3 Count: Charity Begins at Home

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Pirate Bay attorney outlines arguments for appeal

First off today, one of The Pirate Bay attorneys has outlined his arguments for the appeal. At the forefront is the alleged conflict of interest regarding the judge. However, they are also arguing that the site does not actually encourage anyone to commit a crime and, therefore, should no one should be guilty of assisting in copyright infringement.

Swedish law, however, makes the bar for assisting in a crime very low so it remains to be seen if the latter argument will fly and the judge, whose bias has been called into question due to memberships with several pro-copyright organizations, claims he was only a member to share his knowledge. However, it does seem that argument has a much better chance of working.

The attorney involved, who is representing Peter Sunde, is also arguing that his client was just a spokesperson for the site and did not provide any technical assistance. All four of the defendants are filing separate appeals though each will likely touch on many of the similar issues.

2: Music Piracy Controversy Surrounds Charity Fund Raising

Next up TorrentFreak is reporting on two conflicting stories involving music and charity.

The first takes place in Italy, where a severe earthquake killed hundreds earlier this year. Artists banded together and produced a for-charity song entitled “Domani 21/4.09” that is going to help victims of the quake. However, the song leaked onto P2P networks and this has been used as a publicity opportunity by an Italian music lobbying group to accuse the file sharers of trying to deprive the charities of money.

The second takes place in Spain, where a charity concert we held to send a young man with a degenetive brain disease to the U.S. for treatment. The concert raised approximately $75,000 but the SGAE, a royalty collection agency in the country, sought to collect 10% of the royalties. Though the organization eventually agreed to donate the money back to the cause, essentially negating the amount given, it was only done so after intense public pressure.

It is worth nothing that these two organizations, apart from being in two different countries, play very different roles. One is a lobbying and representative firm while the other collects royalties on behalf of rights holders, which has been accused of overly-aggressive tactics in the past.

3: Music Industry’s Plea for Pirate Bay Damages Backfires

Finally today, the plaintiffs The Pirate Bay case have begun to file for collection of amounts awarded to them in the trial, this even though the case is currently under appeal. The defendants have already filed saying that they should not be able to use the Swedish Enforcement Authority at this time as the appeal is ongoing.

However, in the meantime, a site has sprung up asking people to make very small donations to the law firm instigation the collections and then request a refund citing wrongful payment. The idea is to drive up the accounting charges at the law firm so the collection is unprofitable.

If is unclear what, if anything the law firm can do to stop these tactics should they become common, but the law does grant people the right to demand their funds be returned in this manner. Many are calling this a DDO$ attack, named after a form of Internet-based attack that locks out service by overwhelming it with meaningless traffic.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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