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back to article Abba star slates 'lazy, stingy' Pirate Bay fans

Former Abba guitar player Björn Ulvaeus has hit out at supporters of The Pirate Bay and accused them of fighting for “the ‘freedom’ to be lazy and stingy”. His harsh remarks came yesterday after the shock decision by the prosecution in the The Pirate Bay case to drop all charges of copyright infringement against the infamous …

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AC

although I support

the pirate bay in this case, I think Peter Sunde should learn to stfu until the *end* of the trial otherwise he's going to have an epically large about of egg and cum on his face if the court finds against him.

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Benny? Bjorn?

Benny was the keyboard player - Bjorn played the guitar and sang on stuff like "Does Your Mother Know?" I should know this - I won an ABBA album in a competition in "Look In" many, many years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

"Thank you for the music..."

Good point, Björn.

"...anything they steal was once one person's idea..."

Yes, it was. Once. Then the record companies signed said person up to a "stingy" deal promising them sweet FA in return for years of making THEM money. And for what? A bit of publicity and use of a machine that cuts vinyl (or laserdiscs - I'm up with the times).

Music piracy is hardly a good thing but to attack that and ignore the music industry sends us down a path ignoring a business that is rotten to the core.

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Pirate

I don't use Pirate Bay ever

and still I support them.

They've not technically comitted a crime, in the same way that Jacqui Smith is not technically a dirty benefit cheat.

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Anonymous Coward

Björn's one to talk about being lazy

when was the last time he put a record out?

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Pirate

Here's the thing

Abba were big in, what, the 70s.

Is thirty years not enough for us to consider that their material has both had its heyday and entered out culture enough that by now it should be in the public domain?

Current terms are, in my opinion, waaaaay too long. Copyright et al exist to encourage people to contribute to the common culture. We give people a temporary monopoly on their work not because it's some sort of natural right but because it benefits all of us to do so.

One could argue that this has been stretched to far in one direction and that society no longer benefits as much as the copyright holder. Who more often than not is whoever managed to convince the actual artist to indebt themselves and sign everything over to them.

Whilst it is immoral (and should continue to be illegal) to blindly copy everything, we need to take another look at the deal we have struck with copyright holders, and the deals they are allowed to strike with content creators.

Add to this that the copyright holders are attempting to use every technological trick in the book to stop people making legitimate use of media they purchase, and you have a recipe for what we have now - open rebellion.

Yes, I would like to rip and transcode my blu-ray movie to watch on my netbook. What's that? DRM? I'd better pirate it then.

CD won't rip because they stuffed extra data in to confuse DVD-ROM drives? Pirate it.

Digital download won't play on my second/third computer or my new, differently branded mp3 player? Pirate it.

Digital downloads of the album cost *more* than the physical artifact that had to be manufactured and shipped? WTF? Pirate it.

In the end you stop caring about giving the makers any money, it's more convenient just to download or stop consuming altogether.

The industry and the laws are so out of sync with society this was bound to happen.

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Rob

exactly

it was just one persons idea, i come up with ideas all the time, I don't expect to be paid for them all, when it comes down to it, can someone really 'own' a bunch of notes in a particular order, music is our own brains interpretation of those notes, so why am I paying for enjoyment I created myself out of aural frequencies? :-) if I go outside and I enjoy the sound of birds singing, should they be compensated in some way?

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Pirate

Oh please...

The real crime was millions of men through out the world being forced to watch the tripe that was "Mammi Mia" by their partners.

Plus he's just upset that it's never in the top 100 on the pirate bay.

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Flame

It's simple

Let me buy a DVD from anywhere in the world and play it anywhere else in the world. Without restriction (i.e. no region encoding, no trade barriers).

Let me buy a CD from anywhere in the world and play it anywhere in the world. Without restriction (no trade barriers).

Let me copy what I want, when I want, to whatever media I want, for my own personal/home use (i.e. no DRM or other anti-fair user bullshit).

I like my DVDs, films etc and I like world cinema. It is a total pisser to have grief playing a DVD I have legally bought (or having to pay extra just to get a particular region code).

It is also saddening that the state (well, Europe) is happy to assist in these price fixing-cartels. If a DVD costs £5 in China and I can ship it for £3 (total £8), why am I paying £14+ for the EXACT SAME MOVIE (language aside)? Price-fixing is the only answer.

The record and movie companies (along with their respective associations) are engaged in the blocking for free trade and restricting my rights to fair use. Once they get with the program and let me act as a law abiding and responsible person, then I may look at the complaints with a bit more compassion. But while they continue their (IHMO) illegal actions and polices, then they can (quite simply) get to f**k.

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Pirate

And the relevance

of ABBA is? It's 2009 for chrissakes.

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Pirate

Abba Blows!

Man ... reading this article really made me want to go download some Abba on Pirate Bay!

Then I'm going to kick back in my Lazy-Boy and think about stingy things, listening to my free Abba.

Oh wait, I'd never listen to their music cause it makes baby whales want to vomit!

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Paris Hilton

How about...

...the prospect of being a young band and being able to make a living from music?

No?

Ok then. EPIC WIN LOL!

Anyway, I'm going to go back to praying on my hands and knees for a nuclear holocaust.

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Joke

Re: exactly

rob -- yah, you have to compensate the birds by getting them some fresh sticks for their nest, maybe sitting (not too hard!) on the eggs for an evening so the mr. and mrs. could catch a movie?

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Sick and tired!!!

This is not an activity against artists, but an activity against these companies that abuse their relationship with costumers. Artists are also victims of these corporate practices. Figure out carefully which side of issue you lean on, Mr. Björn Ulvaeus!!! Every ten years, or so, we get changes in the formats these companies distribute contents, and no one has ever, for instance, talked about refunding customers for the copyrights paid on obsolete VHS, CDs, DVDs etc. I'm sick and tired of having to buy again and again these materials!!!

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Pirate

... Avast me hearties...

... compared to musicians that write & perform a few songs and then sit on their arses the rest of their lives raking in the royalties... Yeah, I see his point.

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Anonymous Coward

Ode to Bjorn

Supporters of the piratebay would like to say one thing to Bjorn...

Thank you for the music...

The songs you're singing....

:)

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Pirate

Piracy is not the same as copying.

Before I start, IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that in this country, the good old United Kingdom of whatever Labour say it is, it is not illegal to create a 'Backup copy' of any recording that you have bought or paid for. That backup copy is not limited by technology.

Therefore, if I have a tape of Aerosmiths album 'Big Ones' (Circa 1991) then it is entirely acceptable under UK law for me to download a copy of this to my PC as a backup. If I then choose to designate the cassette tape as my backup, I can enjoy the music on my PC without breaking any laws. As far as the music companies are concerned, this is piracy, and an offense. They are incorrect.

Interestingly, the same law (Copyright Act) also governs what you can and cannot record from the television for later viewing. I believe the arbritary time period in this law allows for a recording to be held for three weeks, after which it is technically piracy, and a civil offense. I think all of our politicians should be investigated for breaches of this law, I would be willing to bet that a good proportion are on the opposite side to the law to the one they thought. Laws might change fairly rapidly then too....

Skull n Crosbones for obvious reasons, piracy and moider! Garrrrr!

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Ian

Bjoern fail

"But anything they steal was once one person's idea, a single little person. They don't want to talk about that,"

Playing musical instruments was once one persons idea so I assume Bjoern, by your very own logic, you're lazy and stingy?

Mamma Mia supposedly sold enough copies such that 25% of UK households have a copy, this guy is whining that he made enough money in one production to setup probably 10 or 20 people for life with cash and is complaining that if copyrights aren't upheld he may not be able to make any more cash?

Of course, Mamma Mia is an exception in terms of how well it's done (despite what an utter pile of turd it is) and smaller movies don't make that much, they might only make enough for their creators to set just one person up for life.

My heart bleeds, really it does. Just like that songwriter interview here the other day, these people are proving nothing more than they are scared to death of having to hold down a proper job like most other people on the planet.

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Boffin

Piracy and the Little Man

I partly agree with Björn. Whilst, it is true, record companies exploit their customers, they also exploit the artist on their label -- on a personal scale, far greater than the consumer suffers (to the tune of £1000s - it's been done to me). Artists are vulnerable, they do not have an army of solicitors at their beck and call.

Secondly, to hold up torrent downloads as some sort of moral crusade is dangerously misguided*. If you financially damage the record label and distributors, and by proxy the artist. Remember, when push comes to shove, the first person taking the bullet /will/ be the artist, unless he's the next Damon Albarn (although hopefully a better singer).

And let's not play Pretend; file sharers are not a particularly upstanding lot. The record I released on my own label, was being pirated within the first month. I am hardly "The Man", nor do I deserve to have it stuck to me.

[*] Although bugger the RIAA and their jack-booted approach to copyright.

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"Piracy" bad!

I don't agree with ripping art off, it's not good for any of us and I agree it's very lazy to simply assume we have a right to help ourselves to someone elses' hard work without permission, however I do want the choice to check something out, see if I like it. I am honest. I will download an album or video, if I like it I will go straight out and buy it, Amazon are making squillions from people like me! If it's awful though, in the bin it goes. That simple!

At the end of the day, lots of home producers of art works are happily getting huge audiences by making the art and then if they are lucky, breaking even on the costs. The **AA only promote the latest throwaway pop-culture trash they are not intrested in taking risks with bright and intelligent ideas, they only want to milk the dumbed-down moron market, the latest X-Factor claptrap or Terminator / Rambo/ Bourne Part 23. If it ain't broke don't fix it "money-making schemes", well tough **AA, it is broken and unless you find a way to fix it, the market will fragment so much that you will never get it back together again.

The world is changing, adapt or die!

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@ kindaian

Great points~

It got me to thinking about flaming food, which led me to want to a flaming recipe...

as long as I can find someone to share a recipe with that's not in violation of a flaming copyright infringement

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Go

@AC

"he's going to have an epically large about of egg and cum on his face if the court finds against him."

Blimey - these Swedes certainly deal out a harsh punishment !

See, young people ? Porn really does teach you more than just the foreign words for "yes!" and "harder!" ! Who knew I was learning about Swedish criminology as well.

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@ the thieves

I love the guys up there who go 'it's just ideas, *I* don't get paid for them all so why should everyone else' or 'the musicians got stitched up by the record companies so its OK to steal from them again, or 'Well, *I* think copyright law is too long so I should be able to download old records.

You go you freedom fighter you.

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Rob

just

just as a further addition to my last post, while i do download some music, i also buy it if its decent, i recently gave arjen lucassen a load of money by buying ALL the Ayreon cds, because theyre the nuts, if i'd never downloaded it, I would have been extremely unlikely to have ever given it a chance, because no one i know owns a cd and i'm not gonna buy one just because someone else said so (done that plenty of times, all complete shite)

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@David Hicks

Well said, sir!

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Tom
Silver badge

@AC re:up with the times

No, your not. Laserdiscs died about 10 years ago, maybe 15. I know, because back when they were the in thing, I bought a few to play in a friends laserdisc player, but I never bought an actual player. They won't fit in my DVD player, or my friend's blue-ray player (about 2 the diameter of a DVD), let alone try to decode them afterward.

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'Twas ever thus

The subject of piracy generates the same set of views, always. It is stealing, plain and simple; if you indulge, fair enough (it is an individual's choice) but call it what it is. You're getting something for the cost of the bandwith, and the creator gets absolutely f*ck all. Cut through all the Robin-Hood nonsense about sticking it to the industry, you're stealing from everybody that put work into getting the product to you, whether it was a lorry driver, shop assistant, application developer, or sound engineer. Even if you see no value in a lot of those products, you've got to accept that this is what piracy does, at a basic logical level.

On the other hand, the industry has done nothing to help itself. DRM is, as outlined above, an absolute nightmare. The anti-piracy ads are an embarrasment - and usually targeted at people that have paid - and there is definitely price-fixing. Why are there TV programmes in the US that someone in Europe will never get to see? Is it that hard to make it pay?

Platforms that have lower percentage instances of piracy typically 'reward' the users with insanely high prices, so it is a two-way street.

Generally speaking, people - for the most part - are happy to pay money, as long as it is a fair price and the product is good, and it is easy for them to pay. I think - naively, I know - that if the industry just tried harder piracy would be greatly reduced.

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IT Angle

Here's an idea...

Why not be lazy and stingy by taking all your tired old trite songs and have reasonably famous people "sing" (in the loosest possible sense of the word) them in the most boring, contrived pile of maundering donkey-flop this century (and possible last century too!)

Oh.... wait a minute......

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Björn Ulvaeus

My wife dragged me to the movie Momma Mia. Frankly, Björn Ulvaeus should be forced to pay me for having to suffer through his music. I'd take Gitmo and waterboarding over listening to ABBA.

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Paris Hilton

Re: And the relevance ?

I guess there are no women or pre-teens in your household, then. What was the must-have musical DVD at Xmas time ?

Paris, because Benny and Björn wrote "One Night in Bangkok", too.

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Alert

@Paul Donnelly

Before I start - IANAL!

As I understand the law (and it is complex enough that I could easily be wrong) yes, you can use a download as a backup. Unfortunately using bittorrent as your method of gaining this file is where the problem would come during a BT transfer you also send data to other parties, and this is where you would get tackled by the lawyers!

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Pirate

Money, money, moany

Of course, Bjorn is griping, but then he is in the best place to gripe, having made his pile.

My sympathy goes to the many performers that have been ripped off in their early careers by the very companies that are now griping about TPB and Bittorrent downloads citing these performers as the ones that are losing out.

Arrrrr, Fred lad!

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Lee
Go

Here I go again, my my, how can I forget you?

I downloaded Mamma Mia.

Do I feel guilty? Nope. Do I feel like I've broken the law? Nope.

Why not, I hear you ask...? Because I have the BD version of this movie and wanted to have it on other devices too - I don't have a BD-ROM to rip it to another format and I certainly ain't shelling for it again.

So that's ok, I hope :-)

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Thumb Up

Are their benefits to piracy - 'Slumdog Millionaire'

I seemed to remember that 'Slumdog Millionaire' had been trashed by the movie studio's as being rubbish until it was picked up by the Pirates/freetards and distributed to the real customers who raved about it.

Now Slumdog Millionaire is taking awards everywhere it goes and making a truckload of money. Don't hear too many complaints about that. Does anyone else?

So Pirates/freetards have justified their exsistence in the promotion/support of good films. But I guess the studio's don't like it when it works the other way and the Pirates won't touch something because it is rubbish

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Hmm

The industries could support our will to be lazy and stingy (which, by the way, is the driving factor of progress) by providing an easy and cheap way of downloading the things we want to see/hear/play.

The only way to prevent piracy is to PROVIDE A CONVENIENT, LEGAL ALTERNATIVE. Not sue the crap out of people. I don't want billions of CDs, I do, however, want albums. Without the need to burn and distribute the CDs, just storing on a server, I want them cheaper.

The gaming industry seems to have gotten it ok, I buy plenty of games on Steam and Impulse and even on dirty old DVD, but DRM on music or streaming-only video cripples for money what it is possible to obtain for free elsewhere. Not hard to understand.

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Stop

PiRacy

There may be a number of reasons why people download copyrighted works rather than pay for them. I recently download a new release from Pirate Bay. Not becuase I am Freetard either. I was all prepared to go the to local theatre and pay to watch it, but the blighters didn't bring it in. If I wanted to watch it, my only option was to download it, which I did.

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Stop

People are forgetting...

That while Benny and Bjorn might not need any money from their recordings any more, the guy who played second triangle on Money, Money, Money still needs his royalty cheque. Why should he be prevented from earning a living from music which is still enjoyed and still continues to be popular?

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@Rob

Same here

Perhaps there's a halfway mark we (the sensible middling types) could meet the record companies on? Release a free, DRM-heavy version. Maybe a lower bitrate than you'd really like and a limit on the number of times you can listen to it or the number of devices you can listen to it on. Freely available, free to distribute in its "unmodified" state. Like an automatically-enforced version of the GPL (give it away, or at least don't make a profit giving it to someone else, don't edit it.)

Then DRM-free CDs/DVDs/MP3s that you pay for. Copy it to whatever you want whenever you want.

I'd like this model. Not as much as I'd like 100% free music, but I think it's a workable model that would encourage people to buy the real thing (if you like it, pay to get the DRM restrictions removed). And make sure the profit margins on the CD and downloaded versions are the same rather than jacked up like they are with downloads these days. Or maybe they could be ad-supported?

Lets hope Pirate Bay win- of the two extremes, theirs is the one that I'd prefer...

Saying that, the IFPI doesn't have a legal leg to stand on without taking on Google.

Why an article about what an Abba guy thinks, anyway? He's nothing special- in fact he's a bit of a bore. If he tell a joke, you've probably heard it before.

He doesn't have a talent- not a goddamn thing

And everyone cowers when he started to sing

etc etc

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Paris Hilton

We're lazy?

He hasn't written a decent record in 20 years - who's the fricking lazy one?

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Pirate

@Charles Calthrop

"I love the guys up there who go 'it's just ideas, *I* don't get paid for them all so why should everyone else' or 'the musicians got stitched up by the record companies so its OK to steal from them again, or 'Well, *I* think copyright law is too long so I should be able to download old records."

I love the fact that you think taking the piss makes your arguments valid.

Read my post again and tell me that the combination of insane copyright length, DRM, overcharging and the record industry dragging their heels don't make this absolutely inevitable.

BTW, I have a collection of about 500 CDs, all paid for (none with DRM). I don't pirate music at all. So I'd be interested to hear any arguments about how I'm personally robbing artists of money, and how everything I've said is a weak justification for illegal/immoral activity I take part in, because I know that's the argument that usually comes next when someone gives a rational critique of the current situation.

I don't pirate (unless I have bought the media and cannot rip/transcode), and I still hold these opinions.

BTW, what do you think of the people that hold the copyright on "Happy Birthday"? And charge people for singing it to kids in restaurants?

I think it's sick. That song is part of childhood and part of life, for someone to claim ownership over it is unreasonable and disgusting.

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Plays worlds smallest violin...

I'm sorry, i just don't feel bad for the music and movie industries. You want me to put out $50 to take my wife out to a movie (tickets, snacks)? Then don't put 30 mins of verizon commericials in before the film. Want me to actually go see a movie in the theater? Then how bout making one worth seeing, seriously out of the past 50 movies i've downloaded there has only been 2 that i would have gone to see in the theater. Want me to buy a dvd? Quit trying to force me to watch previews of your other movies. Far as music, sorry but you know what, all the music i listen to i have bougt at one time or another on different media, i may not have that media anymore but i sure am not going to go buy it again just to make someone a few extra dollars. Besides really, all i'd have to do if i didn't download it is record it off the radio. These p2p sites don't promote piracy, all they do is give those of us that would make copies of media another way to do so. I mean really how many people know how to copy netflix dvd's? how many know how to copy game fly dvd's? They are just going to have to get over it, they have bled the public dry for far too long.

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Flame

not legal ???

Well at the end of the day their argument is based upon ...

You download it you wont buy it ...

Hang on. ..... . .. .

I wouldnt buy music anyway ! (well very very seldom)

films even less so ....

Rent them ... Nope not either !!

watch them on TV .. yeah ok

Now let me get this right .....

They broadcast their films on telly and still gets loads of money.

People dont go and subscribe to their bloody film ...

So why cant we just have a stream on demand paid for by advertising film service. I would happily use it as long as the ads didnt pop up in the middle of the screen etc etc

The amount of pirated films would drop about 70%

As for music pirating that is on the way down as most ppl cant be bothered.

So please biz industry find another way of making money your current plan has a serious flaw in it !!! Last time i remember something like this they got all pissy about people making mix tapes !! they got used to the idea after a while

Go Pirate Bay you piss all over their Stupid Accusations !!

@Paul Donnely

I believe the arbritary time period in this law allows for a recording to be held for three weeks

I think my BT Vision box keeps recording longer than this !!!

Right im off to sue BT for causing me to break the Law !!

oh wait im not in the US Dammit!!!

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to AC 'Thank you for the music'

ahahahahah.

That's soooo good.

The author of this article shoudl have thought about it.

How could the 20th or so post be the first one to think of the obvious, that one shouldn't be able to talk of ABBA and pirates of piratebay without titling this 'Thank you for the music' (and I didn't think of it either, shame on all of us)

An enormous thank you, you brightened my day in one single sentence :D

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Bronze badge

Eh?

Can't see why he's complaining, I mean ABBA went out in the 70's (or perhaps the 80's for the weirdos), and no self-respecting pirate would be caught dead downloading ABBA now.

And "Mamma Mia"? Are you kidding? Nearly a dozen actors singing a bunch of ABBA tracks I didn't really want to listen to in the first place, and only two of them could sing well enough to not want me to puncture my eardrums. Box office hit my arse.

He should be suing the producers for making such a heap of crap. No wait, he was one of the producers right? And he still let it happen?

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Stop

too much....

having mistakenly watched (conned into), thru closed fingers, the last five minutes of "mamma mia" i can honestly say that we are all fucked.

i am anyway

for providing *the* link that *i* downloaded to *that* movie i curse TPB ;)

and they were all singing!!!!!!!

and dancing / jumping about!!!!!!

AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!

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Happy

@Gerhardt

Gerhardt.

Post the link to your legal song download so that all these people 'socking to the man' can go a drop you a few bob and buy it.

That is an even better way to sock it to 'the man' support independant music.

Or if you have downloaded it already for free what about a little PR for the little man.

Come on folks get behind this guy. I tried to do a google but lots of people have the name: Gerhardt

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think that he got it wrong...

kindaian said:

" One can't confuse the tool and the uses that the tool have. The tool isn't illegal just because some punters like to kill people with it. "

Kindaian, they're not suing Bittorrent, they're suing ThePirateBay. Bittorrent is the tool, TPB is (one of) the user(s).

Anyone can see that Pirate Bay willingly and knowlingly facilitates copyright infrigement. It is TPB's raison d'être. If there's no law against it, then they get off on a technicality, but it doesn't stop them being in the wrong.

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Made me laugh

There's some serious politics of envy being bandied about by a good few people here.

The weak and spite-laden reasoning seriously sucks too.

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Pirate

Crusaders for freedom

I'm no crusader, i only use torrents because i'm too stingy to go out and buy the stuff...

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