Tuesday, August 24, 2004

pirate geography lessons

Pirate Bay, a Swedish file-sharing group, recently received a cease-and-desist letter from Dreamworks protesting the group's sharing of the film Shrek 2. This might seem like a reasonable thing for Dreamworks to do, but the way they went about it was just fucking stupid: they invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a piece of American legislation that is proof that while the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin are still uncountable, the number of politicians you can fit in your pocket is apparently known to someone in the RIAA/MPAA.

In response to the cease-and-desist letter, the foks at Pirate Bay chose to educate Dreamworks on some of the subtleties of international law:

As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.
It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are fucking morons.

Regardless of the morality of their acts, they do have a point... the US just loves legislating things that are *way* out of our jurisdiction, as though the rest of the world was just a suburb. Dreamworks could have made some sort of case based on international copyright law, but instead they chose to use the jackboot & strongarm method that has been so successful in the US. I'm happy to see someone stand up to them.

As long as the subject is pirates, I should point out that we are a mere 25 days away from International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Aaaarrrrr...