• Sweden edition
 
THE PIRATE BAY TRIAL
Defence disputes damage claims

Defence disputes damage claims

Published: 18 Feb 2009 12:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2009 12:41 GMT+01:00

Altogether, the recording industry wants the four men behind the popular file sharing site, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, to pay 117 million kronor ($13 million) in damages.

According to Peter Danowsky, attorney for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), The Pirate Bay’s operations amount to a “comprehensive copyright violation” which has made it pointless to purchase music CDs or download music files legally.

The industry’s damage claims are based in part on the estimated amount of sales lost to file sharing over the Pirate Bay.

“But the damage is greater than that for the companies,” said Danowsky.

“The alternative of free downloading creates an impossible competitive situation for legal downloading.”

“This is about a purposeful crime on a grand scale with significant income as a result,” continued Danowsky, who doubts assertions by the four defendants don’t have the resources to pay the compensation claims.

“They probably have capacity to pay the resulting damages,” he said.

Monique Wadsted, whose MAQS law firm is representing the eight American film and gaming companies involved in the case, said The Pirate Bay deserves blame for not removing torrent files which link to copyright protected material.

“It’s not any harder than when we delete a Word file,” she said, according to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

She said the four defendants were “jointly responsible” and should pay the damages together.

Wadsted also detailed how much the companies wanted in compensation for each downloaded copy of various works, explaining that in some cases, the downloads involved early-release copies as well as versions lacking digital copying protections.

For every downloaded copy of Harry Potter, the companies are requesting 261.48 kronor, while they want 222.55 kronor per downloaded copy of Syriana, Walk The Line, and Pink Panther.

Downloaded copies of the Prison Break television series, meanwhile, are to be compensated to the tune of 415.81 kronor each.

The compensation claim is meant to cover not only “market damage”, according to Wadsted, but also “internal damages”.

But Jonas Nilsson, who represents Neij, refuted the entertainment industry figures, arguing it’s impossible to estimate how many times a given work is downloaded through The Pirate Bay.

He emphasized as well that it is the individual user, and not The Pirate Bay, which is in possession of a copyrighted work and that there is no copyrighted material on site’s servers.

“We don’t know who the uploaders are. We don’t know how the uploaders came to possess the material, that is to say, the protected material. We don’t know how Fredrik Neij may have influenced the uploader,” said Nilsson, according to SvD’s account.

“And perhaps more importantly, how did he promote this, other than that he, via The Pirate Bay, provided a legal function and technology.”

Nilsson added that bit torrent technology in and of itself isn’t illegal and that to carry out the file transfers, uploaders and downloaders need to have software on their computers to which The Pirate Bay has no connection.

“It’s not some sort of special software,” he said, arguing that The Pirate Bay is simply a specialized search engine.

“I submit that the torrent files one finds on The Pirate Bay can also be found by other search engines, like Google,” he said.

Next, Ola Salomonsson, who is defending Svartholm Warg, repeated his client's belief that he hasn't committed any crime, adding that The Pirate Bay does not encourage its users to upload copyrighted material.

He added that the payments his client received may not necessarily be tied to The Pirate Bay or the site's activities.

The lawyer for Sunde, Per Altin, followed by casting doubt on the significance of emails his client received from users of The Pirate Bay.

He invoked the metaphor of football fans who share their opinion with their favorite teams. Just because Sunde receives emails about The Pirate Bay, doesn’t necessarily mean he is responsible for the site, argued Altin.

Altin also questioned the industry's arguments for the high compensation claim.

"There is no causality between downloading and alleged lost sales," he said.

"It can, in certain situations, be just the opposite."

Next up, the lawyer for Lundström, Per E. Samuelson, pointed out that prosecutors had yet to even mention his client’s name.

“In order to convict someone of aiding a criminal, you have to connect the accused to the act of aiding. But the prosecutor hasn’t succeeded in doing so in his statements,” said Samuelson.

Samuelson continued by discussing a European Union directive about e-businesses which states that a service for transferring data shouldn’t be held responsible for the contents of the information.

According to Samuelson, it’s not the four people behind The Pirate Bay who are responsible for committing a crime, but rather the people who uploaded the files.

The directive, which is a part of Swedish law, also states that the operators of a data transfer service are not required to know that the data being transferred may contain.

“It’s similar to there being child pornography on Blocket,” said Samuelson, referring to a popular Swedish buy-and-sell website.

“Obviously, the owners of Blocket can’t be held responsible, but rather those who put the material out there,” he argued according to SvD.

Samuelson concluded his statements, which marked the end of the hearings for the third day, with an air of confidence.

“We are going to win this case on the basis of general criminal law,” he said.

“The alleged main crimes consist of making a copyrighted work available, and we’ve seen when the prosecutor has gone through the written evidence that on every point you can see who made the work accessible. If you want, you can trace email addresses and contact these people,” he continued, adding that more than 80 percent of the files on The Pirate Bay aren’t copyright protected.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se