[DEBATE] : Court jails Pirate Bay founders
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 15:04:43 BST 2009
[While PirateBay's defense has lots of merit - particularly since it
does not "host" any "offensive" material - its design is what makes it
legal. But unlike derivatives traders who designed products specifically
to confuse and bypass regulations, these 4 people are harassed while
derivatives banksters get a bailout...justice is blind - but not in the
way intended by the original coining of the phrase...]
Court jails Pirate Bay founders
Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde, speaking on his website: 'We cannot and
A court in Sweden has jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay (TPB), the
world's most high-profile file-sharing website, in a landmark case.
Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde
were found guilty of breaking copyright law and were sentenced to a year
They were also ordered to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages.
Record companies welcomed the verdict but the men are to appeal and
Sunde said they would refuse to pay the fine.
Speaking at an online press conference, he described the verdict as
"It's serious to actually be found guilty and get jail time. It's really
serious. And that's a bit weird," Sunde said.
"It's so bizarre that we were convicted at all and it's even more
bizarre that we were [convicted] as a team. The court said we were
organised. I can't get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you're
going to convict us, convict us of disorganised crime.
"We can't pay and we wouldn't pay. Even if I had the money I would
rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn't even give them the ashes."
It is almost certain that The Pirate Bay will keep on sailing, long
after today's court judgement
Read more at the dot.life blog
Q&A: Pirate Bay verdict
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The damages were awarded to a number of entertainment companies,
including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and Columbia Pictures.
However, the total awarded fell short of the $17.5m in damages and
interest the firms were seeking.
Speaking to the BBC, the chairman of industry body the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) John Kennedy said the
verdict sent out a clear message.
"These guys weren't making a principled stand, they were out to line
their own pockets. There was nothing meritorious about their behaviour,
it was reprehensible.
"The Pirate Bay did immense harm and the damages awarded doesn't even
get close to compensation, but we never claimed it did.
"There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music
industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that,"
Pirate Bay"s first server
The Pirate Bay's first server is now a museum exhibit in Stockholm
The four men denied the charges throughout the trial, saying that
because they did not actually host any files, they were not doing
Speaking on Swedish Radio, assistant judge Klarius explained how the
court reached its findings.
"The court first tried whether there was any question of breach of
copyright by the file-sharing application and that has been proved, that
the offence was committed.
"The court then moved on to look at those who acted as a team to operate
the Pirate Bay file-sharing service, and the court found that they knew
that material which was protected by copyright but continued to operate
the service," he said.
A lawyer for Carl Lundstrom, Per Samuelson, told journalists he was
shocked by the guilty verdict and the severity of the sentence.
"That's outrageous, in my point of view. Of course we will appeal," he
was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. "This is the first word,
not the last. The last word will be ours."
Rickard Falkvinge, leader of The Pirate Party - which is trying to
reform laws around copyright and patents in the digital age - told the
BBC that the verdict was "a gross injustice".
"This wasn't a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just
gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing
Mark Mulligan from Forrester Research says what was different about
"There is a lot of anger in Sweden right now. File-sharing is an
institution here and while I can't encourage people to break copyright
law, I'm not following it and I don't agree with it.
"Today's events make file-sharing a hot political issue and we're going
to take this to the European Parliament."
The Pirate Bay is the world's most high profile file-sharing website and
was set up in 2003 by anti-copyright organisation Piratbyran, but for
the last five years it has been run by individuals.
Millions of files are exchanged using the service every day.
No copyright content is hosted on The Pirate Bay's web servers; instead
the site hosts "torrent" links to TV, film and music files held on its
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