BPI wants more site blocking, for Christmas

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012 - 08:45

The BPI has demanded that UK ISPs start blocking three new torrent sites, or face being dragged through the courts.

The news comes just a week after yet another study proved that users of filesharing networks spend more money on music than non-sharers. Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye commented:

SurfChannel: 4 years in jail for running a website?

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012 - 16:15

Loz Kaye made the following comment on reports that Anton Vickers, the owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been sentenced to four years imprisonment today at Newcastle Crown Court:

"The way this issue was investigated, prosecuted and the resulting sentence are, deeply concerning, inappropriate and disproportionate given the activities that Anton Vickerman was engaged in. A four year prison sentence is twice the maximum that could have been handed down if Vickers had been charged with online copyright infringement."

Censored by Copyright

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Dan Bull writes:

This week, I made a parody music video criticising Lord Finesse for being a copyright draconian. Guess what. He had my video pulled down, claiming it infringed his copyright. Which proves my point more than anything I could have said myself. Techdirt has written an article on the issue here.

Anyway, in response to that, I got my Michael Moore on and have made this video. Ridiculously, I have had to avoid showing you any segment of the censored video, or of the song which I am discussing, for fear that Finesse will try to have THIS video removed too. With that in mind, please mirror and share as much as possible in case this one gets hit with a take-down as well.

I have fought ACTA, SOPA, DEA and various other forms of censorship in the name of copyright. I will not be silenced by this kind of abuse of the copyright system. The DMCA is not supposed to be used in this way.

SurfTheChannel 'Fraud' verdict

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012 - 17:45

Loz Kaye commenting on reports that the owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Newcastle Crown Court for "facilitating" copyright infringement said:

There Is A Better Way

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Today’s copyright legislation is out of balance, and out of tune with the times. It has turned an entire generation of young people into criminals in the eyes of the law, in a futile attempt at stopping technological development. Yet file sharing has continued to grow exponentially. Neither propaganda, fear tactics, nor ever harsher laws have been able to stop the development.

It is impossible to enforce the ban against non-commercial file sharing without infringing on fundamental human rights. As long as there are ways for citizens to communicate in private, they will be used to share copyrighted materials. The only way to even try to limit file sharing is to remove the right to private communication. In the last decade, this is the direction that copyright enforcement legislation has moved in, under pressure from big business lobbyists who see their monopolies under threat. We need to reverse this trend to safeguard fundamental rights.

ACTA - the latest threat to internet freedom, just signed by the EU

Friday, 27 January, 2012 - 13:45

Yesterday the European Union, the UK and over 20 other countries signed the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA is an international treaty, disguised as a trade agreement, whose purpose is to increase and harmonise copyright and trademark enforcement. Many of the goals of ACTA are similar to SOPA and PIPA - proposed laws which the US congress recently abandoned following a huge outcry. ACTA is, if anything, even more objectionable.

ACS:Law solicitor suspended, to pay costs.

Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 - 22:45

Andrew Crossley of ACS:law has been suspended for two years and ordered to pay £76,000 in costs after admitting six charges at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing on Monday.

I have been consistently and strongly critical of ACS Law's legal practice and the way that they have conducted their business, sending thousands of letters demanding settlement payments for alleged copyright infringement. The firm's methods have been denounced by the Pirate Party repeatedly and were referred to as "resembling extortion" by the party in 2010.

PPUK condemns US take-down of MegaUpload

Thursday, 19 January, 2012 - 20:45

The Pirate Party UK and I are alarmed at the US's continued efforts to enforce its excessive and unpopular copyright legislation outside of the USA.

SOPA & PIPA: The Internet Goes On Strike, Pirates Join

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 - 22:30

In cooperation with Pirate Parties International

Loz Kaye : Three Strikes Struck Out - Lessons for Digital Europe

The French government has just dealt a serious blow to the big entertainment lobby's assault on the Internet. The Hadopi "three strikes" law has been, well, struck out. The Hadopi measures were introduced in 2009 by President Sarkozy, and threatened to disconnect from the Internet those suspected of online copyright infringement after three written warnings. This flagship "anti-piracy" measure has now run aground.

The new French culture minister said "Hadopi has not fulfilled its mission of developing legal content offerings...In financial terms, [spending] 12 million Euros and 60 agents—that’s expensive to send a million e-mails... the suspension of Internet access seems to be a disproportionate penalty given the intended goal."

All of us in the digital rights movement had pointed out years ago that this was a disproportionate tool, not least because it could lead to collective punishment of entire households. Equally, we warned that it would be an administrative nightmare, a waste of money with no positive aims. 

The French retreat from the three strikes approach has lessons for policy making across Europe. In the UK the 2010 Digital Economy Act contained so-called graduated response legislation. It has not come in to force yet and remains firmly in the long grass. We must surely ditch the Digital Economy Act now, and EU governments should reject the hounding of individuals and Internet cut offs. There has been a long and tedious discussion about the merits of graduated response legislation. We now know it is simply not tenable.

This is a good moment to take a step back in what has been a fraught debate. Let's stop digital policy being hijacked by narrow interest groups claiming to speak for the creative sector. 


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