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Showbiz lawyers push to have Pirates gagged

Showbiz lawyers push to have Pirates gagged

Published: 19 May 2009 15:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 May 2009 15:29 GMT+02:00

Last week, the Danowsky Partners law firm filed documents with the Stockholm District Court on behalf of the Swedish affiliates of the Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner record companies urging the court to start fining Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde if The Pirate Bay site isn’t taken offline.

Also named in the motion was Black Internet AB, the website hosting company cited in the document as providing The Pirate Bay’s internet services.

The filing also requests that the fines apply even before the District Court rules on the request and that Neij, Svartholm Warg, and Sunde be barred from speaking out on the matter until the case has had a final verdict in the Swedish court system.

When contacted by The Local for further comment, Olof Roos, an attorney with Danowsky Partners handling the case, refused to elaborate on the filing.

“All I’m going to say is that I have no comment,” he told The Local.

The motion refers to The Pirate Bay as an “Infringement Service” (Intrångstjänsten) which allows people to unlawfully access copyright protected material belonging to the companies.

The same court previously convicted three individuals named in the motion, along with a fourth man, Carl Lundström, for being accessories to copyright infringement, sentencing them to one year in prison and ordering them to pay a damages claim of 30 million kronor ($3.56 million).

“Despite the outcome of the criminal case, the Infringement Service continues to be accessible via the internet, which continually causes harm to [the record companies] (and their rights holders),” reads the motion.

The four men convicted in the case have since filed an appeal, and on Tuesday it was revealed that the judge who will be hearing the case, Ulrika Ihrfelt, had previously been a member of the Swedish Copyright Association (Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt).

Membership in the same association in part led to bias allegations to be raised against Tomas Norström, the judge who heard the case in the District Court.

André Rickardsson, an expert in IT-security, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper he was surprised the record companies have requested the The Pirate Bay operators be fined.

“Swedish law applies in Sweden, their internet service isn’t in Sweden. I don’t understand why the Swedish district court has anything to do with this. The Pirate Bay operates in countries where the activity is permitted,” he told DN.

“They’re reacting like bulls in a china shop and aren’t going to generate any sympathy in the matter.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:47 May 19, 2009 by lolly
My goodness, how arrogant of the american countries to try and restrict free speech... in another country!
18:46 May 19, 2009 by Nayya
Those companies are panicking cause they know they will lose with a fair and objective retrial..
19:33 May 19, 2009 by freethinker
What arogance, they want fines applied before the District Court hears the matter? I hope the pethetic mewling of those companies fall upon deaf ears in Sweden.
20:26 May 19, 2009 by Russ Cobleigh
as an American living in Sweden, I find this repulsive, especially since the judge in the case was/is bias!
00:11 May 20, 2009 by eZee.se
Dont get mad.... get even!

PiratParty 2009! Vote early from 20th May!
08:04 May 20, 2009 by christo
this is sweden not america. so americans let sweden do its part, then u do ures in ure country
08:12 May 20, 2009 by freethinker
Well there's some advice...lol Actually this is probably the best thing that could happen. The PiratParty can't buy this kind of publicity. This is awesome!!!!
08:21 May 20, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Very true, PB is sitting in Sweden... or is it? lol. Problem is that what they are doing over here, is affecting the lining of the pockets of hard working folks in USA. If you think of the years of dedication folks take to make a movie, game, music...just to have someone 'steal' it and not give anything in return. I am not saying I don't have any burned music. I think most people do have something burned in their collection, by which the artist was not compenstated for their work.

Inletwatcher
08:58 May 20, 2009 by Jamtjim
I think you missed the point somewhat Inletwatcher. The issue here is that the US music industry is trying to stop free discussion in another country simply because they dont like whats being said. In addition they are trying to but a website out of business dispite an appeal taking place against an unjust conviction that they successfully misled and cheated the Swedish legal system in order to gain.

If this is allowed to happen what follows? I'll be gagged from saying "Brittany Spears is crap" because by doing so I may turn someone off buying her CDs and thus dent their profits.

I hope that for once the swedish legal system grows a pair and tells the yanks where to stick their petition. Sadly I suspect that the company man which is swedish law will simply bend over and take a good ole american shafting...
09:34 May 20, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Humm I must of misread something...

Last week, the Danowsky Partners law firm filed documents with the Stockholm District Court on behalf of the Swedish affiliates of the Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner record companies urging the court to start fining Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde if The Pirate Bay site isn’t taken offline.

Not that it matters, but this is what I based my earlier post on.

Inlet
09:57 May 20, 2009 by Britswedeguy
I hope that when it's election time Swedish voters remember that the Moderaterna sold them out to US Big Business.
10:05 May 20, 2009 by krow
So to spend time in jail and pay huge money back is not enough. They should come and send them to Guantánamo Bay. Idiots
10:09 May 20, 2009 by Jamtjim
Thanks for your reasoned and helpful approach to a serious issue there Krow.
15:36 May 20, 2009 by KnowledgeIsPower
This is outrageous, not only was the original sentencing judge a member of the SCA, the appealing judge is a former member. Are there any officials in power whose allegiance hasn't been purchased by American production companies?

But worst of all, the production companies are trying to hush these atrocities under a gag order! Not only are people being considered criminals under laws which at best have debatable legitimacy, they are also being slowly condemned to silence against this injustice.
17:14 May 20, 2009 by Puffin
It will be interesting if the Pirat party get European parliament seats
23:26 May 21, 2009 by DAVID T
Most of these posts are saying it's ok to steal. Theft is theft - i really hope the courts go after private individuals. If you went to a record store and got caught stealing CD's you would expect to be punished right? What's the difference with downloading? Just because you stole the music sitting at home doesn't make it any less of a crime.
00:36 May 22, 2009 by Dagem Hailemariam
Inletwatcher...WHAT???? "...the years of dedication..." Most of Hollywood now-a-days is just recycled scripts...same storylines different character names...same with the big-time music being pumped out, selling kids on an image that parents cannot keep up with! For real stop pitying this garbage!

HOPEFULLY IN THE END JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!! PIRATPARTIET 2009!!
00:56 May 22, 2009 by Jakub72
....sigh...

As it has been beatin to death here, copyright infringment is not the same as stealing. I wouldn't buy any of the worthless crap I have downloaded over the years, so therefore these evil empires would never see a dime from me anyway. Is it wrong in the eyes of the law? Sure, it is. Do I actually care of give a ? Nope. I remember buying CDs in the early 90's for $15 a pop, back then it actually cost money to stamp one out. Today it cost pennies to stamp out the same thing, nice profit margins. Maybe they should refocus their expenditures on new technologies and not lawyers. These worthless companies should take note of the following industries that are getting hammered by new technologies; NEWSPAPERS AND THE USPS.

...i still use iTunes for music downloads when I want some thing to listen to that doesn't suck, for movies....I just gave up. All the good movies are free on TV anyway.

They only keep proving that they are scared shitless, narrow minded money grubbing whores. They deserve everything they get.....
06:55 May 22, 2009 by freethinker
Just wait til Pirat Party gets EU seats..you'll see those greedy money grubbing buggers go bonkers then...
20:29 May 24, 2009 by usgepo
Content producers want stardom, celebrity status, make millions in endorsements, influence the world, and live the life, well get in line we all do!

It is not like the quality fo most of the content we are sold is good to begin with, they need peer to peer traffic, it is free advertising for the crap they push, if you really like something you go out and buy!

This is like prosecuting the postal service, there is a great deal of criminal activity via the post, however are they on trial here? they are a medium of communication nothing else.

I have friends working for studios in the US, whose executives deliberately leaked movies for download in various sites ahead of the release date, in order to create demand and gauge the traffic thus allowing them to decide if they will continue to invest on a potential dog of a show!

Get a life Mr.Studio GM! I wonder how much they spent on greasing the palms of the judges.
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