Earliers this week the Turku District Court convicted four of our clients for copyright infringement. Their crime was to participate in the ”administration” or ”maintenance” of the Finreactor site. This is how the Court tied them to the allegedly illegal activities of the thousands of users:
”(…) As regards the criminal liability of those who took part in the administration of the website, it is necessary to pay attention to the operating principles and the objective of the service, as well as to the activities, as a whole, of those who took part in the administration, as a necessary and immediate element of the preparation of copies which the users of the service were engaged in.”
(…) As, in this particular case, the activities of the defendants who took care of the administration of the service were a necessary and immediate element of what the prosecution defines as preparation and distribution of copies, we conclude that the defendants (…) took active part in the preparation of copies.”
This is nonsense. If the defendants ”took active part” in copying, why hasn´t the prosecution produced any copies that were supposedly made by them – or in fact anybody else? Under Finnish law, file sharing is a petty offence, something like crossing the street on a red light. The administrators were found guilty of less than that – contribution to copyright infringement. Not far from a conspiracy to commit jaywalking. And the chosen few who got fined by the police never even crossed the street.