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Anti-Piracy Lawyers Thwarted in Norway

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 27 comments

A Norwegian law firm has lost its license to track down pirates.

Recently, a major blow came to the anti-piracy movement in Norway, as the country's only law firm licensed to monitor pirates and collect IP addresses now faces a new challenge. According to Norwegian website Dagbladet, the Simonsen law firm's license has expired, and will not be up for renewal. Simonsen lawyer Espen Tøndel, widely known for his role in tracking down pirates, said that the firm would object to the non-renewal, and that copyright holders would be powerless in any attempt to halt file sharing.

“One can not deny [the copyright holders] their right to protect their interests in this way,” he said.

Up until now, the law firm has pursued illicit file sharers since 2006, however the firm's license was originally meant to be temporary. As reported by  TorrentFreak, the license hasn't seen the spotlight of political debate until Norway's data protection authorities began to question its true intent. Apparently, the group requested political clarification and legislation on what the license can and cannot do, but political parties have not provided the requested information.

The license rejection comes at the heels of another change in Norway: he country's data protection department told ISP's that they must delete all personal IP address-related data three weeks after collection thanks to the Personal Data Act. In contrast, the European Union demands that ISPs retain data for at least six months, enabling anti-piracy authorities to track down illegal file sharing.

As for Norway's anti-piracy champion, the law firm can no longer monitor the Internet for illegal activity... at least for now. Tøndel still believes that the license can be renewed.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    battery , June 23, 2009 8:09 PM
    now if only something like this would happen to the RIAA..
  • 10 Hide
    g-thor , June 23, 2009 8:41 PM
    etrnl_frostI don't understand personal protection acts. It's almost like saying, "Hey look, criminals, a loophole!"As long as I've lived, as long as you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. That, as far as I'm concerned, will always be true. If you have nothing wrong, there's nothing to be paranoid about. Now, if you are doing something wrong... well, then doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded? When did we all start thinking it was okay to do something wrong? Or that the law should protect those who are doing something wrong?And let's get it out of our thick skulls that "big brother is watching you". Unless you're doing something horribly wrong, no one cares. You're not that special. Get over it.


    So when are you planning on putting the 24/7 webcam on in your bedroom? If you're a consenting adult, you aren't doing anything wrong, How about having a tracer on your car that can let the police know when you exceed the speed limit? That way they can send you the ticket without having to leave the precinct. After all, if you break the law, "doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded?"

    Show me that you live this and I might listen to your argument. The reality is, it's is a weak and unreal argument. There are a multitude of things you do and say in life that are nobody else's business, and it has nothing to do with legality.

    I have no problem with extending new powers to government bodies. However, it had better include very strong accountability, otherwise it can lead to enforcement without responsibility where the end justifies the means. That's bad news for everyone except those in power.
Other Comments
    Display all 27 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    cheepstuff , June 23, 2009 8:06 PM
    the bureaucracy is expanding, to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy...

    ... i just pirated that quote, guess i can get away with it now
  • -4 Hide
    unlicensedhitman , June 23, 2009 8:06 PM
    Spotted a minor typo...
  • 18 Hide
    battery , June 23, 2009 8:09 PM
    now if only something like this would happen to the RIAA..
  • 4 Hide
    chripuck , June 23, 2009 8:09 PM
    etrnl_frostI don't understand personal protection acts. It's almost like saying, "Hey look, criminals, a loophole!"As long as I've lived, as long as you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. That, as far as I'm concerned, will always be true. If you have nothing wrong, there's nothing to be paranoid about. Now, if you are doing something wrong... well, then doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded? When did we all start thinking it was okay to do something wrong? Or that the law should protect those who are doing something wrong?And let's get it out of our thick skulls that "big brother is watching you". Unless you're doing something horribly wrong, no one cares. You're not that special. Get over it.

    Some would argue slippery slope...
  • 1 Hide
    chripuck , June 23, 2009 8:10 PM
    cheepstuffthe bureaucracy is expanding, to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy...... i just pirated that quote, guess i can get away with it now

    Ahhh, remember that quote from Civ IV. Don't know where it comes from though...
  • 3 Hide
    hellwig , June 23, 2009 8:15 PM
    etrnl_frostI don't understand personal protection acts. It's almost like saying, "Hey look, criminals, a loophole!"As long as I've lived, as long as you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. That, as far as I'm concerned, will always be true. If you have nothing wrong, there's nothing to be paranoid about. Now, if you are doing something wrong... well, then doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded? When did we all start thinking it was okay to do something wrong? Or that the law should protect those who are doing something wrong?And let's get it out of our thick skulls that "big brother is watching you". Unless you're doing something horribly wrong, no one cares. You're not that special. Get over it.


    etrnl_frost: the problem is when what is legal today becomes illegal tomorrow. Thanks to all that personal information you gave up freely, the government knows just who's door to come knocking on. It might seem fine now, but just wait till the government asks you to give up something you feel they have no right doing.

    It's easy to overlook such legislation when it affect child abusers and software pirates, but what happens when we get into a China or Iran-like situation, where your basic freedom of speech and expression becomes illegal?
  • 0 Hide
    cheepstuff , June 23, 2009 8:24 PM
    chripuckAhhh, remember that quote from Civ IV. Don't know where it comes from though...


    fun game, good quotes, now you can feel free to pirate with out immediate reprimandation.
  • 3 Hide
    Ciuy , June 23, 2009 8:24 PM
    argh pirates win again ...
  • 10 Hide
    g-thor , June 23, 2009 8:41 PM
    etrnl_frostI don't understand personal protection acts. It's almost like saying, "Hey look, criminals, a loophole!"As long as I've lived, as long as you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. That, as far as I'm concerned, will always be true. If you have nothing wrong, there's nothing to be paranoid about. Now, if you are doing something wrong... well, then doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded? When did we all start thinking it was okay to do something wrong? Or that the law should protect those who are doing something wrong?And let's get it out of our thick skulls that "big brother is watching you". Unless you're doing something horribly wrong, no one cares. You're not that special. Get over it.


    So when are you planning on putting the 24/7 webcam on in your bedroom? If you're a consenting adult, you aren't doing anything wrong, How about having a tracer on your car that can let the police know when you exceed the speed limit? That way they can send you the ticket without having to leave the precinct. After all, if you break the law, "doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded?"

    Show me that you live this and I might listen to your argument. The reality is, it's is a weak and unreal argument. There are a multitude of things you do and say in life that are nobody else's business, and it has nothing to do with legality.

    I have no problem with extending new powers to government bodies. However, it had better include very strong accountability, otherwise it can lead to enforcement without responsibility where the end justifies the means. That's bad news for everyone except those in power.
  • 5 Hide
    tenor77 , June 23, 2009 8:49 PM
    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
  • 7 Hide
    gorehound , June 23, 2009 9:40 PM
    AWESOME NEWS !!!
    Down with the RIAA !!!
    Down with the MPAA !!!
    VIVA LE REVOLUTION !!!
  • 3 Hide
    matt87_50 , June 23, 2009 11:57 PM
    i swear, they spend less effort going after real pirates these days
  • 3 Hide
    _SirO_ , June 24, 2009 12:15 AM
    The real pirates are harder to catch and are far less than the "regular" pirate. It doesn't payoff for them...
  • 2 Hide
    cheepstuff , June 24, 2009 1:34 AM
    _SirO_The real pirates are harder to catch and are far less than the "regular" pirate. It doesn't payoff for them...


    no, the real pirates are plastic, as shown in the picture.
  • 2 Hide
    B-Unit , June 24, 2009 4:20 AM
    No, no, the REAL pirate is here maddox.xmission.com
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 24, 2009 6:28 AM
    The more power you give to the government, the more apt it is to corrupt and abuse it. Have we not already seen this in America? Enough said. If you want to live under a Nazi-like Regime, sure give the government more power...

    I for one am very happy these laws are being struck down, The RIAA and MPAA have done more harm then good and deserve to be taken down. Big corporations and government are the cancer of society. Its called greed, corruption and the power of money to subjugate freedom and privacy of the individual... and the cancer exists in all areas, from big pharmaceutical companies poisoning our bodies to telecom companies trying to snoop in our private lives. Glad to see that freedom is finally winning out.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , June 24, 2009 8:50 AM
    Know what, I have nothing to hide.
    If you want to use Big Brother on me, go ahead. You'll see all the pornographic content I see, and you'll learn how to speak 1337 speak in only a hour. You'll also find I openly use torrents to transfer data.
    I ain't being stopped any time soon.
    (P.S. Canadian law protects pirates. We can upload and download all we want legally. It's just the use of said obtained material is illegal if you don't have the legal right. We have the right to transfer the information. So, back to uploading all my porn.)

    B-UnitNo, no, the REAL pirate is here maddox.xmission.com


    Leave maddox alone.
    Oh wait, it's people like you he even has a usebase to begin with.
    By the way, everyone get the Alphabet of Manliness, Maddox's book, it's pure awesome. I pirated it.
  • -3 Hide
    azxcvbnm321 , June 24, 2009 11:17 AM
    This seems incredibly political and an abuse of government power. Government should be allowed to deny licenses to firms if they don't like what the firms are doing? That could lead to serious trouble, especially if it gets to the point where firms who oppose the government are simply denied a renewal the next time, no one would dare oppose the government or challenge its views. I can't believe the people of Norway have this kind of short sided view.
  • 0 Hide
    -unknown- , June 24, 2009 2:48 PM
    etrnl_frostI don't understand personal protection acts. It's almost like saying, "Hey look, criminals, a loophole!"As long as I've lived, as long as you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. That, as far as I'm concerned, will always be true. If you have nothing wrong, there's nothing to be paranoid about. Now, if you are doing something wrong... well, then doesn't it stand well to think that you should be reprimanded? When did we all start thinking it was okay to do something wrong? Or that the law should protect those who are doing something wrong?And let's get it out of our thick skulls that "big brother is watching you". Unless you're doing something horribly wrong, no one cares. You're not that special. Get over it.

    While it would be nice to believe that governing bodies (ie justice dept, police, etc) are incorruptible and infallible, it is simply not the case due to their human composition (which are fallible and corruptible).

    There are plenty of events in history to show this very issue and it is currently being witnessed in Iran and recently in China. There are plenty of people that have done nothing wrong yet they are being oppressed by their own government for a multitude of reasons. Heck, the whole "Why do bad things happen to good people" saying is common in all cultures/societies due to a common understanding of how events in life are not always predictable by a simple formula of "be good and nothing bad will happen to you".

    Personal protection acts are there to protect you against the abuse of power by others. As another user mentioned, there's nothing wrong with government power when its accountable and responsible.

    For example, if I get hit by a car I can look at the license plate and memorize it but I can't get a name from it and become a vigilante. However, the police can obtain the owner's name. This requires me to report my incident and if the police have enough evidence, they press charges and obtain the owner's name. This should be no different for copyrights. The group should obtain the IP address they claim to be a suspect, provide evidence to a court, if the court deems the evidence sufficient, the ISP is requested to release the subscriber's name through a court order (and not just because the group wants a name).
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