Following a request from the entertainment industries, a French court has ordered the P2P news site Numerama to cover the cases of 27 convicted file-sharers. For their efforts the site receives 10,000 euros which they promise to spend wisely by supporting a pro file-sharing cause.
Numerama is a French news site dedicated to file-sharing and copyright issues, much like TorrentFreak. They have openly criticized the Hadopi anti-piracy legislation and everything else spawned from the entertainment industries ‘war on piracy’.
In their reporting they try to counterbalance the propaganda being spread by the various anti-piracy outlets. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the major movie and music studios who have asked the court of Nanterre to order the site to publish extracts of convictions of 27 copyright infringers.
The convictions are all related to copyright infringement and Numerama has published the first of three batches this Friday. The abstracts contain personal information such as the names, addresses, and birth dates of the convicted, as well as the sentence and the crime they’ve committed. (example)
Even though Numerama is not involved in these cases in any way, they have been selected by the court to publish the convictions as part of the sentence of the copyright infringers. The complainants in the 27 cases are likely to have picked Numerama in an attempt to ‘educate’ their readers.
It is quite shocking that a court can simply order an independent news site to publish something, but apparently that’s perfectly fine in the French legal system. Interestingly enough, the court will pay the site 10,000 euros ($14,000) for their cooperation.
Since Numerama doesn’t want to take money (indirectly) from the pro-copyright lobby they have asked their readers to come up with some ideas on how to spend the money. Their plan is to invest it in projects that promote free-sharing and online privacy.
Some of the suggestions include giving it to a Pirate Party, investing in privacy solutions such as a VPN service or buying servers to support a file-sharing network. Numerama are encouraging their readers to come up with more ideas and they have until June 28 to do so. Let’s hope something good comes out of it.