updated 07:44 am EST, Fri November 23, 2012
File-sharing musician speaks against lawsuits
The family of a 9-year-old file sharer in Finland was raided by police earlier this week. The seizure of equipment, including a Disney-branded laptop owned by the child, followed after the family's refusal to abide to Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC's demands, and has now led to the musical artist to speak out against the legal action.
The child had, according to TorrentFreak, failed to save enough money to buy an album by singer Chisu, and in 2011 used The Pirate Bay to get it instead. The downloads were claimed by the father to not work, so went to a music store to buy the album instead. CIAPC, known in Finland as TTVK, then sent a letter explaining they had tracked an illegal download to their household, and then made a demand for 600 euro as a settlement, as well as to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
On Tuesday morning, the police arrived at the house with a search warrant and confiscated the Winnie The Pooh laptop owned by the child, and allegedly told the girl's father "It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation." The father then later compared the experience to a Mafia shakedown, and said that copyright issues such as this "requires education and information, not resource-consuming lawsuits."
A number of organizations denounced the actions of the police and the CIAPC, with Electronic Frontier Finland suggesting this "shows poor judgement and consideration from TTVK and from the police." The artist in the center of the argument has also spoke up about the issue, providing a link to her music on Spotify through her Facebook page with the message: "I hope that the matter will be resolved soon and sorry to my 9-year-old-girls."
While the comment by Chisu is welcomed by Joonas Mäkinen of the Pirate Party in Finland, he complained of the lack of control that artists have over copyright protection and monitoring in the country, and asks artists to "say no to what CIAPC/TTVK is doing if they wish to keep their fans."
According to CIAPC, 28 Internet users settled with the organization last Fall. The exact amounts taken and the details of individual cases were not revealed.