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Extra, extra: Internet outlawed in Sweden!

April 17, 2009
(Yeah, yeah, sensationalist headlines blah blah blah. I like them. Get used to it.)

Today the court presented the verdict in the Pirate Bay trial. The defendants were found guilty. Basically, they were punished as accomplishes for helping people share files illegally. Hence, from today, under Swedish law, Internet basically became illegal. Linking to illegalities are illegal. Reasonably, by the same logic, Internet providing is illegal if anybody uses your provided Internet to do anything illegal. In short, in Sweden, Internet had become illegal.

I shut down my personal websites hosted in Sweden today (http://www.liberalism.nu/, http://lennart.regebro.nu/) and are looking for a virtual server where I can run low-traffic Zope/Plone sites reliably for a low cost. The server must not be located in Sweden. And from what I’ve seen of French government attitudes, France is probably not good either. My professional websites hosted in Sweden will go away during the weekend. [Update: I really mean go away. I’ll shut them down. And no, it’s not customer websites, it’s still my websites, just not my personal ones, my my company ones. I’ve now gotten a couple of offers to make some sort of partnership to host my customer websites, so I’ll make this clear: I don’t do hosting. I do not host any customer websites.I just consult, so there isn’t anything to partner on. Sorry… What I’m looking for is a vartual host slice, no more than 50 eur/month. And I’m not going to host at any place I didn’t get recommended by somebody I know, so you don’t need to spam me about it. I want *recommendations*, not soliciations. Thanks.]

Recommendations, both for countries and providers are most welcome.

From → plone, zope

13 Comments
  1. Balazs Ree permalink

    It’s the next step in an ongoing attempt to kill p2p technology, basically reasoned by crippled and inconsistent copyright laws. The next thing will be calling anyone a terrorist who dares to improve this technology.

    Instead of trying to make p2p illegal (which is an insane and futile attempt) companies should invest to develop p2p.

    I believe the open source people can have one answer. Start to leverage p2p such as torrent in our distribution scheme. Let our customers depend on it and benefit from it. It will be much harder to kill something if its legal uses become more apparent.

    Things get real annoying these days… internet and mobile providers sell you “internet access” and then they start to filter your traffic in various ways. I don’t want my providers decide how I should use the net. Just route those TCP/IP packages, dude! And I also don’t want to find my ssh blocked on the day when they realize what a loophole it is in their plans.

    I want my internet back.

  2. Actually, the next step is the implementation of directive 2006/24/EC

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_2006/24/EC

  3. It’s a very wised POV to give a no-go for french hosting😦

    We will have in the next monthes a similar (identical?) law called HADOPI (http://www.laquadrature.net/).

    Have you also, what we call in french “double peine”? That when you are recognized guilty, and your internet connexion is closed, you must pay your internet fees to your ISP, during this “close delay”.

    • Oh, it’s much worse than that in Sweden. Copyright holders can go to a special court, without your knowledge, and freeze all your economic assets, and then get a search warrant to search your house. This on the mere suspicion that you have violated copyright laws. Basically, Sweden has removed legal rights and legal equality. And they monitor all communications crossing the Swedish border. And any Internet provider or website host are now in risk of being charged as an accomplish for crimes being carried out by people using your services, even if you yourself didn’t participate in the crime in any way.

      Besides, I though the three strikes law was repealed, and that you currently can’t get disconnected from the internet. Did I miss something?

  4. Currently, the Commission Mixte Paritaire gives it a no-go.

    But its just a temporary suspension until the deputees april vacancy ends.

    After that, there is no doubt that this quadruple strike law will pass, with a little, or no change at all.

    The quadruple strikes are:
    – Your internet connexion is closed
    – You must pay you fees to your isp
    – You are guilty under DADVSI, so prison and big financial penaltees are your new friends.
    – You can be guilty even if you havent done the crime, as you must proove yourself your innocense and secure, yourself, your connexion. This is impossible for example with one of the largest french ISP, 9, as with fonera, you cant block Fonera outsiders…

    For the internet filtration,it seems similar to your lw.
    Indeed, it targets also the websites for “official content” and make it possible to close or filter at ISP level the “resistants”.

    So, now, in this way, blogs can become illegals….

  5. OK, that’s bad.

    But no, it’s not similar to the Swedish laws at all.

  6. Balazs Ree permalink

    There is another aspect of the whole issue that I also find particularly important.

    The new laws meant to protect the rights and interests of copyright holders. The players in the music and film industry, think about themselves as “_the_ copyright holders”. However true it is that they are (still) the largest players, I believe it’s an insolent and arrogant view on their side to forget about the rest of the world – not as consumers but as authors of original creations.

    I doubt if there are statistics about how much percentage of the consumed creations is produced by the entertainment industry today, and how much by other individuals. Looking at video sharing sites for example, one may conclude that the creations of individuals catches up, or even outnumbers the industrial products. It may very well be – disgrace! – that individual creations turn out to be more interesting and more viewed than those manufactured by the industry.

    Which means that in the future, the average user is not merely a consumer. She is a consumer _and_ a creator of original content, and in protecting and distributing this content she is entitled to the same rights as the big fishes. What’s more the big fishes may easily dwindle to minority, if we merely consider the amount of original creations.

    So my (bit poethical) question would be this. In our brave new world, if I am a producer of genuine content (art, software, anything that’s protected by copyright laws) do I have the right to specify its license and its allowed way of distribution?

    If I decide to distribute my original creations by torrent, do I get an automatic clearence from the above mentioned laws? Or, do I risk the danger of being charged and imprisoned for legally distributing my own original creations?
    (Well, I know that I currently have to pay a copyright tax if I put my original creation on a cd or hard drive or even print it out, which is also unconstitutional but at least I did not become a criminal for it.)

    Do the people who replicate and download my creations by torrent, under my explicit license permission, risk the danger of being prosecuted for this reason?

    If I am succesful with my creations, and at some point I decide to make a small business on it, will this business be killed off from above mentioned reasons?

    It seems to me that the threat is not merely on consumers in this case. There is a bigger threat that is imposed on original authors. It seems to me that some essential freedom is at steak here.

  7. All very good questions

  8. Balazs Ree permalink

    European Parliament ITRE committee votes against the 3 strikes

    http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1916

    So what now? It seems this will spoil the French plans on some extent. Is this also relevant to the Swedish legistlation?

    Another news on the line: interesting (nonetheless not at all surprising) things turn out about the judge that convicted the PirateBay people. There may come another trial.

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/pirateconflict.html

    • Well, next step is that it’s going to be voted on in the EU parliament I think. That’s the important part. If it gets voted down there too, it will indeed be illegal to cut people off like France want to.

      It’s not relevant for Sweden, I think. The question there is not cutting people from the internet for no reason, but throwing them in jail, for no reason.

  9. this jail stuff and all reminds me of old yugoslavia (my ex-country) times … even the reason is now the same, just its being integrated in democracy under cover of intelectual rights. next time i’ll build a boat/car/smth will i have to buy 2 integrals, 5 dividings, 10 multiplyings, … ? so funny and at the same time not😛

  10. Malih permalink

    I’m just so glad I don’t live in a place where laws on the internet is overly restrictive that it’s killing it.

    May be we should just be back to sending work files using Thumbdrives, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs.

  11. Balazs Ree permalink

    Someone posted an experiment recently to a Hungarian mailing list.

    He downloaded the 64 bit DVD image of Windows 7 in two different ways:

    – with the official downloader of Microsoft,

    – and from bittorrent.

    The resulting two DVD’s have the same length and md5sum. In short, they are equivalent.

    Downloading with the Microsoft downloader, took 9 manual steps. The download itself took 1 hour 11 minutes (not counting the time that the restart took when the download broke 3 times).

    Downloading with torrent took only 4 steps, and the download itself took only 58 minutes.

    So, this particular example demonstrates the superiority of p2p technology in this case of software distribution. There is nothing that keeps even Microsoft away, to see the opportunity and embrace this solution for its own purposes.

    Well, except, that if the legal usages of p2p spread wider, it will be harder to deem “torrent” as “illegal”, per se…

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