Spectrial, day 4
Of all days in the The Pirate Bay trial, this one was the most difficult to cover. Several of the prosecutors got to talk to TiAMO (Fredrik Neij) and Anakata (Gottfrid Svartholm Warg). A lot of questions and responses were out there, the Twitter feeds translated them live at a whirring speed.
I’m trying to cover the trial as best as I can from this blog, combining other blogs, the audio feed and twitter material. It’s nice to see that UK newspaper The Guardian quoted me on their website.
I’ll try to summarize day 4 behind the cut.
The Day started with questioning TiAMO. (update: full transcript of Fredrik questioning at PurpleFlagship blog) We’ve learned the following:
- TiAMO describes himself as just being in The Pirate Bay for the technical challenge of it. While brokep (Peter Sunde) and Anakata have strong ideological ideas about what The Pirate Bay stands for and what its place is in the bigger picture, TiAMO is portrayed as the tech geek.
- Some questions were asked about his involvement in advertising the site. Several times the defendant was asked why he think the site grew so rapidly. They were trying to make him state that the illegal material (which – once again – is not hosted on TPB servers, but on thousands of end-user hard drives) is what made the site boom.
- Oded Daniel enters the picture.
oswel questioned about Oded and when the two met. Neij replied by saying he wasn’t totally sure but it was around 2004. Also, he was not involved in the technical aspect of the site, he only wanted to buy ads. Roswel asked how much Oded knew about computers; Neij responded “He’s a normal computer user, he uses Windows.” (Hilarity ensues)
- A little slip of Fredrik follows: The prosecutor asks him if he knows that there are torrents linking to copyrighted material on The Pirate Bay. First, Fredrik answers that he doesn’t know, but after being confronted with the transcript of a police interrogation following the raid, he has to say yes. Things get up close and personal when Fredrik is asked if he seeds torrents. First answer is no, but he quickly corrects to yes, but only non-copyrighted material. I think this hasn’t made a good impression, but TiAMO was reported to be very nervous.
- Prosecutor Roswell fires another tacky question: The Pirate Bay removes torrents with inaccurate descriptors, why can’t they do the same with torrents obviously linking to copyrighted material? Fredrik dodged the question by saying he doesn’t know how the moderation system works, and says he’s not part of that process. Again, on thin ice here guys.
- The infamous Legal page on TPB website comes to attention. This page, on which TPB mocks sever complaint letters they receive, obviously pissed off a lot of company executives. Fredrik once agin dodges the question by saying he’s not that good of a writer.
- Monique Wadsted takes over the questioning, and tries to bring in new evidence (it looks like she was trying to distract Fredrik with that). The judge is not pleased and does not allow. Monique tries to shout down the judge, but to no avail.
- After the break, Peter Danowsky tries to pin the e-mails on the Legal Page onto TiAMO. He answers that the quotes in the mail mean he gets them forwarded. He reminds the court once again that he’s in for the techy stuff.
- Fredrik’s lawyer now asks him questions, which serve to remind the court that The Pirate Bay is not the only place to get torrents from, and that it is not TPB which takes the initiative of uploading a torrent, but an end-user. At the moment on which the sharing starts, only the first end-user has the complete file.
Next up is Anakata
- Monique Wadsted tackles the issue on child pornography (In my opinion, playing the child porn card at this early moment is a sign of desperation). She asks if torrent files linking to child pornography get deleted. Anakata answers that some files are deleted, presumably because the police wants to track down the original uploader.
- Judge gets angry at the accusers, says they miss with the questions (source: QbatHQ)
“Not all?” was Wadsted’s reply. Gottfrid explained that it is not up to them to investigate crimes, but that they do inform the police. “We can’t do investigations of our own. And if the police say we should remove a torrent, we will,” he said.
- Next part of the questioning oddly enough shifts to information about Peter Sunde. The prosecutor stresses really hard on the question whether or not Peter Sunde was involved in the graphic design of the site. It is still unclear why this is such an issue. Anakata replies that Peter has nothing to do with the day-to-day technical administration of the site, but that he is the spokesperson. Very nice quote (from Torrentfreak):
“Neither me or Neij work well in furnished rooms. Peter was better on the verbal issues and media”
- Prosecutor asks ‘how good’ Anakata is with computer technology. He replies that this is not the time nor setting to boast about his Curriculum Vitae. Hilarity ensues.
- Prosecutor tries to bring in new evidence on floppy disk, presumably trying to bring in actual torrent files instead of screenshots. Judge is not pleased. More about that tomorrow at 9AM.
Keep following the trial. Organise viewings of Steal This Film. Thoughts on #spectrial. Blog about this. It’s getting more and more interesting every day.