The Copyright Information And Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC), Finland, has tracked an illegal downloader, demanding a cash settlement.
This isn't new. However, what makes the case unusual is the age of the pirate in question -- a nine year-old girl.
A man in Finland received a letter stating that his ISP account had been traced back to illegal activities concerning the torrent search website The Pirate Bay. A demand of 600 euros was made to settle the matter, plus the order to sign a non-disclosure form, which the man refused to pay -- and sign.
The CIAPC were not destined to receive the bounty demanded. Instead, search warrant in hand, police raided the man's home to confront the nine year-old suspect -- and it resulted in the confiscation of her Winnie the Pooh laptop, TorrentFreak reports.
Not having enough in savings, the girl turned to Google and then The Pirate Bay to download an album produced by artist Chisu. Even though the resulting download "didn't work", and the pair bought the album legitimately the next day, it was too late.
According to the publication, the police's parting shot was a warning to the father: "It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation."
But what did the artist in question have to say about the situation? Chisu, whose album When Illuminated is part of the fray, apologised to her 9 year-old girls and pointed to a link on Spotify where her music could be listened to for free, and legally -- mentioning that she did not want to sue anyone.
The girl's father explained to TorrentFreak that whether there is artist support or not, perhaps musicians themselves should have more input:
"It is sad to see how even the big artists have no idea what CIAPC / TTVK is doing in their name. And the worst part is that even after learning about this, like Chisu did just now and took part in the discussion on Facebook, they can’t stop it since all copyright protection and monitoring is centralized."
CIAPC confirmed to the publication that the case against the nine year-old girl is the latest within a long line of attempted cash settlements for copyright infringement. In total, 28 cases were settled last fall, but confidentiality agreements prevent us from knowing the exact terms of each deal.
Letters are often used to be educational and as a warning for illegal file-sharers to stop their activities, in case they are unaware of what they are doing is against the law. However, sometimes this results in a settlement demand, in order to stave off future lawsuits. Nonetheless, educational or not -- age or other factors irrelevant -- the anti-piracy crackdown appears to apply to everyone. Whether a nine year-old has been taught or can understand the legal aspects of downloading, however, is a sticking point.
The father noted:
"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."