2007-02-28

Successful lobby groups file another complaint against the Pirate Bay, for the same crime

It seems that IFPI has decided to file another report on The Pirate Bay, in the middle of the current investigation. For the same crime. And, according to the CEO, Lars Gustafsson, they would like another raid.

That's what we wish for in our wettest dreams.


Isn't it counterproductive and impossible to get an investigation for a crime going by a police report, while another investigation is currently taking place for the same crime?

Well, it seems that the copyright lobby groups have wind in their sails. Not only have they been educating the police on how to tackle file sharing. It seems that their last attack on the Pirate Bay will not be investigated on wether or not it was constitutional. At least not now. "Postponed indefinately." sounds very convinient.

And so the scandal grows.

2007-02-22

Known APB employed infiltrator lectures on copyright at Swedish Police Academy

Copyriot provide a very interesting notice:

On March 10, the Swedish police made a raid on Bahnhof, the first independent Internet Service Provider in Sweden. It was raided, and four servers confiscated, due to a police report made by Antipiratbyrån - piracy was done from the servers.

But it turned out the servers were not Bahnhofs property, since employees had put them there.

Before too long, it was proven that the person that had put the servers there was paid by a person calling himself "Rogue", who was actually paid by - Antipiratbyrån. This rogue also send mails to his bosses, bragging that he had infiltrated the ISP for two years which finally led to a raid.

This turned into a major scandal when a group called Arga Unga Hackare (Angry Young Hackers) gained access to APB mail and published some. It was a scandal, because it proved that APB had hired a person to infiltrate a company, and that the person had then himself commited piracy crimes while at their property, and then the APB, his employers, had reported the company, leading to a raid.

"Rogue" turned out to be a guy called Peter Bergström. And, are you ready for this (translation from Copyriot):

No further indignation will be spent here over the fact that Hollywood and FBI has been allowed to educate the Swedish police. We will simply note an interesting name. Invited to the Police Academy seminar on file sharing and copyright legislation, held on January 24, was:

* Andrew Myers, FBI agent.
* Henrik Pontén, chief legal advisor at the APB
* The Brussels lobbyist Peter Bergström, representative of the MPA

Hmm... Peter Bergström? I recognize this name from the scandal where APB infiltrated Bahnhof.

According to the mails hacked and made public, Rogue, the nickname of this infiltrator, was a 32 year old by the name of Peter Bergström. This person sent, among other things, IRC logs to APBs Anders Nilsson, and after the raid on Bahnhof during the spring of 2005 he proudly reported to his employers in the US:

From: peter@anti-piracy.se
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 9:29
To: Tilbury, Chad; Seymour, Dan; Winter, Craig
Subject: Swedish pirates busted!

Hi guys!

After 2 years of infiltrations our work finally paid of today with a successful raid on Sweden's oldest and largest ISP named Bahnhof.
Bahnhof has been a source for top level piracy for several years and hosting some of the biggest and fastest servers in Europe.

Is this the same Peter Bergström? I don't know, but it doesn't seem completely unlikely that the MPA(A) could have rewarded "Rogue" with a job in Brussels.

Bahnhofs own investigation concluded that Peter Bergströms own acts was crime provocation, and Piratbyrån reported APB for forgery and false accusations - a police report that, hardly surpricingly, the police doesn't seem to have touched. The entire Bahnhof affair has been getting in the shadow of the Pirate Bay raid, but when the central figure "Rogue" have now possibly popped up as a lecturer at the Police Academy, it would be extra important to investigate if there have been any mistakes done?

2007-02-20

Windows Vista sucks - it's the pirates' fault

The reason why Windows Vista is selling slowly is piracy, especially in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

At least the Microsoft CEO, Steve "The Sweaty Madman" Ballmer claims this to be the truth.

His final solution (interesting choice of words, I wonder if they are his or if it's the words of the Inquirer) is to - increase the WGA to squeaze these developing nations more.

Steve Ballmer has not understood that blaming piracy doesn't work. And that piracy is actually a great help to developing economies. It's good that Stevie finally has released Bill Gates' skirt, but if someone is able to give Bill Gates advice on matters of software, then it would be wise to listen.

And perhaps it's the other way around, really - Vista doesn't sell bad because of piracy, there might be piracy because of Vista's pricing and trusted computing concept. Perhaps it's about time that big business looks over their business methods, instead of blaming piracy for the fact that the world is still evolving.

Demonstration in favour of Egyptian blogger who faces prison

The Egyptian blogger Abdelkareem has been detained since November because he spoke his mind. On February 22nd Kareem will be the first Egyptian to stand trial for Internet-based journalism. Because of his arguments for secularism, women’s rights and free speech this 22-year old blogger faces up to 11 years in jail. More information here.

Right now several Swedish bloggers and others are preparing a protest against this attack on freedom of expression. Please help us to show support for human rights in Egypt. Mark your calendar, and if you are a blogger, please spread the word.

Meet us outside the Egyptian Embassy

Strandvägen 35, Stockholm

Wednesday, 21 February, 12.00

Speakers:

Henrik Alexandersson, blogger

Fredrik Malm, Member of Parliament

Johan Norberg, author

The MPAA educates Swedish police

So the question of copyright is a rather complicated one, and our system is not entierly sure how work it juridically.

In Sweden we have a few number prejudicing cases and it is all a mess. Therefor it would be welcomed to see that police is educating people on the matter. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago, six officers finished their education as the Swedish police force's experts in matters of copyright, piracy and file sharing.

That would be a good thing, one might think. Maybe these officers could balance the complex interests involved, that of industry, originators, privacy, and judicial security.

If it weren't for one fact. Guess who educated these Swedish police officers?

The MPAA did.

So it seems, once again, the US private interest group has been going to Sweden to teach our police how to work our laws in our country.

Representatives from the three organisations (MPA, FBI, APB) were invited by the Police Academy to hold lectures on how they have worked against piracy and give example of successfull projects in other countries. [...] In the report (from IIPA, mentioned on this blog earlier, my comment) there are also plans for the "industry to plan further training and educational work with police and prosecutors during 2007."


And, get this:

After Computer Sweden's queries Friday, the list of participants became classified.


Isn't it about time that the Swedish judicial system stopped taking orders from US lobby groups?

2007-02-18

Pirates of all colours demonstrate in four cities


On Saturday, a few hundered people gathered outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. Other demonstrations were held in Malmö, Gothenburgh and Umeå, with the same number of participants. The message was clear: Mass surveillance of all citizens in case something interesting will show up is not okay. With the new legislation that is passing in Sweden, couped through political and judicial instances, means that Sweden is rapidly passing countries such as the UK and the US that are famous, or infamous, for their surveillance. Instead, the Swedish system is getting dangerously similar to those of Eastern Germany or the Soviet Union when it comes to surveillance.

TV news made a short report covering a few minutes that was aired on most of the important news shows throughout the evening. This report focused on the wide representation present in arranging these demonstrations.

The demonstrations were arranged by the Pirate Party along with Ung Pirat, Ung Vänster (Young Left, youth organisation of the Left Party), Grön Ungdom (Green Youth, youth organisation of the Green Party) and Liberala Ungdomsförbundet (Liberal Yough Organisation, youth organisation of the People's Parrty, one of the liberal parties in government). This was not only an outcry against Sweden's march against an Orwellian society, but also the youth organisations decrying the failures of their mother parties to protect basic democratic principles.


2007-02-15

IIPA: Sweden an infamous pirate haven

Sweden is a free haven for piracy, hosting more Direct Connect hubs than any other country in the world. It is also the home of the Pirate Bay and this illegal distribution continues to increase because of bad legislation. This is claimed by the copyright organisation IIPA in a special report on Sweden.

The copyright interest group International Intellectual Property Alliance, IIPA, points at Sweden as being one of 60 countries where "copyright legislation creates obstacles for the founding of new companies with large needs for copyright, such as software companies". This is reported by the Business Software Alliance, BSA, one of the organisations behind the report.

The annual report has been presented to the United States Trade Representative.

The reasons that Sweden is on the list is, according to the organisation, that there is a lot of internet piracy going on in Sweden, and that we are claimed to have difficulties dealing with the criminal activity in an effective manner.

The IIPA can not yet see an end to the widespread piracy in Sweden. According to the organisation, 490 000 movies were downloaded during the third quarter last year, an increase from 468 000 movies the year before, the report says, not specifying any source.

The situation is further complicated, according to the organisation, by the fact that Swedes are tolerant towards piracy, something that according to the report is evident in media and in public opinion. The politicians are not thought of as having understood the extent of the file sharing problem. The organisation however claims to be looking forward to cooperating with the new government in finding new ways in the struggle against piracy.

In the report it is claimed that Sweden is the home of 40 per cent of the top sites that are specialized pirate servers with large storage capabilities and large bandwidth, that are present in Europe. It is also claimed that Sweden is home to the largest number of Direct Connect users and hubs. The report points out that Sweden is the home of the Pirate Bay.

Also the political debate following the raid against the Pirate Bay is highlighted in the report. The copyright industry is said to be deeply concerned that the Social Democratic party and the Moderate party during the fall have made positive remarks on the idea of a fee on broadband as an alternative to keeping piracy illegal.

Sweden is also criticized because it is not possible to get user information from ISP:s, something that turns copyright legislation into a lame duck, and it is also remarked that Sweden has not yet implemented the EU directive that gives possibilities to pirate hunters to demand information on file sharers without police or attorneys.

It does not, however, know what we all know - that APB, the Anti-Piracy Bureau in fact has the right to collect personal information about individuals that they suspect of being involved in piracy, in other words to perform police work. Nor does it mention that Sweden is about to pass a law that gives private interest groups such as members of the copyright mafia the rights to demand private information about individuals from ISPs if the organisation suspects them of being involved in piracy. This is something I have reported on time and time again, and something that will be the target of a rally this saturday.

The report expresses disappointment that many ISP:s have stopped forwarding reminders to users after copyright groups have discovered that there is piracy going on. This is something that IIPA sees as a consequence of the public debate on file sharing that has been going on in Sweden.

The Pirate Party is also pointed out as a sign that Sweden is one of the most pro pirate countries and the IIPA themselves claim that the party's result in the general elections last years was far lower than expected.

Note the tone. Sweden is an infamous haven for pirates. It's lame duck legislation makes it hard for software companies to start. The public, the politicians and media are all against the copyright mafia.

Sweden can't deal with criminal activity.

Sweden has the nerve to be toleratant towards piracy. The Swedish public are insolent enough to think that it is a waste of resources to hunt down close to one fourth of the population.

Swedish media has the audacity to mirror this public opinion. And Swedish politicians are stupid enough to act on the same public opinion. Nevermind that in a representative democracy such as Sweden politicians are suppose to work in the interest of the public.

The politics of Sweden is so perverted that politicians and public figures have the very nerve to actually discuss different alternatives.

Sweden is so corrupt that it doesn't even let private organisations perform police work.

How fortunate then that we have brave groups like the IIPA, that can point our errors out to us. Groups like the IIPA that does not complain about an open debate. Groups like the IIPA who would never give a figure without citing any sources. Groups like the IIPA who would never ever forget to mention that a country DO give them the possibilities that they claim they are denied.

For what is it that the IIPA says? It complaints about the Swedish open minds on political ideas, on new business models, on the right to express one's opinions, on the protection against private policing and mob rule, on our willingness to discuss various alternative solutions to problems. On the very basics of democracy.

"Democracy and piracy can not co-exist. Therefor, let us together cut down on democracy. That is the price we must pay to be able to keep to our own out-dated business methods."

This is what the IIPA wants to tell us in this report. This is the slogan of the copyright mafia. And, in an instant, it becomes rather obvious that the main problem is not that democracy and piracy have problems to co-exist. The problem is the co-existance of democracy and copyright as we know it today.

Check the report out!

2007-02-14

Demonstrations for Privacy in Sweden, this saturday!


Swedish authorities have given a green light to the radio corps of the military for mass surveillance of telecommunications. According to Anne Ramberg in the Swedish Association of Lawyers, this means that Sweden will now carry through a surveillance similar to that of former Eastern Germany, and by far surpasses for example the United States of today.

More and similar descisions are coming, decisions that will consequently give priority to surveillance over integrity. It is time to tell the Parliament that they don't have support for these policies. It is time for demonstrations!

This Saturday, February 17, the Pirate Party will arrange a demonstration for the right to privacy, together with Green Youth, Liberal Youth and Young Pirate. More organisations are poked and might attend. We gather those that want to save our rights to a private life on the following spots:

Stockholm - Mynttorget, 2 p.m.
Gothemburg: Gustav Adolf square, 1 p.m.
Malmö: Stortorget, 1 p.m.
Umeå: Rådhustorget, 3 p.m.

Come to the demonstration, bring your friends and demonstrate for the right to privacy.

2007-02-05

The machine is us

I like this video.

Romania tells Bill Gates that piracy helps

Bill Gates attended the grand opening of a new research center in Romania. He was presented by the Star of Romania from the president, Traian Basescu, a medal usually given out for outstanding bravery during wartime. And he got to listen to a speech held by the president at the opening. A speech that must have surprised him a bit.

"Piracy helped the young generation to discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania", he said.


"A bad thing became, in the end, an investment in friendship towards Microsoft and Bill Gates; an investment in educating the young generation in Romania which created the Romanians' friendship with the computer."


The British Software Alliance (BSA) made a survey, concluding that 72 per cent of all software in Romania is pirated. Bill Gates did not reply to the president's statement.

More at vnunet.com.