Finnish authorities receive complaints about “piracy letters”

    The sheer number of the so-called piracy letters sent makes it likely that the recipients also include people who have not committed copyright violations, according to a government counsellor at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

    Finns have filed complaints with a number of authorities about the letters sent by law firms to suspected copyright violators, reports Kauppalehti.

    Anna Vuopala, a government counsellor at the Ministry of Education and Culture, reveals to the commerce-oriented newspaper that the issue at hand is not only the intimidating tone but also the sheer number of the letters sent.

Finnish law firms are in recent years believed to have sent tens of thousands of letters to people suspected of downloading or sharing copyright-protected content online, threatening them with legal action unless they agree to pay a settlement fee ranging from hundreds to thousands of euros. It is thus likely that such letters have been sent also to people who have not committed any copyright infringements.

Even elderly people have contacted the authorities about the so-called piracy letters, according to Vuopala.

The Ministry of Culture and Education has responded to the complaints by appointing a task force to identify good practices for copyright surveillance. “We’ll seek to develop good practices and remove any practices that violate the law,” she tells Kauppalehti.

The task force will focus its attention on the provisions in the copyright act that define the grounds on which internet service providers can be compelled to relinquish the contact details of their customers. It is specifically expected to mull over what constitutes the distribution of “a significant amount” of copyright-protected content.
Vuopala, who is the chairperson of the task force, tells that if an agreement on the ground rules cannot be reached with the stakeholders, a legislative revision may be warranted.
The aggressive tactics of law firms have taken courts into uncharted territory.
The Market Court of Finland ordered an individual to pay damages to two copyright holders, Scanbox Entertainment and Crystalis Entertainment, in mid-2016. In February, however, it ruled that the evidence produced by the entertainment companies was not sufficient to prove the alleged copyright violations.
Scanbox Entertainment and Crystalis Entertainment were accusing the individual of distributing a film called A Walk Among the Tombstones and a television series called Black Sails.
The Market Court in June issued a ruling clarifying the evidentiary burden that copyright holders and their representatives must overcome to obtain the contact details of suspected copyright violators. Kauppalehti at the time estimated that the ruling could eventually prevent law firms from sending the letters, at least to the extent they have done over the past decade.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....