In Finland, piracy fines are orders of magnitude higher than fines for rape, torture and murder

Thierry sez, "Hey, remember the scandal last week about the girl whose laptop was confiscated for downloading a album from Chisu? Well, here's another shocking story about the same company, with a staggering €400,000 fine to a young man aged 21. According to this, piracy is worse then rape or murder in Finland, i.e. a fine for murder is up to €11,000 and rape/torture €2,000. The fine for downloading is a whopping €800,000 to a couple. Moral of the story? Learn to use a proper peerblock."


  1. Is it bad that after reading the head line and not the rest of the story my first thought was “probably an old hold over law.  Makes sense for a coastal country to be concerned with piracy.  Wasn’t even thinking intellectual property.

  2. I’d like to be able to read the full article. The link goes to a short teaser that invites you to read the whole story in the day’s (yesterday’s) paper.

      1. The “damages” awarded here in Finland are for actual damages (the price of your bike that got totalled when you got run over by the car driver… or clothes that got torn, or wages lost for the days you couldn’t work) and sometimes for “pain” or similar “damages”, but those are usually obcenely low (IMHO). The “up to” in the text above is misleading, as there is no set amount, but yes… they tend to be in that range. For murder I don’t think there would be generally any damages awarded, the immediate family _may_ get something for the distress it has caused them (I think this has become more common nowadays, though, but still… a pittance of money).

        It is the “actual damages” that the record companies are riding on when they are awarded those astronomical amounts of money. “Actual damages” in citation marks, as it is just the record companies spinning tall tales. But the judges seem to buy it, unfortunately.

        So no, you won’t get rich in this country by suing somebody… unless you are a record company or their representative.

        1. You could have saved some time by just typing “yes” in answer to my query.

          Now, actual damages is funny – especially in the case of downloading when the actual damages of downloading an album is the cost of the album, and that’s only if I would have purchased it but for my download, and that’s not including the retail mark-up in price.

          But what if I murder the husband and father, the sole provider to the Smith family, who over his lifetime would have earned 1 million Euros.

          What about the rape victim who requires years of therapy (which steals time, money, trust, etc).

          Actual damages indeed.

          1. It wasn’t for downloading, it was for uploading, so that’s how they get to play “imaginary damages”.

            And no, I won’t say “yes”, because it isn’t.

    1. One might expect only a court could award damages rather than a questionable firm making demands of cash for alleged wrong doing back with the super duper good evidence of… we saw an IP address do something naughty.

  3. Makes perfect sense, the people being raped and killed don’t have pockets nearly as deep as the various entertainment industry lobbyists.

  4. I thought the moral of the story is:

    If you want to get content for free, the smart money is to torture the content holder until they agree to release the material into the public domain.

    Then everybody wins.

  5. How is this any more absurd than the dollar figures Americans have been sued for by the RIAA?  $150k/download is the “damage” here.

      1. No, I didn’t.  The fine is outsized considering the “crime” being punished and the conceivable, calculable “damage” done to the IP rightsholder.

        Also, there doesn’t appear to be any mandatory fine for murder anywhere in the US.  Conviction comes with jail time and/or murder by state.  Rape convictions under federal jurisdiction can come with fines, but doesn’t seem to be required as part of minimum sentencing. I’m not able to quickly come up with info on individual states having fines for rape or not.

        1.  As someone else mentioned, these aren’t fines but typical damages awarded in a civil (not criminal) suit over the crime in question.

          Your initial comment did seem to miss the point, which is not to beat up on Finland for their absurd awards in IP cases but to point out the hypocrisy of the record industry in demanding these kinds of rewards.  The OP didn’t do this very effectively, though, since the argument seems to be based on misleading the reader about the actual nature of the quantities cited.

  6. What’s missing from the equation is jail time.

    Sure, maybe the actual *fines* for murders aren’t staggeringly high, but how many years is a murderer going to spent locked away on top of that? And can jail time for “piracy” come anywhere even close to that amount of time?

    1. “And can jail time for “piracy” come anywhere even close to that amount of time?” – I wouldn’t be surprised in the least!

      1. I don’t think anybody has been sent to jail for piracy. The longest jail sentence ever served for murder was 22 years, but at least one number I found for average “for life” sentence is 10 years.

  7. In Finland the sentence for murder (a killing that fills certain conditions) is prisonment “for life”. In Finland it’s not really “for life” as in some countries, but anyway it’s the longest sentence.

    The sentence for rape in Finland is one to six years in prison. If there’s torture involved, that would mean two to ten years in prison.

    I don’t know where the author of this text takes these fines, but anyway it’s quite obvious that both murder and rape are heavier crimes in finnish law than piracy. The sentence for copyright crimes can technically be maximum of two years in prison, but in reality that would probably take selling copied Picassos or something, I don’t know. The actual piracy sentences have been just fines as far as I know.

  8. So if I kill an MPAA stooge, there is less jail time and fines then if I pirated the latest Autotuned song that is playing constantly on the radio?   Hmm..

  9. A year ago I red an article about two sprayers who got about 100k in fines for “ruining” a trainyard here in Finland. Of course I can’t find the article now and my memory is a little hazy. From what I remember the compensation legislation is funky in two ways: compensation grows interest and while these fines get old in 7? years every time some amount of money can be squeezed from the quilty this timer resets. So, welcome to life in poverty unless you can wither the seven years without any other money than welfare or if you succeed in life making that money of course.

    This sentence is in many ways way worse than jailtime.

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