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The Pirate Bay verdict: the reactions

The Local · 17 Apr 2009, 15:52

Published: 17 Apr 2009 15:52 GMT+02:00

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The entertainment industry

Ludvig Werner, head of the Swedish chapter of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), was jubilant:

“The court has issued a clear decision, which is that people and companies engaged in the creative sector have a fundamental right to be compensated for their work and protected from the copyright infringement committed by The Pirate Bay.”

“The verdict against the founders of The Pirate Bay is not only positive for the music and film industries, but also for all the producers and businesses attempting to create legal online services based on a healthy respect for copyright.”

Piracy advocates

Christian Engström, a candidate for the European Parliament from the Pirate Party, viewed the guilty verdict as a step in the wrong direction.

“When Sweden chooses to outlaw one of our most successful ambassadors, it shows the importance of our work in the Pirate Party. Elected representatives today seem to be more interested in holding back progress than representing the people. That’s something we want to change,” he said in a statement.

“The Pirate Bay is a unique platform for distributing culture between regular people and independent artists, and that’s something we want to preserve.”

“The ruling is our ticket to the European Parliament,” concluded Engström, who expects a populist backlash against the ruling to help his party’s chances of gaining a seat in the EU’s primary legislative body.

Filesharing experts

A filesharing researcher at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology, Daniel Johansson, called it a landmark ruling.

"For Sweden and Europe it's the most important case ever when it comes to filesharing," he told AFP, recalling the Napster trial in the United States, almost a decade ago.

"The Pirate Bay as a brand is one of the most famous," he added.

He said the verdict could contribute to tighter controls on Internet usage.

Story continues below…

"In the end, the more there are of these kind of cases and verdicts (the more they) will influence the lawmakers, governments and people in charge on how the Internet will work in the future," he said.

But music industry blogger and analyst Mark Mulligan said this did not mean the end of illegal file sharing, pointing out that the legal action against Napster had failed to stem the tide.

"Whatever the ruling would have been, file sharing would not have gone away," he wrote. Mulligan also pointed out that the technology is already moving on, and people are increasingly sharing files through Instant Messenger, email, blogs, newsgroups and iPod ripping.

Some commentators asked what implications the verdict could have for Google and its YouTube subsidiary. After all, The Pirate Bay did not host copyrighted content, it merely linked to it - a bit like Google. But according to a lawyer quoted by UK tech site Tech Radar it was unlikely that Google would be targeted, as only a small proportion of the content linked to by Google was infringing copyright.

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Your comments about this article

21:10 April 17, 2009 by Muffaletta
The only ship that is guaranteed to come in has black sails.
23:00 April 17, 2009 by Wayne
Well, every ISP is now also guilty of aiding copyright infringement... Google, yahoo, flicker, youtube, and lets face it, probably the government of Sweden as i am sure thier network connection has been used by someone to download copyrighted material... but who will press charges?

The scary thing to me is that the government(s) is utilizing this case and others like it to fuel their spying on people for civil law activities not criminal activities along. The cost to ISP's for this will make all our internet subscriptions cost more and promote sites like Pirate Bays VPN thus removing more money from our pockets and removing freedom from the internet. At least China is honest about their censorship.
23:26 April 17, 2009 by pvwatts
So is the Swedish post office an accessory to copyright infringement if they deliver pirated DVDs?
01:12 April 18, 2009 by Jan M
Before anyone gets too excited about the anti-libertarian aspects of these please don't lose sight of the fact that the whole thing has been bankrolled by a wealthy businessman with prominent fascist/anti-libertarian leanings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Lundström). Don't let comments on freedom be confused with people who have the guts to hide anonymously amongst a network of servers.
01:19 April 18, 2009 by Jan M
Oh and like any self-respecting Swedish nationalist with a track record of funding parties such as Bevara Sverige Svenskt, Carl Lundström emigrated to Switzerland. No doubt for tax reasons. How does that qualify this organisation for any popular support? This whole thing is about money from start to finish and Pirate Bay aren't saints in that regard.
02:20 April 18, 2009 by dtes
hollywood has pumped our world full of war propaganda, religious crap and mindless consumerism, they have used their channels to normalize human rights abuses, rape , murder, war, power games and all the other sickness that weakens our society and creates a perceived need for the systems that be to come and save us from ourselves, hire more police, repossess and foreclose on our everything, steal every last necessity and sell it back to us. so in the long run what happens is more of our precious resources get funneled into the mouth of the fat scum at the top standing on all of our shoulders. the swedish courts appear to have once again chosen its side and you can see it all through the daily news of what is going down in this neck of the woods. all governments are the same, and there will never be justice if its rationed to us by such a monster.
09:55 April 18, 2009 by Texrusso
How can anyone really have tighter control of the Internet. They created a monster they cannot handle anymore. A typical scenerio is Terminator 4 (Terminator Salvation). ARPANET created Skynet(the Internet). Swedish court is now playing John Connor. Good luck to John Connor in this war. The Terminator will always return :-) Never ending story.
10:00 April 18, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Just a thought...

I wonder how many people in the good old US of A have heard about this court decision and are applauding it in light of the recent capture and then rescue of captain Richard Phillips?

10:08 April 18, 2009 by byke
I am disgusted by this ruling, not because I am pro file sharing (which I am

not) because of the implications this ruling will have on everyday personal

freedoms. I am guessing this ruling was heavily influenced with Sweden's

seat in the EU.
10:08 April 18, 2009 by Texrusso
Wayne, I agree with you. Its going to be a costly war for everyone, including the government. This will change Systems and Network Administration techniques and the way this Network professionals and operators Manage complex networks. It also means that more resources would be required by operators to enforce any such laws. It is all political mumbo-jumbo! The Judicial system is a Mafia system. Cheers! Leo
10:21 April 18, 2009 by shpongle
I think it is bad that the justice system has been undermined just because one industry has failed to find ways to sell. Or well they haven't failed totally, but they claim they have. After all if it is cheaper for companies to force a way of selling upon people by law, than to adapt like a real market does.
11:33 April 18, 2009 by Yendor
I meet someone at a party the other night and he said he uses(steals)music and films using Pirate Bay because he says that the music and film companys charge to much for their product. Ok but he was shocked because i told him i "remove" alcohol from Systembologet because their prices are way to high!
12:33 April 18, 2009 by Jan M
So it's all because the music and film industry charge too much is it? What do you think would happen if they slashed their prices? Nothing. People who complain that it's the fault of the music and film industry because they charge too much just don't want to front up to a personal truth. They're stealing. Thieves don't stop stealing regardless of how much the prices drop.
13:51 April 18, 2009 by shpongle
Piracy , by law, is a copyright infringement; not theft. Unless you want to call cloning murder too.
14:03 April 18, 2009 by Texrusso
PirateBay is a distributed systems; meaning users provide storage and share files while Piratebay provide tool. Nothing closer to Napster which was a centralized system meaning Napster stored illegal applications on own server. From legal point of view, If you charge Pirate Bay, must also charge operators who provide the Internet connections and users who store and share the files! The verdict is double standard and not fair and that is the question here. No dispute about copy right violation been an infringement.
14:21 April 18, 2009 by Miss Kitten
I mean when you really think about it, all users of the internet everywhere are guilty of copyright infringement:

A web browser, upon viewing a web page - caches a copy of every piece of that page; Images, text, code, etc. Whenever information is displayed on your computer it is actually stored on your computer (temporarily in your RAM or more permanently in cache-folders). So by this example, aren't all web browsers violating copyright law?
14:32 April 18, 2009 by Markbase with an Invisible Q
I feel like going out and buying a parrot to perch upon my shoulder. And I'm sure that there must be some pretty stylish eye patches available these days...
14:41 April 18, 2009 by Joemath
The fair use doctrine permeates American jurisprudence. Without "fair use"

no meaningful academic research could be conducted. The underlying principle

of fair use is that a limited number of copies can be made so that ideas can

be examined by peers and relevant others. Another important aspect concerns

the value of the material cited. If the material cited has little economic value,

then the copying has little if any economic impact on the copyright owner.

The American law also recognizes the concept of a variable arrangement.

Enhancements to existing ideas may be copyrighted as long as the distinguishing

factors are either easily recognizable or can be articulated. Every copyright

application in the Copyright Office must be examined by a copyright specialist

and signed off as part of the copyright review process.

The more important thing to do in this case is to establish a minimum entrance

fee to the downloading site so that copyright owners can be compensated.

I own a patent and 10 copyrights. Possible patent infringement by major

search engines like Google is a concern to me. I can see the value of

charging a small fee for copyright usage when it is warranted.

The story isn't over yet. I'm certain that this case will be appealed

to the higher courts within the Swedish legal apparatus.

Joseph S. Maresca
15:15 April 18, 2009 by usgepo
Content producers in general want stardom, celebrity status, make millions in endorsements, influence the world, and earn millions, we all do!

The world is changing, advertizing and propaganda is being feed to us every minute, product placement, in TV shows, movies, music videos,etc.

We are being secretly profiled, by Google, yahoo, face book, my space, MSN, and many others, that data is being sold for billions;

The reason targeted adds, for the sucker consumers that we are; Well no more! Content should be free and the tab should be paid by the companies attempting to push their goods and the advertizing companies.

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, it is not up to the Post office nor service providers to police IPR infringements!
15:28 April 18, 2009 by Great Scott
And the fat cats of the music, oil, and banking industries, not to mention many others are not steeling.
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