SOPA/PIPA/ACTA in Denmark

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While Americans have made great fuss about SOPA, PIPA and (next four-letter acronym goes here, e.g., ACTA) Denmark has had DNS-blocking for some time for drugs, games, child pornography and copyrighted content. It means that when I go http://thepiratebay.org I end up on my own machine as “thepiratebay.org” resolves by the IP-number 127.0.0.1 (i.e., my own computer) with the name service provided by my ISP. If I use another name service, e.g., 89.233.43.71 from censurfridns.dk I get the number “194.71.107.15” for PirateBay.

The 24hdiet.com domain seems to have been the first DNS-blocked due to the law on drugs. The case and the law in question (Lov om ??ndring af lov om l??gemidler og lov om medicinsk udstyr) from 2011 have been discussed in English by Thomas Steen Rasmussen in his blog post DNS-censoring Illegal Pharmaceutical Vendors – 24hdiet.com Blocked.

(Warning nerdish content: Strangely, while www.24hdiet.com resolves to 127.0.0.1 my DNS resolves 24hdiet.com to 200.106.144.214. The webserver on 200.106.144.214 apparently attempts to work from a virtual host at 24hdiet.net and this address is handled by 200.106.144.214. 24hdiet.net redirects to slanke-piller.net. All these 200.106.144 seems to be in Panama…)

Back in 2006 IFPI Denmark managed to get ISP Tele2 to block access to www.allofmp3.com, a site that illegally distributed copyrighted material. For me www.allofmp3.com resolves to 127.0.0.1, – again my own computer. No access.

DNS blocking for child pornography has been going on for years (described on the Danish Wikipedia). In 2008 Wikileaks leaked a list of the sites blocked. Of these “teenbabes.ca” reports “not found” for me. The same goes for, e.g., “cuties.name” and “girl-1.com”. Also censurfridns.dk find no entry for these names, so perhaps they are abandoned?

Games/casinos across the Internet can be blocked in Denmark by various means. This is stated to be to protect the legal game market (as well as the tax collection I suppose). The draft of the law from 2010 suggested payment blocking (which was then already taking place in United States and Norway) as well as DNS blocking. The ISP business complained about this DNS blocking. Tens of international companies have sought Danish license for legal gaming. All Slots Casino and Casino Club are two companies that haven’t sought license, but I can yet access http://www.allslotscasino.com and http://www.casinoclub.com/ alright.

Illegal copying seems to bring serious loss of income to intellectual workers. Rather than lengthy court cases the people and organizations involved (the copyright owner as well as the ones accused of illegal distribution) should have access to an agile instance that quickly can resolve international disputes.

Proponents of illegal copying often argue that restrictions on the Internet that politicians propose will restrict freedom of expression. But to me that hardly makes sense. The Danish Parliament defines freedom of expression (Ytringsfrihed) with “you can say, write or in another way express your thought publicly”. Note here that Ytringsfrihed is in the context of your thoughts, – not other people’s work. If you want to express yourself then use you own brain with your own thoughts and use WordPress, Posterous, Wikipedia, Wikinews, YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud or any other of the marvelous social media website we now have freely available. A dull copying of your favorite movie is not freedom of expression and claiming that to be freedom of expression is inflating a fundamental right that is more valuable. Rather than engaging in illegal copying you can check whether you have real freedom of expression in your country by calling your leader an idiot. If you end up tortured in prison you do not have freedom of expression.

While I believe some means of controlling illegal copying is in order that clandestine procedure of ACTA is surely not the way to do it. Something is rotten there.

I do contend that a certain amount of “non-resolved” use of copyrighted material is ok, such as non-commercial remixes and performances, see, e.g., the discussion on Free Bieber. Also the beautiful theremin rendition of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (shown below) might not have been resolved copyright-wise. Should such “private public” performances be explicitly allowed?

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