As part of an anti-piracy group’s demanded cash settlement, Finnish police have raided the home of a 9 year old girl that they confirmed was allegedly file sharing. The police successfully obtained a search warrant and proceeded to invade the child’s home, doing so even when they knew the file sharer was just a small child. What makes matters worse is that this action was the result of her downloading just a single music album, worth just a few dollars. The police eventually departed, but not before confiscating the child’s Winnie the Pooh laptop. That’s definitely one way to make a little girl cry.
CIAPC, or Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre, is the group that led the police to the home of this young girl. The group is the same organization that is responsible for having Pirate Bay blocked by various ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) in Finland. In other areas of the world like the United States, this method of exposing filesharers seems to be more educational than what CIAPC is doing. CIAPC demands a cash settlement, usually of unreasonable amounts of money, to “grace” its captives with escaping a lawsuit.
In the case of this 9-year old girl, things were a bit more complicated than that. CIAPC earlier last week sent a man a cash settlement letter that stated his account was traced to a case of file sharing. The cash settlement was for an irrational 600 euros, money that the man refused to pay, and denied that he did anything of that nature. To his surprise, he found police at his door a few days later, who stormed his home with a search warrant. As stated in the aforementioned, the inconsequential crime was not of his doing, but of his 9 year old daughter who had a strong desire for a new pop album. The girl exclaimed to the police that the download didn’t work, and that the next day she asked her parents if they could go to the store with her and buy it. So they in fact owned the CD when the police arrived. The police took her file-sharing weapon and proceeded to make an ignorant statement as they departed:
“It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation,” the police advised.
The man had plenty to say about the seemingly unlawful break in.
“At that point my jaw hit the floor and I wasn’t sure if I was awake or dreaming. So the investigator suggested, between the lines, that I empty my wallet and keep my family in hunger for the next two weeks so that they could get rid of the case? What the f––… is this how it goes? I could evade justice murder by skipping Christmas this year?”
“We have not done anything wrong with my daughter. If adults do not always know how to use a computer and the web, how can you assume that children or the elderly – or a 9-year-old girl – knows what they are doing at any given time online?
“This is the pinnacle of absurdity. I can see artists are in a position, but this requires education and information, not resource-consuming lawsuits,” he added.
The nature of this raid questions the show of force required by police whom work with copyright holders and anti-piracy groups. Surely invading the home of a 9-year-old girl to find and confiscate the computer used to file-share is a tad too visceral to be a natural process. Hopefully instances like these will break apart arrogant anti-piracy groups like CIAPC and prevent them from heading west.[TorrentFreak]