The wisdom of the half-witted crowds.

By now you probably heard, most likely on The Drudge Report, about the ten-year old girl in Finland, who had her laptop confiscated by mean old police because she downloaded some music illegally and her father, Aki Wequ Nylund, made a post about it how horrible the mean old people who support artists rights are because it's like a ten year old girl, man, and you're stealing her laptop and stop the insanity!

Of course we heard the news through the objective and not one-sided at all Torrent Freak Blog.

But thankfully the very objective and not one-sided at all Pirate Bay promised her VIP status, so I guess it means she can steal music at a faster rate or something. And someone else, an anonymous benefactor, donated a laptop to replace the one the evil police took.

Notice how there are very few named in this story? Also the enforcement people, the anti-piracy people who want to ensure artists get paid for their work? Nary a mention, nor a quote. Are journalists lazy or what? Even for the interest of the story, wouldn't you want to know how an organization would allow this to happen?

I got in touch with Jaana Pihkala, Deputy Director and Senior Legal Advisor For The Copyright Information and Piracy Center or CIAPC (i.e. the people in question) to find out what exactly was going on from their POV. Here is what Pihkala told me:

CIAPC represents a wide range of rights holders in Finland, including the music sector, who have appointed CIAPC to work against piracy.

In October 2011, popular Finnish artist Chisu’s new album “Kun valaistun” was released. CIAPC monitored the initial illegal file-sharing of the album on Pirate Bay. CIAPC did not monitor mere downloading of the album (which seems to be the common misconception in the media). However, the BitTorrent technology usually works so that the person downloading a file is automatically also sharing it to other downloaders.

A complete evidence package was gathered from 67 file-sharers using Finnish IP-addresses. In 28 cases, CIAPC sent the evidence to the District Court of Helsinki, asking for a court order that obligates the illegal file-sharers’ Internet Service Provider to reveal CIAPC the contact details of the Internet account holder behind the IP-address.

The request for the court order is based on the Finnish Copyright Act Section 60a . Before giving the order, the District Court verifies from the evidence package that the copyright infringement has occurred from the mentioned IP addresses as stated by the applicants.

CIAPC then sent a letter to 28 people. The letter states that a copyright infringement has been noticed from the Internet account holder’s IP address. It also tells possible consequences of copyright infringements in general and the account holder is kindly asked to contact CIAPC in order to discuss the matter. During these discussions, a settlement is proposed if deemed justified.

In the case in question, the father refused to settle the copyright infringement with the rights holders, so CIAPC had no other option than to ask the police to investigate the circumstances of the file-sharing.

CIAPC, the District Court or the ISP cannot know the details – for example the age – of the person who used the BitTorrent client behind a household’s IP address at the time of the surveillance. In fact, CIAPC still doesn’t know who used the BitTorrent client in the case in question, as it is still under police investigation. It was the father of the 10-year-old girl who publicly stated that he instructed his daughter how to find the album online.

CIAPC can only act within the boundaries of the current law which does not permit rights holders to tackle illegal piracy in more efficient and softer ways. CIAPC and the music sector has presented the matter to the government and suggested a graduated response program where ISPs would send education notices to Internet users who distributed files without permission. Such measures have been successful outside Finland but the Finnish government has not yet taken steps to ensure that such a program could be introduced to enable rights holders to pursue a more proportionate approach to fighting piracy.

So there you go. You'll either agree, or you won't. At least now you know the other side of the story.

But wait! There's moar! This is the best part. Believe me, you'll love this. Chisu, the artist the ten year old's father showed how to steal her album on a torrent site, came out on her Facebook wall saying that while she supports artist's rights, she doesn't support this kind of punishment.

You'd think her Facebook fans-- you know, the ones who actively liked her page in order to make comments-- would want to say something positive about her stance. After all, isn't it her right to make a living? The people who commented in English (and I'm willing to bet from their names, they aren't Finnish, or live in Finland, or understand Finnish without the help of Facebook's horrible Bing translator) didn't. As evidenced by the above photo. I don't know about the Finnish comments but in English this is what is being posted on her page.

This is modern copyright discourse: Someone who has fooled themselves into believing once it's online it's merely '0's and 1's, except you know, you can sing along to it. Because you see, calling it by another name means it's okay. And two other people have nothing to contribute except launching personal attacks against her, as if she had anything to do with the whole thing.

Keep it classy, Freehadists!