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Comment GEMA is spinning the news (Score 1) 291

It is quite interesting to compare this press release with the article exposing this. Technically GEMA is correct in their press release, but they do a lot of spin, and do not tell the entire story.

GEMA wrote to kindergartens, demanding:

  1. Payment for any sheet music copied. Price per sheet is similar to the price of a song on iTunes.
  2. Payment for any copying of lyrics. Same price per sheet.
  3. Reporting of any song performed in the kindergarten, complete with title, name of composer, name of publishing company currently publishing the song in Germany, and the time the song was performed. No payment was demanded for this in the letter.

In the press release GEMA is backtracking on the bad publicity this gave them when the press took up the story and adding their own spin by saying the reporting about payment for song performances was wrong (which it was) and not mentioning that they still require all kindergartens to report all song performances. Also they do not mention that a requirement of reporting performances to GEMA almost always is a precursor for a demand of payment.

VG Musikedition is not an entity completely separate from GEMA. In fact they are so tightly connected and what they do is so similar that it is hard to explain why they are not the same organization. Unless when you think of the extra administration having two entities cause. When the two organizations both funnel some of the money through the other organization, they can both take a piece of the cake before distributing the rest to the artists. And this is probably the real reason why VG Musikedition asked GEMA to collect the money for them instead of doing it themselves, as they were supposed to.

Comment Re:Possible mitigation? (Score 1) 217

We should not care about security too much. Security is the opposite of freedom, and by concentrating our efforts on security we may end up with completely locked environment.

Welcome to the physical world. If you do not like security and are afraid to be locked out of your own house, you are free to remove the lock on your front door.

Comment Re:Ibrahim Botani (Score 2, Informative) 107

There has not been much happening in Piratbyrån for the last few years anyway.

Many of the active people from Piratbyrån have become active in The Pirate Party or other clusters like Werebuild, The Julia Group or Telecomix. (The Telecomix Crypto Munitions Bureau held the conference recently discussed here where security flaws in some VPN tools used for filesharer anonymity were exposed.)

My guess it that the core people in Piratbyrån felt that this cluster was no longer needed and used the death of their friend as an excuse to shut it down, as a post-mortem honour to him.

Comment Re:Wait, hold on... (Score 1) 124

In Swedish law, even evidence gathered illegally is permissive in court.

And with the new IPRED legislation in Sweden from last year, the anti-piracy now have better means of obtaining evidence for civil court cases (pay us, or we sue) than the Swedish police has for criminal file sharing cases.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 2, Informative) 477

They cannot do that now, as the Lisbon treaty is in effect. Since December last year Parliament has the power to block EU adaptation of international agreements like ACTA.

And that will be the likely result, if the Commission does not listen to the Parliament.

Because the Parliament members are pissed after a meeting last week where a Commission delegate said things that were completely in conflict with what the leaked ACTA papers (who all the MEPs had in front of them) said. Because the Parliament three times before has said no to 3-strikes, which the leaked papers propose in a foot-note. And because there currently is a battle between the Parliament and the Commission and Council of Ministers about the recently passed Lisbon Treaty which says that the Parliament has to be informed about results of the negotiations just as much as much as the Council of Ministers have been.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 477

When in the EU something happens, all become aware of it only as a post factum, when it is too late to influence anything.

Usually this is the case, as almost nobody is interested in EU-politics. But ACTA has become an exception.

Please see this short speech from Christian Engström from the Pirate Party in the EU-Parliament debate about this resolution. He welcomes the attention the EU got in the general public although it is because people are upset.

Comment Re:conflate the legal with the "illegal" (Score 1) 240

You are head on.

IFPI is scared shitless of the quickly growing amount of music under licenses like CC that allow free redistribution. I have heard copyright lobbyists argue that it should be illegal to distribute music for free - even if the distributor holds all rights. They say this is needed because the downloader cannot know if the uploader has the right to distribute, and that if money has to be paid this problem would be gone.

Unfortunately one of the reasons it works is that when they actually do things which break the law to try and further this propaganda, the law won't come after them.

This is a major problem with copyright enforcement today.There are no penalties at all for claiming copyright violations where no copyright has been violated. So organizations like IFPI can do a lot of damage without fear of repercussions. This is a political problem - write your local politician about it.

Comment Re:I'm with stupid (Score 2, Informative) 197

There are so many irregularities in this case that it would make a very long list. Here are just a few off the top of my head:

After the (very surprising, if you know Swedish law) verdict, some journalists found out that the judge was biased. He had an extra job where he worked with one of the plaintiff lawyers. And he was member of a copyright-fundamentalist club promoting harsher copyright violation penalties where he regularly met several of the plaintiff lawyers. The judge kept this secret during the trial. A tribunal of three judges was set up to decide if the judge was really biased, but when their names were made public, it was revealed that all three were also biased. The tribunal was replaced with three more judges, and although it was revealed that at least one of the judges in the new panel had connections with one of the plaintiffs in the case, she was not replaced. The new tribunal decided that the judge was not biased.

Just five months before the big raid on The Pirate Bay the chief prosecutor in the case wrote a memo where he concluded that it would not be possible to convict the people behind TPB for copyright violation.

There are heavy rumors and a lot of incidental evidence that the raid against TPB and the resulting court case was done on a direct order by the government. This is illegal in Sweden because it means that the court system could be abused for political purposes. Documents that could tell if this is the case are kept secret by the Swedish government.

The policeman heading the police investigation got a new job immediately after the police investigation was concluded. His new employer was one of the plaintiffs in the case, and he negotiated his salary with his new employer in the final stages of the police investigation.

The legal advisor of The Pirate Bay was arrested during the raid and forced to give a DNA sample. (This is possible in Sweden if the charge can give at least one year of prison time and a DNA sample is relevant for the case.) One of the people later convicted to a year of jail time was also arrested and refused access to a lawyer during initial police questioning. (Possible in Sweden if the charge is is not likely to give jail time. And Swedish law admit evidence even if the police has obtained it illegally.)

Anybody who knows Swedish law and have followed this case closely (ie. read all court documents) know that this case is a joke and a distortion of Swedish law. This is a political court case intended to bend Swedish law so people can be convicted for "crimes" that are not illegal according the the letter of the law.

Comment Later European Parliament question (Score 2, Insightful) 101

The summary says: "All of this comes on top of earlier efforts from Swedish Member of the European Parliament Jens Holm, [...]"

Well, Jens Holm has not been a member of the European Parliament for half a year, and his question is almost a year old.

It would be a lot more relevant to link to the ACTA question from November of Swedish Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party, Christian Engström.

Comment Re:European Council (Score 2, Informative) 109

How can these people be allowed to reign free?

They can't in the long run as long as democracy works.

Christian Engström was elected into the EU-Parliament because of the actions of the Swedish government.

And next year the Swedish government is going to loose their power, according to the polls. Their demolition of citizen's rights is probably one of the main reasons. And with a bit of luck, the Pirate Party is going to enter the Swedish parliament next year.

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