Showbiz reps appeal for more Pirate Bay loot
David Landes · 20 May 2009, 16:56
Published: 20 May 2009 16:56 GMT+02:00
In documents filed with the Svea Court of Appeal on May 8th, the last allowable day to file appeals, lawyers for US music and film companies also said they want the court to reintroduce a charge alleging the four worked to deliberately violate Sweden’s Copyright Act.
The formal charge, preparation for breach of the Copyright Act, was dismissed by the Stockholm District Court, resulting instead in the four men, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Carl Lundström and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, being convicted of on the sole charge of complicity in breach of the Copyright Act.
Entertainment industry lawyers assert in the appeals court filing that the compensation claim of 30 million kronor ($4 million) handed down by the lower court doesn’t fully cover the scope of damages caused to the companies.
During the trial, industry lawyers had argued that the four defendants should be made to pay more than 100 million kronor in damages, but the eventual sentence called for a significantly lower payment.
“The District Court is seen to hold that the fact that illegal file sharing in and of itself caused all the plaintiffs significant harm from a variety of different actors is reason to proceed with caution when it comes to estimating compensation for other losses in this case,” writes Monique Wadsted, represents US film companies, including 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers, in her filing.
“The film companies don’t share this view, but rather believe that a sum equivalent to the reasonable compensation for use constitutes an appropriate and reasonable estimate of the damages.”
Wadsted said she did not actually expect the appellate court to overrule the district court with respect to the additional charge.
Rather, the move was about establishing legal precedent.
“We are doing this because we want to leave all possibilities open and establish the judgments at all levels,” she told The Local.
While she at first claimed that the appeal was “not about the money”, Wadsted later explained that her clients do in fact want The Pirate Bay defendants to pay a higher level of compensation based on a method of calculating damages championed by the film companies.
“We claimed a much greater amount. What we have appealed is the method of calculating fair use,” she said.
In addition, Wadsted, as well as attorney Peter Danowsky, who represents several record companies, and Henrik Pontén of Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Agency (Antipiratbyrån), also requested that the Court of Appeal order the four defendants to pay the entertainment industry’s legal fees.
Previously, the four guilty Pirate Bay defendants had filed their own appeal in the case, arguing that the District Court's ruling is based on faulty assumptions about the nature of file sharing.
Additional reporting by Paul O'Mahony