Showbiz lawyers gear up for Pirate Bay trial

Swedish and international entertainment industry representatives are redoubling their efforts to challenge the legitimacy of file sharing website The Pirate Bay as the trial of four people connected to the site nears commencement.

Showbiz lawyers gear up for Pirate Bay trial

Earlier in the week, Pirate Party chairman Rick Falkvinge expressed his view in The Local that it is “not the operators as individuals that are on trial, it’s what the establishment regards as a threat to their society – the pervasive youth culture of freely exchanging culture and knowledge.”

But with the trial now just days away, three of the major entertainment industry players in the case have released statements calling into question the aims of the popular file sharing site.

“The people behind The Pirate Bay have not only enabled the violation of artists’ rights on a global scale, they have done so for commercial purposes. This has been shown in the preliminary investigation and will become evident during the case,” said Henrik Pontén, a lawyer for the Swedish Anti-Piracy Agency (APB), which is representing a number of Swedish film companies involved in the case.

“This use of other peoples’ work for personal gain cannot continue. That’s why this trial is of such fundamental importance,” he added.

Ludvig Werner, Chairman of the Swedish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), also highlighted the importance of copyright law for artists.

“For people who make a living out of creativity or in a creative business, there is scarcely anything more important than to have your rights protected by the law. Copyright exists to ensure that everyone in the creative world – from the artist to the record label, from the independent film producer to the TV programme maker – can choose how their creations are distributed and get fairly rewarded for their work,” said Werner.

“The operators of The Pirate Bay have violated those rights and, as the evidence in Court will show, they did so to make substantial revenues for themselves. That kind of abuse of the rights of others cannot be allowed to continue, and that is why these criminal proceedings are so important for the health of the creative community,” he added.

“The Pirate Bay’s business plan is a threat to the preconditions for cultural production and the development of new business models and legitimate internet services,” he added.

Werner’s organization is representing a number of both major and independent record labels active on the Swedish market.

Monique Wadsted, partner at MAQS Law Firm in Stockholm, is representing the interests of the international film companies involved in the case.

“The operators of The Pirate Bay have exploited the creative efforts of others for years by enabling the illegal distribution of audio visual and other creative works on a vast scale while making a profit for themselves,” she said.

“It is important that the people responsible for operating the The Pirate Bay are now subject to prosecution by the appropriate law enforcement authorities in Sweden. We remain committed to our core mission of encouraging and pursuing common sense solutions that support the creativity and prosperity of the film industry,” Wadsted added.

Four people linked to The Pirate Bay – Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström – all face charges of being accessories to breaking copyright law. The trial begins in Stockholm District Court on Monday.