“Linking is Not a Crime” campaign kicked off in late July as a sign of protest regarding a high school student being fined 5 million euros for offering links to copyrighted material. Through this campaign the Czech Pirate Party launched two movie download portals, offering links without hosting the provided data.
The teenager we mentioned before is only 16 years old and lives in Liberec; accused by the Czech Anti-Piracy Union for providing links to copyright material he’s now eligible to pay no less than 5 million euros in damage. As a result, the Pirate Party decided to open yet another portal, this time called Moviehome or “Facebook for movies” as the Party calls it.
“Sharing of links is a principle without which the Internet would cease to function,” says Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš. “Therefore we’re systematically fighting against the criminalization of linking.”
Talking to TorrentFreak, the Party’s vice-president Mikuláš Ferjencik said:
“The Czech anti-piracy union does not know what to do, they’re probably focusing on the court action with the Liberec student, with the hope that they might claim that all our websites are illegal. They also do not want to give us publicity and they do not have much to say about it really as our sites actually are legal.”
He added that Moviehome will have the Party’s support as long as it maintains its non-profit status.
“As a party, we do not want to depend on the finances from web advertising that’s why all of our linking sites are strictly non-commercial. On the other hand, I must emphasize that there’s nothing wrong about running commercial linking websites, after all Google and Seznam.cz have been doing this for a long time.”
Launching three file-sharing related websites in over a month is quite an accomplishment for Czech Pirates but it does not mean that this will be the last we hear of them.
“We will back anyone with a similar project who asks for our support,” Ferjencik explains. He’s also sent an open invitation to The PirateBay to make use of Czech hosting if legal matters should force them to do so.
“We’ll also consider suing ourselves to get it to court before the Liberec case is over, but my flatmates are not in a mood for a police visit yet, so it will have to wait for a while,” Ferjencik adds.
Furthermore, along with the three Czech sites comes the Pirate Party Canada’s Travis McCrea’s site, Tormovies.org.
“We cannot lose this war,” says Ferjencik.
“In the unlikely case that the court ‘says linking is a crime’, the public uproar will get us into parliament. People hate it when they lose rights they already had, especially when they fought hard to obtain them.
People did not carry out the revolution in 1989 to see students paying millions of Euros for helping others to share information.”