back to article Littlest pirate’s Winnie-the-Pooh laptop on the way home

The ten-year-old girl accused of piracy in Finland will probably still find it hard to stay off Santa’s naughty list, but has at least cost her family only €300 after attempting to pinch a Finnish pop song. Big Content, in the form of the Finnish Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC), was last week revealed to …

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  1. James O'Brien
    Thumb Down

    Gotta love it

    Only bullies take pleasure in going after those smaller than they are. While they were at it why not take her lollipop as well? Can't help but think that the dad was told something along these lines, "well even if she didn't succeed in downloading these songs she's still a pirate in training. By doing this we are showing her early that it pays to support our way of life."

    Never has there been a better group to be called twats.....twats

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Just goes to show

      A telling off and an explanation as to why it wasmwrongnwould be quite sufficient.

      The fine is not a fine against the child, she doesn't go out to work, it's a fine against the family.

      How low will these people go..........

      1. James O'Brien
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Just goes to show

        That someone from the recording industry was trolling these forums? I like how just about every post on here extolling to the level of bullshit that this was to be brought against a child let alone the family has a down vote. Makes you wonder don't it?

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Just goes to show

          the downvoting is me james. my thinking is that if she didnt want to do the time she shouldn't have done the crime.

          1. davtom
            WTF?

            Re: Just goes to show

            And what is the age of criminal responsibility in Finland?

            15 if my research is correct.

            That's presupposing that she actually committed a crime. It isn't stated whether she was sharing songs or just downloading them.

          2. John Bailey

            Re: Just goes to show

            Well.. Except she didn't do either. Did she.

            Failed to download the song.

            Did not pay the demanded extortion. Her dad paid half of it. And I seem to remember, they ended up buying the song before being accused of piracy.

            And please.. No "poor starving artists" bull. The artist was apparently not pleased about this either. The copyright enforcement group apparently enforced the fine against their wishes.

            Piracy is not killing the media industry. Profit driven manufactured "artists" are.

            1. Ian Yates
              Pirate

              Re: Just goes to show

              "Profit driven manufactured "artists" are."

              In fairness to Chisu, she's gone on record as saying that the case has nothing to do with her and she hasn't asked anyone to go after copyright holders on her behalf.

              Of course, the chances are she isn't even the "owner" of her musical releases, so it will be some Big Label that sees any kind of "compensation" for this.

              As others have stated, the whole thing is a complete farce.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Just goes to show

                >In fairness to Chisu

                It would be interesting to see the exact wording used to justify the damages. From the wording in the article it seems that the entire fine should of been paid directly to Chisu; for the money to go elsewhere would be deception ...

            2. Fatman Silver badge

              Re: Piracy is not killing the media industry. Profit driven manufactured "artists" are.

              Not completely correct IMHO.

              Corrected, it should read:

              Piracy is not killing the media industry. Profit driven manufactured "artists" greedy record label execs are.

          3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just goes to show

            Children are not allowed the full freedoms that adults are simply because their brains aren't fully developed. Inhibitions and responsibility take time to develop.

            Therefore holding kids to account under laws designed for adults isn't right. This is why children who kill are given another chance usually since this behaviour is often not their fault, they've been abused or neglected by their parents.

        2. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Just goes to show

          The recording industry employs paid bloggers to support their cause. This is no secret.

          That is why you will often find a couple of far out cartel supporting comments early on in such threads - they are paid to sit all day watching out for such news and spouting copyright cartel gospel to make it seem as if the public actually support them....

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Re: Just goes to show

            Both sides of this argument are not above paying bloggers and journalists to repeat their agenda.

            I'm not accusing you of this, and I think this case is exactly what's wrong with the current status quo, but you can't accuse "Big Media" of manipulating the debate when those companies with so much to gain from weak copyright do exactly the same thing.

            Put bluntly, Google's vision for content licensing is as destructive, anti-artist and anti-consumer as the RIAA's. If we're not careful, we will let one of these fuckers win.

            That doesn't make the industry's current policies right, though.

            1. Arctic fox
              Thumb Up

              @Kristian Walsh "Both sides of this argument are not above paying bloggers and journalists"

              You appear to have attracted both up and down votes. Clearly you have posted common sense.

    2. Turtle

      Re: Gotta love it

      You know, instead of blaming the media industry, how about blaming Google for making it so convenient to find illegal downloads, or blaming The Pirate Bay for enabling those downloads, or blaming Google for making it so profitable for people to have websites for illegal downloads, or - and this should be a BIG favorite here on this forum! - how about blaming her parents for not sufficiently closely supervising the kid's internet use?

      Additionally, the idea that the first time this kid illegally downloads a song is the time she gets caught, is not to be taken seriously. Of course, if we knew what was on her li'l laptop, we would know better - but the idea that the first time she illegally downloads a song is the time she gets caught, is unlikely to say the least and we are justified in so thinking until we have some reason to think otherwise.

      And if her parents felt that there was anything unjust about it, they should have fought the charges.

      One last little note. Technical note. That the girl did not successfully download the song does not mean that she did not help other people successfully download it. That's the way torrents work.

      1. Matt Bradley
        Flame

        Re: Gotta love it

        I think we found our industry shill, folks.

        [1] Lets not get into the question of blame here. the issue is RESPONSIBILITY. Specifically criminal responsibility. I would suggest that granting powers to an enforcement body exact substantial summary fines on minors (or the carers of minors) based upon their internet activity is at the very least highly questionable, at the worst, illiberal and chilling. and to allow said enforcement agency to perform confiscations of equipment, refusing to return said equipment on the basis of an alleged attempted commission of an offence by a minor? Are we talking about serious criminality here? No: we're talking about a child listening to a pop song.

        [2] Whether this was the first time, 100th or the 1,000,000 time is immaterial. The fact is that this entire action took place on the basis of one alleged failed attempt to download a song. There doesn't even appear to be a suggestion that there was any intent involved here: just a child misunderstanding the illegality of the source and/or copyright law. Were this action to be based upon /pattern/ of behaviour, maybe there would be less of an outcry, but there is no such allegation here.

        [3] Sure, they could have fought the recording industry with all its lawyers and vast budgets all the way through the courts. They could have done without the child's laptop for maybe another 2 years while they did so, and perhaps had not only this Christmas, but next Christmas and even each Christmas for the rest of their lives ruined by this, or they could have taken the expedient route which they chose, which was to roll over to powerful bullies behind this action.

        [4] It is not a technical note. there is a significant difference in law between attempting or conspiring to commit an offence and actually committing it. That's before one gets into the issue of the age of criminal responsibility, or, for that matter, intent.

        For the record: I am an ardent supporter of copyright and the right for copyright holder to be able to exploit their works however they see fit, and the be able to enforce that right in law. But THIS action was wrong. It actually makes me think twice about my entire position on the music industry and its right to perform copyright enforcement.

  2. Eponymous Cowherd
    Unhappy

    €300....

    For failing to download a track her dad later bought.

    I think we know who the real pirates are, don't we?

    1. Turtle

      Re: €300....

      Interestingly, this is a case where an illegal download *would* have resulted in a lost sale.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: €300....

        Well, leaving aside that we don't know that for certain (who knows what might have happened), I have to agree that, prima facie, you are right.

        I feel so dirty ...

    2. Mark 65

      Re: €300....

      I don't understand why he paid, they either downloaded or they didn't and if they didn't then what's the crime? That is an extortion racket, nothing more, and should be exposed and prosecuted as such.

  3. Miaau
    WTF?

    Um, what?

    From what I read of the initial story, she did not actually complete the download. So the dad has now forked over a small fortune as "punishment" for not actually getting the song.

    Her dad reportedly bought her album / song the next day.

    I think they held the little girls laptop to ransom here. Was a crime committed?

    I watched part (say 5%) of a pirated video on a work mates computer last week. I live in fear of the heavy black boot of justice breaking down my door and taking my Xbox till I cough up.

  4. Steve I
    WTF?

    Disgusting that....

    ...she's been penalised for something she didn't actually do.

    The same happened to me once - I mean 'attempted' murder - pah! They don't give out Nobel prizes for 'attempted' chemistry, do they?

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Disgusting that....

      Except that murder and theft are an intrinsic "bad."

      Copyright infringement and chemistry and speeding are not - there is no indisputable harm from them.

      1. Steve I

        Re: Disgusting that....

        It's ok - it was a joke: Sideshow Bob (in "The Simpsons") "I'm being incarcerated for a crime I didn't commit - I mean, attempted murder..." etc etc.

        It would appear that "Attempted piracy" isn't currently a crime...

        1. ShadowedOne
          Go

          Re: Disgusting that....

          Attempted piracy probably is a crime, after all if you plan on taking over a ship/stealing it's cargo, you're probably well armed etc. Attempted copyright infringement, not so much. Her and her family though now have first-hand knowledge of extortion, which, like piracy and unlike copyright infringement, is a crime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Disgusting that....

            Do you know if you watched a video on YouTube and the video does not belong to the owner,this is a crime?you know you are supposed to buy xxx's albums but you goto YouTube to watch.oh you are a thief!this means almost anyone with a computer with Internet actually broke the law.everyone should be fined if that's the case.

      2. NumptyScrub
        Trollface

        Re: Disgusting that....

        quote: "Except that murder and theft are an intrinsic "bad."

        Except when they are done in the name of government or country, of course. Who could argue that the deliberate and premeditated killing of Afghan or Iraqi insurgents by UN troops was an intrinsic bad? It's being done for the Afghan and Iraqi peoples, so it's perfectly legitimate :)

        Remember, nothing is intrinsically bad unless it's being done by the wrong people, e.g. anyone not in power.

  5. andreas koch
    Flame

    Why did he pay?

    Because he wanted a stop to this farce. Understandable, from a dad's point of view, and I would have most likely done the same.

    That it is absolutely wrong, wrongetywrong wrong is beside the question. He bought peace for his girl at a reasonable price.

    Which, in itself, shows that the accusing body is not fair: How can you negotiate a penalty? You either are guilty of something or you aren't. There is either a law deciding a penalty for that or not.

    Everything else is just extortion by a fancily named gang of racketeers.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Why did he pay?

      indeed. You cant blame him really, as a father I would have done the same to make it "go away".

      Poor girl, she isnt even of age.

      Chrisu would have gotten FAR more publicity if she would havehelped negotiate. The artists response of "fuck all to do with me" was fairly shitty in this case.

      1. Goldmember

        Re: Why did he pay?

        "Chrisu would have gotten FAR more publicity if she would havehelped negotiate"

        That may be true, but she would probably have lost her deal with the label to boot. I think I would have taken the safe option, too.

    2. SleepyJohn
      WTF?

      Re: Why did he pay?

      I have heard it suggested quite rationally that he was paid a large sum of money under the table by the MAFIAA to do it - he would then appear to be accepting fault and atoning; and aren't they generous letting him off with half the bill, even though that means the artist starving for another month.

      A part of me is quite reluctant to discount that possibility. If the father had gone for their jugular and succeeded, it would have opened the floodgates for others. Even if he had failed, the publicity would have galvanised the public into yet more loathing of these criminal scum. Their despicable bullying of a little girl did not win them many friends.

      As it is, the whole thing will sink within a week, and the general public will believe that paying extortion money to known gangsters is acceptable, the 'ownership' of a pea-brained pop song is more important to humanity than the cultural development of a little girl, and they must not show their noses on the internet without asking permission from the MAFIAA Bosses.

      "extortion by a fancily named gang of racketeers" -- yes, no question. And one more step on their road to total control of the internet. Well worth what it cost them; which was clearly a great deal more than what they 'earned'. This intimidation and thuggery has nothing whatever to do with copyright as such, it is a ruthless campaign by the MAFIAA to take control of the internet and turn it into a monopolistic 'pay-through-the-nose-per-view cable TV channel'.

      And their political pals are riding on their backs hoping for some autocratic crumbs to help them oppress the people. A conspiracy? Oh, yes, I think so.

    3. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: Why did he pay?

      Because it was cheaper and quicker to pay that extortion demand then FIGHT IT.

      Hiring a lawyer out of your own pocket to fight these bogus charges would probably cost more than the extortion demand"""fine""".

      To the extorters, the legal costs are paid for from the proceeds of the extortion demand"""fine""".

      You are looking at a 'heads-we win, tails-we-win' situation here.

  6. Katie Saucey
    Unhappy

    FFS

    That's all.

  7. graeme leggett

    Ten year olds...

    get laptops with unfettered access to the internet now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ten year olds...

      I wonder why so many downvotes?

      1. Comments are attributed to your handle
        Facepalm

        Re: Ten year olds...

        Downvotes because it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in this digital age that young ones are using technology earlier and earlier.

        1. Goldmember

          Re: Ten year olds...

          "Downvotes because it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in this digital age that young ones are using technology earlier and earlier."

          I'm pretty sure it was a reference to such a young one having unsupervised access to the Internet, not simply using tech.

  8. tkioz
    FAIL

    What an idiot... I wouldn't have given them a red cent. Hell if I had known he was considering it I'd have donated towards getting the girl a new laptop, stickers and all!

    1. andreas koch
      Megaphone

      @tkioz -

      The laptop is not the main reason, I think.

      It's being bothered by this "agency" that seems to have all the rights and methods of the Gestapo to make your life miserable. 300€ isn't really too bad to get out of a deportation train to Treblika . . .

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: @tkioz -

        then they pass this "debt" to a collection agency which ruins your credit rating meanwhile you get dragged into court.

        TBH €300 to make it all go away and let the poor girl get on with her life is a small price to pay (no matter how wrong the principle)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @tkioz -

          err thats not how it works Danny 14. You have to go to court and a judge decides whether you have to pay. Then if you dont pay the "debt" you are back at court / passed on to a collection agency.

          You cant just decide off your own back that someone owes you and phone up a collection agency to enforce.

          Danegeld springs to mind..

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @tkioz - (@AC)

            That doesn't stop them from doing it though...

          2. paulc
            Mushroom

            Re: @tkioz -

            to defend this, you have to go to court which costs loads of money... fail to turn up, they are awarded the judgement by default...

            This is demanding money with menaces... the menace is that the court costs will cost a lot of money whilst paying their lower demand makes the problem go away...

            This sort of legal attack using the courts to fleece people of money should be outlawed...

            1. Vic

              Re: @tkioz -

              > you have to go to court which costs loads of money

              Not really.

              Claims such as this are usually settled in something like the Small Claims track - most countries have something similar.

              The expenses are primarily in loss of earnings while you attend court. The court fees are paid by the plaintiff (who is reimbursed by the defendant if successful).

              Legal representation is rarely necessary unless you know you're in the wrong (in which case, settle before it gets to court!)

              > fail to turn up, they are awarded the judgement by default...

              But if you do turn up, they have to prove the case. Given the age of the child in this case, I don't think that would have happened...

              Vic.

          3. Vic

            Re: @tkioz -

            > You cant just decide off your own back that someone owes you and phone up a collection agency to enforce

            Actually, you can.

            But that collection agency has little or no power to take any action against, other than writing you a nice letter and asking for the money.

            For an agency to take any real enforcement action - removal of goods & chattels, for example - a court order is required. A credit rating agency taking the word of someone who has not obtained a court order means that the rating is incorrect and - in the UK at least - you have a legal right to have that black mark expunged.

            In short - many people threaten all sorts of things when they think you owe them money, but almost all of those threats are entirely toothless. If it's not a Court document, and it's not from a Certificated Bailliff, it's a good firelighter.

            Vic.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finland is ...

    Finnish Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) is an association, not an authority. Still it seems right to hunt down IP addresses due petty crimes. And damage to the artist? 1€. To producing company? 19€. The rest of bills are from IP gathering and lawyer fees (practically all employees of CIAPC are lawyers).

    In Finland it is not considered to be theft under 500€, but shoplifting. In exception of copyright infringement, it seems.

    PS: I do not endorse piracy in any form.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me look in ly chrystal ball here...

    The Anti Piracy Gang told dat that they would start making things very expensive for him. The laptop would be impounded, charges would be brought, and he would have to get a lawyer in a drawn out case including appeal proceedings, and it was very likely to end up costing him thounsands in the long run.

    Dad possibly did not have thousands in disposable income to front the costs of allthese proceedings so they took him for everything he could could spare. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess the 300 quid is coming out of his holiday presents budget and his family will have to do with a bit less over the festive days.

    Maybe someone should post the names of the piracy body's enforcers that forced this deal from dad. I'm sure there are plenty Fins that wouldn't mind explaining matters to them so this kind of racketeering will be delt with in a more civilized matter in future.

  11. Richard 81

    CIAPC:

    "We break legs, because we care"

    1. nichomach
      Stop

      Re: CIAPC:

      "Dat's a nice childhood you got dere...be a shame if somethin' were to, ya know, HAPPEN to it..." Bunch of thieves.

  12. Mad Mike

    Shooting your own foot

    Ultimately, the media company will shoot themselves in the foot doing this. Is there any evidence the amount of piracy is going down? Not to my knowledge. Actions like this will simply cause more and more, not less. Far from showing people not to 'mess with the man', they are encouraging people to take exception to copyright and believe the concept is more and more unacceptable because of their actions. Ultimately, copyright only works due to peoples acceptance of it and a certain amount of people policing it themselves. It is pretty impossible to enforce copyright through legal only means as is shown these days.

    These idiots have to get through their heads that there is a huge difference to people breaking copyright to make a living (copying DVDs, running download sites for profit etc.) and those that do a bit on the side. Before computers, people would tape a LP and give it to their friend. That friend listened to it and decided if they liked it. If they did, they probably went and purchased the next album from that person/band. That is wholesale different to running copying operations, charging for the content and therefore making money off it.

    If the jack boot is used too much, the whole notion of copyright is likely to be lost on the masses and then what?

    1. g e
      Megaphone

      Going down? (ooerrr missus)

      More to the point, there's never been any evidence beyond the apocryphal shriekings of Those Who Stand To Gain that piracy has ever been at the level its claimed to be or has the claimed negative effect on revenue.

      Compared to, say, suing your customers or actually expecting people to buy templated shit because you're too feckless to make quality entertainment product.

    2. PyLETS
      Pirate

      Re: Shooting your own foot

      If the jack boot is used too much, the whole notion of copyright is likely to be lost on the masses and then what?

      What happens next is that Pirate Parties tell their supportes which candidates from other parties to vote for in a few marginal constituencies where Pirates are not standing directly. Useful for Pirates to stand in a few constituencies to help get the message across. Other parties learn rapidly how unpopular extreme copyright is, and learn that sucking up to big media interests wins them fewer votes than it loses them. Eventually we get copyright law reform to take non-commercial use outside of the system and to reduce copyright durations. Artists who have something genuine to contribute needn't worry - there's plenty of money to be made from live performances and commercial use of recordings. As to how popular the pirate message on this is, just count the numbers of up and downvotes here on this forum.

  13. Swedish Chef
    WTF?

    What bothers me the most...

    What's the age of criminal responsibility in Finland anyway... IOW, how can you legally do this to a ten-year-old?

    I mean, she didn't even succeed in downloading anything, and dad bought the song for her the day after, so clearly no damage has been done, thus there's no need for compensation. And criminal charges... pleease. She's a child FFS!

    1. MacGyver
      Big Brother

      Re: What bothers me the most...

      The only real answer is that "The Finnish people let it happen."

      They must like this form of government or else they would put a foot in the ass of whoever sent people to the kids house in the first place. Somewhere a douche behind a desk said "Ok, go take the laptop" That person needs to be fired, and made an example, an example that shows the next desk douche they don't want to live under the law of a media company.

  14. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    This is how I imigine it happened...

    I just love the thought of them raiding the little girls bedroom, then walking out the house with the Whinie The Pooh lappy in a big plastic evidence bag, tossing it into the back of a meat-waggon, then driving back to the impound centre to celebrate their successful operation by gorging on doughnuts and screaming "fuck yeah - woohoo - we kick ass at enforcing copyright!"

    Cunts.

  15. Timo Karjalainen
    Big Brother

    Still being investigated

    The incident is still being investigated by the parliamentary ombudsman.

    Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi) has filed a request to investigate the actions of the district court (which ordered the ISP to reveal the user of the IP address where the alleged downloading was made from) and the police who "carefully planned" (their words) the search and confiscation, telling the girl's father he should have just paid up to make things easier for everyone.

  16. C 7

    The penalty for piracy should be...

    ...limited by statute to the lowest price the work can be commonly found selling for, if the result isn't sold commercially. And, if the copy has been re-shared, perhaps treble damages may be in order. So, if songs are commonly available for $1/each, and someone downloads ten of them, their damages would be limited to $10. If it could be proven that all ten were redistributed, then a max of $30 would be in order.

    For commercial pirating operations, I say throw the book at them.

    1. Stephen 11
      Thumb Up

      Re: The penalty for piracy should be...

      How dare you be sensible, sir?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: The penalty for piracy should be...

        the penalty for piracy should be the sinking of the ship with all hands.

      2. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: How dare you be sensible, sir?

        Actually, do you expect the business model of these extortionists to continue?

        If you buy into the MAFIAA bullshit then these pirates are costing the "industry" millions. You have to use any and all methods to make an example of these dammed pirates. The next thing these extortionists will want is summary execution without the benefit of a trial. (Isn't that kind of what those misguided '3 strikes' laws attempt?) Fuck the idea of having a neutral party decide guilt or innocence. We, the extortionists "know the truth".

        </sarcasm>

  17. John G Imrie Silver badge

    €300

    How much of this will actually reach the Artist in question?

    1. ukgnome

      Re: €300

      I was thinking the very same thing myself - I doubt Chisu gets 300 spondulies per sale (even if the euro is pants at the mo)

      1. Jediben

        Re: €300

        If Chisu was feeling like scoring a massive PR hit, she could re-imburse daddy for the trouble?

  18. Magister
    Headmaster

    Couple of points

    The 10 year old child was accused of downloading; but she wasn't able to do so and the track was bought the following day. Therefore she didn't "pinch" anything. I'd refuse to pay one penny, let it go to court and then request damages and costs and make sure that the press were given sufficient access to show these people up for exactly what they are.

    Chisu is the stage name of Christel Martina Sundberg - a female, not a male. Her work, not his work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Couple of points

      On the point of Chisu, I think she already disowned CIAPC or their methods at least, no?

      Separately, why don't they sue for harassment and improper use of police authority? (Do those laws exist here?)

      Anonymous - I value my kneecaps and don't want them broken.

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: I value my kneecaps and don't want them broken.

        WRT the scumbags that extorted the """fine""" from this family; wouldn't that be karma.

    2. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Couple of points

      "I'd refuse to pay one penny, let it go to court and then request damages and costs and make sure that the press were given sufficient access to show these people up for exactly what they are."

      So you would deprive your ten year old child of her laptop for several months and continue to have her and yourself at the centre of a media circus, causing no end of stress for the family, pay up-front for legal advice to the tune of a few grand, take numerous days off work in order to attend hearings and take legal advice, pay all the parking and petrol costs for all the sodding around, and generally put yourself and your family through the mangle... rather than pay 300 Euros to make it go away?

      Personally, I'd rather not put my family through that and the associated expense just to make a point that frankly won't make an iota of difference in the scheme of things. 'The Man' isn't going to start crying you a river, and all you'd be doing is upsetting your own family.

      I totally can't blame the guy for wanting to settle and to draw a line under it.

      1. Magister

        Re: Couple of points

        >>So you would deprive your ten year old child of her laptop for several months <<

        a 10 year old doesn't "need" a laptop

        >>causing no end of stress for the family<<

        That is a valid point. I would agree that this might cause someone to consider paying off the heavies; but what if they come back next year for more? At what point would you say enough?

        >>rather than pay 300 Euros to make it go away?<<

        If you have done nothing wrong, why should you pay? The amount is irrelevant.

        >> just to make a point that frankly won't make an iota of difference in the scheme of things<<

        I disagree; if he had stood up to them, he would have set a precedent and that would then set the standard by which judges would rule in the future.

        I'm sure that these guys might have wanted a quiet life, but they chose to stand up and be counted when it mattered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolpuddle_Martyrs

        1. Psyx
          Alert

          Re: Couple of points

          "a 10 year old doesn't "need" a laptop"

          Apparently her parent disagrees with you in this specific circumstance. And you don't know the circumstances, so I don't think that's a judgement that you should make. She probably does her school work on it.

          "That is a valid point. I would agree that this might cause someone to consider paying off the heavies; but what if they come back next year for more? At what point would you say enough?"

          If a legal settlement has been made, then they can't. Settlement agreements aren't *quite* the same as blackmail, and are the option that's usually taken. Most cases never even see court, because there is a mechanism to firmly resolve issues without recourse to it. Unless the kid does it again, of course. However, I feel the poor little mite has been terrorised enough not to ever want to!

          "If you have done nothing wrong, why should you pay? The amount is irrelevant."

          What a lovely white, crisp world to live in! If only the world really worked like that it'd be great!

          Because paying 300 Euro is *far* cheaper than contesting, sad to say. Yes: It's not right. But most people and organisations agree to settle matters out of court these days.

          "I disagree; if he had stood up to them, he would have set a precedent and that would then set the standard by which judges would rule in the future."

          Umm... European justice system, so nope. Doesn't work that way, I'm afraid. OUR justice system of Common Law is based on precedent, theirs is not. It would have no legal bearing on future cases. Their justice system is dictated by statute given by the government, not by decisions made in courts themselves. What you are saying is simply not true for that nation.

          "I'm sure that these guys might have wanted a quiet life, but they chose to stand up and be counted when it mattered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolpuddle_Martyrs"

          I am not even going to DARE condemn a parent for taking the easy option. Nor should anyone else.

          1. Mad Mike
            FAIL

            Re: Couple of points

            The problem here is that whilst the settlement prohibits them taking future action on this one event, it doesn't stop them simply doing it for another 'non-copy' in the future. Bearing in mind she hadn't succeeded in taking a copy this time, what's to stop them accusing her (or the father) again in the future. Given the level of checking performed by the police on this occasion, I doubt they'd worry about checking the evidence in the future.

            Then, the father is back in the same situation again.

            1. Psyx

              Re: Couple of points

              "Given the level of checking performed by the police on this occasion, I doubt they'd worry about checking the evidence in the future."

              !!

              This may be news, but the police aren't actually completely stupid, nor are the people they answer to. Given the ENORMOUS back-lash, it would be very naive to think that the police are going to repeat the mistake, or that whoever issued the warrant isn't going to get a good talking to about the situation.

              Government agencies do respond to enormous backlashes, and there will probably be an internal investigation and a clarrification of regulations to boot.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: Couple of points

                "This may be news, but the police aren't actually completely stupid, nor are the people they answer to. Given the ENORMOUS back-lash, it would be very naive to think that the police are going to repeat the mistake, or that whoever issued the warrant isn't going to get a good talking to about the situation"

                Unfortunately, evidence points entirely the other way and that they are stupid enough to do it again. After all, they were stupid enough to do it in the first place. This entire farce (for the police and media companies) was predictable from the first second of the 'operation'. So, why did they go through with it? Only answer seems to be that they couldn't see their actions were naieve and stupid and would obviously result in this. Therefore, they are, by definition, stupid enough not to see it happening again!!

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Couple of points

        True.

        Which is why the law needs to be clearer and simplified *and* the push to bring overly harsh punishments down on those who break the law needs to be resisted. Its mostly a way to bring severe legal accusations but get people to settle out of court so that the burden of proof required by a criminal case doesn't have to be met.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Couple of points

        All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

        1. Magister

          Re: Couple of points

          This +100

  19. DrStrangeLug
    Stop

    Hey microsoft!

    Did these people boot this laptop?

    Does the Windows license cover use by a third party without permission of the license holder ?

    1. Justicesays
      Devil

      Re: Hey microsoft!

      They probably made a copy of the hard drive for evidence purposes.

      That's copyright infringement right there!

      Unfortunately there is probably some kind of "Fair use" term for law enforcement

      1. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: Hey microsoft!

        "They probably made a copy of the hard drive for evidence purposes."

        Err.. no.

        They had the LAPTOP for evidence purposes. That was the reason it was seized. They don't need to copy it, and if they did the copy's value as evidence would be far less than the original item.

        1. Mad Mike
          FAIL

          Re: Hey microsoft!

          I'm afraid you're showing your ignorance of computer forensics. The first thing you do with any hard drive is copy it using a device that guarantees the source cannot be changed..........forces it hardware read only. Then, you inspect the copy. The second you turn the laptop on (or any computer) with the original laptop disk in it, it looses all worth as evidence. Therefore, in order to check it for anything, they should have done a copy. Of course, there is almost certainly an exception in the EULA for 'legal' matters.

          The original item is only used once it gets to trial and even then, certified copies are normally used. You can't test a hard drive for tampering in the same way as paper based documents, so provided you have a certified copy, it's OK. It's called having an auditable evidential chain.

          1. Psyx

            Re: Hey microsoft!

            "I'm afraid you're showing your ignorance of computer forensics. The first thing you do with any hard drive is copy it using a device that guarantees the source cannot be changed."

            Well, I have indeed learned something.

            However, it's pretty obvious in that case that governmental agencies DO doubtless have some dispensation, which also renders the original complainant's comment moot.

  20. Shades
    FAIL

    Is El Reg big enough...

    ...for two Andrew Orlowskis?

    "but has at least cost her family only €300 after pinching Finnish pop songs."

    "Pinching"? What was she (or at least her father, as provider of her internet connection) found guilty, in a court of law, of downloading? And "songs", plural?

    With the exception of anything to do with Apple I expect far better from El Reg. I'm cancelling my subscription, etc, etc.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Is El Reg big enough...

      Downloading isnt normally illegal. Only distributing....

      If this was a torrent then presumably her actions actually changed nothing as there would have been countless other users in the swarm to download from even if she hadnt been sharing anything....

      1. MacGyver
        Devil

        "digitally raped"

        They carefully managed to get "copyright infringement" turned into "stealing", "theft" and "pirating".

        So I say we turn it up to 11, lets all start calling it "bonus genocide" or maybe "digitally raped", or how about "profit terrorist".

        Those poor, poor, recording execs....Oh, the humanity.. Their profits... Why don't they think of the children, and arrest them? //sarcasm

      2. Vic

        Re: Is El Reg big enough...

        > Downloading isnt normally illegal.

        This is absolutely incorrect.

        If you download copyrighted material (as just about everything is) without the consent of the copyright owner, you have committed an offence.

        Reading a website would be unlawful were it not for the "incidental" clauses of copyright legislation (e.g. Section 28A of CDPA88).

        Vic.

  21. Crisp Silver badge

    Below the age of criminal responsibility

    How can they even touch this girl? She's probably got no concept of "copyright infringement".

    Fining her family accomplishes nothing.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

      How can they even touch this girl? She's probably got no concept of "copyright infringement".

      That only applies to some kinds of predators - copyright trolls and the police are exempt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

      How can they even touch this girl? She's probably got no concept of "copyright infringement".

      But was it the 10-year-old doing the download? My impression from the start is that the Dad got a letter about the breach of copyright and tried on the "might not have been me ... my 10-year-old daughter uses the internet as well so she could have done it" which is a slightl variant of the "might not have been me ... my wifi doesn't have a password so someone else could have done it" defence that many people think will suffice. Also a variant on the ruse of registering children as registered keepers of cars so that parking fines couldn't be enforced (think that loophole was closed many years ago).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

        Oh, look, it's onto the second page of comments before someone demonstrates some critical thinking.

        Of course they're not charging a girl under the age of criminal responsibility, anyone who'd paused for a nanosecond to think about this would have realised that. Still, everyone buys the "10 YEAR OLD GIRL ACCUSED BY THE MAN" story and rants off about it.

        In other news, The Reg also gets lots of ad revenue for each refresh of the comments page, just saying that, it may not be related.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

          @AC.

          So, how do they get some money? If they can't do anything to her, how come they can take her laptop? She can have private property just as much as any adult and therefore assuming the laptop belongs to her father (and holding him liable for her wrongdoing) is wrong. How the police ever got involved is mind blowing anyway. She hadn't actually done anything wrong. At the moment, attempted copyright theft is not an offence. The police can only become involved in criminal cases where there is at least evidence a crime MIGHT have been committed.

          So, if they had no intention of charging her, the only avenue they have available is to charge him, and they didn't even bother with that. Simpler to get the stormtroopers to force their way in (arguably tresspass as they don't seem to have any legitimate reason to be there) and steal the laptop (as they seem to have no legiitimate reason to take it).

          The Reg might have all sorts of reasons (maybe financial) for running this piece, but it doesn't alter that it happened and doesn't alter the comments being reasonable. Of course, an angle has been put on the piece; that's the function of journalists. Yes, they probably went after the father rather than the child and using her in the title is upping the story a bit, but most of the points remain valid whether talking about the child or the father. Yes, age of criminal responsibility is not one of them, but it's also somewhat irrelevant as no crime was actually committed!!

          1. Psyx
            Stop

            Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

            "So, how do they get some money? If they can't do anything to her, how come they can take her laptop?"

            Because it was her parent's laptop in the eyes of the law.

            Otherwise... what... is it ok for me to have a nicked TV and if the old bill turn up to say "You can't charge me, it belongs to my kids"?

            "So, if they had no intention of charging her, the only avenue they have available is to charge him, and they didn't even bother with that. Simpler to get the stormtroopers to force their way in (arguably tresspass as they don't seem to have any legitimate reason to be there) and steal the laptop (as they seem to have no legiitimate reason to take it)."

            Speculation there.

            And they'd be entitled to take the lap-top in order to check his excuse anyway.

            1. Mad Mike
              FAIL

              Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

              You seem to be acting as some sort of excuse mechanism for these scum. If the father claims the laptop is his daughters, they can check the browsing history and see what sorts of sites have been accessed. If they're all childrens, looks like case proven unless they claim he's mentally subnormal and enjoys using kiddie websites.

              You seem to be suggesting children can't own goods, which is interesting and totally contrary to the law, at least in the UK, don't know about Finland. Strangely enough, if you put money into your childs account (as gift), you can't simply take it back. It's theirs. Your TV example is simply pathetic. Clearly, no 10 year old child is going to successfully steal and telly and install it in their house. That's just plain silly and a pathetic attempt to justify these stormtroopers actions.

              They are only entitled to take the laptop if they have reasonable cause and that is not proven here. Not only has the media company accepted that the download did not succeed (is attempted copyright theft an offence in Finland?) and probably knew this at the time, therefore they have no evidence of an offence. So, what's the reasonable cause. Your 'example' suggests the police should be able to enter anyones house and check for anything they want without you being able to do anything. Effectively, go on a fishing expedition. That's one of the first signs of a totalitarian state.

              1. Psyx
                FAIL

                Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

                "You seem to be acting as some sort of excuse mechanism for these scum."

                Exploring the other side of the argument doesn't make me an excuse mechanism; it makes me rational.

                Or whenever someone is put in the frame for an offence is it ok to point a finger elsewhere and for everyone to say "well, that's ok then. I totally believe your side of the story and we've no need to check it out".

                "If the father claims the laptop is his daughters, they can check the browsing history and see what sorts of sites have been accessed. If they're all childrens, looks like case proven unless they claim he's mentally subnormal and enjoys using kiddie websites."

                Except you just berated me for not knowing that they take it away and make a COPY which is then checked, else the evidence won't stand in court. Make your damned mind up! So they couldn't just sit there and check it straight away, could they? By your own admission they'd have to take it and examine it. Which would take a while, with said laptop stuck in a plastic bag in the meantime and no immediate resolution. So in the meantime - logically - either:

                1) The parent didn't want to wait and drag his family through all the fuss, so just settled to get the laptop back.

                2) The father knew he was actually at fault and had been responsible so settled.

                "Your TV example is simply pathetic."

                Wow I'm sorry for having an example sufficiently valid that you have to debunk it by name-calling. Unfortunately doing so doesn't make the fact less true. And why don't you think a 10 year old could plug in a TV? I was taking them apart at that age!

                "a pathetic attempt to justify these stormtroopers actions."

                You appear to have confused the entire concept of working through the potential reasoning of the other 'side' in any situation than your own in order to understand it as repugnant in some way. Clearly I should just believe everything the media spoons to me and accept it at first read, then verbally attack anyone who considers the other viewpoint, instead.

                "They are only entitled to take the laptop if they have reasonable cause and that is not proven here."

                We don't really know, because we are basing what we know on a short media report, which misses out about 80% of the facts. I suspect that there is more to it than we know and that either some new policing guidelines are very quickly being drafted, or the parent is a lot more guilty than he's claiming to be (qv Sgt. Nightingale), or there are some other factors in play. As much as trusting the authorities and courts might seem alien to you, Finland ain't a bad country to live in, and is a long way up the human rights ladder.

                "Your 'example' suggests the police should be able to enter anyones house and check for anything they want without you being able to do anything. Effectively, go on a fishing expedition."

                No it doesn't.

                "That's one of the first signs of a totalitarian state."

                Which Finland isn't. Which means there's more to it than that, or -as stated earlier- some arses are currently being kicked and enquiries and guidelines being written. The parent didn't need to make some expensive stand against injustice at his daughter's expense in order to help ensure future safeguards... OR is guilty as sin and took his best 'out'.

                1. Mad Mike

                  Re: Below the age of criminal responsibility

                  "Exploring the other side of the argument doesn't make me an excuse mechanism; it makes me rational."

                  You're not really doing this as even the organisation in question has admitted publically that do successful download actually occured and therefore no crime had been committed. So, very pertinent points are in question and there is no disagreement between sides, so seeing each side is irrelevant.

                  "Except you just berated me for not knowing that they take it away and make a COPY which is then checked, else the evidence won't stand in court. Make your damned mind up! So they couldn't just sit there and check it straight away, could they? By your own admission they'd have to take it and examine it. Which would take a while, with said laptop stuck in a plastic bag in the meantime and no immediate resolution. "

                  The normal requirement for any police action is for the plaintiff to have reasonable suspicion or information that a crime has been committed. As the the organisation in question has admitted no crime too place (no successful download), there is no reasonable suspicion or information to suspect a crime has been committed and therefore the correct response from the police is ...... go away. Now, let's suppose somehow some reasonable evidence copyright violation occured at the house did happen to exist. The internet connection would be in the fathers name and therefore any raid would be against the father, not against the child (they are different legal entities). It is not for the father to prove the laptop is his daughters, but for the police to prove it is his.

                  All in all, the case revolves around several basic facts that aren't in doubt.

                  1. The police shouldn't even have been involved in the first place as no crime had even occured.

                  2. The police could not prove the laptop was the fathers. They have to take his word unless they can prove otherwise or show probable cause to believe otherwise. They don't appear to have done this.

                  All in all, the police seem to have acted like many police forces all over the world and taken the opportunity to walk all over little Joe public without any real thought. Due to their bill of rights and constitution, a heap of prosecutions fail each year in the US because of this. Police constantly fail to follow correct protocol and procedure and in doing so, let a lot of bad criminals get away with things. It isn't limited to the US either, as the raid on Dotcoms mansion in NZ proves. The NZ courts have shown the NZ police acted like a bunch of stormtroopers without proper permission and orders etc. It seems to be unfortunate, but a significant number of police officers seem to believe being called PC whatever gives them the right to do anything and everything they like. You see it in the country and others all over Europe. Problem is, they let a lot of bad criminals get away with it by doing so, whilst making perfectly decent, ordinany peoples lives hard and stressful.

                  Interestingly; whilst Scandanavian countries are reknowned for the human rights record, a lot of this is false. Go and take a real look rather than listen to what they say (and the world tables etc.) and you find a lot of nasties lurking in their cupboards. Take enforced steralisation of mentally ill, restarted etc. people in Sweden which went on into the 70s at least (although the majority earlier). Yeah; really good human rights there.......not.

  22. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    I don't get the uproar.

    They settled. That probably means that copyright infringement was, somehow, admitted. I wouldn't give someone money on an extortion scheme just to stay out of court - you think you have a case, sue me. If not, go away. If they were that innocent, then they wouldn't have coughed up especially after getting in the press.

    And what they did was still a legal grey-area. Sure, they could have fought it but settling seems to imply they didn't think it was going to be that clear-cut to clear their name (buying a CD earlier or not). The copyright licensing does, actually, not cover this situation and could easily go either way, and they probably knew that and thus probably knew that what they had done was copyright infringement. Whether that's "fair justice" for someone who bought the CD or not is a matter for those who want to change the laws to clarify them, but the word of the law just isn't that clear on the situation.

    Thus, given that they chose to settle for a LOT more than the cost of the CD involved, the confiscation of multiple household computers - including a child's laptop - was probably reasonable and justified because the offence *probably* took place and thus investigation was fair. It's not like they ONLY confiscated the kids laptop, they confiscated all devices they found that could have been capable of the alleged (and now quite likely proven) infringement. And they did so through the proper legal channels. And they did return them once the investigation was resolved (or no longer necessary due to a settlement / admission).

    So what, exactly, is the fuss? Are we seriously suggesting now that you can't confiscate a child's possessions in a case where there's reasonable likelihood they could have been involved? Guess where all the drug-dealers would start hiding their stash if that was the case? What if it was something more serious, say rumours that the laptops held pictures of the child being abused - is it allowed then? So only the severity of the infringement matters, not whether it contains evidence or not, or belongs to a child or not?

    And technically, under the law, no child under 16 (or 18, depending on jurisdiction) owns ANYTHING at all, whatsoever. Their parents do. So saying "Oh, that's my kids laptop" is actually saying "That's *my* laptop", in legal terms. Which makes it a valid place to search for evidence if you *DO* get to the point that a seizure is about to take place, and thus it's a valid target for confiscation etc. so long as you follow the proper legal channels.

    Just lately I've seen several articles with comments like this - the laws of evidence have not changed in years, letting off cases on a "oh, alright then" basis is the perfect way to collapse a case, miss evidence, and let people who have committed a crime get away with it. And the laws of such things apply down to even the simplest of civil cases - so long as you play the legal game and don't just storm in and confiscate things without the proper legal permission, it's all the same laws and the same courts providing the same rulings on what is and is not allowed, no matter the severity of the offence.

    It's like saying that I get a parking ticket. I contest it. The court eventually asks for any and all evidence I have which may be of use to them (there are laws against self-incrimination but let's put that aside for a second). Are you saying they *can't* take my daughter's phone if she was in the car at the time and look for evidence (e.g. photos of her in the car parked on that spot)? What's the difference here?

    A lot of people seem to be very shocked at a pretty basic application of legally-obtained court permission to seek evidence on an alleged offence. Perhaps this is why so many people who think they are smart and don't get a lawyer end up having to pay through the nose for simple legal mistakes?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: I don't get the uproar.

      My problem is that I don't have enough facts to judge if there was a genuine infringement, or that the "settlement" was achieved by the parent being threatened with a long battle in court if they didn't settle.

      Given the kind of *cough* evidence *cough* used in those cases I find it not unreasonable to suspect the latter..

    2. Corinne
      Stop

      Re: I don't get the uproar.

      A couple of minor problems Lee. Firstly the case states that there wasn't actually any infringement just an ATTEMPT at downloading from a torrent, which failed as the required software for downloading wasn't installed.

      Regarding them settling, this doesn't actually mean they admit carrying out the "offence", just that the cost in both financial and emotional terms would be a damn sight more even if they won, than the settlement cost. Unlikely the family had enough money to employ legal representation to fight this, it would likely drag on for years, and his child's Christmas would have been spoiled. Meanwhile there's vast amounts of unwanted publicity, time taken off work & stress to allow for. So he probably decided that a few hundred Euro to make it all go away so they could get on with their lives was worth it.

  23. Arachnoid

    Over reaction as usual

    Im sure this could have been handled better by the use of a hand delivered letter rather than a visit by leather clad jackboots no matter who was on the receiving end.After all its just a copyright infringement matter not a matter of life and liberty.

    "telling the girl's father he should have just paid up to make things easier for everyone."

    The Police are there to enforce the laws of the land not to give politically correct advice just to make it easier for them.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Over reaction as usual

      The Police are there to enforce the laws of the land . . .

      Yes, criminal laws. At this point the case had not been escalated to that level. In fact the case had not even gone to court. IANAL, but I suspect that what the police did there would be illegal in most countries. Unfortunately, the fact that they can get away with it makes that irrelevant for most income groups.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Over reaction as usual

        Pretty sure you are correct in regards to the UK, IIRC the police are not allowed to intervene in civil matters except to keep the peace, i.e. they will arrest you only when you do something that causes a breach of the peace or another crime...

        1. paulc
          Mushroom

          Re: Over reaction as usual

          which is why they want to make copyright infringement a criminal offence... then the police have to get involved... and us taxpayers have to cover the costs of the police doing the copyright owners dirty work.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Over reaction as usual

            There is one (small) upside to making it a criminal offence (not that it should be), and that is the fact that it is illegal not to report a criminal offence to the police, and doubly illegal to say 'give me money and I won't report it'. You can get away with that for civil offences (if you represent the affected party) as they have a choice whether to prosecute, but NOT for criminal offences, in which the state is prosecuting. SO whilst making it a criminal offence would be absurd at least all of the pay-up or else scams would disappear.

  24. Senior Ugli
    FAIL

    Its stories like this that make me want to pirate even more

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      It makes me hope that cheap VPN services are available for Finland citizens....

  25. Purlieu

    Easy life

    Surely, use the 300 euros to buy the girl a new laptop (ok it might be slightly more) that takes her out of the equation then contest the "penalty" like shit until the media circus becomes intolerable FOR THE CIAPC

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Easy life

      Check this out. If the RIAA can survive attempting to sue a dead person, I wonder if any amount of media circus (particularly where there's probably a lot of crossover between media and media enforcers) will actually make a difference.

  26. Pie

    Sometimes stress of a case can cause people to pay up even if they stand a very good chance of winning. It seems this was the easy option here, as has been said before we don't know the full facts of what was or wasn't shared so we are just guessing...

  27. Robert Grant

    Do murderers pay for police time?

    The fine should fit the crime, not the lawyers' fees.

    P.s. given the facts of the case I'd obviously say no harm done, so no fine, just a massive apology from the heroic laptop-snatchers. I'm just pointing out this as well.

  28. Mad Mike
    Thumb Down

    Real issue

    The real issue here is not really how the dad paid the 300 euros and whether he should or not. The big problem is that no case was ever proven anybody. Indeed the admission that the download had failed pretty much conclusively proves no offence took place. As far as I know, attempting to break the law is only breaking the law if there is a specific crime for intent rather than actual.

    So, the real issue is how a family (dad and kid etc.) was hounded and threatened by an organisation on the basis of no legal claim (certainly none that had been proven) and found it better to pay rather than go though due process. In the UK, there is a crime of demanding money with menaces, which to my mind, this amply meets. However, the media companies and other big companies in general seem to be able to do anything they like and threaten anyone on the grounds of might (in this case financial) is right.

    It has to stop.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Real issue

      "The big problem is that no case was ever proven anybody."

      That's what out of court settlements ARE. That's how most civil suits are settled: Cheaply, with no admission of guilt required and no massive legal bills for anyone.

      Or instead of there being an agreement made, would you prefer every little case to go through the entire court process and swamp our courts (already choked with criminal cases) with small civil cases?

      Yes: It's NOT right that big boys can level the guns at small fry and pretty much force them to settle or end up paying more, but it happens the other way around too. Just watch what happens when a kid injures themselves at school and the parents threaten court action: Schools ALWAYS settle, just in case they get hit with massive bad publicity and a massive fine. It's incorrect to say that the problem is solely down to 'bullying' establishments.

      "certainly none that had been proven"

      The parents CHOSE to settle, ultimately.

      1. Mad Mike
        FAIL

        Re: Real issue

        Nobody ever said it was totally one way. However, in this area (copyright), it pretty much is. You can't hold parents to blame for settling (as you seem to be attempting), when they effectively have a gun to their heads. They are accepting under duress, which in most peoples eyes, makes the agreement nulls and void from a morality point of view. Certainly, if you sign a contract under duress, it is worthless.

  29. Christian Berger Silver badge

    If I was that artist

    I'd be ashamed and perhaps even sue that content company. After all the artist is unlikely to see anything from those $300, yet the company still claims to act on behalf of the artist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If I was that artist

      If I was the artist I would very publicly pay the 300 back to the father and send a few free CD's for the girl,

      I rely on copyrights for my business, but I would never go after one person who downloaded one of my products, I'd go after the distributor, i.e. the torrent site.. and/or the original uploader...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She hadn't downloaded, there was no proof of infringement?

    So I guess the father paid to get his daughters laptop back... I know I'd throw down a few hundred £ to make my son happy, although I'd probably end up buying a new one and fighting the charges myself, this was more like something I'd expect in Nazi Germany than a modern EU country!

    I am glad that in the UK we are still sensible that most copyright infringement is a civil offence...

    but 600Euros for one song? that is a bit over the top right? a song is like 99p??

  31. Dave 8
    Pint

    Today's dumb question......

    What constitutes piracy? Connecting to a torrent, downloading something, sharing something or all of the above?

    My head hurts, time for a beer.

  32. stragen001

    Penalised for something she didnt do

    Not really very different to the USA

    With the 3 strikes policy (which has now thankfully been postponed) Big Media will be able to accuse people of downloading things "illegally" with no proof whatsoever, and diminish the value of the goods (internet connection) people are paying for by throttling them etc. And then fine them $30 if they dare challenge them.

  33. HeyMickey
    Facepalm

    The dad lacks backbone

    See title - every time someone caves in to a demand like this by settling, it helps to validate the business model leading to more occurrences of the same.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: The dad lacks backbone

      Yes, this helps to validate the business model of the trolls - not to mention the police. I understand what you're saying and feel the same sense of indignation. But if you've ever been a dad, you will see how continuing this pressure in the family involving your little girl, is causing harm. If it was me, I too would make it a priority to protect my child from these kinds of predators who have no concern for her well-being or development. Children shouldn't have to suffer from the moral, legal, and ethical fights of the adult world until they're old enough to process that stuff. I'd pay the bucks to stop the harm (assuming I had the money). Then, if I wanted to continue the fight, do it in a way that did not harm my family. This dad did have backbone, and he used it to protect his little girl.

  34. Comments are attributed to your handle
    Black Helicopters

    FFS. Now the little girl's laptop will probably be crawling with DRM software.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is ridiculous

    "Oh,I saw a movie on YouTube without buying it .my teacher showed it to us so we can do our homework.now I have seen the video,my laptop at home will be confiscated until I pay a fine of €300.oh I am so scare and guilty.i will need to pay the fine and also buy a copy of the movie in order to get my laptop back."--said a student in xxx school

    The next day,he house is broken into and his laptop is stolen.

    This whole thing is a complete retarded attempt to try to "stop" piracy.

    Ciapc want to earn money,and I doubt the owner of this song was given anything.

  36. Arclight

    Bribe?

    If plod got involved that must mean this was a criminal investiation, not a civil matter, then surely several crimes could be said to have been commited?

    The privateering CIAPC have committed the crime of accepting a bribe, blackmail, wasting police time, extortion, theft (as previously, Chisu probably won't see any of this, and unless she recieves a cheque for her share they've stolen it?). I'm sure there's a few more in there. Is there any other area of law where once you get the police involved its acceptable to say "Give £300 and I'll make this all go away"?

    1. Psyx
      Holmes

      Re: Bribe?

      "Is there any other area of law where once you get the police involved its acceptable to say "Give £300 and I'll make this all go away"?"

      Yup. It's pretty much what the police themselves do to suspects. Confess and you get a caution instead of 6 months.

      Is that extortion? Blackmail?

      "The privateering CIAPC have committed the crime of accepting a bribe, blackmail, wasting police time, extortion, theft"

      Ummm... no. I'm pretty sure that legally they're actually in the clear because the process was carried out by lawyers who probably know their legal system and the case better than we do. It's immoral yes, but you can't start making up and levying criminal charges just because of it. If it was all as cut-and-dried as the media is making it, then perhaps a civil counter-suit of fraud might be on the table if settlement offers were made after it became clear that there was no actual case to answer, if you can afford the lawyers to do it. But bribery et al are criminal charges (in this country obviously, I don't know much about European law and how it'd work there) and it's up to the authorities if they want to pursue such charges, not the parent.

      As I said earlier: What I imagine might happen is this entire affair might well lead to better guidelines and legislation being drawn up by the authorities, which is kind of a win for the forces of reason.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Bribe?

        "Yup. It's pretty much what the police themselves do to suspects. Confess and you get a caution instead of 6 months.

        Is that extortion? Blackmail?"

        This is completely different. In his case, by your own words in an earlier post, there is no admission of guilt and he simply pays. In the above, the suspect has to admit guilt, but because he's saved them a load of time etc., he gets a lesser sentence. So, the circumstances are entirely different

        "Ummm... no. I'm pretty sure that legally they're actually in the clear because the process was carried out by lawyers who probably know their legal system and the case better than we do. It's immoral yes, but you can't start making up and levying criminal charges just because of it. If it was all as cut-and-dried as the media is making it, then perhaps a civil counter-suit of fraud might be on the table if settlement offers were made after it became clear that there was no actual case to answer, if you can afford the lawyers to do it. But bribery et al are criminal charges (in this country obviously, I don't know much about European law and how it'd work there) and it's up to the authorities if they want to pursue such charges, not the parent."

        Lawyers are much like accountants and that's why they have so much to do with each other. The 'best' operate in the murky areas of the law where legal and illegal are not clear. At the moment, accountants are getting it for potentially straying over the line (according to HMRC, not according to the accountants) and are certainly guilty of abusing the system and laws in immoral ways. This is all about the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Previously, the spirit was what mattered, but today it's pretty much totally about the letter. Making too many laws and too many complex laws opens lots of escape routes and is what accountants and lawyers use. So, the lawyers acting within the law. Maybe, maybe no. Maybe within the letter, but no the spirit as well. They wouldn't be the first lawyers to be found acting outside the law for their clients.

        In most legal systems, prosecutions are made 'in the public interest' or some such wording. Therefore, even if a crime has been committed, but prosecution is deemed as not within the public interest, it won't get prosecuted. You'll probably find that as the supposed 'victim' is now happy, so the authorities rate it as not in the public interest. However, this is a really woolly area to define. Is it not in the public interest to prosecute it and get some case law in place for claims like this rather than let these complanies run around bullying and claiming whatever they like against whoever they like?

        As to wasting police time.......this again seems to apply only in some cases and normally is used (at least in the UK) against individuals only. The law and legal system are held in contempt by a sizable percentage of people in the UK (no idea about Finland), specifically for these reasons. Public interest never seems to match what the public actually think and you have police forces effectively deciding which laws to enforce and which not to under the guise of 'lack of resources'. Often these decisions don't seem to agree with the publics desire either. It all comes down to civil servants telling the public what's good for them, rather than understanding they are servants of the public and should do what the public want.

  37. crediblywitless

    Presumably there's nothing to stop the artist sending the father that money back?

    1. arwel

      If the artist ever received the money in the first place - which I very much doubt.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    she can't be littlest pirate

    unless she's been to sea. - and went to sea to do this. Even under some of the most wide-ranging anti-piracy law anywhere, it requires

    "That if any person or persons shall commit upon the high seas, or in any river, haven, basin

    or bay, out of the jurisdiction of any particular state, murder or robbery, or any other offence

    which if committed within the body of a county, would by the laws of the United States be

    punishable with death;"

    Which is a Draconian punishment for copying a song that the rights-holders can't be bothered to protect, which didn't happen on water (so isn't piracy), etc etc etc

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor baby

    Her father's an ARSE and he didn't tell his daughter she should not pirate or so you might conclude from the exploitation of this young girl by the anti-copyright coalition and bias media writting pure fiction about this incident.

    1. Mad Mike
      FAIL

      Re: Poor baby

      I think the arse is you as no copyright violation (or piracy as you like to incorrectly call it) actually took place. Indeed, as you appear to have incorrectly called someone a pirate on a public forum, perhaps you should be ready for a libel action. Even the media organisation has admitted she didn't breach copyright anywhere as the download did not work!!

      A truly epic fail. I assume your paycheck from the media companies is winging its way in the post.

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