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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5178/heroic-pirates/

Heroic Pirates

June 12, 2006 by

Gotta love ThePirateBay.org, a Swedish website. They offer an index to various data files–movies, videos, songs, what have you–that you can download via “Bit Torrent” technology. The files are not stored on their servers; they merely provide users with links as to where they can download various material from.

What is admirable about them is they are courageous and reply with no compromise to their various harassers; and they publish all the legal threats they receive–and there are a lot–along with their replies. A good one is this reply where t:ey explain that:

We understand that you are familiar with Bit Torrent technology. Then you may, or may not, understand that none of the data that you hold the copyright to reside on thepiratebay.org’s servers.

This raises the question of the reach of Swedish and European copyright law. It is the opinion of us, and the Swedish Supreme Court, that information about WHERE to obtain copyrighted material, which is the
case with Bit Torrent, is not illegal. The ‘.torrent’ files that are offered for download at the site in question contain nothing more than hash and checksum information. How this information could, in itself, possibly be an infrigement of your copyright is beyond us and apparently the Swedish legal system agrees.

[...]For your convience we took the time to review European law on this area. Considering that it takes several years, in some cases almost a decade, to get an answer from the European court on an inqury about how a law is to be interpreted, the question whether the european copyright law also includes bittorrent is less interesting. You may return in about 5 years when there is a ruling from the European Supreme Court. Until then we
have no choice except respecting Swedish copyright law. And as we have explained the information contained in our servers is clearly not of the nature required of Swedish law, to be considered an infrigement of intellectual property. This would be similar to outlawing a map outlining where to find the library or the local video-rental store.

Our guess, since you did not provide us with adequate information on which laws and regulations that you feel are violated, is that you are referring to ‘Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society’. Whether or not this act does indeed state that the information contained in ‘.torrent’ files is a violation of the authors’ intellectual rights or not is of little importance in the case at hand. The act does not have direct effect and calls upon the member states to take appropriate action in order to protect the rights refered to in the directive. Obiously the Swedish government, to this date, considers that it has done so and that all rights are protected under the current Swedish legalizlation. And as stated above our activity on the site in question and on our servers are not in violation of Swedish law. As law-abiding good upstanding citizens we do not question our wise government’s policy.


Max June 13, 2006 at 3:07 am

And, unlike seapirates now and centuries ago, they are none violent! Those are the kind of pirates everybody can like, well, except the RIAA and the movie industry :)

Ryan Fuller June 13, 2006 at 9:36 am

Of course, the RIAA and the movie industry, with their constant rent seeking behavior, have far more in common with the pirates of centuries gone by than do modern day software “pirates” who disregard intellectual property law.

Emil Henry June 13, 2006 at 5:37 pm

The music industry did indeed choose a unwise name for their enemies. Who can honestly say that they do not find neither the dialect, the ships nor the quests, romantic and daunting?

Combining the anarcho-capitalist flag with a pirate flag would be a swell idea. Maybe I’ll try to compile a test.

Ike Hall June 13, 2006 at 6:55 pm

There’s an anarcho-capitalist flag? I figured the Jolly Roger already fit the bill perfectly. It is a black flag, after all.

scooter June 13, 2006 at 11:35 pm

Don’t go to that site, it is full of virii. I know you love anarchy, but these guys are bad news.

Curt Howland June 14, 2006 at 8:32 am

So Scooter, you download executables and not scan them first?


Music, video and book files don’t carry viruses because they are not executable.

One of the nice things about running Linux, the vast majority of software is already in the archives (I use Debian), compiled from source by the Debian maintainers. No viruses.

Paul D June 15, 2006 at 8:23 am

Also, the fact that Pirate Bay members can and do rate and leave comments regarding the various available downloads can make the Pirate Bay a safer place to get your wares than the “official” sources.

A game or CD acquired via the Pirate Bay’s listings is almost certainly safe to use on your computer. A game acquired from the software distributor often contains spyware, malware, even trojans and rootkits. Commercial CDs (especially Sony’s) can also contain DRM, malware and rootkits that permanently screw up your computer (assuming you’re stuck using Windows). A downloaded MP3 does not expose you to those risks.

The real problem the media companies have with filesharing is that filesharers tend to offer a superior product at a superior price.

scooter June 15, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Actually, I didn’t download an .exe ; However, that website uses various microsoft internet explorer exploits. Since about 95% of the web uses IE, I figured I would give everyone at Mises.org a heads up.

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