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Comment Re:And (Score 1) 163

This is a system whereby every time someone connects a new computer to the Internet, it will ask a series of probing questions and if you don't answer them all correctly (or at any point imply you have a child in the house), a massive (and wildly-inaccurate) web-filter will be put in place, in theory blocking anything about:

  • sexual messages;
  • violence;
  • gambling;
  • bullying;
  • alcohol/drugs;
  • abuse on social networks;
  • self-harm;
  • anorexia;
  • grooming;
  • radicalisation (religious and political); and
  • suicide.*
  • Because these are all things that children need protecting from and shouldn't be able to find out about (on the Internet; offline everything is fine). Oh, and because user-generated content tends to contain a lot of this, many of the existing filters just block all blog sites. And anything that flags certain keywords.

    Oh, and this is to protect children from "sexualisation and commercialisation." But it won't block adverts. Or the Daily Mail (who are, of course, behind this block - presumably to drive desperate children to their website?).

    And this will require putting "government sponsored filtering and snoop-ware software on every machine in the country" as part of what will be one of the largest state-sponsored mass-censorship programmes in a democracy.

    So you think nothing of value will be lost here? You might want to have another think.

    *List taken from the Government's response to the consultation on this.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

"Stealing" has both a legal meaning, and a layman meaning. For the latter, you can argue semantics all night. For the former, it will depend on jurisdictions, but as far as English law (which is relevant here), it is definitely not theft. You can have a look at the relevant statute law, or case law such as Boardman v Phipps, Oxford v Moss or Phillips v Mulcaire (although more obiter stuff, more in the Court of Appeal case).

Legally, in England, you cannot steal information or data. It is that simple.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

That's a law from Serbia... it doesn't really apply in the UK. The UK law on political parties is considerably more complex and antiquated (and pre-dates the idea of companies etc.) - no one is quite sure how it works, but it seems that English political parties don't have legal personality (unless they set up some sort of company).

Comment Re:How convenient for them (Score 1) 245

s97A Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 allows anyone, including the BPI (or their minions) to apply to the court to get an order requiring any "service provider" to block access to any website or similar service. This is how they got their blocking order against both ThePirateBay and Newzbin2. BT tried to fight the Newzbin2 ruling and got hit by a massive costs order. There's a reason no ISP has dared to fight any such order since (including the TPB orders).

While a big ISP like BT can afford a few hundred thousand in legal costs, the Party can't. That that is what we (or rather, the officers personally) are facing if they don't take and keep the proxy down. This isn't theoretical, this is after 3 weeks of back-and-forth between lawyers.

What makes the Pirate Party so special? You'd have to ask the BPI about that, but I imagine it is due to us actually standing up to them (or trying to) and causing problems for them politically. Plus there's a scale thing; other ISPs only cover the odd percentage of the population, whereas the Party's proxy is high-profile and being used by a large number of people. Apparently.

Comment Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (Score 1) 245

"Your honour, we want a new order against the Pirate Party because they are acting as a service provider within the scope of s97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and are providing access to a website that they know is being used to infringe copyright."

"OK, here's your order - also, as the law is (mostly) clear, they were wasting all our time, so I'll make them pay all your costs on an indemnity basis."

Cost, a few hundred thousand pounds, plus more to appeal.

Comment Re:Digital rights? Is that what we're calling it? (Score 1) 245

Actually, software piracy is pretty minimal in the UK - at least, through personal downloading (rather than commercial-scale forgetting-how-many-computers-you-are-allowed-to-install-it-on infringement); according to Ofcom's recent study, only 2% of Internet users have illegally downloaded any software ever (compared with 6% for TV and film, and 8% for music). And as for it being free, about 85% of software that was acquired online *was* free.

That said, the study is a bit dubious because they claim only 17% of Internet users have ever downloaded computer software... I was under the impression that Firefox had a larger market share than that in the UK...

Comment Re:crowdfunding for this fight! (Score 4, Interesting) 245

The Party did. It raised over £9,000* in the last couple of weeks from supporters. Which is great... but just getting preliminary advice over the last couple of weeks has cost £1,600, and fighting this case to trial could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. While it might be possible to raise that money, the feeling seems to be that it could be spent better elsewhere (although, of course, those who donated to the legal fight should have already been emailed to explain how they can get their donations refunded).

I find it particularly ironic that we are told pirates are stealing money/income from artists etc., but it turns out pirates don't have that much money - whereas the BPI Ltd (all of whose funding would otherwise be going to artists etc.) seems to have plenty of cash to throw at lawyers and legal actions.

*But less than £10,000 - you can't make this up...

[Disclaimer: I am a member of, and work for PPUk, but was not one of the individuals sued.]

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 5, Insightful) 245

The point is that the legal merits don't even matter because the Party can't argue them. It doesn't matter whether what they were doing was legal or illegal, right or wrong, no one will be able to find out because they can't afford to fight the case.

Some people may view this as the right outcome, but I would suggest that no one should think it was for the right reasons. Justice should not be dependent on wealth.


Submission + - UK Pirate Party forced to give up legal fight (

Grumbleduke writes: The UK Pirate Party has been forced to shut down its proxy of The Pirate Bay. The Party had been running the proxy since April, initially to support the Dutch Party's efforts, then as a means of combating censorship after the BPI obtained uncontested court orders against the UK's main ISPs to block the site across the UK.

In a statement released through their lawyers, the Party cited the impossibly-high costs of legal action for their decision, but vowed to keep fighting for digital rights however they can.

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