[A2k] The Pirate Bay Decision, or the Political Persecution of Sharing

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Mon Nov 29 04:57:03 PST 2010

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/the-pirate-bay-decision-or-the-political-persecution-of-sharing

The Pirate Bay Decision, or the Political Persecution of Sharing

*** The Internet, November 27th 2010 - The decision to sentence the co-founders of The Pirate Bay to jail is both absurd and unfair. It illustrates how an obsolete copyright law and its indiscrimate application are harmful to society as a whole. Such an incomprehension of technological, economic and social realities should not mask the fact that this decision is above all political. ***

Citizens who care about the Internet and digital technologies are startled by the decision of the Appeal court of Svea to confirm (reduced) jail sentences of F. Neij, P. Sunde and C. Lundström, founders of the Pirate Bay. The court has also upheld huge fines and increased damages to the music firms that sued them.

  * On a technical and legal point of view, the decision is unfair because The Pirate Bay is nothing but an index, which links to resources that already exist online. This decision amounts to condemning a library catalog instead of the author of some infringing content or activity.

  * On a philosophical point of view, this decision is unfair because it tends to condemn the act of sharing. Sharing is good and legitimate. Culture only exists because it is shared. The problem is that today's copyright laws and their implementation are obsolete. They are fundamentally at odds with the new uses that create and disseminate today's and tomorrow's culture.

  * On a political point of view, the decision is revolting. It is a statement to convince people that sharing is bad for creators, when it has a proven positive effect on cultural diversity, revenues from concerts and other activities and no proven negative effect on sales of music or other media [1]. This decision will become the emblem of the imperious necessity to adapt copyright to reality instead of trying to change reality so it fits copyright interests. [2]

"The Pirate Bay founders can probably challenge this decision, and take this case to a higher court, and we hope that justice will be restablished soon. We are convinced that in a few years time, this decision will appear to everyone as reminiscent of a decaying system, keen on scoring a few last hits before the advent of an inevitable change." conclude together Jérémie Zimmermann and Philippe Aigrain, co-founders of La Quadrature du Net.

Courage, Peter, Fredrik, and Carl!

* Références *

1. See http://lqdn.fr/wiki/Documents

2. Commissioner Kroes recently declared at the Forum of Cultures: "In some sectors, the levels of piracy demand that we ask ourselves what are we doing wrong. We must ensure that copyright serves as a building block, not a stumbling block."

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations : http://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-squaring-net-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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