Monday 5 September 2011

Czech Pirates and Anti-Piracy Union draw up battle lines

Under the slogan “Linking is not a crime”, the Czech Pirate Party has launched two movie-downloading websites in protest against the prosecution of a 16-year-old boy from the northern Czech city of Liberec. The boy faces a 5 million euro (US$ 7.2 million) damages claim which has been brought by the Czech Anti-Piracy Union for posting links to copyright-protected works on his website. The first of the two websites, launched in early July, This site is reported to carry some 20,000 links to over 5,800 movies. The second, was launched in late July. It does not host any copyright infringing material but does furnish links to where it can be downloaded.

The good old days, when the Czech Anti-Piracy Union could call on
Lucky and Flo to sniff our polycarbonate, used in the manufacture
of counterfeit disks.  Hyperlinks smell the same, regardless of legal status
According to the current law in the Czech Republic, copying something for one’s own use and downloading it from the internet is not illegal -- but sharing copyright material, like a movie or a CD, is illegal.

Czech Pirate Party Chairman Ivan Bartoš has stated his party's objection to the police being run by "the propaganda of the Anti-Piracy Union" and to the harassment of "anybody who puts a video on his/her web page or Facebook page". He has also challenged the Anti-Piracy Union to "stop bullying the under-aged and to aim its preposterous claims at the Pirate Party.”  The Pirate Party adds that, although no one has contacted it so far regarding the two websites, it is preparing a team of lawyers to deal with any potential lawsuits.

The Czech Anti-Piracy Union has reportedly not yet released any statement regarding the two websites, saying that it didn't want to reveal its strategy.

Source: "Czech Pirate Party Launches Movie-Download Portals in Protest Against Prosecution of File-Sharing Teenager", 30 August 2011

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