Monday, May 02, 2005

Swedish Police Physically Enforce Copyright

I found this pretty disturbing image through Karl Jonsson's Weblog. It's taken from an article in the Swedish news paper Sydsvenskan, which reported on a 24 year old girl being taken away by the police for swapping copyrighted material in a shopping mall. Since my Swedish is pretty much non-existent I asked Karl for a short explanation. He says:
This happened at a “copyswap” in Malmö on April 30. 20 or so people had met to publicly do “physical” file sharing. The girl was, apparently, giving CD-Rs away, She is suspected of copyright infringement. Yes, the people taking her away are police officers. Oh, and they also seized a guy who was passing out CDs of his own bands demos.
The Malmö incident took place a day before Piratbyrån [Swedish] organised a demonstration in favour of file-sharing in Stockholm, at which also some hand-to-hand copyswapping took place:

Where a few Malmö kids get to feel the stronghold of copyright enforcement, 800 demonstrators apparently prove too much for the police.

While this hand-to-hand copyswapping may arguably be a copyright violation, and it obviously is a public taunting, it is bewildering how the Swedish police knows to generate bad publicity. The "virtual" file-sharing is at least dealt with in fairly anonymous settlements and behind court doors. Like the hand-to-hand copyswapping, this copyright crack down is all in the open for the world to see. There's a drive to polarisation from both sides in the copyright debate, blurring reasonable (legal) solutions. Changing reason for physical force is stepping beyond the poles, beyond any argument.
- - -
More images from the Malmö incident
Small Quicktime movie of Stockholm demonstration + images


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very disturbing to say the least.
EFF Netfrelsi

6/5/05 04:11  

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