Evidence feud over ‘Perry Mason’ tactics

The Pirate Bay trial was interrupted on Friday morning as lawyers quarreled over admissible evidence, prompting a defence attorney to liken the proceedings to an episode of the classic US legal drama Perry Mason.

Evidence feud over 'Perry Mason' tactics

Peter Danowsky, attorney for the recording industry association IFPI, questioned Peter Sunde, one of the four men charged in the case, and wanted to know Sunde’s views on an article published on the Swedish online magazine

He then brought a copy of the article to Sunde, who sat on the witness stand, prompting an outburst from defence attorneys.

“This is starting to become an American trial where you toss in new evidence after the fact,” said Peter Althin, who represents Sunde.

Per E. Samuelson, attorney for Carl Lundström, also voiced his disapproval with the move.

“All the documents you’re hiding need to be put on the table,” he said.

The attorneys representing The Pirate Bay defendants also demanded that no new documents be introduced without the defence team being given access to them first.

The head of the court decided to call for a special deliberation to determine the court’s stance on the matter.

After the break, the court ruled in favour of the defence, meaning that all evidence which as cited in court must be handed over before questioning the accused.

“If you have documents which you eventually plan to use, you need to hand them over now,” the chief judge told Danowsky.

Danowsky proceeded to hand over eight documents to the court, most of them newspaper clippings, but also several blog citations, including some from Sunde’s own blog.

Afterwards, the court adjourned again so the documents could be photocopied.

“Proceeding in this manner is surprising, to say the least,” said Althin, who likened the trial to en episode of Perry Mason.

“Suddenly, the door opens and in walks an entirely new witness,” he said.

Danowsky refused to elaborate on his feelings about having the court compel him to share the evidence with the defence.

“I have no assessment of the court’s decision,” he told TT.


Sweden now owns Pirate Bay domain names

The Swedish state became the unlikely new owner of two domain names used by The Pirate Bay after a court ruling on Tuesday.

Sweden now owns Pirate Bay domain names
The Swedish state now owns two Pirate Bay domain names. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

In its ruling the Stockholm district court awarded Sweden the domain names and

The case marked the first time a Swedish prosecutor had asked for a web address to be wiped off the face of the internet, Dagens Nyheter reports

“A domain name assists a website. If the site is used for criminal purposes the domain name is a criminal instrument,” prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told the Swedish daily earlier this year. 

Sweden’s Internet Infrastructure Foundation, which controls the Swedish top level domain .se, opposed the prosecutor’s move to prohibit any future use of the two Pirate Bay addresses.

The court agreed that the foundation had not done anything wrong and conceded that it could not force the group to block certain domain names, Dagens Nyheter reports. But by awarding the addresses to the Swedish state the court effectively ensured that they will not be sold on to another owner. 

The file-sharing service was temporarily knocked off line in December after police seized servers hosted at a data centre in a nuclear-proof bunker deep in a mountain outside Stockholm.

But seven weeks later the resilient file-sharing behemoth was back on its feet and Tuesday’s ruling is unlikely to knock it off balance for long, as the court cannot prevent The Pirate Bay from continuing to run sites on other domains.

The Pirate Bay, which grew into an international phenomenon after it was founded in Sweden in 2003, allows users to dodge copyright fees and share music, film and other files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site – resulting in huge losses for music and movie makers.

In 2009 four Swedes connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court. 

They were each give one-year jail terms and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) in compensation.