p2pnet news view Freedom | P2P:- Today is Day Five of a landmark trial being staged in Sweden in which a collection of multi-billion-dollar corporate movie and music companies are doing their best to paint four guys who run a website as arch villains out to rob the cartels of their rightful earnings.
In the white corner are Fredrik Neij (TiAMO), Gottfrid Svartholm (Anakata) Warg, Peter Sunde (Brokep) Carl LundstrÃ¶m who together run The Pirate Bay.
In the black corner are Warner Bros, MGM, EMI, Colombia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony BMG and Universal.
Yesterday, all the attention was on Fredrik Neij and today, it’s Peter Sunde’s turn.
Failed Swedish prosecutor HÃ¥kan Roswall started off by asking Peter if he ever had dealings with The Pirate Bay’s (TPB) computer systems, says enigmax, reporting Peter said he did, “but in a limited fashion”.
The TorrentFreak post continues »»»
Roswall then inquired about Peter’s involvement in TPB’s advertising deals, in particular one with ad company Random Media which Peter signed up to as a ‘Founder’ of the site. Peter said that this was connected with new website project which would draw funds from TPB’s adverttising revenue.
Roswall then brought up Piratbyran – the Swedish Bureau of Piracy – and asked Peter if this organization is critical of copyright. “Not critical directly,” Peter replied. “There are many differing views.”
Roswall then turned to Peter’s stance toward copyright. “This is a difficult question to answer,” Peter said. “I like things that are not protected by copyright, this is a non-issue.”
Peter was asked if he knew of TPB’s “legal” page. He said he was aware of it. Roswall, presumably trying to speak the same ‘language’ as the somewhat techie defendants, got tied up a little;
“When did you meet [Gottfrid] for the first time IRL?” asked the Prosecutor. “We do not use the expression IRL,” said Peter, we use AFK. “IRL?” questioned the judge. “In Real Life,” the Prosecutor explained to the judge.
“We do not use that expression,” Peter noted. “Everything is in real life. We use AFK – Away From Keyboard.” “Well,” said Roswall. “It seems I am a little bit out of date.”
One of the themes so far is how the Prosecutor is struggling to come to terms with the somewhat chaotic structure of the TPB’s operations. Trying to pin down Peter’s role, he asked about his position as TPB spokesman – Peter said he took the unofficial position since no-one else in the team wanted to do it. A request from a journalist or someone else for a comment on something came in, said Peter, and he simply took it in hand.
Then the attention turned to Peter’s relationship with advertiser Oded Daniel and whether or not Peter has handled money from him. “Have you never wondered why you got these earnings reports? Isn’t this type of thing a little beyond your role of spokesman?” asked Roswall.
“I think it is his [Oded Daniel's] way of trying to motivate people. He sends so much weird email, I don’t read half of it. He could have been using me to get more contact with Fredrik and Gottfrid,” said Peter. The Prosecutor continued to struggle with the apparent lack of a formal decision-making structure at TPB, continually referring to TPB as a “company”.
It was revealed that Peter and Gottfrid met Oded Daniel in 2005/2006. Carl LundstrÃ¶m and Peter Sunde met just a handful of times.
“Is it true you went to Israel to meet Oded in 2006?” said Roswall. “Yes,” responded Peter.
“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.”
Roswall then questioned Peter on many emails back and forth from Oded Daniel to TPB, many centered on the proposed TPB YouTube-like side-project for streaming video called VideoBay. Referring to development of the search capability on TPB, the Prosecutor appeared to be suggesting that Peter worked on TPB on technical issues in a response to mails from Oded Daniel, but Peter said that others carried out the work.
At one stage Peter said he came up with the idea of selling statistics from TPB, believing people would be interested to read them in newspapers etc. When Roswall asked Peter if he ever expected to receive money from TPB, the answer was “no”.
After the break, it was IFPI’s Peter Danowsky turn to start questioning Peter, beginning with his education. Peter says he dropped out of school but later learned English and computer programming from the Internet. Danowsky then turned his attention to ad-company Random Media, again referring to emails from TPB.
Then, in a repeat of yesterday’s performance, the Prosecution started again to introduce more evidence that had not been cleared pre-trial. Danowsky continued to present new evidence in the form of some newspaper articles to try to contradict what Peter had said.
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.
Upon restart, the judge said the decision is that any new material the Prosecution is planning to bring up needs to be submitted before the questioning has started, as is proper. The Prosecution then claimed to hand over all their surprise material they were holding and the Court took another break so that Peter could read through everything. This was later confirmed to be 9 new documents.
After the break Danowsky’s questioning of Peter resumed. “Did you hold a lecture called “How to dismantle a billion dollar industry?” “Yes I did,” replied Peter.
Danowsky started to quote some of Peter’s comments from his blog at Brokep.com. Peter says that everything he writes on his blog isn’t about TPB even if prosecutors would like it to be the case.
Pressed further on his opinions on copyright, Peter asked Danowsky, “That is a political issue. Is this a political trial or a legal trial?” Danowsky continued, ignoring the question but Peter pulled him back. “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?” said Danowsky, but had no follow up questions. Peter was surprised, “No follow-ups? Ok, let me elaborate ” and he went on at length about the context of Danowsky’s various questions.
Danowsky asked Peter about a time when he said that rights holders had acted illegally. Peter said this was a reference to Warner Brothers that had attacked file-sharing sites with hacking, aka anti-p2p activity.
Danowsky asked Peter what the purpose of TPB was. “It is to enable users to share their material with others,” said Peter. “Even though it is copyrighted?” questioned Danowsky. “That can sometimes be the sad consequences,” Peter replied.
After a brief appearance by defense lawyer Wadsted, the court stopped for lunch.
On return, Peter Altin questioned his client, Peter Sunde. He asked him if he was responsible for TPB or if he felt responsible due to his comments for the site. On both, the reply was negative.
Altin put it to Peter that he could’ve made lots of money from TPB. “No, I don’t have a million sitting around somewhere. That would be nice, though.”
When Altin asked about the amount of copyright material tracked by TPB, Peter explained that he carried out a survey of a random 1000 torrents from the tracker and 80% of the content linked by the site was not copyrighted, noting that there is much more illegal material on YouTube.
Then Altin’s interview with Carl LundstrÃ¶m began. He told the court how he met Fredrik at an event called Dreamhack in JÃ¶nkÃ¶ping, Sweden during 2004. The Court heard that LundstrÃ¶m always believed that TPB operated within the law but they needed resources. This situation led to him signing an agreement with Fredrik that they could have two computers at Rix Telecom in Gothenburg, along with him being a technician there. The deal would allow TPB to develop with a little financial support from LundstrÃ¶m, and then when the site grew and became a success, TPB would stay with Rix and pay their way as a regular customer.
Next it was Roswall’s turn to interview LundstrÃ¶m. LundstrÃ¶m admitted that he knew that there was piracy connected with TPB, and that he understood that TPB is a “file-sharing site, a torrent site”.
Speaking of the advertising he took responsibility for the plan believing it was a way the site could pay for itself in the future. He went on to say that he had no idea of any political motivations of the site and what interested him was the desire of the other defendants to make the biggest BitTorrent site in the world. “And I liked that,” he said.
“I can understand that,” replied Roswall.
Then followed discussion about the equipment given to TPB by LundstrÃ¶m. The cost of the equipment was 18,000 kronor and the bill was paid by LundstrÃ¶m. LundstrÃ¶m made clear that he didn’t want to become a partner, but that he did continue to be interested in the project, and that he gave some advise to the TPB team a few times.
- The Pirate Bay trial, live and online - Day One
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Two - Distributed Hash Tables
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Three - ‘Small change’
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Four - Neij’s turn
February , 2009
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