In order to force a change in the law, last month a man reported himself for breaching copyright more than a hundred times, hoping an anti-piracy group would take him to court. The group’s lawyer said they would respond by today – they haven’t – so the Danish copyfighter is now reporting himself to the police.
At the end of October, a Danish citizen took drastic action to draw attention to some restrictive and seemingly contradictory copyright legislation.
Henrik Anderson told TorrentFreak that in order to force his government’s hand on laws which allow him to copy DVDs for his own personal use, but forbid him to remove the DRM in order to do so, he decided to turn himself in.
Henrik informed the Danish anti-piracy outfit Antipiratgruppen that he had broken the DRM on more than one hundred legally-purchased DVD movies and TV shows for use on his home media center, an act forbidden – but seemingly also allowed – under Danish laws, both detailed below;
12.–(1) Anyone is entitled to make or have made, for private purposes, single copies of works which have been made public if this is not done for commercial purposes. Such copies must not be used for any other purpose.
§ 75 c. It is not permitted without the consent of the rightholder to make circumvention of effective technological measures
“I’ve started this because I don’t want to be a criminal,” Henrik told us, in his own similarly and deliberately contradictory way, noting that he’d requested a response from the group by today, December 1st 2009, indicating whether or not they intend to prosecute him.
However, in the period up to today, Henrik heard nothing from Antipiratgruppen, although their lawyer Thomas Schlüter did speak to the Danish press, saying that it was a political matter but had nevertheless reported the issue to the Association of Danish Videodistributors for consideration. In response, their chairman, Poul Dylov, said they would have a meeting to decide whether to report the matter to the police.
Antipiratgruppen said it would reply to Henrik by they date he requested. It seems they have broken their promise.
“Today was the last chance for the anti-piracy group to come up with an answer,” Henrik told TorrentFreak a few minutes ago. “And although, as you know, they told the press that they would give me an answer before the 1st of December, they have not done that.”
Henrik told us that even though he has broken the law, Antipiratgruppen doesn’t seem interested in responding. “They are obviously aware that there will be an outrage if they reported me to the police,” he points out.
The other possibility, he says, is that Antipiratgruppen themselves don’t see his actions as illegal – but this creates another problem. The Ministry of Culture have already written to Henrik informing him that breaking DRM in this way is against the law.
Clearly frustrated, Henrik told us: “But who should I follow? Those that determine the laws in this country? Or those who are lawyers for the companies that i’m committing a crime against?”
But Henrik has a solution to their inaction.
“I decided to try to see if I can report myself directly to the police, for the case must be resolved,” he told us.
Henrik feels that the situation he is trying to draw attention to can only be solved by him going to trial. Hopefully then the Minister for Culture and the Danish parliament will see that the law has to be changed.