We’re Still Waiting for That Pirate Bay Lawsuit…

Threatening to sue is one thing. Actually filing a lawsuit, hiring attorneys, and going through with it is another.  Which means, the Pirate Bay may not be filing its promised lawsuit against Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC after all.

hand-left Wednesday, February 13th: The Pirate Bay Is Actually Suing Someone for Trademark Infringement…

And the reason is simple: you have to put your real name and a real contact information on a lawsuit, and actually show up in court (without the mask).  “A lawsuit would be a good thing,” CIAPC executive director Antti Kotilanien told Finnish paper Ilta-Sanomat, while welcoming the action.

“It will force them to disclose their real names.”

helloguy

Point, anti-piracy coalitions around the world?  On the issue of anonymity, Torrentfreak reports that Pirate Bay operators are considering leveling legal action through an advocacy group, though that raises all sorts of complicated legal questions.  And in all likelihood, the presiding judge would be unhappy hearing testimony from a proxy organization.

All of which means that denial-of-service attacks notwithstanding, this ripped-off version of the Pirate Bay’s logo will continue to stand.  And CIAPC can continue to make its point…

pirate_bay_parody1

 

Updated: The Pirate Bay has now reported CIAPC to the Economic Crime unit of the Finnish police, but still no signs of an actual suit.  We haven’t seen the police report, though we’re guessing identities are cloudy.  “While The Pirate Bay may have a positive view on copying, it will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright,” Pirate Bay blogger ‘Winston’ relayed.

56 Responses

  1. Visitor
    Visitor

    If the Pirate Bay don’t protect their Intellectual Property any right holder can now upload a few thousands fake Pirate Bay proxies, link to them and list them on fake Pirate Bay proxy info sites. (Copyright and Trademark protection/enforcement can be compared to muscles: You use them or lose them.)
    This may lead to disaster for the Pirate Bay.
    If the Pirate Bay do protect their marks — it has been suggested that they may hide behind a helpful pro-piracy/pedophilia organization — they will indeed be able to take CIAPC’s site down. However, any court of law will demand that the front organization reveals the names of the plaintiffs.
    This may lead to disaster for the Pirate Bay as well.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      … plus, not only right holders but also competing companies may now be interested in using the Pirate Bay’s name, code and logo, if these marks are not protected.

      Reply
    • Casey
      Casey

      You don’t lose copyright simply because you don’t enforce it. Nor do you lose trademarks simply because you don’t actively protect them.

      Furthermore, do you actually have any idea what proxies are?

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “Nor do you lose trademarks simply because you don’t actively protect them.”
        Ouch, Casey!
        Let’s start here:
        “Businesses often make the mistake of assuming that once they acquire a federally registered trademark, they are protected. But having a federally registered trademark does not automatically protect the mark. The use of a trademark has to be “policed” – that is, the trademark owner is obligated to locate and investigate unauthorized uses of the mark. By not doing so, the owner risks losing the mark altogether.”
        Source: Scott & Scott, Technology Attorneys:
        http://blawg.scottandscottllp.com/businessandtechnologylaw/2008/02/trademark_guide_why_do_i_need.html
        Now, let’s dig a little further and hear what United States Patent and Trademark Office have to say:
        “Trademark owners have a legal right and an affirmative obligation to protect their trademark
        assets from misuse.18 If the owner does not proactively police the relevant market and enforce its
        rights against violators, the strength of the mark, the owner’s ability to exclude others from using
        the same or similar marks in the marketplace, and the value of the asset all will diminish.19
        Failure to take action may result in consumers being confused or deceived as to the source or
        sponsorship of goods or services, harm to the owner’s reputation, and lost sales. A trademark
        owner is not required to object to all unauthorized uses that might conflict, for not every thirdparty
        use poses the same risk of eroding distinctiveness in the marketplace.20 However,
        widespread unauthorized uses may cause the mark to lose its trademark significance altogether.
        […]
        In view of the mark owner’s obligation to police violations, aggressive enforcement of one’s
        trademark rights does not automatically equate to abuse or bullying. In fact, as suggested by
        some of those who provided public comments, most trademark owners are not setting out to
        assert dubious claims or be bullies when they initiate enforcement measures. They are simply
        trying to protect the strength of their marks and their reputation, and avoid the erosion of rights
        that may result from inaction.”
        Source:
        http://www.uspto.gov/ip/TMLitigationReport_final_2011April27.pdf
        Finally, let’s hear what The International Trademark Association INTA have to say:
        “Failure to Police

        Trademark rights may also be lost when a trademark owner fails to effectively police its trademark against eroded distinctiveness owing to the presence in the marketplace of confusingly similar third-party marks. For example, if many third parties subsequently begin using the same or a similar trademark in commerce in connection with goods and/or services similar to the trademark owner’s after the trademark owner has already begun use, and the owner does little or nothing to police its trademark, the trademark is likely to lose some or all of its value as a source identifier in the marketplace. As a result, the trademark will become weaker, and in some cases it may lose its distinctiveness entirely.”
        Source:
        http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/LossofTrademarkRightsFactSheet.aspx

        Reply
      • Casey
        Casey

        Weaker, losing strength, losing significance, etc. has nothing to do with if you lose it or not. As long as it is in use, and as long as you keep following the proper channels to keep the trademark, it will be yours indefinitely. It won’t be taken away from you. Granted it might become significantly harder to enforce down the road, maybe even impossible, but that is another matter. It will still technically be yours.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          Yes, just like recorded music, text, motion pictures and photography.
          Anyone can copy it, upload it on the internet, download it, sell advertising space on the site that distributes it and not give you, the owner, a single dime.
          It is still technically yours.

          Reply
      • Trademark v. Copyright
        Trademark v. Copyright

        As mentioned above you do eventually lose trademark rights if you don’t actively protect them.
        You won’t lose copyrights because of lack of enforcement, however the copyright claim in this case is weak at best.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          You are right in your distinctions between copyright and trademark.
          I’d just like to add that many are unaware of the importance of copyright enforcement — until they end up in court.
          The first line of defense in plagiarism cases is often:
          “Why do you harass my client when you previously ignored Ms. X’s copy of this note sequence from your song?”
          And the second line is often:
          “Why did it take you x years to complain?”
          The basis of both techniques is plaintiff’s previous lack of copyright enforcement. And that is often fatal.

          Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      As from the TPB AFK documentry, it’s a game of chess where TPB uses technology and their opponents use courts. So if repudiation becomes a concern, they will use technical measures to solve it.

      Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          So it becomes a game of technology, between the technologist and content creator? 🙂 I’ll think we all know where I’d be putting my money on.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Yes, it may indeed become a tech game!
            On one side, you have the criminals: Most are very young with little to no education and very few economic and technological resources.
            Their sole incentive is to get away with stealing.
            On the other side, you have every government in the world except North Korea’s and to some extent China’s; all legislators, several highly influential industries, a rapidly growing number of ISP’s plus the art organizations. Most individuals are well educated, have very good networks and lots of economic and technological resources.
            Among their incentives are politics, profits, human rights, protection of the arts, etc.
            “I’ll think we all know where I’d be putting my money on.”
            Yup.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Because we have been too kind, so far.
            I think you may notice a slightly different approach in a not so distant future.

      • Visitor
        Visitor

        They own the piratebay domain. That is truly the only thing they need to worry about. And since no one else can use it, they are good to go regardless of what organizations copy from them.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “They own the piratebay domain. That is truly the only thing they need to worry about.”
          No, the domain is worthless in a growing number of countries (everywhere it’s blocked).
          They own one thing only: Their brand! It’s one of the finest in the world, and they know it.
          If they fail to protect it in court, they’ll lose everything. If they do police it, they will keep the brand for now but at the risk of going back to jail.
          The clock is ticking — and this is still up:
          http://piraattilahti.fi/

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            TPB sent the Finnish police a request to investigate the anti-piracy organization’s “criminal copyright infringement and dilution of their brand”.
            If the police does or doesn’t take action, either way the TPB wins:
            – If the police takes action, they potentially shut down/embarass an anti-piracy outfit.
            -If the police doesn’t action, they show that the justice system is corrupt by favoring one organizations copyright over another (since the police takes action on the anti-piracy organization’s requests already), which fits nicely in the pirate propaganda model.

            Personally it’s kind of stupid for a organization who sole purpose to exist, is to supports and justify copyright to clearly violate Finnish copyright law, even if it is to mess with their biggest enemy.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “either way the TPB win”
            You gotta be kidding… 🙂
            This is an epic lose-lose situation for our poor pirates:
            Either they lose their million dollar brand because they fail to take this down:
            http://piraattilahti.fi/
            And so far it is still up…
            Or they take the delicious bait and successfully fight to protect their Intellectual Property — while the right holder organizations get what they want:
            Names!
            And believe me, any name will do. Subpoenas will take care of the rest, and they will fall like gentle summer rain…

  2. Visitor
    Visitor

    Since it looks like the pirate bay is abandoning a legal solution to their problems (surprise) they will have to use technological attacks on the Finnish website and all other copycat websites that will follow.
    If that fails they (or their loyal friends) will use the good old fashioned mob tactic of intimidation by threat of personal violence. I am sure we will start hearing stories of personal threats shortly.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Since it looks like the pirate bay is abandoning a legal solution to their problems (surprise) they will have to use technological attacks on the Finnish website”
      They also failed at that. There has been a DDoS on CIAPC’s site, but it didn’t seem to have any effect.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        Once Hollywood makes a movie, they can’t unmake it. Even if they went down tommorow, all the millions of movies out there would still exist. People will start rediscovering it, kinda like how old music is becoming increasingly popular.

        It’s kinda like how the music industry is, based on their own estimates, 1/8 the size it the as a decade ago (counting for inflation), so for all intents and purposes, practically dead. Has anyone outside the music industry noticed? And the money they are missing can go to other industries who need it more, like the technology industry. 🙂 So people can get have more disposible income to buy even fancier gadgets to play their freely acquired content on.

        Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        It gets even worse: Not only is revenues down, a noticably bigger portion of todays revenues are going to pay for old music, stuff recorded years, even decades ago. The amount of money going toward new music is thus, astronomically small.
        The obvious argument is that new music sucks, but the average tween, major consumer of new music, doesn’t seem to agree. It’s so fascinating, bo music fans are even noticing that the music industry is practically dead! Why is that good sir?

        Reply
  3. Visitor
    Visitor

    It now seems that the Pirate Bay did fail to police their trademark.
    This means that it may lose most or all of its value.
    So I contacted RIAA and suggested a new Anti Pirate Bay campaign:
    Upload thousands of exact Pirate Bay copies linking to legitimate sites, such as iTunes and Amazon!
    I would encourage all musicians and right holders to send similar suggestions to your organizations.

    Reply
  4. AnAmusedGeek
    AnAmusedGeek

    Not to rain on all you lawyers out there…
    but since its not a US case, US law wont apply.
    I really don’t know if they are even required to show up in person for a civil case in finland, or if they can just hire a lawyer to represent them anonymously ?

    From what I’ve heard from other techies, most seem to think the ‘threat’ was jus sort of a tongue-in-cheeek, ironic sort of thing.

    It’ll be interesting to see if they actually go thru with it

    Reply
  5. Visitor
    Visitor

    I feel that enough has been said regarding law, so I won’t add to that. But I just LOVE this line: “While The Pirate Bay may have a positive view on copying, it will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright.”
    Hypocritical much? It’s okay for me to flagrantly disregard copyright, but it’s not okay for you to steal my trademark.
    Admittedly, I am hoping that someone pirates and makes available the Pirate Bay movie before its release, just to see if they’ll jump to the NEXT logical stage of hypocrisy: “Hey, you can’t infringe on our copyright!”

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “While The Pirate Bay may have a positive view on copying, it will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright.”
      Yes, the line is obviously hypocritical (as well as plain nutty, for that matter) but it is also interesting as it seems to license everybody else than copyright enforcing organizations — artists or competing companies, for instance — to use the Pirate Bay’s Intellectual Property.
      Still, since the Pirate Bay stole the casette-drawing in their logo, and possibly also the code, they’re almost certain to lose their trademark in any event.
      Interesting times…
      And this is still up:
      http://piraattilahti.fi/

      Reply
    • AnAmusedGeek
      AnAmusedGeek

      The pirate bay movie is creative commons license – anyone can share it….

      I’m actually looking forward to seeing it, as I haven’t really paid much attention to TPB in the last few years.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        That’s disappointing.
        However, Creative Commons is still technically a form of copyright, even if it allows free distribution, reproduction, and creation of derivative works.
        They should have released it under no license at all.

        Reply
    • AnAmusedGeek
      AnAmusedGeek

      *Yawn*
      As often as people claim TPB is ‘dead’, maybe their movie should have been a zombie flick ? It really is funny watching BigBiz get more and more outrageous in their attempts to shut down TPB. (Really – threatening a provider of my provider? Isn’t that a stretch..Sorta like saying I shot someone so you prosecute the gun store that sold me the gun AND Ruger? )
      Oh well, if they actually manage to shut it down for a few hours, it should make East Bay Ray’s weekend. Poor guy sounds like he could use something to cheer him up.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “Yawn”
        Ah, good to see that one of you still manage to keep cool. 🙂
        Everybody else seems to think the end is nigh… pirates download complete tpb-backups… Portlane’s gone already… Serious Tubes say that the pirate ‘party’ is hosting the bay, but that’s not true according to the ‘party’. Who’s lying? Nobody knows.
        On top of that, this is still up:
        http://piraattilahti.fi/
        Which means the Pirate Bay brand is losing value by the hour.

        Reply
  6. Visitor
    Visitor

    Wow, http://piraattilahti.fi/ is gone!
    OK, so you can trust the Pirate Bay. And somebody actually took their complaint seriously.
    Which means the pirates still own their brand and trademark.

    Nah, just kidding — the site is still up. 🙂

    Reply

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