Swedish Pirate Bay trial waiting now for the decision
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Deutsch: [Entscheidung im Schwedischen Pirate Bay-Prozess erwartet | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1331]
The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden continued until 3 March 2009 with the
hearings of the prosecution and defence witnesses. The earlier events of the
trial were covered in the previous EDRi-gram.
While a day before, the representatives of the music industry tried to
convince the jury that The Pirate Bay was responsible for half of the losses
the industry had suffered during the last years because of illegal
downloadings, the defence witnesses tried to show BitTorrent was not a bad
thing and file-sharing was actually beneficial.
One of the witnesses, Kristoffer Schollin from Gothenburg University, an IT
lecturer with interest in file sharing, made a special witness report for
the court and explained that torrent files were a more sophisticated type of
Internet link (such as an http hyperlink) and that The Pirate Bay was an
“open database” of torrent files, a type of Bulletin Board. He also stated
that there were other large companies using the same technology and besides.
He also admitted that while searching for torrents via Google, more results
could be found than with The Pirate Bay.
Regarding the issue of whose actual tracker is used when a torrent file is
activated, Schollin said that a torrent being available on The Pirate Bay,
doesn’t automatically mean that the file uses The Pirate Bay’s tracker. He
explained also how to make a torrent file which links to content. In the
creation stage, an Internet connection is not even necessary everything
being done on a user’s PC with a torrent client, not on The Pirate Bay. The
torrent file thus created can be uploaded on the Internet and it is further
on indexed by Google, which then allows anyone to access the torrent via a
One of the points he emphasized was that actually he believed the popularity
of The Pirate Bay was mostly due to the many discussions and mediatization
Contradicting the music industry representatives who declare that sales of
CDs have decreased due to illegal downloading, Roger Wallis, a media
professor, composer and Chairman of the Swedish Composers of Popular Music,
confirmed that downloading caused an increase in sales of live event tickets
and that there were also other reasons for the CD sales decrease, such as
the growth of computer games.
During the same day, a film was played to show how a torrent is created. and
how torrent files can be shared through MSN, Skype, through blogs like
The last two days of the trial were dedicated to the closing arguments of
the prosecution and of the defence. Prosecutor Håkan Roswall said The Pirate
Bay should not be treated as a service provider to get a “common carrier”
status, and that the Supreme Court had already previously ruled that someone
running a BBS could be found guilty of assisting copyright infringement and
The Pirate Bay should be viewed as such. He said he was not asking the court
to rule on the legality of BitTorrent itself, but on what the defendants did
with the technology. Roswall called for the confiscation of The Pirate Bay
hardware and demanded for one year jail for all four defendants.
Peter Danowsky of the IFPI claimed that The Pirate Bay was a commercial
operation and that the defendants had contributed to copyright infringement.
Therefore the record labels had to be compensated for the losses caused by
the operation of The Pirate Bay.
Henrik Pontén from Antipiratbyrån argued that the defendants clearly knew
that what they were doing was illegal, and The Pirate Bay clearly operated
as a business, making money from advertising revenue. He asked for damages
for the entertainment industry and for jail for the defendants so as to give
an example to others who wics to infringe copyright.
Monique Wadsted, representing the movie companies, also called for a “very
significant” prison sentence because the defendants were aware of their
criminal acts and made money from it. “They have made more than 10 million
Swedish crowns in revenue during one year. And they continue to run the
operation in spite of being convicted in other countries. Furthermore, they
spit on the rights holders and tell them to go to hell,” she said.
During the last day of the trial, the four defence lawyers made their
closing statements arguing that the Pirate Bay site acted just as a search
engine. They considered the prosecution had failed in revealing any
uploaders or downloaders from The Pirate Bay, and in establishing that most
of the links on the Pirate Bay were to copyright material. Linking to
copyright material wasn’t specific to The Pirate Bay, it was an Internet
problem. Carl Lundström’s lawyer, Per E Samuelson, argued that attacking The
Pirate Bay was like going against car manufacturers for the problems
experienced on the roads.
Regarding the financial issues of the matter, in the defence opinion, the
prosecution had exaggerated regarding the amount of money the site made.
Gottfrid Svartholm’s lawyer Ola Salomonsson said there were only four
adverts on The Pirate Bay, not 64 as the prosecution had claimed. The
revenues therefore were less than the costs. The defence approach in the
court was that of “I am not Responsible”.
The verdict is due on 17 April 2009.
The Pirate Bay Trial Day 9: BitTorrent Is Not Evil (26.02.2009)
A good day for the roses: Pirate Bay trial, day 9 (26.02.2009)
The Pirate Bay Trial Day 10: Calls for Jail Time (02.03.2009)
Pirate Bay Day 11: trial ends, verdict awaited (3.03.2009)
EDRI-gram: The trial of The Pirate Bay in Sweden (25.02.2009)