Twitter can be a great tool to keep friends and total strangers updated on your life, to gather support for a cause or to pass on interesting content. However, as became apparent yesterday, the micro-blogging service is also an excellent medium for a fight off between people on different sides of the ‘war on piracy’.
By now we assume that most of our readers are familiar with BREIN, the Dutch anti-piracy organization that purged well over a thousand torrent sites from the Internet and single-handedly brought Mininova to its knees. Think what you want of them, but unlike their counterparts at IFPI they are at least willing to comment to us and others skeptical of their anti-piracy actions.
On the opposing side of the war on piracy we have groups like The Pirate Party. The political outfit has its roots in Sweden but is active in more than 30 countries worldwide, including BREIN’s home The Netherlands where it participated in the general elections earlier this year without success.
The Dutch Pirate Party is headed by Samir Allioui who formerly led Pirate Party International, an umbrella organization for all Pirate parties worldwide. As is his job, Allioui carefully watches the local media for piracy related discussions and he’s not too shy to respond to writings he doesn’t approve of.
So, when the Dutch newspaper De Pers published a column detailing why sharing copyrighted movies and music is wrong, he was quick to respond with a rebuttal piece. On Twitter, he alerted BREIN’s head Tim Kuik to his article, since Kuik had plugged the original piece a few hours earlier.
This tweet was the start of an interesting conversation between the two, starting with the following response from Tim Kuik.
TimKuik: @SamirAllioui ehh, let me think…it’s hard…added a nice drawing…bullshit?…yeah that’s it .. bullshit!”
Kuik’s tweet (translated)
SamirAllioui: @TimKuik Good to know you don’t have any arguments against it content wise 🙂
TimKuik: @SamirAllioui ouch, you are so sharp, no wonder you’ve won so many seats, but now I am going back to serious issues
SamirAllioui: @TimKuik The Greens were not taken seriously either. But what they’ve done in 30 years, the Pirates did in 4 years. Time will tell.
TimKuik: @SamirAllioui But Samir … I believe you even applied for a job with us
This last tweet of Kuik doesn’t make much sense. We asked Allioui if he has any clue what BREIN’s boss is referring to, but he drew a blank as well. Our best guess is that Kuik is jokingly referring to Allioui’s byline, where he says he’s doing freelance work as a ‘information security’ expert. We also asked Tim for clarification and are awaiting a response.
After the last tweet the conversation moved on to other accusations. Allioui indirectly accuses BREIN of rent seeking and abusing the legal system in favor of the entertainment industry. Kuik obviously sees things differently and says they only ask the courts to uphold the law.
After some tweets back and forth and a good night sleep (to sober up?) the discussion ended this morning.
TimKuik: @SamirAllioui well, I’ve had enough fun with the Claptrap Party, I’m going back to real work
Claptrap in Dutch is ‘prietpraat’ which is phonetically close to ‘piet piraat’, a Dutch/Belgian kids show about a pirate.
It’s needless to say that both sides don’t have much respect for the opinion of the other, but it’s remarkable that they fought this out in public on Twitter. There seems to be quite a bit of unvented frustration that needed to be released. However, they can throw as much mud as they want but it is unthinkable that they’ll come even an inch closer to agreeing.