A citizen is so tired of his country’s copyright laws he has reported himself to an anti-piracy group. In his written confession, the ‘pirate’ admits to copying more than one hundred purchased movies and TV shows for his own use – legal in Denmark – but breaking DRM on the same is an act forbidden under Danish law.
In his self-written mass-infringement notice entitled “Notification of digital copies of legally bought DVD movies,” frustrated citizen Henrik Andersen confesses all to an anti-piracy outfit, in the hope of sparking debate on the catch 22 situation he and other Danish consumers find themselves in.
“I’ve started this because i don’t want to be a criminal,” Henrik told TorrentFreak.
“As the law is today, you can not have a media center without breaking the law. When I think of a media center it is a place where you have all your movies, pictures and music together. You can only do that by having a digital copy of the movie.”
“In my media center I have digital copies of my legally purchased DVD movies,” he writes in his confession. “Overall, I suppose I’ve made digital copies of approx. 100 films and 10 seasons of TV series,” he added.
On the surface this should be fine, since Danish copyright law allows for the private, non-commercial copying of purchased DVDs.
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.
Unfortunately the law does not allow for the circumvention of the DRM on the disks in order to do so.
75.c –(1) It is not permitted to circumvent effective technological measures without the consent of the rights holder.
“Since the above copying is a violation of Danish law, I would therefore like to declare myself in violation of section 75 of the copyright law,” Henrik told Antipiratgruppen.
While previously acknowledging this catch 22 situation, Denmark’s Ministry of Culture felt that the situation would shortly rectify itself.
“…it is expected that in future copy protection will be designed in such a way that it will be possible to take one or more copies for personal use, and this is certainly the intention of the law,” they wrote.
However, as Henrik points out, while this might be the government’s plan, the movie industry has failed to live up to this vision, hence his intended piracy martyrdom to draw attention to the issue.
“As the culture minister sees no reason to change the law, she must, in my opinion, not understand the problem, therefore I choose to confess to you, to see whether you are prepared to get the legislation tested in court,” says Henrik as he concludes his confession.
Henrik has given Antipiratgruppen until December 1st to respond. Even given a prosecution on a plate, it’s extremely unlikely they will take him up on his offer.