Spectrial, day 5

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Today Peter Sunde (brokep) and Carl Lundström were questioned by the prosecutors. In summary, Peter Sunde did a really good job at choosing what and what not to answer. It’s appalling to see how many questions were unrelated to the (remaining) charges in the trial, and how many of these questions were allowed by the jury.

Lundström was next, and they got him cornered a couple of times. It’s very clear that brokep, anakata and TiAMO know the borders of what they can say and can’t say, while Carl – who’s connected with the site through advertising deals and physical support – is not really upto that.

Summary of the most important points behind the cut.

The trial will start again next Tuesday, so three days of rest for the #spectrial live reporting. I’d like to thank all people reading my blog, I’ll try to keep it up next week.

The day started with Peter Sunde in the witness box at 9:00 AM (see QbatHQ). I personally looked forward to his hearing, since Peter is the most eloquent of the The Pirate Bay crew, and I really liked the interviews I saw with him in StealThisFilm and Good Copy, Bad Copy. Anakata and TiAMO have a certain amount of arrogance in their replies sometimes, which doesn’t help in people sympathizing (although they are right).

Full transcript can be found here. Comic side remarks up at Gizmodo.

Prosecutor Roswall first tries to find out how Peter is connected to the pirate bay. Please note that the prosecutors tried to pin graphic design on him yesterday – they don’t have a clue how a non-hierarchical operation works, and are constantly – in every hearing – trying to pinpoint the exact ‘mastermind’ behind The Pirate Bay, like this is some kind of ’50s James Bond movie.

After finding out that Peter is the unofficial spokesman for The Pirate Bay (‘No one else wanted to do it’), attention shifts to the advertising deals with Oded Daniel (see yesterday too). Peter admits to have travelled to Israel to meet Oded (see TorrentFreak). Roswall wastes valuable court time:

“Why did you go to meet him?” questioned Roswall. “Because he asked me to go there as his guest,” said Peter. “Did you not go there to go to the beach?” “Yes, I did, very often.”

A lot of emails were brought up about a TPB side project (A youtube-like service, uncensored), but Peter – although he was the person mailing with Oded – says he was not involved in the technical side of things.

After the break, movie industrie bulldog Peter Danowsky (for the IFPI) was brought up to fire off questions. This is were things got tacky. After lengthy questions about Peter’s education (relevancy ?), he tried to introduce new evidence, a move the jury did not approve yesterday. Why try it again? The court responded:

According to multiple reports, not only was the defense annoyed at the Prosecution’s unacceptable actions, but the judge was too. The judge reprimanded Danowsky and the defense told him to cut out this American-style trial strategy. The Court then adjourned for 10 minutes to discuss the situation.

Peter got some time to read through the articles brought up (all during trial time). Relevancy of these articles to the trial were still not entirely clear. The #spectrial twitter-feed was buzzing with speculation.

Danowsky  continued the questioning, and ventured further and further away from the actual charges, asking about the Piratbyran’s party political views, and the political views of Peter himself, using the cutout articles and excerpts from Peter’s blog. At this cornerpoint in the hearing, Peter asked the question out loud:

“That is a political issue. Is this a political trial or a legal trial?” (Danowsky ignores)
“I want an answer from the lawyer Danowsky. Is this a political trial? Can I get a reply?”

“How can copyright law be a political issue?”  (Danowsky has no more questions)

I think it’s an atrocity that what a man write on his blog is used in a trial where the charges have nothing to do with his views. As local action hero Sofia (she provides live twitter translations every day) writes on her blog:

This has never occurred to me before, in the Prosecutors attempt of proving intent it opens up to a person’s political views. Should really one person have to declare his or hers personal political views in a Court? The answer is no. Frankly, this is so un-Swedish!

After the court closed, Peter also immediately posted the following on Twitter:

That was annoying. Now it’s certain this #spectrial is political. Anyone hear a question that was not based on ideology?

After the lunch break, Peter stated again that he does not make any money from The Pirate Bay. Next, it was up to Carl Lundström. He and Fredrik (TiAMO) met at the Dreamhack (big IT-event/lanparty) in Sweden, back in 2004.

Carl admitted to have known that there was Piracy connected to The Pirate Bay, and that his interest was to make it the biggest torrent site in the world. It started out with physical help (a couple of servers), after that he started to give advice to the The Pirate Bay crew. He also admitted to have a good relationship with Oded Daniel, which was mentioned in the other questionings too. Another side-project gets mentioned too (from QbatHQ)

2.03pm: Lundström explains that he and The Pirate Bay was interested in using Linux Dreambox to stream from TvBay or The Pirate Bay. This was the plan, but it didn’t happend

The court decided to call it a wrap for the day and begin again next tuesday.

It has been an incredibly busy week, keep following the #spectrial, next week promises to be even more interesting when both parties get a chance to talk in length without being interrupted.

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