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Spotify ties make Pirate Bay judge biased: court

TT/The Local · 29 Sep 2009, 13:55

Published: 29 Sep 2009 13:55 GMT+02:00

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The Svea Court of Appeal ruled that the man’s employment as a product developer at Spotify and his ownership of stock options in the company constituted a conflict of interest for the appeal phase of the Pirate Bay trial.

The court also cited the fact that some of record companies that are party to the case are partial owners of Spotify as additional grounds for their ruling.

The court ruled further that the outcome of the Pirate Bay trial was of obvious interest to parties involved in Spotify’s line of business.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization protecting the rights of the music industry and involved in the case against the Pirate Bay, believes the lay judge is bias, while the lay judge himself doesn’t think his employment at Spotify would affect his judgement.

Defence attorneys for the four men convicted in the first phase of the trial haven’t filed any complaints about possible bias on the part of the lay judge.

In April, a district court convicted Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström each to one year in prison and a collective fine of 30 million kronor ($4.3 million).

Following the trial, the defence filed a bias complaint against judge Tomas Norström, claiming his membership in an organization with ties to copyright holders constituted a conflict of interest.

But the court of appeal acquitted Norström of any bias charges following an investigation into the matter.

Story continues below…

In November, the ruling against the four men behind the Pirate Bay will be retried in a court of appeal.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:04 September 29, 2009 by eZee.se
Oh fantastic!

Tomas Norström was seen *not* to be biased even though he is on the board to bring "stronger copyright protections", as well as many other organizations that lobby for copyright, and now the IFPI have gotten their way in getting rid of the **only** judge who actually has some technical knowledge (being a graduate of the Technical college of Stockholm (KTH) - a college that to a large extent whose students take a fair outlook on filesharing) of modern p2p's inner workings.

Camera....... lights....action...... begin show trial.

Silence please.... kangaroo court in progress.
05:37 September 30, 2009 by bob3000

Come on! You can't have it both ways.

If he had been deemed unbiased, you would have been claiming that it was rigged, because he is employed by Spotify - which you said was part of the Major Record company 'not-so secret' cabal in a previous posting.
09:22 September 30, 2009 by Thebinary1
These shenanigans can go on for as long as it makes the judges and lawyers feel important on such matters.

But here is one fundamental inaleniable truth:

- Technology spurs evolution whereas Laws impede evolution

- Evolution is the essence of our existance

In conclusion: Laws are irrelevant when pitted against technology.
04:10 October 1, 2009 by eZee.se

You know thats not the truth, this judge was not 'in the bag' which is why the music industry lawyers appealed and NOT the defense.

This judge happens to be a technology freak and was responsible in programming some of the elements of the spotify application and thats why has shares in it.

Please dont even for a second think that i am lumping together everyone who works for Spotify as industry people, or even for a second that i think everyone who works in the industry are scumbags... just the majority, but there are a lot of good people WITHOUT actual ties to the industry other than just working there.

Have you noticed not one thing the defense has appealed has really gone through? but the industry appeals and... what happens?

Furthermore, i think anyone who has been following this closely sees it for the fiasco (spectrial?) that it is, the industry is so arrogant they are not even trying to keep it hush-hush as they consider themselves untouchable, after all they have reached the ears and pockets of the right people who can jump to their whims.
12:16 October 1, 2009 by RoyceD
I agree with Thebinary1, I am pretty certain all those horse shoe makers out there probably tried to think of ways of making that darned automobile contraption illegal when that started taking off too. Just like the music and film industry is today.

Yes that industry USED to be a huge profit maker, back when the only options were radio, tv, the pictures and newspapers. But unfortunately the advances in technology have brought on the age of the internet. And with that has come 40 inch tvs, high speed broad band and a higher level of education in the masses. Meaning more and more films, tv programs etc that can be delivered in a diferent business model than previous.

The current holders of power will keep trying to hang on to their power for some time to come, and don't be surprised when they try underhanded things, age old things, like having judges in their pockets. Expect it to happen. This is power we are talking about and people go to war over loosing power, it's that simple.

But slowly and surely the age of freedom of information is coming. And people of those genereations will look upon us with pity, for the burden of shame we will carry.
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