The truth about IFPI vs. Tele2
This case is about whether Tele2 (a danish ISP) is violating copyright rules when they copy data in the act of transferring it from Alice to Bob.
To me it is OK for an ISP to keep logs which can be used as evidence if a case ever comes up, but it’s also absolutely crucial to me that ISPs are absolutely free of censorship.
In this particular case it evolved around the infamous AllOfMP3.com. This site is now blocked in Denmark and in effect we have blocked their side of the story. They could create another blog to try to get their story out, but just the fact that we made it harder for them and me, is an obstruction of my right to be free of censorship and of their freedom of speech. They have an established name which is able to attract people, if they had to go elsewhere with their story they would loose the power behind their words.
If I break a danish law in the way I use a website, I am the one who should be punished, not those who use the website for other purposes.
If you build fences honest people will be isolated and dishonest people will learn how to climb.
Well, screw my views on freedom and justice, but listen to these facts about the case.
- Tele2 and IFPI agreed that AllOfMP3 was illegal in Russia. There was no court ruling about that issue. It was something they “agreed on”.
- Your music has to be a certain length before you can claim copyright on it. You can for example not have copyright on a single tone. How big are the packets an ISP transfer from A to B? Not big enough to contain anything that can be copyrighted (in this case atleast).
- The danish copyright law says:
§ 11 a. Det er tilladt at fremstille midlertidige eksemplarer, som
1) er flygtige eller tilfældige,
2) udgør en integreret og væsentlig del af en teknisk proces,
3) udelukkende har til formål at muliggøre enten en mellemmands transmission af et værk i et netværk mellem tredjemænd eller en lovlig brug af et værk og
4) ikke har selvstændig økonomisk værdi.
Stk. 2. Bestemmelsen i stk. 1 gælder ikke for edb-programmer og databaser.
I highlighted the important words in bold. “Enten” is “either” and “eller” is “or”. If you say “It is either this or that”. Can you have both? No.
This is a translation where I try to be as close to the danish as possible.
§ 11 a. It is permitted to make temporary copies, which
1) is momentary or random,
2) is an integrated and important part of a technical process,
3) only purpose is to allow either a middleman’s transmission of a work in a network between third parties or legal use of a work possible and
4) does not have an independent economical value.
It is pretty clearly stated in the law that an ISP can make momentary copies.
1. It IS momentary. [..and the small amount of data in a packet is not enough to be protected by copyright rules (in this case atleast)]
2. It IS an integrated and important part of a technical process.
3. The only purpose IS to make a transfer possible between third parties.
4. It does NOT have an independent economical value to the ISP.
It IS legal for an ISP to transfer copyrighted works whether they are legal or not.
The case was only brought to a civil court, but Tele2 decided not to appeal and all the other major ISPs chose to block the site without a fight. Either they are complete idiots or they have a hidden agenda.
You thought this was the worst part? Not really. The worst part is that AllOfMP3 is not illegal at all. Denmark has the exact same law as Russia in that area.
I’m not going to translate that paragraph, but if you’re interested you can find it in danish here (it is §50): http://www.retsinfo.dk/DELFIN/HTML/A2006/0076329.htm
There is an organization that represents all rights holders. ROMS in Russia and Koda in Denmark. An organization like this is defined as an organization which represents a significant part of rights holders within that area (music) and it also represents those who are not members. It is the rights holders own responsibility to apply for compensation through that organization.
Legally there is nothing wrong with AllOfMP3 and though it is amusing to read The Register ridiculing AllOfMP3 (as they do everyone else) someone has to tell the truth.
AllOfMP3 pays 15% in royalties to ROMS. IFPI could collect that huge sum and distribute it to their members if they didn’t have a hidden agenda. That hidden agenda is called DRM. It’s the only difference between Koda’s rules and ROMS’ rules.
In Denmark sites have to pay 12% and minimum 0.13 USD per track with no regard to quality.
If your ISP has blocked AllOfMP3 you can put these IPs into your hosts file (C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts) if you are on Windows. If you need instructions for Linux, Mac or a third system please post a comment.