sharing to be theft, or piracy.)

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Stop

It is theft

No matter which way you look at it most Bit Torrent use is stealing. If you are happy with then carry on if not stop.

It's a lot easier than walking into 'Game' or 'ASDA' and nicking a DVD but its still theft.

Plus they don't let me in Game any more.

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Anonymous Coward

@marsh

NO IT IS NOT THEFT.

It might be copyright breach but it is not theft.

Pirate bay are a search engine - end of story. Perhaps more specific than google but still a search engine of sorts.

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Stop

@marsh

I don't illegally download material from the net. However, I am more than willing to stand up and say that you are WRONG. Copyright infringement is not theft, by DEFINITION. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either confused, mentally defective, or trying to sell a line. Since this has been explained to you multiple times, you can't be confused, so are you a mental defective or an industry shill?

-daniel

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File Sharing- you can't arrest all of us

To those who say BUY IT I say: NO! Theres millions of us, you can't stop us, you can't arrest us all and people are now used to having freely available downloads- like it or not file sharing is here to stay so the media companies better get off their arse and provide a service that customers want and stop trying to criminalise the rest of society. Leave behind your small-minded inefficient view of intellectual property- we have and you can't stop us.

Its not stealing if you don't take someone's capital - its copyright infringement. For one thing if I stole a car I'd probably just get a slap on the wrist, but if I got caught infringing copyright you can be sure some bastard executive would prosecute me to the full extent of the law.

By the way, what if I walked up to your Maclaren SLR and used my copying machine to replicate it, paid for the resources to do that myself and then drove off in the copy? What have I stolen? When I couldn't have bought one anyway?

A 160gb iPod at 99c a song costs about 32 grand to fill up. How does that make sense?

I love culture and I'm not spending my mortgage/student loan payments/food/children's education/holiday/car fund on overpriced cd's to support marketing people, executives and promoters who no longer have a place in media creation distribution when I can download it and not get caught.

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Flame

Yes it is.

Downloading copyrighted material without paying the fee is thieft.

The orginal purchaser paid for the disc, then illegally made it available for file sharing.

If you then grab a copy of that file then you ARE committing a crime.

If you provide a service where people can find stolen goods for free collection then you are also comitting a crime.

Just because nothing 'physical' was taken doesn't mean it is not theft. It is. You got something for free which was not yours to take, so that makes it theft.

The mentally deficient people here are those that thinks it's ok to take something for free just because it's easy.

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Stop

Immorality of Official releases.

Bare in mind that the only reason the that the likes of "The Pirate Bay" do not filter out the kiddie porn and other nasties is because, were they to do so, the RIAA and similar organisations would gleefully sieze on this as evidence they were "content providers". Having established this they would use the law to close down the service. The RIAA pay lawyers and technical consultants considerable sums to monitor the services for any such activity, the wages of which are paid for out of revenue garnered from official releases.

The practical upshot of this is that "official releases fund paedophillia". (or at least the preservation of same).

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Coat

Stealing TV shows?

Wasn't there some pric*k from one of the networks who declared going for a piss or putting the kettle on during adverts during a movie was stealing???

Cutter Unt.

</anorak>

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Pirate

*sigh*

@ Kenny: "Just because nothing 'physical' was taken doesn't mean it is not theft. It is. You got something for free which was not yours to take, so that makes it theft."

No, it makes it a breach of copyright. The act of theft as it is legally defined requires the original owner to be deprived of something that they originally possessed, in order for an act to constitute theft.

Thus, in the chain of events you've described there is never a point wherein theft specifically is committed. The illegal component is breaching the broadcast permissions provided with the CD/DVD/whatever by making it available for anyone to download. You'll notice the punitive damages demanded by the RIAA and MPAA involve stupidly high amounts of money per-song if you view the damages as purely related to downloading the songs. The act of downloading a track itself is not illegal, because the law does not yet require private citizens to verify licences on the media they purchase - the illegal act is the redistribution of the media being downloaded, which is inherent in most P2P clients out there.

It's still not theft though - downloading a copy of an album you haven't paid for does not *take away* the cost of buying that album in a shop from the record label, because you'd never paid for it in the first place. It could only be theft if you handed over the money, grabbed the music, then grabbed your music back and did a legger.

This may appear to be semantics to you, but it's an important distinction in how the law is formulated. Shouting "Piracy is theft" over some allegedly trendy video is not an intelligent way of trying to get the issue addressed, it's a knee-jerk reaction of an industry which has quite a lot of people in it who suddenly see their jobs disappearing as digital distribution threatens to render their jobs obsolete.

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Marketing Folk

May all the greedy media companies and their cohorts burn in hell.

RAmen.

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Coat

@Kevin Dwyer

Purgatory is distinct from Hell. And IIRC, the Catholic Church changed it's stance on whether or not unbaptised children go to Purgatory first, or straight into Heaven.

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@Kenny

Downloading copyrighted material without paying the fee IS NOT THEFT, it is breach of copyright (the clue is in the action)

There is no physical medium involved which is a pretty black and white view of theft but it is fairly accurate... unless you physically take a physical medium you are not stealing anything.

The original purchaser paid a price for a piece of physical hardware, usually a disc, a case and an inlay card, they then also paid a sum of money for the use of copyright

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Well......

Technically it is not theft since as many pointed out there is no physical item being removed from it´s rightfull owner (if that definition applys to someone who can make "fair" use but canot do whatever he/she pleases with said item). But downloading copyrighted material is illegal and that is for sure. Ethically speaking, I say charging top dollars/pounds/euros/Pesos (yes I live in Argentina) for a CD or DVD and then giving measly cents to the artist is also theft. That being said, if artists don´t do anything about this and continue under the RIAA and MPAA "regime" it is because they either agree or are too lazy to go their own way with the production and distribution of their material (and we know if there´s a will, todays economic, social and technical capabilities provide a way). Choice is up to us as well. And given that choice, I go for the life of the limp pirate, wooden leg, an eye patch, mean face and all that jazz

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joe
Alert

@ Mahou Saru

My previous comment was meant to be sarcastic. Sorry for the confusion.

On that note, I agree with the view that CD prices are bloated and end up lining the pockets of corporation vultures. Yes I said vultures. The price of a blank CD is dirt cheap for me to buy. How much cheaper is it for a company to buy them in bulk? The software used to burn a CD is cheap and even free for some open source Apps. Mass producing them is mostly done mechanically. What do you suppose the profits are and for whom?

I'm not condoning "theft". I'm merely pointing out that big wig executives pay

themselves first and the pay rate is whatever they set for themselves. Not that this concept is unique because most major corps work this way but by the very nature of the way in which it is easy to circumvent and given the fact that a lot of people only like a few songs on a CD and they are easy to find on P2P, what do the RIAA and the rest expect? The nature of the format ENABLES people to share and if people are smart about it they will never get caught.

So, who gets caught? The little guy with no smarts of encryption, the parents of teens who are responsible for their kids actions and so on. Why is it that most super peers who share never get caught? It's called encryption and that's why the powers that be take down a whole site instead of the file sharers, because it's too hard to catch most of them. So now little Johnny's parents are stuck with a huge fine which they would probably never be able to pay.

Am I breaking a law when I download a song from overseas where it's legal to do so? Or do I need to visit the country and use a friends computer to do so, then bring the CD home with me? Would that satisfy the legal requirements? And if so, am i breaking a law by copying my free and legal copy and giving them away as gifts? The only difference here is that I'm not spending a fortune visiting a foreign country.

I do believe in copyrights, don't get me wrong but like I stated, the very nature of the beast makes it too easy for ANYONE with a PC to take advantage of it. Copyright protection coded into a CD is a joke as well. It's all too easy to break the protection. So little Johnny downloads a few songs and who gets stuck with an outrageous fine?

Should parents be responsible to pay? Well of course, since Johnny can't. Now what happens if Johnny jacks your car? The parents may be guilty of not teaching him well.... or maybe they have.... but it's Johnny who pays one way or another for the physical theft.

Either the laws need to be changed to reflect peoples wants or the format needs to be . Since any format can be broken given time, I think the law takes on the job of change. The recording industry is only fooling themselves and they need to take a serious look at the whys and wherefores of what they have done to ENABLE what they don't want to have happen.

My meager $0.02 USC.

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Stop

@Rodrigo Rollan

"downloading copyrighted material is illegal and that is for sure"

Well Rodrigo, I've given people permision to freely download material from my web site. I own the copyright to that material. Do you still think it "is for sure"?

It is only illegal : IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER.

I'm guessing you ANAL.

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The business model needs to move on

The business model for artists and bands vs. record companies is changing for the better. I regularly download stuff over P2P and also regularly buy stuff. If I want piece of music badly enough, I'll pay for it. If I just want to know what it sounds like, I'll download it, if I like it, I'll generally buy it.

Two cases in point:

Downloaded the Mika album to see what the fuss was about - utter shite - shared it up to 1.0 and deleted it

Desperately wanted the Radiohead album, In Rainbows. Not available in good quality on P2P. Paid for it, downloaded it, loved it and bought the full media box (which arrived just before Xmas).

The interesting thing is that Radiohead don't have a record company - they're one of the world's most bankable artists from a sales and touring/live show point of view, but they've deliberately not got a deal. All the profits will go to them and the companies that helped them release and distribute the album.

Record companies will either embrace the new distribution methods or they will die. It's simple. Someone with a good song can record and distribute it so easily now that a record company hardly need be involved. Even producers, studios and engineers might change their methods to work on a percentage fee only, rather than a retainer plus fee.

As has been pointed out above, very few artists ever got rich from sales of the songs alone. Let us have the music much cheaper and we'll have more money to spend on t-shirts, fancy posters and live dates!

Survival of the fittest applies to the record industry too.

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@Kenny Millar

<sigh>

> Downloading copyrighted material without paying the fee is thieft.

A little test for you (the answer to it and your confusion lies in an earlier post): how about downloading copyrighted material for which there is no fee - like many Linux distributions. Is it theft if I then go on to share such copyrighted material through P2P?

"The orginal purchaser paid for the disc, then illegally made it available for file sharing." vs. the later contradiction "If you provide a service where people can find stolen goods for free collection then you are also comitting a crime."

Where are the "stolen goods", exactly?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Kenny Millar

> Where are the "stolen goods", exactly?

I'd love to read the answer to this, as well.

As in all threads on this subject, most of posters forget that copyright infringement is not theft, and vice versa -- they have two totally different meanings, both in common use and in law.

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Boffin

Oy! LIMBO.

Unbaptized babies use to go to limbo, not purgatory.

Limbo != purgatory.

Limbo is a circle of hell where unbaptized babies go. Purgatory is where souls rest until judgment day. I swear, you people wouldn't know the difference between Candyland and the Xanth. You'd probably confuse the doctrine of the virgin birth with the doctrine of the immaculate conception.

Learn your myths. Angels have wings, demons have horns, God has superpowers and is almost as powerful as Santa, and seven, EXACTLY seven, angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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Boffin

Theft?

Repeat after me: "Loss of alleged future profit is not theft of actual property."

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Theft

I don't know the legal situation in the USA. But in the UK it is quite possible for the laws surrounding "theft" to apply to something intangible - intellectual property or copyright, for example. The record company own the rights to exclusively distribute that music. If you then go and give it away for free you're taking their rights to do this away. That's where the "theft" comes in, you're stealing something intangible (but very valuable).

A common mistake when attempting to understand why music piracy might be considered theft is to think that what is being "stolen" is the music itself. It isn't. What is being "stolen" is the "right" to make copies and distribute the music.

Another mistake is to think that downloading the music is what they'll get you for - when actually it's usually the subsequent sharing that gets you into trouble.

Personally I don't think it's going away. And I think the record industry needs to find a way of making people *want* original recordings by the bands they know and respect. At the moment mainstream music is chiefly commoditized, fashion-driven lightweight stuff with all the long-term appear of cheap fashion jewellery. People feel no sense of connection or loyalty to the bands, so they feel no compunctions about downloading the stuff when they've been royally ripped off for so long, especially when they're only buying what is fashionable and feel no connection to the artists.

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright infringement is not theft

Where have all the cases been heard ?

In civil courts.

If it were theft, then the cases would be held in a criminal court, and there would have to be a better standard of evidence (beyond a reasonable doubt) rather than the more relaxed preponderance of evidence.

No I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on /.

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Stop

@Gordon

I don't know whether you're a shill for the BPI/RIAA/MPAA, or whether you actually believe the rubbish you're spouting is in some way true.

(1) Find a lawyer.

(2) Ask them what the LEGAL definition of THEFT is.

(3) Stop swearing when they tell you that copyright infringement in the UK and EU (and at this point it is necessary to emphasise) IS NOT THEFT, it is copyright infringement.

However much you, or who you work for would like it to be, in the UK and EU copyright infringement is copyright infringement, not theft. Yes, it's illegal. No, it's not theft.

People may take your arguments seriously if they think that you actually understand the law. Otherwise, you're hardly in a position to attempt to defend its use/abuse/misuse.

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Legality, and morality

@Gordon

Good job on saying what I was thinking.

A lot of people get their undies in a bind because they try and equate legality with morality. While legal rules try to originate with moral rules so that people can get along with one another, often this only occurs as a matter of convenience. What is legal is about what is manageable, not what is right or wrong. Now ask yourselves if by theft you were thinking legal or right and wrong? If one side argues right or wrong, and the other argues legality, then they get no where because they are not arguing about the same thing.

One last parting thought - Do you do things because of the rules or because of your sense of right and wrong?

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Stop

Who Cares?

Let's confirm a couple of things:

1) Yes, it's illegal

2) Yes, it's wrong

But if my chances of getting caught/punished are so slim, what does it matter?

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