Advanced

When Morality and Legislation Diverge. On the Disrespect for Legislative Measures Regarding Illegal File Sharing, As Seen in the Light of Vilhelm Lundstedt's and Karl Olivecrona's Theories.

Dahl, Malin LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract
The general moral attitude is, to consider copyright infringements on the Internet as a socially acceptable behaviour. While the record industry and judicial system have both monetary and other reasons to fight illegal file sharing, both the technological and the moral development are combating these efforts.

The legal realism as represented by Vilhelm Lundstedt is based on the idea that the legal system is founded, not on moral values but on the greater good of the community. In his argumentation on penal law, Lundstedt accentuated that the primary function of punishment is to uphold the respect for the legal system and the Penal Code. A successful legal system and its individual legal rules must be able to get a hold of the general... (More)
The general moral attitude is, to consider copyright infringements on the Internet as a socially acceptable behaviour. While the record industry and judicial system have both monetary and other reasons to fight illegal file sharing, both the technological and the moral development are combating these efforts.

The legal realism as represented by Vilhelm Lundstedt is based on the idea that the legal system is founded, not on moral values but on the greater good of the community. In his argumentation on penal law, Lundstedt accentuated that the primary function of punishment is to uphold the respect for the legal system and the Penal Code. A successful legal system and its individual legal rules must be able to get a hold of the general public morality and pull it in the desired direction, creating moral values that, in turn would make the Penal Code effective and respected. Legal rules must be supported by consistent punishment, and if they are not, the entire system will be undermined.

Also, Karl Olivecrona is a prominent representative of the realistic legal theory. His reasoning is based on hard facts and the reality that can be perceived, discarding mysticism and religion. The law does not consist of divine commands, nor is it built on commands stemming from an actual person posing as the legislator. In Olivecrona's view, legal language serves as a means of social control, and while legal terms may in reality be hollow words, they also serve as signposts with strong associations to legal concepts. He discarded the idea of the bindingness of law, and consequently argued that the legal system consists of organized force. A legal system unsupported by the use of organized force will become hollow and disrespected. Legal rules that are not enforced will eventually succumb as the interdependency between legal sanctions and law observance cannot be disregarded.

Lundstedt’s and Olivecrona’s legal realism offer two possible solutions to the problem of illegal file sharing, as well as other cases of diverging morality and legislation: the legal system can either strive to enforce the law to a greater extent, convicting a majority of the offenders and thereby seizing general morality; or, it may be necessary to re-shape the law, in closer correspondence to the common so-called sense of justice. The first alternative is more or less impossible to follow through, for a number of reasons; (i) the technical development has made it possible to share files anonymously, at least in relation to the judicial system, (ii) the social norm and moral attitude have not been affected by either IPRED or the conviction of the founders of The Pirate Bay, (iii) with the existing moral attitude it is impossible for the legislator to successfully fight illegal file sharing, as the moral norm generally prevails over legal values. Also, (iv) attempts to enforce and strengthen the copyright law have met with resistance, and counter-measures have been taken to secure anonymity online. This cold war in the digital world spills over into other areas of law, thus risking undermining the legal system. And finally, (v) one must ask if it is really in the best interest of the state and the legal system to even try to enforce a law that is not in correspondence to the general moral attitude. The second alternative is to re-shape the law. In doing so, the legislator should consider (i) that digital copyright should be separated from the existing copyright law, and (ii) that the new law should correspond more closely to the moral values in society. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
På vilka värderingar och grundläggande teorier baserar sig vårt rättsystem och vad är lagens bindande kraft? Hur kan dessa teorier förklara klyftan mellan moraliska regler och lagregler?

Denna uppsats består av tre delar. De två första delarna [Kap. 2 och 3] är mer deskriptiva och består dels av ett kapitel om illegal fildelning, dels av en analys av skandinavisk rättsrealism, framför allt Vilhelm Lundstedts och Karl Olivecronas skrifter. Den förstnämnda behandlar fildelning som en folkrörelse, och visar klart på hur den allmänna rättskänslan och moralen skiljer sig från det beteende som lagen förväntar sig. Den andra delen tecknar en bild av Lundstedts och Olivecronas idéer främst om lagarnas sociala och moralbildande funktion. Detta... (More)
På vilka värderingar och grundläggande teorier baserar sig vårt rättsystem och vad är lagens bindande kraft? Hur kan dessa teorier förklara klyftan mellan moraliska regler och lagregler?

Denna uppsats består av tre delar. De två första delarna [Kap. 2 och 3] är mer deskriptiva och består dels av ett kapitel om illegal fildelning, dels av en analys av skandinavisk rättsrealism, framför allt Vilhelm Lundstedts och Karl Olivecronas skrifter. Den förstnämnda behandlar fildelning som en folkrörelse, och visar klart på hur den allmänna rättskänslan och moralen skiljer sig från det beteende som lagen förväntar sig. Den andra delen tecknar en bild av Lundstedts och Olivecronas idéer främst om lagarnas sociala och moralbildande funktion. Detta inkluderar rättssystemets ursprung och natur, samt dess bindande kraft.

Uppsatsens tredje del [Kap. 4] väver samman de två första kapitlen. Eftersom del ett och två behandlar ämnen som inte till sin natur har ett självklart samband, så kräver analysdelen mer utrymme. Min slutsats är att den rättsrealism som Lundstedt och Olivecrona representerar ger två möjliga lösningar när moralen och lagstiftningen går stick i stäv. Antingen kan lagstiftaren sträva efter att upprätthålla och genomdriva Upphovsrättslagen, och därigenom försöka gripa tag i den allmänna moralen; eller så måste lagen ge vika. Det förstnämnda är mer eller mindre omöjligt vad gäller illegal fildelning, av flera olika anledningar. För det första har den tekniska utvecklingen gjort det möjligt att fildela anonymt, åtminstone realistiskt sett. För det andra har alla försök att stärka lagstiftningen, såsom IPRED eller domen mot The Pirate Bay, inte lyckats omforma den sociala eller moraliska normen. För det tredje är det under den nuvarande allmänna rättskänslan omöjligt att bekämpa illegal fildelning enbart genom strängare lagar, eftersom den moraliska kompassen alltid står över lagens riktmärken. För det fjärde kan åtgärder som riktas mot fildelningen vara kontraproduktiva och leda till kraftiga motreaktioner som sprider sig långt utanför upphovsrättens område. Ökade ansträngningar för att bevara anonymiteten leder till att även andra former av brott blir svårare att utreda. Sist men inte minst måste man fråga sig om det är en god idé att ens försöka genomdriva en lag som saknar stöd hos befolkningen.

Om man misslyckas med att upprätthålla lagen är en reform nödvändig, och den nya lagstiftningen måste närmare motsvara den allmänna rättskänslan. En sådan reform måste beakta att digital upphovsrätt på avgörande sätt skiljer sig från den traditionella upphovsrätten, samt ta hänsyn till den allmänna moralen och opinionen. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Dahl, Malin LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
File sharing Copyright Morality Validity Civil Disobedience Fildelning
language
English
id
1858208
date added to LUP
2011-03-25 13:28:12
date last changed
2011-03-25 13:28:12
@misc{1858208,
  abstract     = {The general moral attitude is, to consider copyright infringements on the Internet as a socially acceptable behaviour. While the record industry and judicial system have both monetary and other reasons to fight illegal file sharing, both the technological and the moral development are combating these efforts.

The legal realism as represented by Vilhelm Lundstedt is based on the idea that the legal system is founded, not on moral values but on the greater good of the community. In his argumentation on penal law, Lundstedt accentuated that the primary function of punishment is to uphold the respect for the legal system and the Penal Code. A successful legal system and its individual legal rules must be able to get a hold of the general public morality and pull it in the desired direction, creating moral values that, in turn would make the Penal Code effective and respected. Legal rules must be supported by consistent punishment, and if they are not, the entire system will be undermined. 

Also, Karl Olivecrona is a prominent representative of the realistic legal theory. His reasoning is based on hard facts and the reality that can be perceived, discarding mysticism and religion. The law does not consist of divine commands, nor is it built on commands stemming from an actual person posing as the legislator. In Olivecrona's view, legal language serves as a means of social control, and while legal terms may in reality be hollow words, they also serve as signposts with strong associations to legal concepts. He discarded the idea of the bindingness of law, and consequently argued that the legal system consists of organized force. A legal system unsupported by the use of organized force will become hollow and disrespected. Legal rules that are not enforced will eventually succumb as the interdependency between legal sanctions and law observance cannot be disregarded.

Lundstedt’s and Olivecrona’s legal realism offer two possible solutions to the problem of illegal file sharing, as well as other cases of diverging morality and legislation: the legal system can either strive to enforce the law to a greater extent, convicting a majority of the offenders and thereby seizing general morality; or, it may be necessary to re-shape the law, in closer correspondence to the common so-called sense of justice. The first alternative is more or less impossible to follow through, for a number of reasons; (i) the technical development has made it possible to share files anonymously, at least in relation to the judicial system, (ii) the social norm and moral attitude have not been affected by either IPRED or the conviction of the founders of The Pirate Bay, (iii) with the existing moral attitude it is impossible for the legislator to successfully fight illegal file sharing, as the moral norm generally prevails over legal values. Also, (iv) attempts to enforce and strengthen the copyright law have met with resistance, and counter-measures have been taken to secure anonymity online. This cold war in the digital world spills over into other areas of law, thus risking undermining the legal system. And finally, (v) one must ask if it is really in the best interest of the state and the legal system to even try to enforce a law that is not in correspondence to the general moral attitude. The second alternative is to re-shape the law. In doing so, the legislator should consider (i) that digital copyright should be separated from the existing copyright law, and (ii) that the new law should correspond more closely to the moral values in society.},
  author       = {Dahl, Malin},
  keyword      = {File sharing
Copyright
Morality
Validity
Civil Disobedience
Fildelning},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {When Morality and Legislation Diverge. On the Disrespect for Legislative Measures Regarding Illegal File Sharing, As Seen in the Light of Vilhelm Lundstedt's and Karl Olivecrona's Theories.},
  year         = {2011},
}