Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Copyright Cartel Uses Surveillance to Protect Its Monopoly, Distorts Privacy Laws

Because copyright, unlike privacy for example, is not a natural right

Rickard Falkvinge
Photo by T. M. Eckrich



Summary: Freedom and privacy continue to be compromised by the collective monopoly (or oligopoly) of copyright holders

THE TOO-BIG-TO-JAIL cartel, the one which is sometimes called the "copyright monopoly" (Rickard Falkvinge calls it that), is clearly above the law. It overrides and overwrites our laws. To name some of its latest mischiefs, which iophk made us aware of, it is now using collective accountability [1] for intimidation and harassment. Its propaganda efforts are further boosted by UCSF [2] and surveillance is now being used as a tool to protect the monopoly [3,4]. Privacy laws are almost being discarded in the UK [5-7] in order to accommodate this out-of-control monopoly, journalists are being threatened if they don't stick to the monopoly's party line [8], and lawsuits are being used to discourage acts of legitimate sharing [9] as long as the monopoly can claim that some proportion of the material is copyrighted (the monopoly is sometimes found to be responsible for planting such material as bait).



Techrights rarely delves into the field of copyright, but it is likely to do more of this in the future. Now more than ever before these matters are become closely intertwined with privacy and by extension with software freedom. Proprietary software helps the copyright monopoly not just by facilitating DRM but also by reporting on (ratting out) users. To fight the many injustices of the copyright cartel we need to encourage people to adopt Free software.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. Police Arrest Alleged Movie Pirate Again, Along With His Brother & Sister
    Back in May, police acting on behalf of the Federation Against Copyright Theft sent several police cars to arrest a single alleged movie cammer. But despite allocating significant resources, police have now dropped the charges. However, matters have actually taken a turn for the worse, with the police re-arresting the alleged cammer plus his brother and sister while investigating the online leak of another movie.


  2. Movie Piracy Hurts Health Research and Patient Care, UCSF Claims
    ...university falsely claims that using BitTorrent is considered a crime.


  3. Private Torrent Sites Run Their Own Mini-PRISM to Share Data on Users
    Last month TorrentFreak took a look at the information being held on users by the operators of private BitTorrent trackers. We questioned whether it was time to take another look at the way that data is being handled in order to better protect site members. In our second article on the issue we look not only at the data stored by individual trackers, but also claims that the information is being shared with dozens of other sites.


  4. Record labels ask broadband providers to collect data on illegal downloads


  5. Copyright Holders Want Voluntary UK Three-Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme


  6. Music industry try to revive the Digital Economy Act
    There must be an election coming: the Prime Minister is listening to the demands of the music industry for new clampdowns on file sharing


  7. UK Gov's Latest Move on Copyright: Exactly Wrong
    Remember the Digital Economy Act? Surely one of the worst pieces of UK legislation passed - or rather, rammed through - in recent years, as readers may recall. This was inspired (if that's the right word) by the French Hadopi scheme brought in by Nicolas Sarkozy, whereby people were threatened with being disconnected from the Internet if they were accused of unauthorised sharing of digital files.


  8. Journalists Face Criminal Complaint For Mentioning Name of Pirate Site
    This week journalists faced an attack on their right to report following their publication of an article on piracy. The piece, an interview with the operator of an unauthorized ebook site, angered publishers when the reporters named the site in question. The editors of two publications were subsequently hit with a criminal complaint in which they were accused of assisting copyright infringement. Meanwhile the operator of the site informs TorrentFreak that they intend to go international.


  9. MPAA Wins Landmark Piracy Battle Against Hotfile
    The MPAA has scored an important victory against the file-hosting service Hotfile. The District Court of Florida entered a summary judgment against Hotfile noting that the cyberlocker failed to control the distribution of pirated movies through its service. The MPAA applauds the verdict and says it shows that Hotfile’s business model was built on “mass distribution of stolen content.”


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