The Pirate Fray

The Pirate BayAt 11 AM this morning, the Swedish court declared the verdict in the The Pirate Bay trial: all four defendants found guilty, a hefty fine ($3,620,000) and one year jail time for each of them.

After following the trial closely for 2 weeks on this blog, I can only conclude that this sentence is too harsh. I can also recommend Sofia’s twitter feed, who’s translating the rest of the verdict as we speak.

More updates, summary and transcript of the Press Conference  and thoughts behind the cut

The fuzz started at around 9 AM (all time indications in this post are GMT+1), when brokep twittered:

According to leaked information from the court we lost (got the news last night). Trustworthy source as well.

In the following tweets, he assures everybody that nothing will change for TPB of the defendants. In the #spectrial twitter feed, there was some discussion on whether or not this was an eleborate practical joke, but at 11 AM, the confirmation came through livestream. This was picked up by Torrentfreak and several international news sites pretty quickly.

Sofia also picked up the following statements from the feed between 11 AM and 12 AM:

  • The court says they have been conservative in their assumptions and does not agree with the plaintiffs calculation
  • The Court found the e-commerce law was clear and no need to ask for clarification of the EU Court
  • Q: are you worried about your personal safety? Judge: No have not been harassed. Surprised over your question
  • Q is this a generation difference, like young vs old? Judge: we understand the technology behind bittorrent #spectrial

I think that last statement is moot. Several pieces of evidence consisted of screenshots where it wasn’t even clear if DHT was on or not. It was never proven the TPB tracker was used. This is not a detail. The verdict PDF seemed to have leaked at around this time too, here’s an english (google)translated version. At 12:34 the IFPI posted a statement on their website.

At around 12:40, Sofia posted a very good blogpost summarizing what she heard in the verdict.

The Judge also said that The Pirate Bay was a commercial enterprise. Since Finance is my background, I found it very frightening that the Court has gone on the Prosecutors word of this as absolutely no evidence were presented. No bank statement of the The Pirate Bay, no company accounts, no tax returns. The main piece was a signed agreement that was not executed upon and personal bank statements. This surely must be overthrown in the higher Courts.

After some Bambuser up/down pingpong, the press conference started. In a very informal way, Anna asked Peter (drop the hat, Sunde) some questions about the past trial. Broadcast will be up in no time. I asked some questions on Twitter, and they were picked up.

(Anna) How do you think IPRED will affect the rest of the spectrial?

(Peter) Well, an interesting aspect of Ipred is is that it actually makes the users have more responsability for their actions online, which also makes it less of our problem, kind of. So you could see IPRED as a way to say that The Pirate Bay is doing nothing illegal, it protects services like Pirate Bay from actually being sued, because it is in the users’ interest to do legal stuff, it’s not in the service provider’s role to regulate that. So for us, it’s kind of good, but for human kind, the swedish people, it’s really bad.

(Anna) We had that problem during the trial also: being the service provider or not, bringing the content …

(Peter) It’s kind of funny, because they say we are a commercial entity, which we claim we’re not, but if we’re a commercial entity, we’re protected by a lot of rules and laws in Sweden and the EU. About those rules, they said that they didn’t apply to us. They basicly re-wrote swedish law to judge us. That’s what I’ve read in those 170 pages.

(Anna) Do you think further proceedings in the court case are in need of prosecutors and judges with more technical knowledge?

(Peter) Yes, both more technical knowledge and more knowledge of the idea of laws and not just trying to please the prosecution side. Mons said a really smart thing: at this level it’s angry people as jurors, at the next level it’s actually people who have some understanding and some philosophy on what they actually do, so i’m much more confident. This is what we said even before, that in the dice court, we might lose 50/50, and we lost, but in the next level, and the Supreme Court, we will win.

Interesting comments over at techdirt too:

The ultimate problem, of course, is that the entertainment industry still (amazingly) thinks this is a legal issue, not a business model one. It can win as many legal battles as it wants, but in thinking it’s a legal issue, it will never recognize how its business models need to change.

Keep spreading the #spectrial info,

Jeroen

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