Judge unbiased, no retrial for The Pirate Bay

By EDRi · July 1, 2009

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Deutsch: [Richter nicht voreingenommen, keine Wiederaufnahme des Prozesses für The Pirate Bay | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1451]

On 25 June 2009, Sweden’s Court of Appeal ruled that judge Norström in The
Pirate Bay (TPB) case was not biased as the lawyers representing TPB
founders had claimed. Therefore there will be no retrial for TPB in
Stockholm District Court.

The TPB lawyers had accused Norström of being in a conflict of interests as
he was a member of several organizations funded by the recording industry
organization IFPI. The Court of Appeal acknowledged that the judge was a
member of organisations acting in the interests of rights holders, but
emphasized that copyright holders benefited of constitutional protection
under the Swedish law. “We have reached the conclusion that we do not agree
with the conflict of interest claim,” said appeals court judge Anders Eka to
news agency TT. “For a judge to back the principles on which this
legislation rests cannot be considered bias,” said the court ruling.

The court criticised Norström for not having stated, before the trial, that
he was a member of those organizations but considered this was not
sufficient reason to declare the district court verdict null and void.

“This is part of a pattern. It shows that the Swedish legal system is no
longer to be trusted when it comes to copyright cases. It’s a travesty of
justice quite simply”, commented newly elected European Parliament member
Christian Engström of the Swedish Pirate Party who added: “There are
certainly problems with the laws too but this also shows that the courts are
not capable of applying the laws in a correct manner. I’ve been a lay judge
for seven years and I’ve never seen an indictment as bad as the Pirate Bay
verdict. But that didn’t stop the court from setting ridiculous sentences.”

The Pirate Bay defendants can still appeal the results of the first trial.
One of them, Peter Sunde has stated: “The Pirate Bay will now file charges
against Sweden for violation for Human Rights. … (The bias-judge is
himself biased…)”.

The Pirate Bay faces now another legal case brought to court by the Dutch
anti-piracy organization BREIN which wants to close the file-sharing site in
the Netherlands and see three of TPB founders to court on 21 July. As the
organization was unable to find the exact whereabouts of the three men, it
used Twitter and Facebook social networking websites to deliver the court

“The internet works both for those who respect copyrights and those who
violate them. Now they know that the hearing will take place on July 21st in
Amsterdam,” said BREIN CEO Tim Kuik.

However, it remains to be seen whether the summoned founders will show up.
Neij who is living in Bangkok, Thailand, claimed he had seen no summons on
the respective sites. “I have Twitter and Facebook accounts, but I haven’t
seen anything about it,” he told the TT news agency.

In a recent announcement posted by Thelocal.se on 30 June 2009, said that
The PirateBay “is set to be purchased for 60 million crowns (approx. $5.55
million euros) by Global Gaming Factory X (GGF), a company specializing in
internet café management software.” GGF said in its statement that it wanted
content providers and copyright owners to get paid for content downloaded.
TPB has confirmed on their blog that they might get aquired by the above
mentioned company.

No retrial in Pirate Bay case (25.06.2009)

Dutch Antipiracy Organization Takes Aim at Pirate Bay (24.06.2009)

Pirate Bay served with Dutch lawsuit via Twitter and Facebook (24.06.2009)

Pirate Bay retrial denied; judge declared “unbiased”(25.06.2009)

Swedish IT company to buy Pirate Bay (30.06.2009)