• 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)

Today's headlines
Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

985
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
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
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