“Most people seem to be rooting for PB, what a SHAM!
“When will regulators and media companies realize that the times-they-are-a-changin’? They have been changing for the better part of two decades, and still prosecutors take a BiTorrent company to trial without understand how BiTorrent works. Wake up and smell the Humus! File sharing is as simple as breathing, and you just can’t fight that. When will these archaic sloths learn to start breathing the new air the interent has given us?”
That’s David Miron over the horizon at PCDisorder on the battle between indexing buccaneers Fredrik Neij (TiAMO), Gottfrid Svartholm (Anakata) Warg, Peter Sunde (Brokep), and businessman Carl LundstrÃ¶m (aka The Pirate Bay) versus the scurvy Warner Bros, MGM, EMI, Colombia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony BMG and Universal.
“Kudos to the brass ball slinging folks at Pirate Bay, Ahoy, Avast, and will someone please man the Poop Deck,” he adds.
Poop? Yup. Because as the trial progressed, the corporate entertainment industry plaintiffs did indeed cover themselves gloriously in increasing layers of excreta.
Now, TorrentFreak‘s enigmax continues his blow-by-blow, chapter-by-chapter reporting of the trial as it nears its conclusion with closing arguments, and a bid by Swedish prosecutor HÃ¥kan Roswall, acting for the cartels, to have the wicked TPB Four thrown into the brig.
Says enigmax in his excellent, as usual, TorrentFreak summary »»»
Roswall began his statement by saying that Swedish law covers the alleged offenses because The Pirate Bay’s servers were located in Sweden at the time. He also said that people accessing TPB from other countries were breaking the law in Sweden too. As for TPB being classed as a ‘service provider’ to get ‘common carrier’ status, Roswall doesn’t believe that it should and therefore there is no need to seek the opinion of the European Court of Justice on the matter. The defense disagreed.
Roswall said he is not asking the court to rule on the legality of BitTorrent itself, but rather what the defendants did with the technology. Turning to the TPB’s tracker, Roswall said that it was a vital part of the infrastructure. He said that the Supreme Court already previously ruled that someone running a BBS (Bulletin Board) could be found guilty of assisting copyright infringement and that TPB should be viewed in this light.
Turning to the defendants, Roswall said that Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm already admitted their part in the running of TPB. He said Fredrik’s role was technical and he also registered the TPB domain name, while Gottfrid also handled technical issues including the programming of the tracker and some billing duties.
Roswall doesn’t believe Peter Sunde’s line that he is just the site’s spokesman. He said that Peter is deeply involved with the site, referring to claims Peter configured load balancers for the site and noted that advertiser Daniel Oded communicated with Fredrik and Gottfrid through Peter. Roswall said that this was a sign Peter was co-ordinating some operations. He also said that Peter helped to design and develop the site and had contact with some advertisers.
Roswall referred to Carl LundstrÃ¶m as the financier of the site and pointed to various emails where LundstrÃ¶m communicated with the others about the legality of the operation. While the defense said this was a good thing – that the site wanted to remain within the law – the prosecution are using this to say that LundstrÃ¶m was behind everything. Roswall also said that the claims that Fredrik worked for free in order to get services for TPB from LundstrÃ¶m was simply made up to help their case.
Next the site’s finances were discussed by Roswall. Damages are easy to calculate he said, by simply referring to the site’s own download statistics. In an attempt to quantify how much money TPB made, he used his own best guesses based on how much he thought the ads on the site cost multiplied by an estimated number of impressions. He came to the conclusion that TPB turned over some 11.6 million kroner. After a few more calculations, Roswall declared the site made at least 5 million kroner, and probably more like 10 million, to which Gottfrid responded, Where is my ten million, please, I want it, where is it?
Earlier in the case, the defense asked why the Prosecution did not try to track down the actual infringers/seeders of the works mentioned in the trial. Roswall notes that this was impossible since their identities were protected under Swedish law. However, now that IPRED has been passed, tracking people will be much easier in future.
Roswall called for a confiscation of TPB hardware, noting that the chances of the site infringing again are high. He based this on the fact that TPB was up and running just 3 days after the original police raids. He finished by demanding jail for all four defendants.
I believe that the correct punishment is a year in prison and that is what I ask from the judge in this case, he said. Gottfrid responded dryly, I was surprised that the nasty old man did not ask for more, I expected he would require two years in prison but he asked for only one!
Gottfrid Swartholm comments
During one of the cigarette breaks, defendant Gottfrid Swartholm didn’t seem to be impressed by the prosecutor’s claim. I’m surprised that the crazy old man didn’t exaggerate more! I’d counted on him demanding two years in prison but it only was one!
Gottfrid went on to comment on the millions in ad revenue TPB had made according to the prosecutor. Where are my 10 million, please I want them, where are they!? he shouted.
Peter Danowsky for the IFPI
Next up to make his closing statement was Peter Danowsky of the IFPI. He began by saying that the trial is not about file-sharing technology, but about how it is used to infringe copyright. The goal is to find out whether or not the defendants have broken the law, and if so, what their punishment should be. Danowsky said he knew that there are other sites that engage in similar practices, but said that these are irrelevant to this case.
Comparing TPB to Google doesn’t make any sense according to Danowsky, because Google is working with the rights holders to prevent piracy. TPB on the other hand constantly mocks rights holders. Danowsky further added that the number of [torrent files linking to] copyrighted works on TPB is much greater than the prosecutor decided to bring in as evidence.
Danowsky went on to state that TPB offers a service that is very similar to that offered by legal online music stores. However, TPB doesn’t charge for the music and keeps the advertizing revenue to themselves instead of compensating the rights holders. Neij, Svartholm, Sunde and LundstrÃ¶m have contributed to copyright infringement according to Danowsky, and the record labels have to be compensated for the losses they have caused – in sales and in goodwill.
The testimony of media Professor Roger Wallis, who stated that the entertainment industry doesn’t suffer any losses from piracy, is debatable Danowsky said. Instead, he puts more trust in the record company executives he consulted in the past. Wallis’ 30 percent guest professorship at KTH provides about as much credibility as something on par with a newspaper editorial, said Danowsky.
He further said that physical piracy is exactly the same as illicit file-sharing according to the music industry lawyer, it is simply utilizing newer technology.
Danowsky went on to note that TPB was founded by the Pirate Bureau, an organization that has only one purpose: Not to respect copyright. Next, Danowsky stressed that TPB is a commercial operation and he mentioned some previous court rulings related to file sharing, including the Finreactor case. After that the court took a lunch break.
Henrik PontÃ©n from AntipiratbyrÃ¥n
After the lunch break Henrik PontÃ©n makes his final plea, which is short compared to Danowsky. PontÃ©n claims that the defendants clearly knew that what they were doing was illegal, and that they could have expected prison sentences. He further said that TPB clearly operates as a business, making money from advertising revenue.
The damages claim should cover the loss in revenue for the entertainment industry, as well as the damage in goodwill that the site has caused, PontÃ©n noted. He continued saying that imprisonment is needed in order to stop TPB from operating, and said that a conviction will deter others from infringing copyright.
Definitely stay tuned as Warner Bros, MGM, EMI, Colombia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony BMG and Universal continue to try to make the case that black is white, and that they’re naught but honest businesses desperately trying to stay afloat while they’re being viciously attacked by hardened criminals determined to sink them.
- 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
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Five – TPB advertising deals
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day (six) Seven – Two-hour session
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Eight - `Impossible to compete with free`
- The Pirate Bay vs Them: Day Nine – ‘My God, everything!’
- Saying it with flowers at Pirate Bay trial – Destroys current business model
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