Danish ISPs stop providing copyright industry with subscriber identities

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Denmark’s ISPs are collectively putting their foot down and will no longer surrender identifying subscriber information to the copyright industry’s lawyer armies. This follows a ruling in neighboring Norway, where the Supreme Court ruled that ISP Telenor is under no obligation to surrender subscriber identities, observing that the infraction of the copyright distribution monopoly is not nearly a serious enough issue to breach telecommunications privacy. This has the potential to end a long time of copyright industry free reign in Denmark, and will likely create a long series of court cases.

Denmark has long been an ugly stepchild when it comes to civil liberties online, giving the copyright industry basically everything they want in their efforts to prop up a crumbling distribution monopoly at the expense of any and all liberties. Denmark was the first country to re-introduce governmental censorship just to censor The Pirate Bay off the net, it was where the copyright industry’s plan was devised to use horrifying child abuse imagery as a battering ram against net neutrality, with the end goal of censoring any and all sites they felt threatened their established analog-era business.

Partially as a result of this, some of the more innovative legal defenses also popped up in Denmark first, among them the open wireless defense, which states that you can’t be held liable for something that happened on your open wireless network. When the first case of this type was ruled on by a court, extortion letters in Denmark from the copyright industry and their troll lawyer armies dried up overnight.

Regardless, the extortion attempts have continued against people sharing knowledge and culture with each other — which, in the eyes of public perception, is not and should not be a crime. This is one of the areas where public perception of justice collides hardest with the old analog world which insists on maintaining its analog privileges at any cost to society and the digital generation’s liberties.

And so, in the past year alone, the demands on Denmark’s ISPs to identify subscribers have risen by 250 per cent, according to Danish ITWatch.

On April 26, the Supreme Court in neighboring Norway ruled that the telecoms provider Telenor is not under any obligation to surrender identifying information to the copyright industry, justifying its ruling that simple sharing of culture and knowledge was not nearly aggravating enough to breach the telecommunications privacy.

Last week, after this ruling in the neighboring country, the Danish Internet Service Providers are collectively putting their foot down and not giving the copyright industry’s trolls who engage in so-called “speculative invoicing” — an action that would be prison-time criminal in any other industry — any more time of day. The ISP have decided that their customers are more important to them than obeying the tantrums of an obsolete distribution industry on its last legs.

What’s really puzzling is how ISPs could even consider it any other way; at any other time or in any other place — not standing up for your customers, and taking their enemies’ side instead, is simply not very good business.

Regardless, the ISPs will still have your identity and may be compelled by a court of law to surrender it, which is why a no-log VPN (or a no-log ISP, if you can find one) remains a very good defense.

Syndicated Article
This article was previously published at Private Internet Access.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He works as Head of Privacy at the no-log VPN provider Private Internet Access; with his other 40 hours, he's developing an enterprise grade bitcoin wallet and HR system for activism.

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Discussion

  1. Penelope

    I am thinking about all the content creators and clients that pay for it. Now it is obvious that someones work and paid content will be replicate by free. This is not right!

  2. Colin Carr

    Penelope,
    Back in the analog world, nobody said that musicians/composers/authors had to make a good living. If what they produced was rubbish, people wouldn’t buy it and the artist either starved or changed careers.
    In the digital world, rubbish is still produced. Think of the many movies that go straight to DVD because nobody is willing to watch them in a cinema.
    If a product is WORTH buying, the evidence shows people, even those dfreadful pirates, will fork out the money to buy it. The problem then is that the film and music producers are then extremely reluctant to pass on royalties to the creative people. But that’s a whole different world of unpunished corporate crime.

  3. Dennis

    “What’s really puzzling is how ISPs could even consider it any other way; at any other time or in any other place — not standing up for your customers, and taking their enemies’ side instead, is simply not very good business.”
    We didn’t have much choice, cause all the ISP’s just rolled over to corporate greed like little cheap whores.

  4. twitter search

    I think that creating a long series of court cases have many reasons from:
    1. Opening wireless defense, which states that you can’t be held liable for something that happened on your open wireless network,
    2. Re-introduce governmental censorship just to censor The Pirate Bay off the net, where the copyright industry’s plan was devised to use horrifying child abuse imagery as a battering ram against net neutrality.
    3. All sites they felt threatened their established analog-era business.
    This is one of the areas where public perception of justice collides hardest with the old analog world which insists on maintaining its analog privileges at any cost to society and the digital generation’s liberties.

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