back to article Abba star slates 'lazy, stingy' Pirate Bay fans

Former Abba guitar player Björn Ulvaeus has hit out at supporters of The Pirate Bay and accused them of fighting for “the ‘freedom’ to be lazy and stingy”. His harsh remarks came yesterday after the shock decision by the prosecution in the The Pirate Bay case to drop all charges of copyright infringement against the infamous …


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  2. AC

    although I support

    the pirate bay in this case, I think Peter Sunde should learn to stfu until the *end* of the trial otherwise he's going to have an epically large about of egg and cum on his face if the court finds against him.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Benny? Bjorn?

    Benny was the keyboard player - Bjorn played the guitar and sang on stuff like "Does Your Mother Know?" I should know this - I won an ABBA album in a competition in "Look In" many, many years ago.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Thank you for the music..."

    Good point, Björn.

    "...anything they steal was once one person's idea..."

    Yes, it was. Once. Then the record companies signed said person up to a "stingy" deal promising them sweet FA in return for years of making THEM money. And for what? A bit of publicity and use of a machine that cuts vinyl (or laserdiscs - I'm up with the times).

    Music piracy is hardly a good thing but to attack that and ignore the music industry sends us down a path ignoring a business that is rotten to the core.

  5. Ben Rosenthal

    I don't use Pirate Bay ever

    and still I support them.

    They've not technically comitted a crime, in the same way that Jacqui Smith is not technically a dirty benefit cheat.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Björn's one to talk about being lazy

    when was the last time he put a record out?

  7. David Hicks

    Here's the thing

    Abba were big in, what, the 70s.

    Is thirty years not enough for us to consider that their material has both had its heyday and entered out culture enough that by now it should be in the public domain?

    Current terms are, in my opinion, waaaaay too long. Copyright et al exist to encourage people to contribute to the common culture. We give people a temporary monopoly on their work not because it's some sort of natural right but because it benefits all of us to do so.

    One could argue that this has been stretched to far in one direction and that society no longer benefits as much as the copyright holder. Who more often than not is whoever managed to convince the actual artist to indebt themselves and sign everything over to them.

    Whilst it is immoral (and should continue to be illegal) to blindly copy everything, we need to take another look at the deal we have struck with copyright holders, and the deals they are allowed to strike with content creators.

    Add to this that the copyright holders are attempting to use every technological trick in the book to stop people making legitimate use of media they purchase, and you have a recipe for what we have now - open rebellion.

    Yes, I would like to rip and transcode my blu-ray movie to watch on my netbook. What's that? DRM? I'd better pirate it then.

    CD won't rip because they stuffed extra data in to confuse DVD-ROM drives? Pirate it.

    Digital download won't play on my second/third computer or my new, differently branded mp3 player? Pirate it.

    Digital downloads of the album cost *more* than the physical artifact that had to be manufactured and shipped? WTF? Pirate it.

    In the end you stop caring about giving the makers any money, it's more convenient just to download or stop consuming altogether.

    The industry and the laws are so out of sync with society this was bound to happen.

  8. Rob


    it was just one persons idea, i come up with ideas all the time, I don't expect to be paid for them all, when it comes down to it, can someone really 'own' a bunch of notes in a particular order, music is our own brains interpretation of those notes, so why am I paying for enjoyment I created myself out of aural frequencies? :-) if I go outside and I enjoy the sound of birds singing, should they be compensated in some way?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Oh please...

    The real crime was millions of men through out the world being forced to watch the tripe that was "Mammi Mia" by their partners.

    Plus he's just upset that it's never in the top 100 on the pirate bay.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    It's simple

    Let me buy a DVD from anywhere in the world and play it anywhere else in the world. Without restriction (i.e. no region encoding, no trade barriers).

    Let me buy a CD from anywhere in the world and play it anywhere in the world. Without restriction (no trade barriers).

    Let me copy what I want, when I want, to whatever media I want, for my own personal/home use (i.e. no DRM or other anti-fair user bullshit).

    I like my DVDs, films etc and I like world cinema. It is a total pisser to have grief playing a DVD I have legally bought (or having to pay extra just to get a particular region code).

    It is also saddening that the state (well, Europe) is happy to assist in these price fixing-cartels. If a DVD costs £5 in China and I can ship it for £3 (total £8), why am I paying £14+ for the EXACT SAME MOVIE (language aside)? Price-fixing is the only answer.

    The record and movie companies (along with their respective associations) are engaged in the blocking for free trade and restricting my rights to fair use. Once they get with the program and let me act as a law abiding and responsible person, then I may look at the complaints with a bit more compassion. But while they continue their (IHMO) illegal actions and polices, then they can (quite simply) get to f**k.

  11. Dave Gregory

    And the relevance

    of ABBA is? It's 2009 for chrissakes.

  12. dave

    Abba Blows!

    Man ... reading this article really made me want to go download some Abba on Pirate Bay!

    Then I'm going to kick back in my Lazy-Boy and think about stingy things, listening to my free Abba.

    Oh wait, I'd never listen to their music cause it makes baby whales want to vomit!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How about...

    ...the prospect of being a young band and being able to make a living from music?


    Ok then. EPIC WIN LOL!

    Anyway, I'm going to go back to praying on my hands and knees for a nuclear holocaust.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Re: exactly

    rob -- yah, you have to compensate the birds by getting them some fresh sticks for their nest, maybe sitting (not too hard!) on the eggs for an evening so the mr. and mrs. could catch a movie?

  15. peepingMonster

    Sick and tired!!!

    This is not an activity against artists, but an activity against these companies that abuse their relationship with costumers. Artists are also victims of these corporate practices. Figure out carefully which side of issue you lean on, Mr. Björn Ulvaeus!!! Every ten years, or so, we get changes in the formats these companies distribute contents, and no one has ever, for instance, talked about refunding customers for the copyrights paid on obsolete VHS, CDs, DVDs etc. I'm sick and tired of having to buy again and again these materials!!!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    ... Avast me hearties...

    ... compared to musicians that write & perform a few songs and then sit on their arses the rest of their lives raking in the royalties... Yeah, I see his point.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ode to Bjorn

    Supporters of the piratebay would like to say one thing to Bjorn...

    Thank you for the music...

    The songs you're singing....


  18. Paul Donnelly

    Piracy is not the same as copying.

    Before I start, IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that in this country, the good old United Kingdom of whatever Labour say it is, it is not illegal to create a 'Backup copy' of any recording that you have bought or paid for. That backup copy is not limited by technology.

    Therefore, if I have a tape of Aerosmiths album 'Big Ones' (Circa 1991) then it is entirely acceptable under UK law for me to download a copy of this to my PC as a backup. If I then choose to designate the cassette tape as my backup, I can enjoy the music on my PC without breaking any laws. As far as the music companies are concerned, this is piracy, and an offense. They are incorrect.

    Interestingly, the same law (Copyright Act) also governs what you can and cannot record from the television for later viewing. I believe the arbritary time period in this law allows for a recording to be held for three weeks, after which it is technically piracy, and a civil offense. I think all of our politicians should be investigated for breaches of this law, I would be willing to bet that a good proportion are on the opposite side to the law to the one they thought. Laws might change fairly rapidly then too....

    Skull n Crosbones for obvious reasons, piracy and moider! Garrrrr!

  19. Ian

    Bjoern fail

    "But anything they steal was once one person's idea, a single little person. They don't want to talk about that,"

    Playing musical instruments was once one persons idea so I assume Bjoern, by your very own logic, you're lazy and stingy?

    Mamma Mia supposedly sold enough copies such that 25% of UK households have a copy, this guy is whining that he made enough money in one production to setup probably 10 or 20 people for life with cash and is complaining that if copyrights aren't upheld he may not be able to make any more cash?

    Of course, Mamma Mia is an exception in terms of how well it's done (despite what an utter pile of turd it is) and smaller movies don't make that much, they might only make enough for their creators to set just one person up for life.

    My heart bleeds, really it does. Just like that songwriter interview here the other day, these people are proving nothing more than they are scared to death of having to hold down a proper job like most other people on the planet.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Piracy and the Little Man

    I partly agree with Björn. Whilst, it is true, record companies exploit their customers, they also exploit the artist on their label -- on a personal scale, far greater than the consumer suffers (to the tune of £1000s - it's been done to me). Artists are vulnerable, they do not have an army of solicitors at their beck and call.

    Secondly, to hold up torrent downloads as some sort of moral crusade is dangerously misguided*. If you financially damage the record label and distributors, and by proxy the artist. Remember, when push comes to shove, the first person taking the bullet /will/ be the artist, unless he's the next Damon Albarn (although hopefully a better singer).

    And let's not play Pretend; file sharers are not a particularly upstanding lot. The record I released on my own label, was being pirated within the first month. I am hardly "The Man", nor do I deserve to have it stuck to me.

    [*] Although bugger the RIAA and their jack-booted approach to copyright.

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    "Piracy" bad!

    I don't agree with ripping art off, it's not good for any of us and I agree it's very lazy to simply assume we have a right to help ourselves to someone elses' hard work without permission, however I do want the choice to check something out, see if I like it. I am honest. I will download an album or video, if I like it I will go straight out and buy it, Amazon are making squillions from people like me! If it's awful though, in the bin it goes. That simple!

    At the end of the day, lots of home producers of art works are happily getting huge audiences by making the art and then if they are lucky, breaking even on the costs. The **AA only promote the latest throwaway pop-culture trash they are not intrested in taking risks with bright and intelligent ideas, they only want to milk the dumbed-down moron market, the latest X-Factor claptrap or Terminator / Rambo/ Bourne Part 23. If it ain't broke don't fix it "money-making schemes", well tough **AA, it is broken and unless you find a way to fix it, the market will fragment so much that you will never get it back together again.

    The world is changing, adapt or die!

  22. Ander

    @ kindaian

    Great points~

    It got me to thinking about flaming food, which led me to want to a flaming recipe...

    as long as I can find someone to share a recipe with that's not in violation of a flaming copyright infringement

  23. lansalot


    "he's going to have an epically large about of egg and cum on his face if the court finds against him."

    Blimey - these Swedes certainly deal out a harsh punishment !

    See, young people ? Porn really does teach you more than just the foreign words for "yes!" and "harder!" ! Who knew I was learning about Swedish criminology as well.

  24. Charles Calthrop
    Thumb Down

    @ the thieves

    I love the guys up there who go 'it's just ideas, *I* don't get paid for them all so why should everyone else' or 'the musicians got stitched up by the record companies so its OK to steal from them again, or 'Well, *I* think copyright law is too long so I should be able to download old records.

    You go you freedom fighter you.

  25. Rob


    just as a further addition to my last post, while i do download some music, i also buy it if its decent, i recently gave arjen lucassen a load of money by buying ALL the Ayreon cds, because theyre the nuts, if i'd never downloaded it, I would have been extremely unlikely to have ever given it a chance, because no one i know owns a cd and i'm not gonna buy one just because someone else said so (done that plenty of times, all complete shite)

  26. Lyndon Hills
    Thumb Up

    @David Hicks

    Well said, sir!

  27. Tom

    @AC re:up with the times

    No, your not. Laserdiscs died about 10 years ago, maybe 15. I know, because back when they were the in thing, I bought a few to play in a friends laserdisc player, but I never bought an actual player. They won't fit in my DVD player, or my friend's blue-ray player (about 2 the diameter of a DVD), let alone try to decode them afterward.

  28. James

    'Twas ever thus

    The subject of piracy generates the same set of views, always. It is stealing, plain and simple; if you indulge, fair enough (it is an individual's choice) but call it what it is. You're getting something for the cost of the bandwith, and the creator gets absolutely f*ck all. Cut through all the Robin-Hood nonsense about sticking it to the industry, you're stealing from everybody that put work into getting the product to you, whether it was a lorry driver, shop assistant, application developer, or sound engineer. Even if you see no value in a lot of those products, you've got to accept that this is what piracy does, at a basic logical level.

    On the other hand, the industry has done nothing to help itself. DRM is, as outlined above, an absolute nightmare. The anti-piracy ads are an embarrasment - and usually targeted at people that have paid - and there is definitely price-fixing. Why are there TV programmes in the US that someone in Europe will never get to see? Is it that hard to make it pay?

    Platforms that have lower percentage instances of piracy typically 'reward' the users with insanely high prices, so it is a two-way street.

    Generally speaking, people - for the most part - are happy to pay money, as long as it is a fair price and the product is good, and it is easy for them to pay. I think - naively, I know - that if the industry just tried harder piracy would be greatly reduced.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Here's an idea...

    Why not be lazy and stingy by taking all your tired old trite songs and have reasonably famous people "sing" (in the loosest possible sense of the word) them in the most boring, contrived pile of maundering donkey-flop this century (and possible last century too!)

    Oh.... wait a minute......

  30. fishman

    Björn Ulvaeus

    My wife dragged me to the movie Momma Mia. Frankly, Björn Ulvaeus should be forced to pay me for having to suffer through his music. I'd take Gitmo and waterboarding over listening to ABBA.

  31. Toastan Buttar
    Paris Hilton

    Re: And the relevance ?

    I guess there are no women or pre-teens in your household, then. What was the must-have musical DVD at Xmas time ?

    Paris, because Benny and Björn wrote "One Night in Bangkok", too.

  32. Edward Miles

    @Paul Donnelly

    Before I start - IANAL!

    As I understand the law (and it is complex enough that I could easily be wrong) yes, you can use a download as a backup. Unfortunately using bittorrent as your method of gaining this file is where the problem would come during a BT transfer you also send data to other parties, and this is where you would get tackled by the lawyers!

  33. Chika

    Money, money, moany

    Of course, Bjorn is griping, but then he is in the best place to gripe, having made his pile.

    My sympathy goes to the many performers that have been ripped off in their early careers by the very companies that are now griping about TPB and Bittorrent downloads citing these performers as the ones that are losing out.

    Arrrrr, Fred lad!

  34. Lee

    Here I go again, my my, how can I forget you?

    I downloaded Mamma Mia.

    Do I feel guilty? Nope. Do I feel like I've broken the law? Nope.

    Why not, I hear you ask...? Because I have the BD version of this movie and wanted to have it on other devices too - I don't have a BD-ROM to rip it to another format and I certainly ain't shelling for it again.

    So that's ok, I hope :-)

  35. Dennis
    Thumb Up

    Are their benefits to piracy - 'Slumdog Millionaire'

    I seemed to remember that 'Slumdog Millionaire' had been trashed by the movie studio's as being rubbish until it was picked up by the Pirates/freetards and distributed to the real customers who raved about it.

    Now Slumdog Millionaire is taking awards everywhere it goes and making a truckload of money. Don't hear too many complaints about that. Does anyone else?

    So Pirates/freetards have justified their exsistence in the promotion/support of good films. But I guess the studio's don't like it when it works the other way and the Pirates won't touch something because it is rubbish

  36. Martin Lyne


    The industries could support our will to be lazy and stingy (which, by the way, is the driving factor of progress) by providing an easy and cheap way of downloading the things we want to see/hear/play.

    The only way to prevent piracy is to PROVIDE A CONVENIENT, LEGAL ALTERNATIVE. Not sue the crap out of people. I don't want billions of CDs, I do, however, want albums. Without the need to burn and distribute the CDs, just storing on a server, I want them cheaper.

    The gaming industry seems to have gotten it ok, I buy plenty of games on Steam and Impulse and even on dirty old DVD, but DRM on music or streaming-only video cripples for money what it is possible to obtain for free elsewhere. Not hard to understand.

  37. Anonymous Coward


    There may be a number of reasons why people download copyrighted works rather than pay for them. I recently download a new release from Pirate Bay. Not becuase I am Freetard either. I was all prepared to go the to local theatre and pay to watch it, but the blighters didn't bring it in. If I wanted to watch it, my only option was to download it, which I did.

  38. censored

    People are forgetting...

    That while Benny and Bjorn might not need any money from their recordings any more, the guy who played second triangle on Money, Money, Money still needs his royalty cheque. Why should he be prevented from earning a living from music which is still enjoyed and still continues to be popular?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Same here

    Perhaps there's a halfway mark we (the sensible middling types) could meet the record companies on? Release a free, DRM-heavy version. Maybe a lower bitrate than you'd really like and a limit on the number of times you can listen to it or the number of devices you can listen to it on. Freely available, free to distribute in its "unmodified" state. Like an automatically-enforced version of the GPL (give it away, or at least don't make a profit giving it to someone else, don't edit it.)

    Then DRM-free CDs/DVDs/MP3s that you pay for. Copy it to whatever you want whenever you want.

    I'd like this model. Not as much as I'd like 100% free music, but I think it's a workable model that would encourage people to buy the real thing (if you like it, pay to get the DRM restrictions removed). And make sure the profit margins on the CD and downloaded versions are the same rather than jacked up like they are with downloads these days. Or maybe they could be ad-supported?

    Lets hope Pirate Bay win- of the two extremes, theirs is the one that I'd prefer...

    Saying that, the IFPI doesn't have a legal leg to stand on without taking on Google.

    Why an article about what an Abba guy thinks, anyway? He's nothing special- in fact he's a bit of a bore. If he tell a joke, you've probably heard it before.

    He doesn't have a talent- not a goddamn thing

    And everyone cowers when he started to sing

    etc etc

  40. Ad Fundum
    Paris Hilton

    We're lazy?

    He hasn't written a decent record in 20 years - who's the fricking lazy one?

  41. David Hicks

    @Charles Calthrop

    "I love the guys up there who go 'it's just ideas, *I* don't get paid for them all so why should everyone else' or 'the musicians got stitched up by the record companies so its OK to steal from them again, or 'Well, *I* think copyright law is too long so I should be able to download old records."

    I love the fact that you think taking the piss makes your arguments valid.

    Read my post again and tell me that the combination of insane copyright length, DRM, overcharging and the record industry dragging their heels don't make this absolutely inevitable.

    BTW, I have a collection of about 500 CDs, all paid for (none with DRM). I don't pirate music at all. So I'd be interested to hear any arguments about how I'm personally robbing artists of money, and how everything I've said is a weak justification for illegal/immoral activity I take part in, because I know that's the argument that usually comes next when someone gives a rational critique of the current situation.

    I don't pirate (unless I have bought the media and cannot rip/transcode), and I still hold these opinions.

    BTW, what do you think of the people that hold the copyright on "Happy Birthday"? And charge people for singing it to kids in restaurants?

    I think it's sick. That song is part of childhood and part of life, for someone to claim ownership over it is unreasonable and disgusting.

  42. Nahwont doit

    Plays worlds smallest violin...

    I'm sorry, i just don't feel bad for the music and movie industries. You want me to put out $50 to take my wife out to a movie (tickets, snacks)? Then don't put 30 mins of verizon commericials in before the film. Want me to actually go see a movie in the theater? Then how bout making one worth seeing, seriously out of the past 50 movies i've downloaded there has only been 2 that i would have gone to see in the theater. Want me to buy a dvd? Quit trying to force me to watch previews of your other movies. Far as music, sorry but you know what, all the music i listen to i have bougt at one time or another on different media, i may not have that media anymore but i sure am not going to go buy it again just to make someone a few extra dollars. Besides really, all i'd have to do if i didn't download it is record it off the radio. These p2p sites don't promote piracy, all they do is give those of us that would make copies of media another way to do so. I mean really how many people know how to copy netflix dvd's? how many know how to copy game fly dvd's? They are just going to have to get over it, they have bled the public dry for far too long.

  43. Lionel Baden

    not legal ???

    Well at the end of the day their argument is based upon ...

    You download it you wont buy it ...

    Hang on. ..... . .. .

    I wouldnt buy music anyway ! (well very very seldom)

    films even less so ....

    Rent them ... Nope not either !!

    watch them on TV .. yeah ok

    Now let me get this right .....

    They broadcast their films on telly and still gets loads of money.

    People dont go and subscribe to their bloody film ...

    So why cant we just have a stream on demand paid for by advertising film service. I would happily use it as long as the ads didnt pop up in the middle of the screen etc etc

    The amount of pirated films would drop about 70%

    As for music pirating that is on the way down as most ppl cant be bothered.

    So please biz industry find another way of making money your current plan has a serious flaw in it !!! Last time i remember something like this they got all pissy about people making mix tapes !! they got used to the idea after a while

    Go Pirate Bay you piss all over their Stupid Accusations !!

    @Paul Donnely

    I believe the arbritary time period in this law allows for a recording to be held for three weeks

    I think my BT Vision box keeps recording longer than this !!!

    Right im off to sue BT for causing me to break the Law !!

    oh wait im not in the US Dammit!!!

  44. Greg

    to AC 'Thank you for the music'


    That's soooo good.

    The author of this article shoudl have thought about it.

    How could the 20th or so post be the first one to think of the obvious, that one shouldn't be able to talk of ABBA and pirates of piratebay without titling this 'Thank you for the music' (and I didn't think of it either, shame on all of us)

    An enormous thank you, you brightened my day in one single sentence :D

  45. John Tserkezis


    Can't see why he's complaining, I mean ABBA went out in the 70's (or perhaps the 80's for the weirdos), and no self-respecting pirate would be caught dead downloading ABBA now.

    And "Mamma Mia"? Are you kidding? Nearly a dozen actors singing a bunch of ABBA tracks I didn't really want to listen to in the first place, and only two of them could sing well enough to not want me to puncture my eardrums. Box office hit my arse.

    He should be suing the producers for making such a heap of crap. No wait, he was one of the producers right? And he still let it happen?

  46. Anonymous Coward

    too much....

    having mistakenly watched (conned into), thru closed fingers, the last five minutes of "mamma mia" i can honestly say that we are all fucked.

    i am anyway

    for providing *the* link that *i* downloaded to *that* movie i curse TPB ;)

    and they were all singing!!!!!!!

    and dancing / jumping about!!!!!!


  47. Dennis



    Post the link to your legal song download so that all these people 'socking to the man' can go a drop you a few bob and buy it.

    That is an even better way to sock it to 'the man' support independant music.

    Or if you have downloaded it already for free what about a little PR for the little man.

    Come on folks get behind this guy. I tried to do a google but lots of people have the name: Gerhardt

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I think that he got it wrong...

    kindaian said:

    " One can't confuse the tool and the uses that the tool have. The tool isn't illegal just because some punters like to kill people with it. "

    Kindaian, they're not suing Bittorrent, they're suing ThePirateBay. Bittorrent is the tool, TPB is (one of) the user(s).

    Anyone can see that Pirate Bay willingly and knowlingly facilitates copyright infrigement. It is TPB's raison d'être. If there's no law against it, then they get off on a technicality, but it doesn't stop them being in the wrong.

  49. Pete James

    Made me laugh

    There's some serious politics of envy being bandied about by a good few people here.

    The weak and spite-laden reasoning seriously sucks too.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Crusaders for freedom

    I'm no crusader, i only use torrents because i'm too stingy to go out and buy the stuff...

  51. Anonymous Coward

    This property is theft

    All property rights arise as political theft from the public domain using state coercion as enforcement. Sometimes converting public property into private property enables value to be increased but often it doesn't. Copyright enforcement didn't used to impinge upon the privacy of everyone's communications. Now it does, and the right to privacy of everyone is more fundamental than the right of a few to be rich and lazy because they happened to create something popular a long time ago.

    Copyright duration should be no longer than needed and enforced in respect of the activities of no more people than needed to incentivise the creation of work which otherwise would not be produced. This means shorter durations (between 5 and 20 years depending upon media type) with no right of enforcement in respect of private non-commercial distribution. Politicians who think otherwise need to be persuaded that the electoral consequences will be personally negative for them.

  52. Anonymous Coward


    That'd be the height of bad manners -- any such spam would, quite rightly, incur the wrath of the Bee. There are many independent artists out there more deserving of your support; I suggest a quick trip to YouTube and iTunes to hunt them out.

  53. John

    Re: Piracy is not the same as copying.


    Before I start, IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that in this country, the good old United Kingdom of whatever Labour say it is, it is not illegal to create a 'Backup copy' of any recording that you have bought or paid for. That backup copy is not limited by technology.

    Therefore, if I have a tape of Aerosmiths album 'Big Ones' (Circa 1991) then it is entirely acceptable under UK law for me to download a copy of this to my PC as a backup.


    No, no, no and finally no.

    The UK has NO provision for you to make a backup copy of anything, be it DVD, CD, vinyl or tape (or anything else), America I believe has under its "Fair Use" provision but we are not in America (While I'm here, America please also note your laws do not apply to other nations)

    Hell, under UK copyright law you are NOT even allowed to legally record a TV show, there is not even provision to do that, but it has never stopped the sale of VCR's and more recently DVD recorders.

    Good luck to Pirate Bay I wish them luck. I have used them on occasion and they haven't broken any laws from what I have heard of Swedish law so its pretty flipping interesting to see how far this goes, it would appear to be under very heavy pushing from America that this case is proceeding. In fact isn't PB now hosted out of Sweden anyway ?

    Its going to be a scary thought to think that even linking to something that *may* be illegal somewhere on the internet might land you in court, despite your website/email etc not containing or hosting the data.

    I do use a usenet index site a lot, and I can foresee that if PB don't win there case then those index sites will be held culpable even though they host nothing illegal.

    Ok, I went off on one a bit there sorry,

  54. frymaster


    Record companies are greedy and their products overpriced, fair enough.

    Copyright terms are too long, fair enough.

    The Pirate Bay isn't technically illegal, fair enough.

    Piracy isn't stealing, it's technically "copyright infrigement" or whatever, fair enough.

    All irrelevant.

    Whether or not it fits the legal definition of stealing, it's still ripping off someone's hard work. Whether or not there is a law to cover what the pirate bay does, by no stretch of the imagination can anyone look at it and say that it _shouldn't_ be illegal.

    If you think the product of record or movie companies is overpriced, you have the right _not to buy their product_. You don't have the right to moan about their greed and then rip them off, and then say it's the record companies fault "for not changing their business model"

    Apart from anything else, you are _never_ going to convince companies to change when they can go to any torrent site and see how popular their stuff is. They will always look at the downloads and think how much money they could be making if they could eliminate the piracy and get just a fraction of the lost sales back. If you genuinely think the model is broken, break it honestly, by not buying or stealing the product. Companies will soon learn.

  55. Dave

    @The Fuzzy Wotnot

    "the latest X-Factor claptrap or Terminator / Rambo/ Bourne Part 23", Easy tiger! Next thing you will be dissing Chuck Norris..........

  56. RW

    Why is a public prosecture representing private interests?

    Dear politicians: it's just music. That's all. Entertainment that, if it entirely vanished overnight, would make not one iota's difference to anyone's life except the musicians and the media corp fatcats who've been exploiting the musicians for decades.

    It's not an essential of life. Stop pretending that it is.

    Ulvaeus may refer to his fans as "lazy and stingy" but his fans have a word for him: greedy.

  57. Martin

    Can I still be paid for stuff I did years ago as well?

    I'm sure that some things I've done/made/'created' are still being enjoyed; can I expect a regular royalty cheque until my death?

    If these people want to live off their sucesses early in life, perhaps they should have visited their local bank and enquired about their finest savings accounts, you know, like everyone else has to.

    Or to quote someone else; "thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals, no matter how great they are or were"

  58. Anonymous Coward


    "Kindaian, they're not suing Bittorrent, they're suing ThePirateBay. Bittorrent is the tool, TPB is (one of) the user(s).

    Anyone can see that Pirate Bay willingly and knowlingly facilitates copyright infrigement. It is TPB's raison d'être. If there's no law against it, then they get off on a technicality, but it doesn't stop them being in the wrong."

    So wrong. For the bitorrent trackers to work you need a search engine and/or a page that lists the torrents. Otherwise nobody would be able to find the torrents/trackers.

    Same thing as Google. It's kinda tough to find the websites you want without Google unless you know their url's.

    The fact that most of the stuff being shared on trackers is copyright infringing is besides the point. I can find lots of illegal content on Google but you don't see anyone sueing Google over it (Yet).

    Your only complaint is that most of the stuff being listed on torrent sites is infringing. There is nothing illegal about listing sites at all if all they do is list and do not link directly to illegal content.

    However what the court case against TPB may reveal is whether facilitation to find illicit content - even though it holds no files itself - *is* ilegal or not and may settle this argument (Well in Sweden at any rate) and if it does come to the conclusion that it is illegal to facilitate access to potentially infringing material (Who's to say the links are not to something else entirely? Lots of fakes out there) then they should sue Google as well!

    The other thing is they are bitching and money about lossy compressed recordings and selling lossy compressed shit for the same amount as a lossless recording on physical media complete with case, cover and liner notes. It's a total con!

    What you also have to take into consideration here is that this is all about money and money causes greed. The record companies love to moralise but they themselves have acted immorally and even illegally (Backhanders to radio stations for airplay etc) since the invetion of the pianola. Know your history folks. I feel NO remorse towards these dinosaurs. Music used to be free (Excepting live performances) before they realised they could monetize and monopolize it to the sheeple via mass reproduction.

    Let's get back to where talented people make music and 'perform' it. Something that is actually worth paying for!

  59. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Thanks a bunch you lot!

    Now I can't get "Thank You for the Music" out of my fecking head!


  60. Anonymous Coward


    I guess it's just a matter of views.

    The content corps think they can tell everyone when and how to enjoy their property while a lot of people view downloads like a sort of super radio and TV. If a show has been aired and I could have saved it there and then what does it matter if I download it instead? There are services that stream music and video legally but they seldom carry what I look for.

    A show only aired in France and will most likely never be aired in Germany at all? Amazon says: out -of-stock? EMule says: Here you are, enjoy.

    The content corps see this as a lost sale - the may at some future point in time decide to make it available to me on their terms. However - here are some nice people offering me this show as-is, here and now. Would I pay for this TV show from 2004? Yes, and I'd rather improve my French then wait for a shoddy translation. But I'd not pay 15-25€ for it. Watch it with ads? Yeah - fine with me. After all it did cost money to produce.

    What if there was a super streaming TV/radio? Making available legally any piece/show produced - not what Corporation XXX's marketing department wants to shove down people's throats this month.

    Mine's the one with the fox fur lining.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    maybe he just doesn't remember giving them permission

    From The Daily Mail:

    As a new generation of fans discovers Abba thanks to the hit film Mamma Mia!, one of the foursome has revealed he is suffering from memory loss.

    Bjorn Ulvaeus cannot even remember winning the Eurovision song contest in 1974 with one of their best-known songs, Waterloo.


    'It is like I was not even there,' said the 58-year-old father of four.


    The movie has sparked an Abba revival but Ulvaeus says he simply cannot remember chunks of his life.

    He has even turned to hypnosis in an attempt to find a cure.


    The songwriter, who divorced the band's blonde songstress Agnetha Faltskog in 1980 and is now married to Swedish music journalist Lena Kallersjo, has studied old photographs and video to try to remember his life.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political consequences

    "Politicians who think otherwise need to be persuaded that the electoral consequences will be personally negative for them."

    Unfortunately, I have never heard of a politician who suffered adverse consequences as a result of his or her support for extending copyright, or otherwise removing value from the public domain and giving it to the donors who paid the lobbyists.

  63. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Dear media companies

    If your business model was based on high quality drm'd downloadable content priced at say £8 for an album with £6 going to the artist, with a free low quality version people can stick on their iPods or walkmans or whatever then I'd agree you'd have a real case against the file sharers.

    Instead its based on screwing the artists for a little money as you can possibley pay them while screwing the consumers for as much money as you can make from them (see comments about DVDs and regions).

    Pirate.... because I are one...... mind you the 'quality' of 95% of pirated MP3's is bollocks

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright is fair in theory

    I'd be happy to see copyright reduced to "life or 25 years, which ever is longer". I don't see any moral basis for allowing the work of a living artist to be forced into the public domain; but I don't see that there is one either for allowing their children or some faceless corporation to live off their work forever either.

    The "It's simple" comment here had the right idea; most of the PB supporters are transparently people with no talent who think that they might be able to gain either money or status if they were allowed to exploit other people's skills and ideas without having to come up with their own. They have no argument except "I WANT".

    Well, who the hell cares what you want, you bunch of losers? Piss off and let the talented people get on with their work.

  65. paulc

    guy who played second triangle...

    would have been a session musician and not eligible for royalties as he got his fee upfront...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Legal backups

    I use the Pirate Bay to download both Legal and Illegal content...

    First off, I download backups I have of CDs, LPs, VHS, DVD and even old tapes - why? I don't have the time to rip them and plus it is quicker to download them... and as I see it I have already purchased a copy of it. I even have an old 8 track tapes with some rare recording which I cannot find anywhere (but I don't have an 8 track to play/rip it).

    Illegal use: I download things I am interested in buying.. there is so much shit music/films out there which I would rather hear or see the product first... I mean if I'm paying £14 for an album or DVD why shouldn't I get to see if first to rate it??? If I like it I will buy it, if I think it's shit I will delete it!

    I personally thing that record companies deserve to fail for the way they have treated their artists and customers. Dare I see it, I even like that Microsoft for releasing BETAs so the product can be rated (though I try not to use Microsoft products or paying through the earch for them).

    I think we are have opened pandora's box and this won't change, take down the Pirate Bay (go on!) and see it be replaced by another system. They tried this with Napster and it made no differnece to piracy.

    Grave - because I hope Pirate Bay win this and the media companies fall on their ass.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    from each according to his means

    1. I are freetard.

    2. As a freetard, I use google to find torrents far more often than the Piratebay. It's especially useful when searching by hash for alternative trackers for a stalled download.

    3. Not every torrent is infringing someone's copyright, even on the Piratebay.

    4. Sorry for the disjointed nature of this comment.

  68. Andrew Taylor

    Pot, kettle, black (to useparaphrase an old Yorkshire expression)

    Ben Elton, Bjorn and Benny have admitted that they took the script from a 50's Gina Lolabrigida (hope I spelt that correctly) film which was called "Buena Sera Mrs Campbell" or "Mrs Lawrence", updated the location & added some Abba songs to make it a "musical". Isn't plagerism copyright infringement & intellectual theft as well? After all someone else had to come up with the idea for the original idea.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who cares about the music

    Personally I don't download music, if I wanted to listen to underage girls trying to become prostitutes I'd go to the pub. If I wanted to listen to people dressed as pimps telling me how hard their life is while trying to move under all the gold they've draped themselves in, I'd go to a trendy pub.

    However I choose not to watch American Idol and any number of other pieces of rubbish masquerading as television in Australia and instead watch interesting television shows that will either never be available here or not available for several years thanks to the TV indexing and distribution service known as Pirate Bay.

    And when it gets to DVD release, If it's good enough I buy the DVD as well.

  70. t1mc

    The argument is lost and the law never changes

    In the 70's we taped music

    In the 80's we video'd tv

    We did and we still do...and we will in the future.

    Those people that choose to pay (I do if the product is good enough or if I go to see a gig) are benefiting from the actions of downloaders...the distributors/producers had to cut their prices by half to stay in the market.

    Therefore instead of still charging £16-£20 for an album, they now charge £8 - £10. This would never have happened without 'piracy''s were invented in 78 and prices stuck until the mid 90's, that's a hell of a product life cycle, especially when the cost of production came down with no benefit to the customer.

    The piss was taken and a new medium came along. People like it, the companies need to respond as there's no going back, and those that say they pay for everything are not paying the required amount of these take the high ground you owe money to the record companies, it belongs to them but you kept it in your pocket because of pirates.

  71. bruceld


    I have used Google so many times to find torrented files that I can't even remember how many times...even more so than TPB (which I think I used once to replace my scratched Windows XP CD which I bought legally).

    I'll betcha that Google gets MORE torrent hits than TPB days. Google is the winner, hands down.

    There you go you big fat and rich lawyers for the IFPI...go get them. Go order all of Google's hardware and software confiscated for digital forensic evidence. Sue them for BILLIONS of dollars in "losses" (which aren't really losses because people who pirate would never have bought your crap anyways), and take down the entire search engine business like Yahoo!, Live Search, Webcrawler, etc. Go now! I bet they have trillions of dollars waiting for you!

    Dangerous FASCIST precedence indeed. Talk about an organization that doesn't care if they destroy creativity by taking down the entire internet.

  72. John O'Hare

    @Charles Calthrop

    And all the other people moaning about 'pirates' stealing the bread from artist's mouths.

    Copyright is a right granted by the government to stimulate the creation of (in this case) music and is essentially a government granted monopoly to the creator to be able to make money and as an incentive to create more.

    When the copyright is extended to such a long period that someone only needs to create one hit song, then live off of the royalties that are brought in to be set up for life, that breaks the original purpose of copyright and is not in the public interest (who are essentially the ones who gave out the copyright to begin with by proxy).

    Copyright was never intended to generate income for artists for the rest of their lives and the current situation is completely skewed and not in the public interest.

    If artists want to keep continue to make money, they should continue to create new work, just like everyone else in society.

    Instead it looks like some people (read: artists) in society really feel like they are more equal than others, then moan if other people remind them they are actually not.

    Some artists should come off of their bloody high horse and start to appreciate that they have been granted a period of monopoly by their fellow citizens.

  73. David
    Gates Horns

    Record Companies are getting payback

    When you abuse your power, when you suppress people, it is only a matter of time before you lose. If the record companies knew their history, they would know that they can't abuse people for too long before they get one up on ya.

  74. Mark

    The Music Industry Is Dead

    but look look, we've got all these free mp3s!

  75. peter

    it's about the ART, right ? least, that's what they all say in interviews.

    i don't recall any actors, directors or musicians waxing lyrical about how much they love the filthy lucre part of their industries...

  76. Anonymous Coward

    Björn Ulvaeus needs baton action

    Dear Björn:

    Instead of simply recommending that you sodomize yourself with a

    retractable baton, let me recommend a specific model - the ASP 21". The

    previous lawyers tried to use a cheaper brand, but it broke during the


    ha det!

  77. Charles Calthrop

    You don't understand copyright law John

    >Copyright was never intended to generate income for artists

    Yes, yes it was.

    >f artists want to keep continue to make money, they should continue to create new work, just like everyone else in society.

    An artist is more useful and has a better skill set than a sys admin. Tens of thousands of people can reset passwords; who can sing like Nina Simone? Should Bill Gates not be able to retire then? Should he have to continue to create new work?

    Regardless of your vision of utopia, thieves who steal from people should not do it.

    Amazing how everyone only ever uses PirateBay for 'Backups'!

    And the idea that slumdog is a success cos people on the torrent sites liked it; got any proof for this? I am sure Danny Boyle is delighted by the amount of people stealing his work

  78. John O'Hare

    @Charles Calthrop

    Sorry Charles, but it's you, who evidently doesn't understand copyright law. Or worse try to bend its meaning in such a way that it benefits your views.

    You are however very good in manipulating meaning by copying and pasting pieces of text without displaying the entire context.

    ">Copyright was never intended to generate income for artists"

    " Yes, yes it was."

    The bit of text you copied was from a sentence that has a completely different meaning than what you are suggesting.

    The who sentence was : "Copyright was never intended to generate income for artists for the rest of their lives and the current situation is completely skewed and not in the public interest."

    With the emphasis on the 'for the rest of their lives' bit, although that might not be completely clear to you, reading can be quite a chore when your mind is already made up about something before you start reading.

    "An artist is more useful and has a better skill set than a sys admin. Tens of thousands of people can reset passwords; who can sing like Nina Simone?"

    Really, I could argue that a rubbish collector is more useful than an artist. But in reality, they both have their uses and they're both needed for a healthy society. Does that mean that the artist is more 'useful' and has 'better skill'. Please don't be that arrogant.

    "Should Bill Gates not be able to retire then? Should he have to continue to create new work?"

    Can you please hold off with the ludicrous assumptions? If an artist uses their copyright period to actually make money and the copyrighted product is actually something people would buy, then a period of 10 years is more than enough to make enough money. Bill Gates would have been able to retire 100x even if the copyright period for winDOS was only 10 years. Now he can retire about a 1000x, so what was actually the point you were making? If someone is stupid enough to blow all their money on parties and would have ended up with nothing to live on after the copyright expired, then yes that person should bloody well work keep a living.

    I am all for copyright, just not in its current form and period.

    "Regardless of your vision of utopia, thieves who steal from people should not do it."

    Yes, completely agree. Unfortunately it appears that in your 'utopia' extraordinary long terms for copyright makes people into criminals, in cases where 'stolen' works should be in the public domain. B.t.w. it's not 'stealing', the proper term is 'copyright infringement'.

    The price for being granted a government endorsed monopoly is that works will eventually end up in the public domain. 'Eventually' being an artists' lifetime, is not a valid option for a large part of the population (you know the same population that essentially granted the copy'right' in the first place).

    Hope you'll have a good time in your version of society where you feel that some people are apparently more 'useful' than others. I can really recommend reading George Orwell next time you pick up a book.

  79. Anonymous Coward


    Abba? never heard of them...

    Maybe if he wants more money he should get a job, or write some more music

  80. Anonymous Coward

    part genious part ...

    Well I was very surprised over his reaction. Obvously he has either not understood the issue or he is a moron. As I actually like a lot of the work that he has achieved as a creator I prefer to think of his comment as grounded in a lack of understanding of the issues. Because if he understands the issue and he still stands by his proposition than I can only believe that he is disingenious. Why - because I cannot believe that he never recorded music on a cassette tape from the radio or from a friends record, thats why. In Sweden it has for many years been legal to copy music from one media to another for personal use as long as you owned a copy of the copyrighted material. This means that for example the copying of a CD and uploading it to your iPod is a consumer right legally supported in Sweden (not so in the UK - while the music industry has promised (?) not to take any individual to court for copying music from a CD to their iPod as long as they own the CD - the industry did not want the UK legislation to be amended to make it legal). In Sweden the law has not supported copying music from CDs which you borrowed from friends. To copy music from records onto tapes where the records were borrowed from friends has not been legal in Sweden. However this did not matter in practice as personal copying in Sweden has not been criminal (only copying for distribution was criminal). Basically to copy music for personal use has not been a criminal offence.

    If the ABBA star himself really never did copy records (LPs or CDs for example) onto tapes then his argument is fair. However his argument would then stand out as extreme in the Swedish society. It is very strange though that he has not as far as I know had a crusade against all of those lazy and stingy Swedes that for years have been recording music they did not own on tapes. On the other hand it is very likely that he himself has recorded a lot of music on tapes from sources which he did not own - if so he should now realise that this behaviour represent exactly the lazy stingy attitude that he is critisizing... Considering that he managed to do quite well in the music world even though people were "pirating" his music to tapes all over the world he should rethink his attitude. I assume that an apology to the Swedish population would be in order...

  81. Roger Heathcote


    "Björn's one to talk about being lazy

    when was the last time he put a record out?"

    ROFLTIBITF!!! HAHAHAHaAa.. Too funny! X'-D

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