The fight against online piracy reached new levels of absurdity after the Copyright Information And Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) in Finland cracked down on a 9-year-old suspected pirate and had the police seize her Winnie the Pooh laptop. Her crime was to download a song from Finnish pop star Chisu, and her father’s to refuse signing a non-disclosure agreement and pay €600 to settle the charges without prosecution.
TorrentFreak reports that the CIAPC had first contacted the Internet account holder during the spring, informing him that his account had been traced back to an incidence of online file-sharing, and asking for compensation in order to let the case go.
He decided to ignore the letter and this week things escalated as promised, with the police arriving at his doorstep and raiding his house looking for evidence -- his daughter’s notebook.
According to the father’s account, the girl tried to download a number of songs, and a Google search led her to The Pirate Bay. Supposedly the resulting downloads didn’t work so the following day they went to a store to buy music -- whether or not this last bit is true is beyond the point, however. In parting, the police had some advice for the father: “It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation.”
“I got the feeling that there had been people from the MAFIA demanding money at the door,” the girl’s father recounted. "We have not done anything wrong. If adults do not always know how to use a computer and the web, how can you assume that children or the elderly knows what they are doing at any given time online? […] It is sad to see how even the big artists have no idea what CIAPC is doing in their name.”
Indeed upon hearing about the situation Chisu apologized to the 9-year-old and pointed to a link on Spotify where her music can be played for free. Electronic Frontier Finland also took note of the case and said it is an indication of just how far copyright enforcement has progressed in Finland.
Pirate girl image via Shutterstock -- not actual suspect.