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Bias allegations mount in Pirate Bay case

TT/The Local · 24 Sep 2009, 13:39

Published: 24 Sep 2009 13:39 GMT+02:00

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In a new submission to the Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) Samuelsson alleges bias against appeals court chief judge Kristina Boutz and appeals court judge Ulrika Ihrfelt.

Boutz is a member of the copyright organization SFIR and Ihrfelt has been a member of the copyright group SFU.

In his submission to the appeals court Samuelsson refers to the investigation of allegations of bias regarding judge Tomas Nordström in the original case against The Pirate Bay backers in the district court.

"It is extremely inappropriate for judges in the appeals court to also have been members of judicial-political organizations that are close to the copyright industry," Samuelsson said.

"I think it is best to not comment on this," judge Ulrika Ihrfelt told the TT news agency.

She underlined that an investigation into allegations of bias will not be conducted by her own department within the appeals court.

"It will of course be another department than our own which will look at the bias issue," Ihrfelt said.

Last week one of the lay judges set to hear the case was reported for bias. The man is currently employed by Spotify, an online music service and alternative to illegal file sharing.

Story continues below…

The four men behind The Pirate Bay were sentenced to one-year's imprisonment and ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($4.3 million).

The judgement was appealed and is set to be tried in the appeals court in November 2009.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:52 September 24, 2009 by Nemesis
If these allegations are true, it will completely discredit the Swedish Judiciary.

After the last trial, it is screwed up that they are not only repeating the same mistake, but doubling the numbers.

This is starting to look more and more like a fixed show trial, instead of a court of law.

I know the guys from Pirate Bay broke the law. That is obvious. However fixing the judges on the case, reeks of something very bad in the background.

Judges should not be allowed to be members of any sort of organisation. They not only have to be completely independant, but have to be seen to be independant.
16:06 September 24, 2009 by Jan M
When did you last see a player commit a blatant foul on the football pitch and then overturn a yellow or red card by abusing the referee? As you say it's obvious they broke the law. I guess we're still waiting for their balls to drop far enough for them to be grown up and admit it.
16:37 September 24, 2009 by Staffs
As you both so clearly know they broke the law, can you, for my benefit, please name the piece of legislation they broke, and the year of introduction of said legislation.

I am so much lookimg forward to being enlightened.
16:39 September 24, 2009 by CanadianCoder
It doesn't matter if they broke the law or not. Everyone is supposed to have a right to a fair trial, and it doesn't seem like they have had that.

Besides, the implication of biased judges goes beyond this case. It, as the OP said, would discredit the Swedish judiciary.

And I don't think its all that clear that they have broken the law. After all, they didn't provide any illegal content themselves, they just pointed to it. Not all so dissimilar to Google.

If someone asks me where they can find some cocaine and I say "Try 4th Avenue", am I breaking the law?
16:45 September 24, 2009 by eZee.se
Actually, they didnt break the law, let me give you an example.

If i were to copy the entire TPB's .torrent files onto a flash drive and carry it around in my pocket (its do able, you can actually get a copy of TPB as a torrent from... TPB) it would be legal, if i gave these .torrent files to people it still would be legal because .torrent files are just hashes (read up on them in wikipedia).

On the other hand if i were to take these .torrent files, put them in a client like utorrent and then download the resulting file AND if the resulting file was a copyrighted file i would be breaking civil law.

Think if it like this, the .torrent files are bullets and pretty harmless by themselves (like i said, its an example), but put them in a gun and then fire them at people and you have something completely different, but do you go suing the people who make the bullets or the person who did the firing and killing for breaking the law?

As for the continued bias with the judges, one after another, i dont want to say this is a show trial... but the constant kangaroos jumping around kind of makes this a kangaroo court and total hypocrisy of the Swedish justice system.

Rape is fine, counterfeiting money is fine, pimping is fine, prostitution is fine... file sharing is a big NO-NO and likely to get you the stiffest punishments.

What and effing joke.
17:51 September 24, 2009 by Nemesis

I agree with you.

My personal opinion is that they have facilitated breaking the law, but so has every single search engine on the internet. As has been pointed out, no one is suing Microsoft for having Bing, google or any other search engine, which is hypocrisy.

If the case is to stand, google, microsoft and all other search engines, have to have all employees tried, found guilty, then jailed, in Swedish courts. That would jail tens of thousands of IT workers, all in Sweden.

I am angry about this is because the people involved obviously did not get a fair trail due to a compromised judge.

If a judge is part of an organisation that has a vested interest in any capacity in the outcome of a particular case or judgements regarding particular types of legal proceedings. Then the impartiality of the judge is compromised.

The most important thing in this case, is not the people being tried or if they are right or wrong in there actions, but if they are getting a fair trial.

As the judges are members of organisations with a vested interest in a particular trial outcome, the trial breaches all established international norms for a fair trial, particularly European norms for a fair trial.

If the Pirate Bay people are found guilty by such judges, then they have a basis to take there case to the European Court of Justice and to the European Court of Human Rights.

The fact that rapists are practically treated with kid gloves, yet someone who downloads is treated worse than a murderer, does clearly show the Swedish legal system needs to be completely taken apart and rebuilt.

Judges should not be allowed to be members of any organisations as it will potentially compromise them. That is the only way for judges to be impartial. They have high salaries which should compensate them for that.
21:43 September 24, 2009 by Schwoebel
I have friends that have downloaded movies, music, etc.... 8 times out of 10 we would all end up paying for the stuff anyways.

Maybe if the prices of CD's, Movie tickets, etc... would drop fewer people would pirate.
22:09 September 24, 2009 by Jan M
Can I use the Pirate Bay as a search engine just like Google? Why is it called the Pirate Bay?
22:31 September 24, 2009 by crunchy2k
Jan M,

you sound like an intern at SFIR or SFU.
23:53 September 24, 2009 by Jan M
Just asking some simple questions that's all. Try not to get too concerned.
03:35 September 25, 2009 by crunchy2k
Yes, you can use the Pirates Bay as a search engine just like google. Can't remember the name of a book? Just search Pirates Bay for the author. Want to know how good that book is? Read the comments or check how many downloads of the torrent have occurred. Want to read a short chapter in the book? Just download a small part of the torrent and read it. You can also get the same of information about other topics such as music, urls to special topic sites, movies, vacation videos and vacation snapshots, and more. You can get all this information without downloading an entire copyrighted work just like google. Plus you can get this information without all the ads and misdirections google, bing, et.al. cloud your search with. The name Pirates Bay is just to give the site individuality like any other name. Jocko's torrent site just doesn't have the same ambiance that Pirates Bay has. The people that use the Pirates Bay are not pirates. They are researchers, leechers and file sharers.

google=bing=yahoo=pirates bay
04:15 September 25, 2009 by Otaku
No surprise.

As anywhere, Swedish justice and of course the Swedish police are bitches.

Unfortunately I have a little experience with both, especially at "inlandet".

Nobody here is interested into the Law.

Discrimination, Nazister andRacism are total normally around here.

Nobody cares as long as "business" and money goes well.

The reason ist simple:

Everybody know everybody.

And the "jämtelagen" do the rest.

Its a shame.
09:44 September 25, 2009 by Rick Methven
In the UK any judge who has or could be seen to have a vested interest in the outcome of a case, must excuse him/herself from the case otherwise a mistrial is liable wether or not the case is legally sound.

The power of the big entertainment moguls and the lengths that they are prepared to go to to maintain their grip on what people can hear, see or read is at the heart of this whole case.
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