Danish aftermath: Six more charged. What happens next?

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Rights AllianceDenmark’s Rights Alliance has begun the new year with several announcements.  Following the closure of the last two pirate video sites based in Denmark, announced on January 5, it provided an update that six more individuals have been charged in connection with one of those two sites.

The closed sites, DanishBits, NordicBits, Aasgard and ShareUniversity had about 50,000 users.  However, Rights Alliance cites research that estimates the number of Danes consuming illegal content is about 370,000.  Rights Alliance observes that the private pirate networks published Danish content first, in the Danish language; and that individuals compete to be first to place content of local interest.

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Six more charged

Those arrested were individuals who collaborated in release groups that specialize in specific content types such as movies, articles, TV series, e-books or music, and in some cases the individual groups have a preference to share their specific content type.   The penalty against this type of crime is six years in prison.

This ends the Danish “pirate scene.”  Or does it?

Actually, the scene is all but closed.  While these last sites are no longer active as service sites in their own right (and as Rights Alliance says, their users made “homeless”), new services will start, and some users of those terminated sites will migrate to foreign-based sites.  Other users will decide to move to legal services.

See Rights Alliance news releases for further details:

The Danish police also issued a news release about the arrests (auto-translated), and a separate news release (auto-translated) about these shut-downs from their own perspective.

Looking to the future

Rights Alliance is now turning its attention to the future of piracy in the country, beginning with an evaluation of how the Danish illegal market will evolve.  It finds that the illegal market is an ecosystem, and that closed (private, registration- and rules-based) pirate sites either charge for access financially or require that users share content themselves.  These sites also function as social networks for like-minded users.

EU Rule 17

Attention has turned toward implementing the European Union’s Copyright Directive Article 17 in Denmark, which establishes guidelines for licensing and availability of copyrighted materials online (See Article 17, Section 4).

Article 17 has been sent to the Danish Ministry of Culture for consultation and Rights Alliance has submitted a response.  It is hoped that rights enforcement on social media platforms will improve.

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