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No retrial in Pirate Bay case

No retrial in Pirate Bay case

Published: 25 Jun 2009 14:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jun 2009 14:50 GMT+02:00

Sweden's Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that the judge in the high profile Pirate Bay case was not biased, as has been claimed by lawyers representing the men behind the popular file sharing site.

The appeals court judgment means that the case will not be reheard at Stockholm District Court.

"We have reached the conclusion that we do not agree with the conflict of interest claim," appeals court judge Anders Eka told news agency TT.

Norström is a member of several organizations that take a pro-copyright stance. These memberships formed the basis of accusations from defence lawyers that the judge was biased and led to calls for a retrial.

Defence lawyers pointed out in appealing the convictions of their clients - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Carl Lundström and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg - on charges of complicity in breach of the Copyright Act, that one of the organizations receives funding from the recording industry organization IFPI.

The Court of Appeal conceded that the judge was a member of organisations acting in the interests of rights holders, but the court also pointed out that copyright holders enjoy constitutional protection under Swedish law.

"For a judge to back the principles on which this legilsation rests cannot be considered bias," the court wrote in its ruling.

The court did however criticize Norström for not speaking openly about the organizations of which he was a member prior to the start of the trial. This would have allowed for the bias claims to be heard at an earlier stage of the legal process, the court said.

But while the judge was negligent in his duty to inform the court of such details, this was not sufficient reason for the district court verdict to be declared null and void, according to the three appeals court representatives behind Thursday's ruling.

Tomas Norström declined to comment on the appeals court ruling.

But newly elected member of the European Parliament Christian Engström of the Pirate Party was outraged and surprised by the court's decision.

"This is part of a pattern. It show that the Swedish legal system is no longer to be trusted when it comes to copyright cases. It's a travesty of justice quite simply," Engström told TT.

"There are certainly problems with the laws too but this also shows that the courts are not capable of applying the laws in a correct manner. I've been a lay judge for seven years and I've never seen an indictment as bad as the Pirate Bay verdict. But that didn't stop the court from setting ridiculous sentences," said Engström.

Membership of the Pirate Party skyrocketed after Stockholm District Court on April 17th sentenced four of the men involved with the Pirate Bay to a year in jail. And Engström believed that Thursday's ruling would have a similar effect.

"This makes it clear that the only way to win this battle is through politics. It's a political issue and it's going to be decided at the general election in 2010," he said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 June 25, 2009 by Luckystrike
With asimplgoogle search you will find that Anders Eka, is connected to the The Stockholm Center for Commercial law, together with movie industry lawyers Monique Wasted and Peter Danowsky who represented the music industry in the Pirate Bay trial.

Come on, how much longer can this go on for...
16:22 June 25, 2009 by Staffs
A mind bogglingly unjust decision, the machine of totalitarianism grinds on.

This sends a clear message from the forces of totalitarianism that they are so confident that they cannot be stopped that they can, in full public view, ride roughshod over any last remaining appearance of justice and accountability.

The answer is to stop feeding the Beast, stop watching films at the cinema, stop renting dvd's, stop buying music.

Starve the Beast and feed the Pirate Party.
17:08 June 25, 2009 by Holecutter > The Howl From Hell
The whole thing is weak.... weak case, weak politicians, weak people, weak society.........not one person in authority standing up to counter this decision. Even an idiot can see this whole thing has been biased from the very start.

Its no wonder ther is no real respect for the Swedish politicians outside Sweden...........and that is is a fact.
17:25 June 25, 2009 by DAVID T
Fantastic news - now Italy and Holland can also prosecute them - many years in jail and huge fines - it's what they deserve - I hope these thieves rot in jail !!!
17:53 June 25, 2009 by peropaco
The judges from the Swedish judiciary system are a bunch of old fuqcks and they need to get laid more often. They are continuously being emasculated firstly by their mums at an early age; and then they marry and fat azzs chick named Ulrika or Lena and the torture continues. How can one trust a system that allows rapist and murderers wonder the street after committing a crime? How can you trust a system with a social democrat majority which ostracize you because you bought an Audi instead of a Volvo? The worse part of it is that you have a society that takes it up in the culo and says nothing about it. What a bunch of horses!
18:29 June 25, 2009 by spy
This whole case has been a shambles.

Even if it wasn't biased trial a large proportion of the population will be sceptical and many will feel further alienated.

Bizarrely this could also act as some sort of justification for people to continue infringing upon copyright laws.
18:41 June 25, 2009 by bocagill
Why i can't believe it, this is typical swedish thinking. This quote says it all from the judges "For a judge to back the principles on which this legilsation rests cannot be considered bias," the court wrote in its ruling" SO if i was a judge in sweden and i belong to a group that hates all non swedes and would love to get rid of them i can sit on trial that is ruling for someone seeking aslyum its ok because i can keep my opinion to myself, i have one word for that bullshit.
21:16 June 25, 2009 by Kevin Foley
Terrific news. Judge TN is an honorable man.
22:38 June 25, 2009 by SaltWater
This is prove of a more and more capitalist system, that pounds civil liberties of a fair trial over the power of corruption and money. I am not saying I am against the verdict, even if I can see the difference between sharing and being just a link between IPs, but this case is such obvious case of interest to make an example even if that destroys years of democracy.
00:43 June 26, 2009 by Maxx1
Oh, look Sweden now practices the same type of justice as Iran and the USA.

Honesty in the Judicial system is now officially dead. Judges are free to lie, cheat, no big deal.

They remind me of that French Queen of the "let them eat cake" fame.

Sorta thumbing their nose at the system and what it represents because, hey, who can touch them. Besides the RIAA and the MPAA give such nice gifts...

Sweden owned and operated by Corporate America.

Next step in the quest to become the USA of europe: New Health benefits to replace old health benefits- Not enough profit if one actually has to treat sick people...

Although this is one American who really thought the Swedes had a decent government and Judicial system.

I guess when it comes to BIG money all politicians (and judges) are the same.
06:23 June 26, 2009 by sweco1
This means the Swedish Justice system can no longer be TRUSTED, they have been INFILTRATED!
08:53 June 26, 2009 by janwouter
It really grieves me to see that also the Swedish legal system has been turned inti a travesty. I always considered the Swedish system to be one of the best in the world, even better then thast of my own country Holland, but now it is clear that also Sweden is turning into a banana republic.
09:16 June 26, 2009 by tranel
Good. Somebody showed some common sense. If you download, pay for what you download, it's that simple, unless the creator explicitly allows you to get it for free. There are people out there who MAKE A LIVING from creating original content and who need to be able to pay rents and eat. Get real, people.
09:24 June 26, 2009 by Keithy
I was thinking about whether people are now being prosecuted under the new IPRED law. Anyone know?

I was also thinking that such a prosecution needs to come to court to have all the laws tested. I heard that ISPs are under a legal obligation to protect the privacy data of its customers, seemingly in contradiction to the new obligation to reveal information about downloaders. I wonder if the Pirate Party would get involved in such a case.
09:26 June 26, 2009 by RoyceD
Tranel, it is not the "how can movie makers make a living if we download?" arguement that downloaders have a problem with. It is why should actors get paid millions to be actors, why do movie production CEO's make millions, etc etc. Movie Downloading via the internet is a way for eveyone on the planet to benefit.

The obvious corruption on display here will only further put distance between the majority masses and the elite, which we all know how that works out in the end...
09:30 June 26, 2009 by Staffs
Tranel,

this post isn't about the filesharing argument, it's about a judge who has a clear conflict of interest presiding and making judgement over the case.

It's clearly wrong and as other posters have said, it shares the same qualities as a banana republic and kangaroo court, it makes an absolute mockery of the concept of justice.

Slightly off topic, I cancelled my cable TV subscriptions (propaganda is supposed to be free), and the feeling of empowerment is fantastic (for such a simple and individually insignificant action). The other upside is the money saved and now I have a life outside the sofa!

Starve the Beast and feel better!
13:33 June 26, 2009 by Playmaker
it is to bad you can not vote judges in or out like in the US. if that was the case this judge and the appealing judge will be out a job and working for the movie or music industary.
14:07 June 26, 2009 by hilt_m
How sad, yet again the Swedish system fails to come even close to being fair. Very very sad.
14:09 June 26, 2009 by mrfx
Welcome Sweden to the Orwell's world. Another nation defeated by RIAA.
14:20 June 26, 2009 by German
Thousands of german people read the articles from pirates bay.

The swedish pirates fight for our rights too. We hope that pirate bay are the winners at the end.
14:26 June 26, 2009 by DAVID T
RoyceD

The music and film industries employ thousand of people world wide. I don't have a problem with any of them making money. The bosses of any corporation make millions of dollars and contribute massively to most countries with tax's and social fees etc. Just because the boss of say Rolls Royce makes millions of dollars doen't mean it's ok to steal a Rolls Royce.

If everyone stole the music there would be massive un-employment in the music and film sectors just so some selfish twats think they have the God given rights to steal.
14:29 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
Excellent post,Very true,

It bore much the same hallmarks as a show trial in a banana republic,....a sign of which way things are going in Sweden.
15:28 June 26, 2009 by mrfx
David T

When people copy songs for home use nobody stole the music. If you stole my car then I don't have it. If I copy a song from my friend, he still have it. I can do picture of picture of famous artist and it is not a crime. In my country I can record TV show or movie on vhs tape and it is not a crime. I can record a song from radio and it is not a crime, so why download a song from Internet have to be a crime? This is insane.

Good artists makes huge money in advertising, concerts etc. Prohibition of art distribute is one more way of control the people. About un-employment - maybe it is time to get wholesome work instead of working for those bastards leading entertaintement corporations.
17:17 June 26, 2009 by tommy the cat
Irrespective of which side is right or wrong, a fair, just, un biased trial is called for.

Perhaps he should seek asylum in another country?
15:06 June 29, 2009 by PicaQ
All this mentioning of "Starv[ing] the Beast" reminds me of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, when the bank was described as a monster that mercilessly controlled men.

Anyway, in the future, this sort of piracy may be widely considered as something common and ignorable. It appears to me that, according to the morphing of mainstream cultures and ideals in history, whatever was popular among the youth that was hated by the older generations usually become widely accepted by the older folks a decade or so later, who in turn are outraged by the new "rebellious youth". It all depends on what the kids think, who "are our future". It seems that most teenagers share their files without knowing that it's illegal.
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