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A Short Summary Following the Pirate Bay Trial

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the all-over-but-the-sawdust dept.

The Courts 500

Dan B. writes "The Guardian has a nice piece wrapping up the trial in Sweden for the co-defendants in the P2P trial-of-the-decade, that of The Pirate Bay. 'Today, the defense lawyers summed up. It was a short trial and not a particularly merry one, but it could have far-reaching effects.' Surprisingly, when the defendants hit the stand they didn't bash copyright or take a libertarian approach; it all came back to the tried and tested formula for criminal defense, 'I am not responsible.'"

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rainbow gold (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063217)

Torrents want to be free, all pointing to the goodies, like a rainbow to a pot of gold. Don't blame rainbows for pirating.

Re:rainbow gold (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063239)

Hmm say, out of curiosity, have you ever found the pot of gold? Because otherwise the comparison is pretty flimsy I would say...

Re:rainbow gold (4, Funny)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063255)

But then again, you never caught Bo and Luke Duke so you also have no ground to stand on. :)

Re:rainbow gold (0, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063345)

It's okay. He's hot purrrrsooot!!!

Re:rainbow gold (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063267)

Hmm say, out of curiosity, have you ever found the pot of gold?

I did, but the damn leprechaun advised me to invest it all into a diversified portfolio of AIG, Lehman Brothers, Circuit City and General Motors :(

Re:rainbow gold (5, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063301)

I did, but the damn leprechaun advised me to invest it all into a diversified portfolio of AIG, Lehman Brothers, Circuit City and General Motors :(

I found a Gnome's pot of gold. Or thought I did. When I opened it up, it was just filled with underpants! WTF? >:/

Re:rainbow gold (5, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063307)

So, you robbed the leprechaun and then asked him for investment advice?

Re:rainbow gold (2, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063361)

So, you robbed the leprechaun and then asked him for investment advice?

Sounds alot like the reverse process of taking someone's money and then giving them investment advice...

"20% investment return? Yes, sure, you want 22%? No problem... sign here please..." ... That was the sad day that I realized money doesn't grow on trees and you shouldn't trust a farmer with a truck full of fertile manure.

No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063245)

Surprisingly, when the defendants hit the stand they didn't bash copyright or take a libertarian approach...

Why surprisingly? This happened in a court room. That kind of behavior in the court room will just upset the judge who will think you are a nutcase, and gets the case decided against you. Even if the judge completely agreed with you, being a copyright-bashing libertarian or whatever, he or she would apply the law as it is to judge.

The only sensible approach if you don't want to lose your case is to do exactly what the defendants did: Explain that they didn't do what they are accused of, or find reasons _within the existing law_, why they were allowed to do what they did.

Re:No swaggering... (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063277)

Why surprisingly? This happened in a court room. That kind of behavior in the court room will just upset the judge who will think you are a nutcase, and gets the case decided against you

Isn't this a criminal case? Do you not have the right to a jury trial in Sweden?

he or she would apply the law as it is to judge.

Unless he's a liberal, then he'll invent some new rights and say the Constitution "evolved" ;)

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063367)

Isn't this a criminal case? Do you not have the right to a jury trial in Sweden?

I was wondering about this myself. I tried finding out a few weeks ago but apparently my Google-fu was weak that day.

Either way, even in a jury system, I would hope the end result would be the same. "Yeah I did X, but X shouldn't be a crime" is a fine political statement, but obviously not a defense in a court of law, while X is still a crime by current law.

Re:No swaggering... (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063439)

You could also interpret it as admitting the guilt of their users.

They are fully aware of the illegality of the actions of their users and just claim that those users tricked them somehow into allowing copyright violations.

This is a coward's defence. These are NOT the beliefs & purposes stated on their site. They're just meant to get the judge to say a few words, after which their supposed respect for the law will disappear entirely.

It also makes any victory or defeat in this case entirely hollow. This case will not change what is legal in relation to copyright law, but merely what you get to weasel out of.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063803)

You could also interpret it as admitting the guilt of their users.

I don't see how they're in a position to admit someone else's guilt. Whether there is such a thing, this lawsuit does not cover that.

This is a coward's defence.

No, it's an innocent's defence, who's being charged with the actions of their users, because the accusers can't catch the users. What they did was technically legal, and they know it. They also know that this is the only thing that counts.

It also makes any victory or defeat in this case entirely hollow. This case will not change what is legal in relation to copyright law, but merely what you get to weasel out of.

Duh. It's a courtroom, not the parliament. You don't make law there, you enforce it. Imagine if any random murder trial could legalize murder.

If you want to change law, you don't do it on the defentants' seat.

Re:No swaggering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064027)

Except that in USA where the law is wicked you make laws in the court room. Other more developed countries enforce the law in the courtroom.

That is why they have a jury in USA courtrooms so that the people would not be tricked to stupid laws. And why the parties sometimes try to influence who will be selected to the jury. Which should be random. I for my sake would never want to be jugde by an random selected american jury.

Re:No swaggering... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063561)

"Yeah I did X, but X shouldn't be a crime" is a fine political statement, but obviously not a defense in a court of law, while X is still a crime by current law.

In the US anyway, it's still well within the jury's rights to acquit in that situation. Probably not something one should bank on, but quite legal nonetheless.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063917)

This has in fact been done for things like cannabis supplied on medical grounds for example, at least in the UK. It's a high risk gamble though - it depends on whether the jury is sympathetic to your case.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063869)

I think the Swedish system is like the Norwegian. There are three different courts. In the first court you do not have a jury, you have one "real" judge and two "lekfolk" (randomly picked normal people). A jury will appear in the second or third court.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Informative)

Vorlath (921561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063377)

I heard it was 4 judges and no jury. One presiding judge and 3 others who are laymen. The three will decide the outcome. In case of indecision, then the presiding judge will decide.

It's both a criminal and civil case all in one.

And as the Swedes like to mention over and over, this is not the US.

Also, the prosecution never mentioned any details about the specific persons who committed the original crime that the TPB is supposedly assisting. Without an original crime, you cannot assist it. This is what I'm interested in hearing about with respect to the decision.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063607)

And as the Swedes like to mention over and over, this is not the US.

Really? I thought they were the 51st state or something. Or maybe that's why my question was phrased as "do you not have the right to a jury trial in Sweden"? Thanks for the geography lesson though.

Re:No swaggering... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063637)

So how do you explain asking "do you not have the right to a jury trial[...]?" without applying American law and preconceptions?

"Jury trial" is no "right" to "not have" if the judicial system is different.

Re:No swaggering... (1, Flamebait)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063693)

without applying American law and preconceptions?

Who said anything about American law? You have the right to a trial by jury in Canada, the UK and Australia the last time I checked.

"Jury trial" is no "right" to "not have" if the judicial system is different.

Your rights don't come from the judicial system that you happen to live under. They are inalienable rights that all human beings have (or should have). Personally I have a major problem with a legal system that can deprive me of my liberty without the consent of the community. One more reason to be happy I was born in the United States I suppose.

Re:No swaggering... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063817)

Maybe I'd like to be judged by a competent person, not a group of Joe Blows from the street, thank you very much. Just because it's YOUR "right" doesn't make it the universal "right" (as in right/wrong) for everybody. Whether SOME other countries besides the US have the same "right" or not.

Sweden is not the US.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063947)

Maybe I'd like to be judged by someone appointed by the state who may or may not be competent and whom may or may not have a political agenda to push, not a group of Joe Blows from the street, thank you very much

Fixed that for you.

Sweden is not the US.

Thanks, I wouldn't have known that if you hadn't pointed it out to me.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Funny)

nosfucious (157958) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063873)

And when I look at the 12 bozo's they'll probably select as "my peers". I think I'll take judge alone thank you.

Only people on juries are those too stupid to get out of jury duty (or actually want to do it ... as in do gooders anxious to lock you away).

Re:No swaggering... (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063875)

Personally I have a major problem with a legal system that can deprive me of my liberty without the consent of the community. One more reason to be happy I was born in the United States I suppose.

What about these kids [nytimes.com] ?

Re:No swaggering... (4, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063879)

The US, Canadian, UK, and Australian constitutions (which may or may not exist for each; I know the UK has no formal "Constitution" but several varied entries within legislature) do not cover Sweden.

The right to "Trial by one's Peers" does not mean a jury. It can be anybody from your society, as long as it's more than one person who does not have a vested interest in the outcome. That's why we have the Magistracy in the UK. They handle 98% of all UK criminal cases; They never go to Crown court and sit in front of a Judge or jury.

Again, World + Dog != America.

Re:No swaggering... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063937)

Personally I have a major problem with a legal system that can deprive me of my liberty without the consent of the community.

But if your neighbors agree then its ok?

Just saying...

Activist Judges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063459)

Unless he's a liberal, then he'll invent some new rights and say the Constitution "evolved" ;)

Hold on, is this that "activist judge" thing again? I thought that went out with Bush. What a blast from the past. Could you incorporate the phrase "litmus test" into this discussion please?

Re:Activist Judges? (1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063617)

What makes you think that it started or ended with Bush? Conservatives have been bitching about activist judges ever since SCOTUS found a non-existent right to privacy and said that it gives you the right to kill your unborn fetus/child/what-have-you.

Mind you, I don't think a right to privacy is a bad concept, I just think we should actually amend it into the Constitution and not decree that it exists.....

Re:Activist Judges? (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063769)

"I don't think a right to privacy is a bad concept, I just think we should actually amend it into the Constitution and not decree that it exists....."

Well, you're just blatantly wrong.
The Constitution of the United States sets out and limits the powers of government. You cannot assume that if it isn't explicitly forbidden, then the Government has the right to do it.

Rather the opposite is true. If it isn't explicitly allowed, then the government does not have the right to do it.

Any basic reading of the text will show this, and studying the text more deeply will only confirm it.

The fact that a right to privacy isn't explicit in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, cannot be evidence prima facie that a right to privacy does not exist. It takes a particular type of right-wing nuttery to get to that assumption.

Re:Activist Judges? (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063911)

The Constitution of the United States sets out and limits the powers of government.

And there again is where the liberal reading of the Constitution has failed us. The liberal reading of the Constitution is generally the reading that finds things within it that don't exist -- like the Interstate Commerce Clause giving the Feds the power to regulate someone growing pot for their personal consumption -- a strict constructionalist reading would suggest that the Feds don't have the power to do this.

The fact that a right to privacy isn't explicit in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, cannot be evidence prima facie that a right to privacy does not exist.

Neither is the 14th amendment evidence that a right to privacy does exist. And seeing as how I was referring to the Roe v. Wade ruling I would point to the 10th amendment, which suggests (to this non-lawyer anyway) that the states should have the right to regulate the practice of abortion as the population therein sees fit.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Informative)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063473)

Sweden does not use juries in trials (with one exception: freedom of press). The verdict is decided by a judge and three laymen (ie not necessarily legally schooled people). The laymen usually serve the same court in four years periods, but can be appointed over and over.

Not using a jury means, mostly, that you don't get the drama/rhetoric content from a US trial, since any experienced layman will quickly see through the drama/rhetoric.

Re:No swaggering... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063535)

Someone should tell that to people like Peter Danowsky, the lawyer representing IFPI in the The Pirate Bay trial.

He was quite... theatrical to say the least.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063589)

Not using a jury means, mostly, that you don't get the drama/rhetoric content from a US trial

It also means that the state can deprive you of your liberty without the necessity of convincing your fellow citizens why that is a good idea. I much prefer the concept of the jury system.

Re:No swaggering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063709)

moderators, is this insightful? quote: "with one exception: freedom of press" - more like a reading fail to me.

Re:No swaggering... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063781)

it means that the state cannot deprive you of your liberty even if it can convice your felow citizens that it is a good idea. period.

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Meneguzzi (935620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063835)

Some years ago it also meant that a jury composed of racist white people could convict a non-white person of a crime without any solid evidence to that conclusion, and based entirely on irrational preconceptions about behaviour being associated with the levels of melanine in one's skin...

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063973)

Some years ago it also meant that a jury composed of racist white people could convict a non-white person of a crime without any solid evidence to that conclusion, and based entirely on irrational preconceptions about behaviour being associated with the levels of melanine in one's skin...

And that wouldn't have happened with a racist judge just as easily as it happened with a racist jury? I'd still rather have the jury, if for no other reason than the fact that it's (hopefully) harder to wind up with 12 racists sitting on a jury than one racist sitting on the bench......

Re:No swaggering... (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063847)

Theoretically, maybe. In practice, the systems are not so much different, as juries are not "perfect" either, are often biased, easily convinced through rhetorics, not truth, and so on.

Re:No swaggering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27064063)

True, while a judge would possibly convict you based on some BS law, just because it is in fact law, a jury might see how unfair and improper the law is and find you innocent solely based on their unwillingness to prosecute based on such law.

A judgment based on consensus of peers or a rigid assessment of law... who could possibly be in favor of these 'jury' shenanigans...

Re:No swaggering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063861)

I'm curious how Sweden could have even gotten to a point where there were no jury trials. The concept of the jury goes back as far as ancient Greece, there's a story of how Poseidon and Athena were vying for control of Athens, and they held a trial to determine the outcome.

Re:No swaggering... (2, Insightful)

Sarcileptic (1141523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064011)

Not using a jury means, mostly, that you don't get the drama/rhetoric content from a US trial

It also means that the state can deprive you of your liberty without the necessity of convincing your fellow citizens why that is a good idea. I much prefer the concept of the jury system.

Prison population rates (per 100,000 citizens): U.S.; 756 Sweden; 74. I much prefer the concept of the 'anything but the American prison factory' system.

Re:No swaggering... (4, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063575)

Isn't this a criminal case? Do you not have the right to a jury trial in Sweden?

We both obviously live in the U.S. Remember, though, that jurors here have it firmly drilled into their heads that they must select guilty/not guilty based on the letter of the law – which is patently false. A juror is, in fact, obliged to vote his or her conscience when they believe the law is wrong, although I hear that mentioning this fact is a quick way to get passed over in the juror selection process.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063653)

though, that jurors here have it firmly drilled into their heads that they must select guilty/not guilty based on the letter of the law â" which is patently false

And anybody who has ever watched Boston Legal/The Practice/or any one of the 50 Law & Order shows knows that isn't the case. People might not know what jury nullification is called but most are familiar with the concept even if they don't realize it. If you could place yourself in the defendants shoes and would have done the same thing that he did would you honestly vote to convict him?

although I hear that mentioning this fact is a quick way to get passed over in the juror selection process.

Probably, which is why I wouldn't mention it unless they asked. You can't lie to them during jury selection but you don't have to volunteer any extra information either.

Re:No swaggering... (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063721)

It's a little different when you're sitting in a jury box and judge turns to you and reads out the jury instructions, which include things like:

"You must find him guilty if he has broken law X."

There's no mention of voting your conscience or that the law might be wrong. You are specifically ordered to follow the law in your verdict.

Yes, I served in Jury duty. Luckily (or unluckily, maybe?) there were no questionable laws on the case I sat. It also helped that there was no evidence at all, though. -sigh-

Re:No swaggering... (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063801)

There's no mention of voting your conscience or that the law might be wrong. You are specifically ordered to follow the law in your verdict.

So what? Is the judge sitting in the jury deliberations to make sure that you follow his instructions? Are you going to be punished if you find the defendant not-guilty even though a strict reading of the judges instructions would have suggested a guilty verdict?

We aren't sheep you know. We are citizens. Within that jury room 12 citizens hold all the cards and all the power. It's not perfect but it beats the hell out of the alternatives. The state is denied the power to take away your life, liberty or property unless it gets the permission to do so from your fellow citizens. Personally I think that's way better than just needing the permission of some judge.

Yes, I served in Jury duty.

I've never had the honor. I have been judged by a grand jury of my peers though. In spite of all the rhetoric you hear about how a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich they listened to my side of the story and refused to allow the prosecution against me to proceed. I'm thankful every day I wake up that we have the jury system in this country.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063949)

I too have served on a Jury, and not once was anything regarding voting other than Guilty or Not Guilty mentioned. I later found out about Jury Nullification [wikipedia.org] .

Note that Wikipedia is a start, not an end. It's up to you to become aware of these things, as an informed and empowered citizen.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

harl (84412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063983)

Even if the judge says that so what? You say "He didn't break the law."

The judge doesn't even know who the hold out is. Even if they find out there is no law against making a decision as a juror.

Re:No swaggering... (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063921)

Perhaps this trial was unusual in Swedish law, and maybe they normally have jury trials with nullification happening all the time, but I'm pretty sure that jury nullification hasn't been invoked in the United States since the Protestants outlawed alcohol. Even after the Constitution was amended to outlaw alcohol, juries were still finding the laws unjust and setting people free.

These days judges don't tell juries they have as much responsibility for upholding the law as the judge does, if not more so.

Re:No swaggering... (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063357)

I'm often confused about the alternative meanings words acquire in the US. Libertarian => Against Copyright? Appears to be the assumption of both TFS and your post. Is that so?

Re:No swaggering... (2, Informative)

Tinamil (1149455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063427)

Libertarian generally means that they are for very small government, which usually corresponds to either limited or no copyright protections instead of the life of the author plus another 70 years we have now.

Re:No swaggering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063825)

More like a word game. Libertarian. Liberal. Conservative. ... You can make them mean what ever you want. Some people say Liberals are for net neutrality, while Libertarians are for Small government, and so are conservatives, .... I hate the word game...

"Surprisingly?" (5, Insightful)

headLITE (171240) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063253)

Bleh, it's not surprising the defendants didn't bash copyrights. *Nobody* stands up in court and says "yes I did it, but this stuff shoulda been free in the first place".

Re:"Surprisingly?" (5, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063323)

I did.

--: This post has been monitored by HM Prison Service Parkhurst IT Services :--

Re:"Surprisingly?" (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063393)

So did I, but I'm from the U.S.

### This post has been monitored by Central Intelligence Agency, Guantanamo Bay IT
Services Division ###

Re:"Surprisingly?" (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063325)

I think this guy [wikipedia.org] would beg to differ. What he did was right, even though it was not allowed by military rules.

Mind you I'm not citing this example in connection with the Pirate Bay thing, just to say that there are successful defenses in court other than "I didn't do it" or "I think it is allowed".

Re:"Surprisingly?" (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063419)

This is not comparable. As much as Thompson bravely resisted criminal orders, and was definitely a hero, he was in fact following US law and the US Army's "Code of Conduct". So Thompson was following the law, not saying the law was bad and therefore it should be disobeyed.

I just wish we had more people like Thompson to serve at Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraig.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063499)

We do actually, they just never keep their jobs long enough to see the big stuff. We had plenty of whistle blowers in the Navy, they just got shut down or shut out.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (5, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063383)

*Nobody* stands up in court and says "yes I did it, but this stuff shoulda been free in the first place".

Maybe not in exactly those words, but many important constitutional cases have been decided after the individuals charged said "I did X, but X shouldn't be illegal". In Loving v. Virginia, for example, Mr. and Mrs. Loving never denied being married -- rather, they argued that interracial marriage shouldn't have been illegal.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (4, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063679)

They generally say "I did it, and X is legal". Copyright has a reasonably clear legal status. Using a constitutional law to overrule an illegal state law (as in Loving v. Virginia) is different to declaring copyright illegal. On the other hand, claiming that they were not directly responsible (and that millions of normal people were) is a feasible defense.

If you want to change the laws, run for parliament, or support a candidate who supports your views. The court is just there to interpret laws, and activist rulings undermine democracy.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (1)

Subm (79417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063699)

> *Nobody* stands up in court and says "...".

*nobody*?

I expect the Spanish Inquisition would.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063753)

... I expect the Spanish Inquisition ...

That is a clear demonstrable lie. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Re:"Surprisingly?" (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063981)

> *Nobody* stands up in court and says "...".

*nobody*?

I expect the Spanish Inquisition would.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:"Surprisingly?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063827)

If only somebody had told Larry Lessig...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eldred_vs_Ashcroft

Of course (5, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063273)

From TFA:

"They all presented much the same points, the main ones being that the Pirate Bay site didn't hold any copyright films or music -- it merely acted as a search engine -- and that no copyrighted content passed through it anyway. The prosecution had failed to produce any uploaders or downloaders, and had not shown their actions were illegal where they happened to live."

which, of course, has been TPBs stance all along. Consistent, and simple. Why would TPB attack copyright law? T

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063351)

Why would TPB attack copyright law?

Because the site was created specifically to facilitate the violation of copyright law? Even the name makes it hard not to conclude that.

Re:Of course (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063467)

Name, eh? Let's see... Slashdot. Slash... That's a sound of a sword cutting through... wait they must be maniacs!

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063795)

That's an asinine example. You're ignoring the context. Slashdot has very little content to do with sword wielding maniacs, whereas the "The Pirate Bay" that is closely affiliated with "The Piratbyrån" whose manifesto is copyright reform, indexes content of which the vast majority is "pirated" copyrighted material. But silly me, obviously the name is just a coincidence, and reading anything into their choice of name is just as strained and tenuous and thinking the slash in slashdot must be to do with swords.

Re:Of course (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063503)

Because the site was created specifically to facilitate the violation of copyright law? Even the name makes it hard not to conclude that.

Yeah, just like the German Democratic Republic, which was not very uhhmmm "democratic" at all.

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063437)

Why would TPB attack copyright law?

Hubris, mostly.
Civil Disobedience by breaking the law is still against the law. Citing you are breaking bad laws will only make you guilty of breaking such law.
Now if you think you are all that and the world will protest your prosecution create new laws and get you out of jail and be welcomed back to society as a hero, then you might do so.
However for the most part what will happen you will get a couple of people bitching about it, a couple nasty letters to the politicians and then nothing will happen and you spend all your time in jail when you leave everything you fought against is still in place.

Media Piracy is a lot like Porn. Most people are guilty of it. However they will not speak up for it as it will make them look bad.

Car Analogy in the Article (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063275)

"when new technology appears it can be difficult to 'see the wood for the trees'. He said that just because something may have been used by people for illicit purposes, should that mean that there should be an attack on the infrastructure as a result? It's like taking legal action against car manufacturers for the problems experienced on the roads, he said."

Didn't waste a second with that one.

Another car analogy... (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063505)

From the TorrentFreak article [torrentfreak.com] :

Althin said that just because Peter knows the other defendants, it does not follow that he committed any crime and just because he gave some advice as to the running of the site, the same stands. "If I call Saab [motor company] and tell them to paint their cars green so they sell more, I have no responsibility for Saab," he said.

Two car analogies in the same day, yay! :)

It's truly not black and white (3, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063353)

While I'm not sure where to stand, here are some of the things I've "pirated":

* Last nights survivor episode.
* Anime fansubs I can't buy anyway.
* Professional software I've been curious to try at home for fun and/or education. (Ended up saying Photoshop indeed is worth the money at work...)
* The entire Friends series. After concluding it's worth it I ended up buying the DVD's.
* Ditto with Sex and the City.

So who lost money? I'm not saying what I did was right, but I don't think I should be put in jail for it either. These are not simple matters.

Disclaimer: The wife mostly watches Sex and the City and Friends.

Re:It's truly not black and white (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063397)

* The entire Friends series. After concluding it's worth it I ended up buying the DVD's.
* Ditto with Sex and the City.

So... an insanity plea, then? ;) :p

Re:It's truly not black and white (2, Insightful)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063703)

I agree. I usually "pirate" things that are unobtainable by any other means.

That is what the industry doesn't realize. First off - the party is over - the genie is out of the bottle. Also - stop pretending that every pirated copy is lost revenue.

The content producers/providers must provide easy, ubiquitous access to EVERYTHING, and new ways of gathering revenue (hulu.com is a great example). They can no longer treat their content like physical entities. That was a side-effect of the imprisonment of media to the physical distribution model.

Failed Prosecution? (5, Interesting)

jomiolto (1092375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063359)

The really interesting thing about this trial is that the record companies seem not to have done their homework at all (although part of that could be bias from TorrentFreak, which seems to be the major English news source about this trial). They seem to have failed in pretty much every front: they failed to show any real statistics on the effects of file sharing or the amount of copyright infringing material on the Pirate Bay, their "evidence" of illegally downloading things from the Pirate Bay didn't hold water (because they could not show that the Pirate Bay tracker was actually used in their downloads), and they couldn't even show that what the Pirate Bay is doing is illegal in Sweden.

I can't really understand why they failed so hard. They had time to do their homework and I'm sure that they are not lacking in funds or other resources either. They could have collected some actual statistics on the amount of copyright infringing torrents or they could have done much better research on downloading copyright infringing stuff through the Pirate Bay -- disable DHT and all the other trackers beside the Pirate Bay, and you can be sure that the Pirate Bay tracker is used for the download.

Are the record companies really this inept at grasping the Internet (and hiring people that do understand it) or did they just think that they would win by default? Either one seems unlikely to me, but who knows?

Re:Failed Prosecution? (3, Interesting)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063451)

Are the record companies really this inept at grasping the Internet (and hiring people that do understand it) or did they just think that they would win by default? Either one seems unlikely to me, but who knows?

Both are likely more true than you know. Obviously they believe themselves in the right since its easy to see these torrent do point to copyrighted material. But they also obviously don't realize that a torrent itself is no different than a hyperlink really, and I think there has already been plenty of cases shot down where people tried to get a hyperlink removed.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063517)

My suspicion is they did that, realised none of the data worked in their favour, and quietly ignored it.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (5, Interesting)

KeX3 (963046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063531)

It is not due to TorrentFreak-bias, they were exactly that inept in swedish as well.

Three years of investigation, and they understand less about bittorrent than 10 minutes on wikipedia teaches you.

They had no statistics, no _actual_ evidence (messed up downloads, screenshots of cut urls to torrents, vague and repeated accusations of child pronography, a few random looks at top 100-lists with nothing to back it except "i looked at it, you should trust me", ridiculous claims "99% of the files on pirate bay are copyright protected" and "100% of the people downloading from pirate bay would have bought the album if tpb wasn't there"), the witnesses they called were all media-moguls with absolutely no grasp of internet or technology, and generally a case built on "we sell less CDs, therefore the pirate bay is to blame" instead of realizing that "people don't want CDs anymore, that's why the sales are declining".

Add to this the COMPLETE inability to understand the "cluster mentality" that the internet has brought to a more visible level, where there are no leaders, no decision-makers, no controlling people. People do what needs to be done, and that's the end of that. They spent half the trial trying to pinpoint someone as "the leader", something that in the case of TPB simply doesn't exist. There is a core group, but what makes them more important than the people outside that is simply server-access. Remove that from the equation and no matter who you are, you can do things without asking for permission.

Not to mention that after these 3 years, half of the charge is dropped during the 2nd day because they completely misunderstood the nature of bittorrent, and HOW the file-sharing actually happened.

"Botched", is the word that comes to mind.

But I think this is because of who's behind them. The media-companies, who have never had any problems going forward brute force, waving money and ludicrous demands for more money, who are used to the other party bowing their heads and going "yes massa". When actually faced with _opposition_, their lack of preparation and knowledge shines through like the headlights of an 18-wheeler at 2 am (see, a car-analogy).

And that's the end of this rant.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (5, Interesting)

KeX3 (963046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063595)

Oh, and I completely forgot:

Spending most of the time trying to discredit the personal and political opinions of the prosecuted and the witnesses they called, instead of trying to prove that crimes had been committed.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063961)

"people don't want CDs anymore, that's why the sales are declining"

This is incorrect.

It's actually "we release less new music, which is why sales are declining" [azoz.com]

I'm begining to think that RIAA labels are releasing fewer and fewer albums because they've realized they can make more money with less effort through their litigation strategy.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064085)

Maybe the reason they are so sloppy is that they knew from the beginning that they couldn't wing so they let the case be lost and then go back and buy the laws they need on the basis that "current laws won't stop pirates from thieving our property, as the pirate bay case showed".

Re:Failed Prosecution? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063539)

Here's the thing: a .torrent contains no data useful to anything but a BitTorrent client. It's just a pointer to the actual data. There's absolutely no proof that the actual content infringes anyone's copyrights.

Think of it this way. I make a sign that says BUY FULLY-AUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS HERE and install it on a gun shop's building. Fully-automatic assault weapons are illegal in my jursidiction. Do they arrest me, the sign maker?

No. They arrest the frickin' gun shop owner for selling illegal weapons.

What ThePirateBay.org does, at least in Sweden, is equivalent to what the sign maker did.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063673)

Here's the thing: a .torrent contains no data useful to anything but a BitTorrent client. It's just a pointer to the actual data. There's absolutely no proof that the actual content infringes anyone's copyrights.

But a specific torrent file has no purpose other than to facilitate distribution of a set of files. I think there's at least an argument that that makes it an infringing file. It's a set of data that when the correct algorithms are combined forms a copyright infringing file. An mp3 is a set of data that when the correct algorithms are combined forms some PCM audio data. They both have no purpose other than to generate some specific data. If the generated data infringes copyright, then why isn't the data generator also copyright infringing?

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063877)

But a specific torrent file has no purpose other than to facilitate distribution of a set of files, which may or may not be infringing.

There. Fixed it for you.

If the generated data infringes copyright, then why isn't the data generator also copyright infringing?

Because, entirely like BitTorrent it serves purposes that are not illegal.

Re:Failed Prosecution? (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064079)

You are woefully mistaken. Like a hyperlink, a torrent file is only a digital address card.

There are no algorithms in it whatsoever for combining into audio or any other kind of data, no more than you can process the 24 alphanumeric characters

http://fake.er/outer.mp3 [fake.er]

and get anything. The copyrighted information is not in the torrent file in any of the same sense that it is within an MP3.

It is no different in essence than if people put music on their answering machines and then went to a cork bulletin board and pinned up their phone numbers. Pinning a phone number on a corkboard is not copyright violation, and to be illegal, there has to be law that prohibits pinning up phone numbers. The same is true of torrent files.

Lastly, remember to be sure to make a distinction between a torrent file, which contains instructions on how to communicate with other computers, and what you might call the torrented file, which can be anything at all.

This "trial" was very strange (4, Interesting)

d-r0ck (1365765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063461)

"Samuelson opened by saying that during the case the Prosecution missed the main key point - Is The Pirate Bay legal or not? He said that all four defendants should be acquitted since the Prosecution failed to issue individual charges as is required in a criminal case." Tt appears that throughout the whole "trial" that there was very little if any reference to any laws that may have been broken. Not sure how Sweden has their court system setup, but this whole thing just seemed very unprofessional from both sides.

Re:This "trial" was very strange (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063639)

What do you mean by "both sides"? I followed at least part of the trial, it was obvious that the plaintiffs acted very unprofessionally, and the prosecutor cocked up in quite a few ways.

I'm not sure I'd characterize the actions of the defendants as unprofessional though, the seem to have blasted quite a few big holes in the case.

I'd be genuinely surprised if Sunde, Neij, Swartholm Warg and LundstrÃm are convicted in this case. There's simply not any rope in the case to hang them with.

"I am not responsible" (-1, Offtopic)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063469)

The overlap between people agreeing with "The Pirate Bay" (as they earlier agreed with Napster), and disagreeing with gun-makers [concealcarry.org] and retailers [google.com] using the exact same defense, is, probably, above 90%... And most gun-buyers buy them for legitimate purpose, I might add, whereas only a tiny fraction of TPB-facilitated P2P traffic is legitimate.

TPB's service does not violate copyrights, people violate copyrights, right?

The hypocrisy is sad — both of my links have to do with New York, but try asking NewYorkCountyLawyer, for example, whether he dislikes Mike Bloomberg's harassment of gun-retailers as much as he dislikes RIAA's harassment of copyright violators, or even whether he dislikes it at all...

Re:"I am not responsible" (3, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063603)

One kills innocent people, the other kills Prince and Madonna. Why would the distinction be so hard to understand?

I'd be more concerned by the hypocrisy (4, Interesting)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063641)

if torrent files were used (and often times specifically designed) to murder other people.

The whole point of a legal system/justice dept. is to handle exceptional cases of law...where a set of rules cannot cover every potential circumstance and instance in a way that provides safety and productivity to society.

That being said, I have no stance whatsoever on Bloomberg and I am not anti-gun...just making a point. If there are people out there who want stricter gun control, the legal system has a variety of avenues to pursue this. If those people succeed where the the RIAA/MPAA has failed, it does not mean the government is now somehow in contradiction with itself or flawed.

It means that society saw fit to make an exception...exceptions are in fact what laws and lawsuits and judges and governmental rulings are often about.

Re:"I am not responsible" (1, Insightful)

danep (936124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063651)

... the difference being that while P2P has legitimate uses, guns have NO legitimate use, at least in my mind. They are designed for one purpose: to maim and to kill. I don't care whether the intended target is a criminal or not, I still believe that that is wrong. That's not to mention the fact that while most people might buy them for "legitimate" purposes, a large portion of those guns unfortunately end up being used to commit crimes or accidents anyway.

We Only Provide Links to Guns! Honest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063755)

What a contrived parallel! The Pirate Bay is not offering any material in violation of copyright. If they were then their defense would fall flat on its face. The only way a gun retailer could use the same defense is if they weren't involved at all in the manufacturing or distribution of guns - i.e. they aren't a gun retailer.

Re:"I am not responsible" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27063807)

The difference is the majority of guns aren't used for illegal things. The majority of content on TPB is in violation of copyright.

As the old adage has it . . . (5, Insightful)

Varitek (210013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063489)

If the facts are against you, bang on the law. If the law is against you, bang on the facts. If both are against you, bang on the table.

Making an anti-copyright statement in court would be the equivalent of banging on the table, which Pirate Bay don't appear to need to do.

The Real Question (5, Funny)

spykemail (983593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063541)

The real question is: how many of the judges download regularly from the Pirate Bay? My guess is at least one...

More importantly, what does cliffski have to say? (4, Funny)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063677)

I especially liked when he suggested it was the Pirate Bay's DUTY to assist the media companies in identifying links to copyrighted material.

Entitlement Mentality, again (5, Insightful)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27063735)

Here again, we see the Entitlement Mentality that's pervasive in the Big-Music industry:

In its report, Billboard quotes Kjell-Ã...ke Hamrén, chairman of SMFF, the Swedish Music Publishers Association:

"Without compensation the creators' livelihood is unsustainable. It is therefore of utmost importance that licensing schemes and new legal services can emerge in the digital environment, while at the same time legislation says firmly no to grand scale businesses that are built on copyright infringement."

You, me, and everyone else are not guaranteed a living in *any* profession we choose. You have to earn a living. Additional legislation results in either welfare or socialism. (Let's just say I'm not a big fan of either.) If you want to be a musician, great, find a way to make it happen. If it's not economically sustainable on it's own, get a job to support yourself. You can still be a musician. However, you are not entitled to be a full-time musician just because you want to.

If musicians get lifetime royalties for their songs, then software engineers should get lifetime royalties for their code. Electrical engineers should get lifetime royalties for their schematics. Plumbers should get lifetime royalties for the toilets they installed in your house (proper plumbing is an art, after all.)

If this sounds extreme, consider the opposite side. A musician/artist/whoever has a backed-by-force-of-law monopoly on some work he did. Copyright is intended to benefit society by encouraging development of creative works (says so in the US Constitution, I can't say about it elsewhere.) So at some point, society is supposed to benefit. Exactly when does that happen if the originator of the work can camp on it for his entire lifetime plus 75 years? You and I have been swindled out of our part of the bargain - the work is supposed to drop into the community for use by others. Extension of copyright [wikipedia.org] has stolen that from us, and yes, you have been deprived of access to something, so "stealing" is appropriately used.

Re:Entitlement Mentality, again (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064009)

In its report, Billboard quotes Kjell-Ã...ke Hamrén, chairman of SMFF, the Swedish Music Publishers Association:

"Without compensation the creators' livelihood is unsustainable. It is therefore of utmost importance that licensing schemes and new legal services can emerge in the digital environment, while at the same time legislation says firmly no to grand scale businesses that are built on copyright infringement."

I have one better, instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lawyers, pay your damn artists!

The RIAA has no credibility with me. They cry afoul about the artists not getting paid. It's they who aren't paying!
It's they who treat the artists like plumbers. You can't have it both ways RIAA!

We now have some leaders who are slightly aware of the hypocrisy going on under their noses. Stop legislating revenues for industry.

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