A recent change to the Finnish Constitution allows the public to put any subject to put legislative proposals up for a Parliamentary vote by garnering 50,000 or more signatures. A hugely successful proposal that's rising through the petition service at present seeks to remake Finnish copyright law, putting in line with common sense and common activities:
Termed ‘To Make Sense of the Copyright Act’, the proposal (in Finnish) takes aim at modern changes in copyright law, and with the 2006 modification in particular, Lex Karpela. Included in the proposal are reducing penalties, increasing fair use, and easing the ability for people to make their own copies of items they already own (for format shifting, or backups)
According to the DailyDot, it was one of the most commented on, and best rated of the proposals on the Open Ministry site. At the time of writing, the proposal, which has been going for two days, has already gathered over 7% of its target, giving it an estimated success date of Feb 18th.
Part of the success might be due to the outrage the Finnish copyright laws generated when it was revealed that a police unit raided a 9yo girl and confiscated her Winnie the Pooh laptop after an allegation of sharing. The matter was eventually settled with the child’s father paying 300 euro to the anti-piracy company CIAPC.
Finland’s Crowdsourced Copyright Law Proposal
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."
A nine-year-old Finnish girl's computer was confiscated by the police after she downloaded a track from the Pirate Bay. She was trying to preview the new album by Chisu (she later bought the album and went to the concert). The Finnish TTVK (Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre) demanded 600 Euros in summary fines from her family, along with a gag order, and the family refused, so they sicced the police on them.
Events started when last year's october family's daughter tried to preview to Chisu's new album. According to child's father, searches took her to the Pirate bay. Next spring the father got a letter from TTVK demanding 600 euros. TTVK's letter also demanded a nondisclosure. Father didn't oblige, but instead, wrote a letter back to the attorney. Letter included photographs of the bought album, and the tickets to the concert, which her child attended.
According to a TorrentFreak report, the confiscated machine was a Winnie the Pooh laptop.
9-year old girl prosecuted for Piratism in Finland
Here is a free/open upper secondary mathematics textbook
a single daythree days
by a group of Finnish math teachers, working together in a "booksprint." Related news: California's passed a bill
establishing 50 "open source" (CC-BY) textbooks for core lower-division college courses (though, as a poster on Slashdot notes, this still has to be funded in the California budget, which is a place where many good ideas go to die).
(via Hacker News
Alymysto is a Finnish band that releases its music over BitTorrent, and counts on fans being able to access The Pirate Bay in order to find it. But The Pirate Bay is blocked by court order in Finland
. So the band has published info showing its fans how to get around the block
. "We don’t want the courts to mess with our Pirate Bay based promotion."
A Finnish court has ruled that merely operating an open WiFi access point does not make you liable for copyright infringements committed on your network. From the defense attorney's press release:
This alleged copyright infringement had taken place in a specific 12-minute
period in July 14 2010, a date when a summer theater play with an audience
of around hundred people was held at the premises of the former school
owned and resided by the lady.
The applicants were unable to provide any evidence that the
connection-owner herself had been involved in the file-sharing. The court
thus examined whether the mere act of providing a WiFi connection not
protected with a password can be deemed to constitute a
Crucially, the applicants also sought an injunction to prevent the
defendant for committing any similar acts in the future. Had the injunction
been granted, the legal status of various open WiFi providers would have
turned out extremely difficult, as rights-owners would have been provided
with a powerful legal weapon to shut them down in cases of similar,
arguably insignificant infringements by incidental visitors and customers...
Finally, the court concluded that the WiFi owner cannot be deemed liable
for the infringements actually committed by third parties.
Finnish court rules open WiFi network owner not liable for infringement
(Image: Warchalking, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from isaacmao's photostream)
Sulka sez, "A Finnish MEP (Anneli Jäättenmäki) visited US and got told that given ACTA has been prepared entirely outside of Congress and isn't ratified, it's probably not legally binding towards US. The process has also been similar in other countries (Finland included), so it's questionable if the treaty has any power."
I visited Washington in the European Parliament, the Liberal andCentre Group Presidency with the beginning of the week. We met with U.S. Congressional representatives and financial experts. One of the most talked subjects had anti-counterfeiting agreement, Acta.
We heard some unexpected information. U.S. Congress senator responsible for ACTA foreign trade committee chairman Ron Wyden, said he'd tried to find out if Acta is binding towards US or not. Congress has been kept outside of the process for forming the treaty, and the senator has received no response to his inquiries.
We also got to hear that the U.S. government does not intend to give Congress a vote on the agreement as it would collapse in Congress, which is a pretty worrying rationale. According to the U.S. law, Congress always deals with international agreements.
The U.S. government characterized in a reply to Wyden that ACTA is a bilateral trade agreements and as such has no effect on U.S. law. The big question remains as to whether the Acta at all binding on the United States.
The European Commission assumes that Acta is binding on the signatory countries. ACTA's credibility is seriously at stake if its signatories can apply it as they see fit.
The EU Commission and the European Parliament have given ACTA to the EU Court of Justice for review. ACTA was negotiated in secret, and the parties have failed to tell the agreements content. It is right that the agreement's effects of fundamental rights of citizens are being reviewed.
This Agreement shall come into force only after ratification of the European Parliament and all Member States. Now the ratification of the Treaty appears to be rather distant matter.
Actasta uusia yllätyksiä
"In February of 2009, Google paid about $52 million for an abandoned paper mill in Hamina, Finland, after deciding that the 56-year-old building was the ideal place to build one of the massive computing facilities that serve up its myriad online services." Wired on the future of Google data centers
, with a focus on this odd story of creative re-use.
"Anonymous Finland" claims it has compromised the email logins and passwords of 500,000 Finns -- about ten percent of the country's population.
Among the hacked emails are allegedly accounts belonging to journalists at Finland's mainstream daily Helsingin Sanomat, members of the Finnish parliament, police officials, Helsinki city councillors and students and faculties at several of the country's universities.
The hackers said they had taken advantage of security loopholes in company computer systems storing email addresses and passwords.
Anonymous Finland has also launched a campaign against the rightwing extremist Finnish Resistance Movement, leaking a list of its membership applications on October 31.
And on Monday, the group announced it was launching a series of cyber attacks against Finnish mining company Talvivaara, alleging its mining activities in Sotkamo in eastern Finland are conducted to "the detriment of the local natural environment and people of the communities".
Finland facing large-scale hacking attacks: police