How young will the casualties become in the ongoing war against online piracy? You sadly have to wonder, when you learn that a 9-year old girl’s laptop was seized by Finnish police in a raid on her family home, following a complaint by the CIAPC anti-piracy group which had ISPs block The Pirate Bay in Finland. The raid followed a request that the girl’s father pay up around €600 to settle potential piracy charges without prosecution, according to Torrentfreak.
The father in the case ignored the requests, which led to police showing up on his door this past Tuesday morning. His daughter appears to have been the culprit behind some illegal download activity, having browsed first Google and then The Pirate Bay looking for pop star Chisu’s latest album. According to the father, that search didn’t surface any usable files, so the two went to a brick-and-mortar retail store the next day and paid cash for the physical album instead.
If there’s anything more ridiculous than the image of a squad of policemen making a 9-year old girl hand over the laptop, consider also that this particular laptop was adorned with images of Winnie the Pooh and crew. And that in parting, police reportedly suggested that next time, the father just hand over the €600 (which can’t help but sound like protection money in this context).
The EFF in Finland has taken this as a particularly poignant example of how out-of-hand the anti-piracy measures have gotten in Finland. And the artist involved, Chisu, has spoken out against the action, apologizing to her 9-year old fans and directing them to free streaming content from her albums on Spotify.
Obviously, this is a wacky outlier example of what can go wrong when net neutrality goes wrong and ISPs give up information on their users. But the possibility that a young child is able to get copyrighted content via sites like The Pirate Bay shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone these days. These likely aren’t the kind of scare tactics CIAPC wants to employ, but it might not be able to avoid doing so if things continue to progress the way they have been.