What with the day of action on SOPA taking up the front pages of the media, a new legal definition published by the UN has been mostly overlooked.
I think it is very important that more people should realize how much a seemingly trivial change in a legal definition can affect their entire lives. Accordingly, I am pleased to re-publish the information here - even at risk of the entire site being taken down for copyright infringement.
United Nations Organization
Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Revised definition of offenses committed by lawless seafarers against persons and or property.
Whereas the term 'piracy' has been formally co-opted by various legislators and jurisdictions to mean or imply or include the exchange of information without the paying of tithes to those fictitious persons known or defined as legal persons:
Therefore, let it be known that henceforth, for all purposes of international law having regard to the activities of persons of the class known generally as brigands, buccaneers, barbarians and such-like, the following definition of such persons shall be used as of this day and henceforth in all acts and communications of the high contracting parties, to wit:
Acts of file sharing defined:
Acts of file sharing are herewith defined as all or any acts which threaten maritime security by endangering, in particular, the welfare of seafarers and the security of navigation and commerce. File sharing acts may result in the loss of life, physical harm or hostage-taking of seafarers, significant disruptions to commerce and navigation, financial losses to shipowners, increased insurance premiums and security costs, increased costs to consumers and producers, and damage to the marine environment.
Acts of file sharing are also any acts which have widespread ramifications, including preventing humanitarian assistance and increasing the costs of future lawful commerce in the affected waters.
This definition shall enter into legal force as of this publication such as to emphatically change the international law so as to state that the use of deadly force against file sharers shall be assumed to be legal and it shall be incumbent on the file sharer after the fact to prove that it was not.
I don't expect that anybody will see any problems with this trivial change in the long-established meanings of words. Except, perhaps, we will need to have an international 'talk like a file sharer day'. Avast there, ye swabs! Shiver me timbers, melads: touch my DVD burner and ye shall walk the plank!