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Showbiz lawyers push to have Pirates gagged

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Showbiz lawyers push to have Pirates gagged
15:29 CEST+02:00
Four American record companies want a Swedish court to bar three of the men convicted in the Pirate Bay trial from speaking out about the case and have requested the men be fined as long as the file sharing site keeps operating.

Last week, the Danowsky Partners law firm filed documents with the Stockholm District Court on behalf of the Swedish affiliates of the Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner record companies urging the court to start fining Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde if The Pirate Bay site isn't taken offline.

Also named in the motion was Black Internet AB, the website hosting company cited in the document as providing The Pirate Bay's internet services.

The filing also requests that the fines apply even before the District Court rules on the request and that Neij, Svartholm Warg, and Sunde be barred from speaking out on the matter until the case has had a final verdict in the Swedish court system.

When contacted by The Local for further comment, Olof Roos, an attorney with Danowsky Partners handling the case, refused to elaborate on the filing.

“All I'm going to say is that I have no comment,” he told The Local.

The motion refers to The Pirate Bay as an “Infringement Service” (Intrångstjänsten) which allows people to unlawfully access copyright protected material belonging to the companies.

The same court previously convicted three individuals named in the motion, along with a fourth man, Carl Lundström, for being accessories to copyright infringement, sentencing them to one year in prison and ordering them to pay a damages claim of 30 million kronor ($3.56 million).

“Despite the outcome of the criminal case, the Infringement Service continues to be accessible via the internet, which continually causes harm to [the record companies] (and their rights holders),” reads the motion.

The four men convicted in the case have since filed an appeal, and on Tuesday it was revealed that the judge who will be hearing the case, Ulrika Ihrfelt, had previously been a member of the Swedish Copyright Association (Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt).

Membership in the same association in part led to bias allegations to be raised against Tomas Norström, the judge who heard the case in the District Court.

André Rickardsson, an expert in IT-security, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper he was surprised the record companies have requested the The Pirate Bay operators be fined.

“Swedish law applies in Sweden, their internet service isn't in Sweden. I don't understand why the Swedish district court has anything to do with this. The Pirate Bay operates in countries where the activity is permitted,” he told DN.

“They're reacting like bulls in a china shop and aren't going to generate any sympathy in the matter.”

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