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[infowar.de] Introducing Del-Qaida
Das hat Microsoft auch schon versucht mit Software-"Piraten".
Hat offenbar wenig genützt: Jetzt gibt es extra-billige MS-Software für
Worried about losing money, the entertainment business is peddling false
links between DVD pirates and terror cells
Saturday July 17, 2004
If you buy a pirated DVD from a bloke in the pub, you could be
personally responsible for the deaths of innocent women and children in
terrorist attacks. That, essentially, is the message being promoted this
week by the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (Itipa),
the body that represents some of the world's largest film companies.
This week it launched a £1.5m "public awareness campaign" to inform
people of supposed links between the "Del Boy" characters who sell
pirate DVDs and terrorist cells.
Posters claiming that "terrorist groups sell DVDs to raise funds" are at
the heart of the campaign. Anyone renting a video will now be receiving
the same message. So where is the evidence for this claim?
The industry group cited as its chief witness Ronald Noble, secretary
general of Interpol. It quoted him as saying: "The link between
organised crime groups and counterfeit goods is well established, but
Interpol is sounding the alarm that intellectual property crime (IPC) is
becoming the preferred method of funding for a number of terrorist
groups." The "preferred method of funding"? A call to the Interpol
office in Lyon seems appropriate. We are referred to Mr Noble's speech
last July,to the US House of Representatives committee on international
relations, on the subject of the links between IPC and terrorism.
In his speech, Mr Noble began by pointing out how difficult it is to
establish links between IPC and terrorism: "Much of the financing is of
an indirect nature and it is difficult to attribute direct links between
an individual involved in IPC and funds remitted to a terrorist
organisation." His list of specific examples started with Northern
Ireland, where he noted that paramilitary groups were involved in
counterfeit cigarette trafficking although "it is unknown how much of
the money generated... goes to terrorist groups and how much is retained
as criminal profit... Other aspects of IPC in Northern Ireland appear to
have no terrorist involvement."
In Kosovo, his second example, he referred to the availability of
counterfeit "CDs, DVDs, clothes, shoes, cigarettes and computer
software" and concluded that "it is suspected [my italics] that funds
generated from IPC benefit both criminal organisations and extremist
groups". As for north African radical fundamentalists: "Sympathisers and
militants may engage in a range of criminal activity including IPC."
Further, "one counterfeiting case has been reported in the media, where
there are alleged connections to al-Qaida". The evidence here suggests
that al-Qaida "may have indirectly obtained financing through
counterfeit goods. Danish customs intercepted a container containing
counterfeit shampoos, creams, colognes and perfumes... It is difficult
to establish the provenance of the funds."
Mr Noble's final conclusion was that it was possible to suggest that IPC
could be used to fund terrorist groups - something of a leap from the
campaign posters' claim that "terrorist groups sell DVDs to raise
funds". So Mr Noble would seem to be saying that there is a lot of
counterfeit crime of all kinds around, and some of the funds just might
go to terrorist groups, although there is no hard evidence of any
A couple of years ago, the Bush administration launched a major
anti-drugs television campaign. It showed teenagers "confessing" to
having killed a judge or a police officer because they had used drugs,
and it said that drugs funded terrorism. Even if you were just having a
joint in your back yard, the ad said, you could be helping terrorists.
This was nonsense. The main profiteers from drugs in the US are American
citizens who, if they are smart, vote Republican to ensure that the
value of their product remains artificially high.
A few months later, Arianna Huffington and some creative friends from
the environmentalist group the Detroit Project produced an enter taining
spoof commercial in which tearful owners of four-wheel drive vehicles
confessed to aiding terrorism by their indulgence in oil. The
commercial, which produced howls of outrage from 4x4 owners and the car
industry, was a joke, but was much closer to reality than the
government's drugs ad campaign.
The "non-profit" Itipa, as it describes itself, is funded by Twentieth
Century Fox, Columbia Tristar, Universal Pictures, Paramount Home
Entertainment and many others, and is trying to use the same scare
tactic as the Bush administration, with similarly slim justification. It
is ironic that it should make such a claim in a week when the flimsiness
of intelligence on terrorism is under close scrutiny. An honest campaign
would say simply that the entertainment business is worried about losing
some of its profits from the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean to less
The chief backer of the September 11 attacks made his millions from his
family's construction business. So should we stop all house-building
now? By telling us that we are fighting terrorism by boycotting pirated
DVDs, the industry is patronising us and misleading us. Our message
should be: don't buy counterfeit and alarmist propaganda from these
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