News from the front line of the war on piracy, and the record companies have struck an important blow in their quest for equality: a terrible, law-breaking, 9-year-old pirate has had the super-powerful dangerous tools of her trade confiscated by the police. Thank God for that.

That's probably what the press release for Finnish police said, at least. Following action by Finnish company CIAPC (the group behind forcing ISPs to block The Pirate Bay in Finland), the police raided the home of an alleged file-sharer -- in this case a 9-year-old girl -- and seized vital evidence of her misdemeanours, a rather fetching Winnie the Pooh laptop. This was all following an exchange of letters between CIAPC, in which they demanded a "settlement fee" -- about 600 euros -- and the signing of a non-disclosure agreement (presumably so that the 9-year-old couldn't rally her Runescape army and crush the record labels). The father, quite rightly, said no; as he put it, "I got the feeling that there had been people from the MAFIA demanding money at the door".

I understand that record labels need to defend their artists, and that piracy is a problem for them. This is definitely not the way forward though; the tactics at use are disturbing. The heavy-handed approach, I guess, is meant to intimidate, so that people will cough up the settlement fee, rather than suffer the disruption of morning raids by the police. Even the rozzers are in on the scam: they told the father "It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation". Whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'? And, more to the point, since when has harassing a small girl been a proportionate response to a little kid trying to download a couple of songs? C'mon guys, lighten up. [TorrentFreak]

Image credit: No sign from Shutterstock