Warner Music Admits It Hired Police Investigator Before The Pirate Bay Investigation Was Complete

from the that's-not-good dept

Back in April, we wrote about the fact that a police investigator in Sweden who had been in charge of the case against The Pirate Bay had been hired by Warner Brothers. At the time, there was no proof that he had been hired during the investigation. In fact, it appeared otherwise. Based on this, I didn't see why this was such a problem -- though many people in the comments felt I was being naive. And, indeed, it turns out that a further investigation has now turned up the news that, in fact, the guy was hired while the investigation was ongoing. Though he's now left that job, this does call into question the entire investigation against The Pirate Bay.

And while it turned out that I was wrong about what happened, based on the evidence at the time, I still believe that it was wrong to jump to conclusions about what Warner Music did without actual evidence. Jumping to conclusions without evidence is what the industry does. We should be above that. When the actual evidence is there, then we should be clear and call it out -- and indeed, finding out that Warner hired the guy in the middle of the investigation is a huge problem and should throw the entire case into question. But, let's hold ourselves to a higher standard than the entertainment industry, rather than stoop to their level.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Jake, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 11:15pm

    Okay, I now totally renounce the practice of crediting reputable corporations with the regard for business ethics -or at least the bloody sense- to refrain from committing actual felonies in order to get their way.

     

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    Claes, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 12:52am

    I can agree that one shouldn't jump to conclusions, but it's not farfetched to suspect that what Warner Music really was after was access to sensitive information uncovered during the investigation but not sufficiently relevant to the case against The Pirate Bay to be openly available. If they really wanted someone with technical expertice or knowledgeable about the legal matters I find it quite unlikely that a police man would be the logical first choice.

    It's interesting to note that The Pirate Bay filed charges against a couple of music labels for hirering Media Defender to commit computer crime directed towards them. The investigation was dropped by this very same police man.

    Btw. nowadays Google Translate supports translation from Swedish to English in case anyone wants to read the Swedish sources.

     

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    Egu, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 1:37am

    You are so wrong, read the article in sydsvenskan and you will see that the investigation was over before he started to work for WB.

     

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      SteveD, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 2:07am

      Re:

      For all of us who don't read sydsvenskan could you quote a translation of what your referring too?

       

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      some other guy, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 4:17am

      Re:

      So assuming you are right, he officially started work after the investigation ended.

      But the accusation above was about when he was hired, not when he started work.

       

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    Ano, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 1:50am

    Egu when did Warner Music hire you?

     

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    niftyswell, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 4:38am

    I said it then I say it now

    It is really naive to continue to defend your first article. I dont know how many corporate jobs you have had or have been through the hiring process for...but people are not hired overnight these days for these types of positions. It takes weeks or months for these things to be finalize. The guy was in bed with Warner and doing their dirty work with the promise of a cushy job at the end. I just switched jobs and knew in October I had the position but waited until June to pull the trigger. Before that I knew in Feb and start date again was in June...it has been this way for at least 15 years. The guy didnt quit and then wait for a job offer...get real. He also didnt get contacted out of the blue and was asked to quit the next day by his future employer....that rarely if ever happens. Can someone else please talk some sense into Mike here?

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 4:42am

    Corruption or Treason?

    Here's the google translation link:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsydsvenskan.se%2Fnojen%2Farticle331913.ece& amp;hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv&sl=es&tl=en&tl=en

    http://sydsvenskan.se/nojen/article 331913.ece

    I find the comments especially interesting. To us Americans, it is merely a case of police corruption, but to the Swedes, it is something far worse. The Swedes seem to think that the Swedish police officer Jim Keyzer "has turned Sweden into a banana republic." In other words, they are saying that he has turned Sweden into an American colony, that he is in fact a Quisling, that he knowingly committed treason against the Swedish state in the paid service of a foreign power, Warner Music. The traditional penalty for treason is "a long rope and a short drop." Keyser can presumably avoid being hanged, but he will probably have to leave Sweden and never return.

     

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    AJ, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 5:16am

    Back in the day of journalists with ethics, we would rely on the 4th Estate to uncover these transgressions. However, the record companies have done their best to pay off the 4th Estate, so now its up to the people seeking truth act. That's what happened in this case. Lazy journalism by apologists for the record industry would have swept this minor detail under the rug. Even though conclusions were inferred (without evidence, as you correctly point out), it was that shining of the light by the Internet community that brought the truth into the open. The dinosaur media is going the way of the records companies and can't get there fast enough for my taste.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 6th, 2008 @ 6:41am

    Mike, I understand what you're saying in your last paragraph but that does imply some level of trust. The music industry has violated the public trust an incredible number of times, even before the "suing customers" tactic began. When we jumped to conclusions about Warners' timing and motives here, we did so with a clear understanding of how these people think and their prior actions. So, it's hardly surprising that we were right.

    With any other target, we may not have jumped to these conclusions. But, the RIAA occupy an unenviable position alongside Microsoft, SCO and Jack Thompson where jumping to the worst conclusion is all too often the correct thing to do.

     

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    bobbknight, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    Tongue In Cheek

    So the cop that was investigating The Pirate Bay is approched by the Warner, who basically tells the cop he has a job with them when the investigation is over.
    He gets a job with Warner but we are not to jump to any conclusions.
    Warner is part of the same entertainment industry that lobbied for the DMCA, and now fails to live buy the same rules of that law. One thousands of occasions they (the entertainment industry) has done things outside the law. But we should not jump to conclusions. Thats a big LOL.

     

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    Claes, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    @Andrew D. Todd:
    I don't think Swedes see this primarily as a power struggle between countries and their legal systems, but rather as corruption of the police (uncovered cases of this are quite rare here) and legal system. And naturally there is a lot of frustration among people that this behaviour isn't seriously questioned by the police, prosecutors and leading politicians.

    The Swedish minister of justice got a formal question from an MP about this when it was first revealed that the police was working at Warner Brothers. She replied that it was a good thing that police competence was being appreciated even outside the police authority and referred to a couple of laws that say that someone who works for the police may not simultaneously have other work that hurts the confidence in the police, and a police officer may not reveal or use/exploit any classified information he or she has gained access to during his/her employment. She also said then that there were no indications of any irregularities.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a new question after the uncovering of these latest facts. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

     

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    mica, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    Warner Warner Music

    Beware of anything with (Warner) Music, in its title..It's a predator company Warner Music & Time Warner are stinkers! Time Warner is trying to cap use and charge customers more for useage of internet service.. . and because it is part of an overall problem and the way they wish to charge. I suggest you keep an eye on this company. Deal with MSN or someone else instead.

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    To: Claes, #12

    Well, you are the Swede, but there seem to be a number of people going rather further than that. Our revolution started like that too, back in the 1770's. The hotheads drive out the moderates. Here are some examples from the comments to a couple of articles. I have left in the Swedish in brackets where Google Translator was yielding obscure results.

    ADT
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://translate.google.com /translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsydsvenskan.se%2Fnojen%2Farticle331913.ece&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv &sl=es&tl=en&tl=en

    "With regard to the corrupt society, it soon does not matter which country you live for the e exactly the same hypocrisy and diktaturfasoner everywhere" (Tired of Counterfeiting Folk 2008-06-06 02:26)

    (Does "diktaturfasoner" mean what I think it means? )

    "which says the U.S. government, military, which monitors the phones and police officers purchased by mutinationella companies. Yes Sweden is increasingly resemble a banana republic. [regering som lyder USA, militär som avlyssnar telefoner och poliser som köps av mutinationella företag. Ja Sverige börjar mer och mer likna en bananrepublik.]" (Kent 2008-06-06 00:57)

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    http://translate.google.com/tra nslate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsydsvenskan.se%2Fnojen%2Farticle331913.ece&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv& ;sl=es&tl=en&tl=en

    " Did the police _verkligen_ him to leave rather than working for an American? Feel really that the police can-and should-call into question this man's right to leave! " (Micke - Malmo 2008-04-20 13:58)

    "Greetings from Finland! [Jag är inte svenskspråkig men jag är intresserad om de här Piratebay case.]* I'm not English speaking but I'm interested about these Piratebay case. Hope you Swedes can do the only right thing: Piratebay is not guilty and antipiratbyrån and judgement major U.S. film industry, etc. är skyldiga. is guilty. Judgement is MAFFIAN!" (Kastelukannu - Turku, Finland 2008-04-18 19:50)

    (* I speak a bit of German but I don't speak any Swedish. Is he saying that he is a Finnish-speaker?)

    "Vidrigt, Sweden! How it works: 1.Håkan Roswall says in the Swedish Parliament that Piratebay not commit any crime. 2.Amerikansk lobby (media) put pressure on Swedish politicians and especially Bodström. 3.Bodström exercises ministerstyre and requires a switched on to Piratebay and the entire PRQ. 4.Håkan Roswall directs a switched on (where a number of Swedish company which has nothing at all to do with Piratebay). 5.De American media companies are buying the police the police handling the investigation. Troubled!" (Peter Swanstedt 2008-04-18 16:14)
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://translate.google.com/translat e?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsydsvenskan.se%2Fnojen%2Farticle331913.ece&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv&sl=e s&tl=en&tl=en

    "Scandal. State investigators are employed by Hollywood - Time to put down the case - The Swedish state is a small pluttig majonett to American studios. SKANDAL!" (RB 2008-04-22 19:20)

    "Not many of demokratik in our country =(... Christer! Try to understand: to "steal" anything is to take it away from someone else, to "copy" is to create an equal dan. The whole issue revolves around the limits of intellectual property yesterday. It is something that needs to be discussed democratically among the citizens (not decided on the power above our heads). Just because the leadership says one thing it does not mean that it is right that there should be so. [Hur hade du betett dig i Tyskland på 30-talet?] How did you behaved in Germany in 30 century? Consider yourself some time!" (Captain Svartskägg - The seven seas 2008-04-22 12:59)
    --------------------------------------------------

     

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    just-admit-when-you-are-wrong, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 10:08am

    Weasel words

    The first paragraph - "I was wrong".

    The second paragraph - "I wasn't really wrong, because I am naive".

    Dude, when you are wrong - admit it, learn from it and move on.

    It pretty clear that:

    * you can't admit to being wrong,
    * therefore you won't learn from being bamboozled,
    * therefore you will make the same mistake again.

    Don't worry it isn't against your manhood to admit when you are wrong.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 10:48am

      Re: Weasel words

      He has never been wrong before ever. Even when all the facts proven the contrary.

       

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      Nasch, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 11:53am

      Re: Weasel words

      He wasn't wrong, if you go back and read what he wrote. What he wrote was basically, "this is suspicious, but we don't have any real evidence anything wrong happened. It's possible everything was OK here, so we should wait for the facts before drawing conclusions." All that is correct. If he had said, "there is nothing wrong here. Warner Music was perfectly OK to hire this guy in the manner they did," then he would be wrong.

       

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      Mike (profile), Jun 6th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Weasel words

      Dude, when you are wrong - admit it, learn from it and move on.

      Um. I admitted I was wrong, and then did learn from it: I explained *why* I was wrong. It was because I didn't think it was proper to jump to a conclusion without the evidence.

      You are saying that I should jump to conclusions without evidence?

       

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    niftyswell, Jun 6th, 2008 @ 5:18pm

    piling on has to stop

    I have to say that people are piling on a bit much here...I wouldnt say Mike is never wrong or doesnt admit it....I just think he was, as he states, naive to assume wrongdoing by the RIAA. I like Mike's stories and the topics he picks, they generate tons of good comments, thought from different directions, and have been educational. I slammed him earlier on for being naive in regards to this and his prior article. At the same time I look for his name before I read the articles on techdirt and think he does a great job of research and point-counterpoint with his articles. Many people slamming him I know from past experience are hot heads or agenda carrying close minded folks who need to be a bit less subjective. At the same time your very responses tell Mike he is doing his job of creating attention and generating discussion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Jumping?

    When a known serial arsonist is seen running away from the scene of a suspicious fire with a petrol can in one hand and a torch in the other, suspecting that he may have had something to do with the fire is not "jumping to conclusions".

     

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