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Pirates' lawyers end trial with 'Facebook defence'

AFP/The Local · 15 Oct 2010, 17:33

Published: 15 Oct 2010 17:33 GMT+02:00

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"Whenever new technology emerges, large corporations especially always say the new technology is life-threatening. And it is the technology the prosecutor is after in this case," defence attorney Peter Althin insisted on the last day of the trial on Friday.

His client, 32-year-old Peter Sunde, was along with co-founders Fredrik Neij, 32, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 25, found guilty in April 2009 of promoting copyright infringement with their website The Pirate Bay.

The verdict, considered an important symbolic victory for the movie and recording industry, handed the three founders along with an important financier of the site, 50-year-old Carl Lundström, sentences of one year in prison.

They were also ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million dollars at the time) in compensation to the movie and recording industry.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay, which claims to have more than 23 million users, makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

Neij's lawyer Jonas Nilsson insisted Friday that if the appeals court confirmed the guilty verdict for his client it could potentially threaten the basis for the entire Internet.

"A guilty verdict for Fredrik would imply a threat to other search services on the Internet, like Facebook and Twitter," Nilsson said at the hearing, which was broadcast live by Swedish public radio.

Lundström's lawyer Per Samuelsson was even harsher in his criticism of the lower court's ruling, claiming the guilty verdict against his client was basically illegal.

"The district court's verdict is a mix-match of circumstantial evidence that has been used to get a guilty verdict without basis in law," he said, insisting that "Carl has not contributed one molecule" to the promotion of copyright infringement.

"It is clear as day that the prosecutor is wrong," he added.

Prosecutor Håkan Roswall earlier this week called the district court ruling "extremely solid," insisting the three founders were still "defying the law" and that Lundström had also been "very involved."

No appeal was made Friday for Warg, who missed the trial due to illness.

Story continues below…

The 25-year-old, who currently lives in Cambodia, has been granted a new, separate trial that will likely begin early next year.

During last year's trial, the defendants maintained that file sharing services can be used both legally and illegally, insisting their activities were above the law. They vowed to wage a lengthy legal battle and to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The appeals court verdict is set to fall on November 26.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:42 October 15, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
Since when is Facebook and Twitter directly linked to file sharing? That makes no sense.

Speaking of things that make no sense...

*looks at the court sketch*

Why is that giant toothbrush combing that man's hair?
21:39 October 15, 2010 by Soft Boiled
Combing for evidence?
00:40 October 16, 2010 by thebittertruth
hahahha!!! Giant toothbrush indeed...Its the edge of the jury's desk artfully contrived to almost land on that man's head like a toothbrush..
00:51 October 16, 2010 by threadbare
Question of apples and oranges. Both Facebook and Twitter have strict policies regarding precisely the sort of things that Pirate Bay boasted of for years. Were they clever. Absolutely. Do they deserve to pay the penalty for ruthless disregard of artists' rights. Absolutely.
06:15 October 16, 2010 by crunchy2k
Yes, both twitter and facebook are currently used to share files as the Pirates Bay did. Many peoples sites contain a list of their favorite songs, tv and movie files and where to download them. This listing of media location is the same as a torrent tracker such as The Pirates Bay.

We are in a new paradigm in marketing media and the corporate shirts want to hang onto the old ways of promoting media dissemination and control. If we don't stop our jurist from misinterpreting the law, we are going to lose the freedoms we have earned through the blood of our fathers.

"Since when is Facebook and Twitter directly linked to file sharing? That makes no sense."

"Question of apples and oranges. Both Facebook and Twitter have strict policies regarding precisely the sort of things that Pirate Bay boasted of for years. Were they clever. Absolutely. Do they deserve to pay the penalty for ruthless disregard of artists' rights. Absolutely. "

LOL are both of you unimaginative posters....
12:00 October 16, 2010 by RememberAisha
Seriously, are there so many people who don't understand the basics of the technology or are you just shills and morons?

Here's a quick start:

Under Swedish law they were doing nothing wrong, so when they were threatened with US laws... they rightfully laughed at the morons who threatened them.

Twitter, Facebook and... thepiratebay as well as youtube is run on user generated content - the owners are not doing squat other than publishing what the users upload (even blog comments fall under this) so yes... this ruling effects Twitter, FB, youtube and a whole lot more if this flawed way of thinking holds on just to give the content creators the old monopoly and control they love so much.

What they dont realize is even if they do win TPB case... nothing will change in the filesharing world - it would only be a symbolic victory.

I and millions like me will still download all the music, movies and tv shows when we want to and would get it quicker than the time it takes us to put on our shoes using just two fingers to type.... and holding the middle fingers to the corrupt media cartels.
13:37 October 16, 2010 by irishshiningeyes
I remember back in the old days of cassete tapes the record industry wanted a levy for blank tapes.The logic was only people who were making pirate copies of music could require empty cassete tapes .Often this wasnt true there were many uses for blank tapes .These blood sucking Music Industry people would want to charge us for singig along to tunes next.There is no limit to thier greed .I have many uses for pirate bay solutions non of them include music or film piracy.Pirate bay keep fighting back against these International highway robbers . Supporter of Pirate Bay Diarmaid O Seigefriede
14:18 October 16, 2010 by RememberAisha
The scum already have such a levy on CDs:


They wanted such a levy even on harddisks and even for a short while had it on ALL mp3 players... which was later revoked.

They have been trying again of course (scum dont give up so easily) to get the harddisk levy back... with the huge sizes of hard disks today if they can get a penny per MB or 5-10cents per gigabyte...

All the while the movie industry is crying above piracy putting them hand to mouth - while posting record box office profits.

Well, WHICH IS IT SCUMBAGS? Are you hand to mouth or are you making record profits, you cant be both as they are on opposite sites of the coin.
14:49 October 17, 2010 by DAVID T
Hopefully these criminal idiots will get their sentance increased
16:43 October 21, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
'we are going to lose the freedoms we earned through the blood of our fathers'???

There may be a number of legal technicalities, but at the end of the day, people who tend to support Pirate Bay are those who (not surprisingly) enjoy downloading copyrighted content for free. The fact that it is easy to download things these days does not automatically imply that it should be free.

As some people have suggested, it is not fair to put a blank tax on empty media, under the assumption that people may download copyrighted material onto that media, so the owners of the creative content have no choice but to pursue the organizations and companies that distribute copyrighted media without permission or a license to do so.

To any of you who work in a field where your creativity is key part of your expertise, or part of the product you or your company sells (creative inputs to consulting problems, creative technical and engineering solutions, creative writing or journalism or music composition, etc...), you would (I think) be upset and might seek compensation if some large fraction of your revenue vanished because some website in another country immediately published all of your professional creative output for free.
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