When You Pick An Author To Represent Swedish Authors Angry At The Pirate Bay, Maybe Don't Pick A Pirate Bay Fan

from the just-a-suggestion dept

Who knows who is actually going to win the trial of The Pirate Bay in Sweden, but you have to admit that the prosecution has been screwing up left and right. The latest is almost comical in its ridiculousness. Apparently the lawyer representing the movie industry, Monique Wadsted, asked a novelist friend of hers, named Carina Rydberg, to gather up some quotes from other authors on how evil The Pirate Bay was for their careers. The idea was to use those quotes in her closing remarks. Rydberg, ever the good friend, posted to a Facebook group of Swedish authors:
"My friend Monique Wadsted, who represents the movie and gaming industry in the trial against The Pirate Bay, needs comments from creators and authors on these issues. She is currently preparing her closing arguments and would like to end it with a message from Swedish authors. It can't be long -- only 30 seconds -- so we're talking one-liners here."

"Since I know that we the authors are affected by file-sharing, I think this is an excellent chance to take a stand. [...] I'll try to write something and would like to encourage members to do the same. [...] Furthermore, Monique would love to see us coming to the court in person. As things look now, the whole situation is dominated by the pirates."
That all seems reasonable enough. As TorrentFreak points out in the link above, there are probably plenty of authors out there who haven't realized how to leverage file sharing to their own advantage, and they have every right to have their say. The problem, however, is that Rydberg doesn't appear to be in that camp. In that very same Facebook group, Rydberg has previously talked about using The Pirate Bay and how it's been helpful to her, even encouraging people to pirate her own out of print books. Torrent Freak highlights some of her earlier comments:
"Because I want to watch movies that can neither be rented anymore nor bought on the Internet. I want to read books that are out of print and will cost you 750 British pounds on eBay. For that reason, I want The Pirate Bay to stay. At the moment, I'm trying to download John Schlesinger's 'The Day of the Locust'; it takes time and it's not even certain I'll get a copy that is watchable - but at the same time I have no idea how to get the damn flick any another way...."

"The Pirate Bay is an invaluable source for content that publishers, record labels and movie studios for some reason can't or won't offer. If someone on The Pirate Bay chose to download the book I wrote in 1989 I would have no objection to that. That novel is practically impossible to get hold of and as an author I want to be read."
Not exactly the "spokesperson" the movie industry was probably looking for. Rydberg has apparently been rushing around trying to edit those old posts, but, of course, copies live on, elsewhere -- and she's also found to have commented similarly elsewhere. Perhaps she should have brought that up with Wadsted before agreeing to make statements trashing The Pirate Bay for court proceedings.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Idiots

    These idiots that run big media need to get a clue. Please, one of you industry Apoligitards(tm) clue me in on how locking up a movie under copyright, ceasing to provide it in any format, then suing those who DO provide it to those WHO ACTUALLY WANT IT, is fulfilling the edict of copyright to "promote the progress?" Anyone? Yeah, didnt think so. This is so indefensable and vile that the only thing they can use is "its the law, so we can do what we want." which is a GREAT attitude to have when you're trying to convince everyone you are morally "in the right" on this issue.

    Idiots.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 9:53am

    Or maybe she's secretly trying to help the Pirates.

     

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  3.  
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    Some IT Guy, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Google.com/Torrents

    Well...that doesn't exist yet...but who here has used Google to search for torrents? I have....so should Google be held responsible just like The Pirate Bay is?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Idiots

    One of the (many) reforms copyright law needs is an availability clause.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Not a "marketer", Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    A common marketing ploy is to pull something for a while, creating scarcity, and thus driving the price up. An example of this is Disney pulling a movie they have released for a while and then releasing it again. This keeps the price high.

    The intent is different than something no longer being published because of lack of interest. In the Disney case, making the content available online when it is unavailable defeats the effect marketing is hoping to achieve.

    An availability clause would need to find a way to distinguish between the two.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Having already seen this articl at another site, its interesting to oint out that a number of posters at the other site found the moving she was downloading readily available online for purchase.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    JB, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    "An availability clause would need to find a way to distinguish between the two." from Not a "marketer"

    Why should there be a distinction? Both should be viewed as no longer available. If someone chooses to not market their product and keep it hidden away in a vault, what should give them the right to not allow others to fill the void they left? Disney at least updates their movies that have been taken out of print and adds value for the re-release. If a publisher stops printing a book, then how is it wrong to get digital copies of that book when it takes nothing away from the value of the original prints?

    The only distinction you could possibly make would have to be between the original release and the re-release, whereas the re-release should have either added value or be significantly reduced in price.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Claes, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    Today the prosecutor changed his charges once again:
    "All are components necessary for the users of the service to share files between them" (referring to the web front end, torrent database and bittorrent tracker if I remember correctly) was removed. Apparantly the prosecutor was not aware of DHT and Peer Exchange features in the bittorrent protocol. Now the case has come to focus almost entirely on the sharing of torrent files. The IFPI and AntipiratbyrÄn (Swedish anti-piracy agency) representatives who had secured the evidence attended as witnesses today. In the IFPI case only screenshots were provided and it wasn't enough to prove that the TPB tracker had actually been involved in supplying IP addresses of peers. The anti-piracy agency had been more careful and used EatherReal to log all traffic as they tried to download a couple of films and TV series. However, since the DHT and Peer Exchange features had not been turned off (if I got this right) there were no clear evidence to show that the TPB tracker was used in that case either. The traffic log had been sent to the police but had, for some reason, not been included in the investigation.

    Apparently one of the TPB guys with the aid of volonteers did a survey of the torrent files and arrived at the conclusion that 80% of them referred to free material (details are yet to come). The anti-piracy agency witness was supposed to prove that most material referred to was illegal to share, but he could only comment on the top-100 list on TPB (of which he said ~93% was illegal and the rest porn for which they could not identify the owner). He had, he said, not investigated the category called Other where the attorney said that the TPB survey had found 90% of these legal torrent files to reside.

    It's probably the case that the majority of the torrent files refer to material which is entirely legal to share, but there's a minority of torrent files which in the end generate a majority of the bittorrent traffic. But this traffic is something which is created outside the Pirate Bay. It will be interesting to see how this is judged.

    The allegation "provided the opportunity for others to upload torrent files to the service" was changed by the prosecutor to "provided the opportunity for others to upload and store torrent files to the service". The reason for this might be the Swedish implementation of an European directive which makes internet services unaccountable for what content they transfer on behalf of their users (under certain conditions). However, the regulation related to permanent copies seems slightly stricter than that of transient ones.

    Interestingly IFPI accidentally included one artist they did not represent in the charges (this case has been dropped by now) and since the IFPI witness today said he had downloaded all the songs in the protocol it means that IFPI committed copyright violation when doing so.

     

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  9.  
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    GHynson, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Victory!!

    TPB needs to have a old pirate ship parked in the bay there.
    So when they win,.
    They can have the losers walk the plank.

     

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  10.  
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    Peavey, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    my sentiments exactly

    I'm a huge fan of Silverchair, and a while back they released a live album that seemed about impossible to get outside of Australia. Not even Amazon.com offered it imported.

    Being in the states, what could I do other than download it?!

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: my sentiments exactly

    You could have ordered it from an Australian store? I order stuff from amazon uk all the time and they offered it. Also, I'm in the States.

     

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  12.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    How about this one

    My dad called me up one day and asked me to find him a movie from 1973 called Genesis II. It's not really a movie but a pilot by Gene Roddenberry that never got approved. As far as I can see, it was never released on VHS or DVD and was only shown on TV once. One cannot buy it, one cannot see it on TV, so there is only one other option. Oddly enough I found it and downloaded it within 2 hours. I guess the demand is there but the supply isn't.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    re: How about this one

    Chrono: sorry, but you will just have to do without. After all, copyright law was created specifically to prevent anyone from enjoying any creative work unless the author and his heirs for 100+ years benefit directly and retain absolute control over every aspect and usage of said material. So you see, you just have to live without.....whats that? Say again? Copyright law was created to secure rights "for limited times" and "promote the progress" of creative works? No, no, you are obviously reading from the wrong constitution there, sorry. you see, in 21st century America, there is only one rule, the golden one. He who has the gold makes the rules. Since those who have the gold make the laws, and the laws are supported by those who have the gold, you (and the public) lose.

     

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  14.  
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    Ima Fish, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    "The idea was to use those quotes in her closing remarks"

    So apparently there are no laws barring hearsay evidence in trials in Sweden. Strange.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Claes, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 12:56pm

    Ima Fish, yes that's right. The parties are free to present any evidence, and the court is free to choose how much weight to give each piece of evidence. What's more surprising is perhaps that even evidence attained through illegal means is admissible.

    This is actually of interest in this case since the prosecutor in this case ordered a raid against The Pirate Bay where the charges were "suspected copyright infringement or aiding to copyright infringement". However, previously the same prosecutor had written a memo explaining that TPB would be difficult to touch since they don't keep any copyrighted material themselves on their server. So it would seem that the suspicion of "copyright infringement" was added in order to make the raid possible. I believe that TPB later reported this to the Justice Ombudsman or Attorney General, but it didn't lead anywhere. Later when the prosecutor was interviewed by Swedish newspaper SvD and asked to comment on TPB's view that "they commit no crime since they only link to copyrighted material and do not store the copyrighted files themselves" he replies "That's correct. That's how it is. We have been aware of that all the time. But there's something called assisting a crime too".
    (Swedish source: http://swartz.typepad.com/texplorer/2006/06/bloggscoop_the_.html)

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    TSO, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    PRICELESS!!!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: re: How about this one

    You know, I love the little PSA that's on the Pirate Bay's main page. It seems to fit so well during these copyright abusive times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    nasch, Feb 25th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    IANAL, but I would guess that introducing evidence during closing or opening remarks is a no-no. They're supposed to be just "remarks", not testimony. That's my understanding anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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