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Lundström demands Pirate Bay retrial

Carl Lundström, who received a one-year prison sentence following the trial of the four men behind the free file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, has demanded that the case be retried in the Stockholm District Court.

Court judge Tomas Norström has a conflict of interest, claimed his defending counsel Per E Samuelson in a formal deposition to the Svea Court of Appeal.

The news of Norström’s membership of associations concerned with copyright issues drew widespread attention last week. He is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association, among other organisations, as are Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted, the lawyers representing the copyright holders.

Ifpi, the organisation that represents the recording industry and brought the action against The Pirate Bay, supports the copyright association.

According to Samuelson, Norström’s involvement poses a conflict of interest. Moreover, he was wrong not to have said anything about his position.

“Tomas Norström should have reported these circumstances to the parties and their lawyers and given them the chance to raise a formal objection,” writes Samuelson in his deposition.

In his forties, Lundström was the oldest of the four Pirate Bay defendants and the most public. He made his fortune when the Wasabröd family business was sold. He then owned the telecom company Rix Port80, which was subsequently sold to Phonera.

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PIRATE BAY

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 piratebay.se and thepiratebay.se

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.