Now the shit hits the fan.
It has been almost a week since my post concerning the Swedish industry-funded anti-piracy organization Antipiratbyrån (APB), and the quote from our Minister of Justice. Now, everything is far from Status Quo. The story begun with an executed search warrant towards the Swedish ISP Bahnhof.
The search warrant clearly stated four movies that one had “very clear indications that they would hosted illegally by Bahnhof”. After ten consultants had been searching for hours, they still did not find any of the movies. (Is it only me, or do “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ring a bell?) The sweet part was that the authorities still found a large clustered server (covered with skull stickers!) that had a lot of other pirated stuff on it.
The moral and legal debate over the past week has argued whether the newly found server should count as evidence or not, since it didn’t contain any of the files covered by the search warrant. The US has rigorous legislation concerning this (the servers would not be valid as evidence) but in Sweden it isn’t as obvious. If it would be legal to collect evidence in that manner, one basically could search any random company in Sweden – you’re bound to find at least some pirated files if you search servers and PCs.
Now about why the shit hits the fan (even Slashdot wrote an article about it last night):
Judging from published logfiles and reports, the evidence was clearly created by APB themselves. And APB – yep! – is the anti-piracy organization funded by Sony, Microsoft, Universal et cetera. APB has already publicly announced that they had a paid insider (legally considered an employee) called Rouge. They failed to mention two small details, though:
1) “Rouge” (APB’s employee) is the person that, by far, has uploaded the largest amount of pirated material to the server
2) “Rouge”, and in effect APB, are the ones that have paid for most of the server hardware (new disks since Rouge was such a huge uploader)
APB will never recover from this. This is by far the worst lobbying scam I can think of in Swedish history. A conglomerate-interest-lobbying organization backed by the huge guys (m$, sony et c) pays off a pirate, encourages him to increase uploads, pays for hardware upgrades, and then tries to take down the hosting ISP!
Swedish people were rather pro file sharing before this happened, but after Bahnhof one can only imagine what will happen. They will definitely go closer towards China’s piracy morals.
Message to APB sponsors: Go to jail (without passing “Go”). Be creative about your business models.