Recently (Feb 2013) in the news was a report on “The Pirate Bay” (TPB) having filed a police complaint against the Finnish anti-piracy organization CIAPC for copyright infringement. The reason? CIAPC has “pirated” TPB’s copyrighted material to create an anti-piracy site http://piraattilahti.fi. The folks at CIAPC were even so good to leave TPB’s copyright statement in one of the copied CSS files.
As Bart Simpson would say “The ironing is delicious!“!
Now there are some out there saying that this move is hypocritical of TPB, but I see it as a particularly inspired move. For if a lawsuit happens there are two probable results:
- TPB loses the case. Because CIAPC obviously used TPB’s copyrighted works the only possible defence they have is that their site is an obvious parody. Parody is projected under fair use statues.). In “losing” the case, TPB reinforces the protections for parody as fair use, a protection that is currently being attacked by the likes of CIAPC, something The Pirate Party (the political party born of TPB) would like to defend;
- TPB wins the case, which highlights the farcical nature of the CIAPC’s dealings and gives them a public black eye;
Hoist with their own petard
That TPB had their copyrights infringed by a group that has been lobbying the government to put people in jail (with lengthy jail terms) for copyright infringement is sublime.
Now we will get to see how the police/courts treat the case. Since CIAPC is a commercial entity engaging in copyright infringement, by rights we should see significant penalties applied as they have been in the past, more significant than when an individual downloads a song/movie for personal use. Will the police/courts treat CIAPC like other offenders brought up on charges of copyright infringement or will we see a double standard apply? Very interesting indeed.
Yo ho ho and a barrel of rum!
Whether you believe The Pirate Bay is providing a illegal service (remember that they don’t host any copyrighted material, they act more like a specialized search engine) you have to give them props for outmanoeuvring their opponents in this round. The scurvy dogs!