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June 4, 2006

Gramophone Operation: Romania vs Copyright

Romania, an Eastern-European country that is about to join European Union next year, has received an "yellow flag" from EU regarding the software piracy and the copyright issues. Many Romanian people use file-sharing software like DC++ to share music, movies and games. Some just for fun, others to burn CDs and sell them.

Here's a report about the actions of the police from Gardianul, a Romanian newspaper:

"A working group will be founded which will be led by a prosecutor from the General Prosecutor's Office. Through the protocol, an anti-piracy group will be founded that will be formed of two vice presidents, two people elected by the representatives of the signatory institutions. This organization will only solve half of the "turning green" of the yellow flag received by Romania in this field. The other half will be sold by the statistics of the police, so watch your computers at home! As our newspaper has announced, soon, at the General Prosecutor's Office, a protocol will be signed by 26 institutions for the protection of intellectual property. We call it the "Gramophone" protocol because this police operation is the one that disturbed tens of thousands of Romanians who procure their daily entertainment (movies, games, music) from the Internet. The signing of the protocol is yet another proof that all the actions of late connected to this matter are meant to "turn green" the yellow flag received by Romania in the copyright chapter. The European Union initially criticized us for lack of collaboration among the state institutions for protecting these rights. Hence the idea of the protocol appeared. The European Union is also criticizing us for the lack of sanctions given to those who violate intellectual property law. The statistics meant to hush the European Union will be made by the police. Through the protocol, two of the vice presidents of the Working Group on Matters of Intellectual Property will form an anti-piracy group that will also have in view the posting and downloading from the Internet of materials protected through the Copyright Law."

What people say about that:

"I download from some sites what's new and I don't think anyone will fine me. Anyway, I'm not the only one who does this."

"No one cares what's there, because everyone uses movies, music and software downloaded illegally."

It seems that police doesn't have the same opinion and tries to look very determined. The policemen use DC++ hubs to find people that share copyrighted content.

The situation is very strange because the Government should have made a campaign that explains the Copyright Law to people before letting the over-zealous policemen break in people's houses and arrest them.


  1. All the more reason to move to encrypted darknets.

  2. The main problem is not the pirates, but the way authorities think about copyrights. How can you "own" a song? well you made it and you deserve the honor for that, but the melody can not be owned in any way. Perhaps musicians and moviemakers have to realize that music/movies are no products but forms of art, they can't be sold, and sharing the experience of art is a beautifull thing. Perhaps that will also filter out all the "fake" artists, because only musicians who can perform live will make money. uhhm and games? I download them like "demo's": I download a complete game, play it for 2 hours, and if its cool I buy it to support the programmers :) and so should you ;)