Supreme Court Denies Appeal For The Pirate Bay Founders

from the jail-time-may-be-imminent dept

Despite significant questions raised on some of the specifics of the lower court's ruling against the folks behind The Pirate Bay, the Swedish Supreme Court announced today that it would not hear the appeal in the case. In theory, this means that the four individuals may face jail time pretty soon -- though, as Torrentfreak notes, it's pretty standard in Sweden for cases that have gone on this long to take 12 months off of the sentences, which might mean no actual jail time. One of those still facing jail time, Peter Sunde, who has since gone on to create Flattr (a service that has helped many, many content creators -- including us at Techdirt -- make lots of money), has written up a post highlighting just how questionable the entire process has been:
We’re not surprised by this. The previous court cases has been filled of corruption. From having the minister of justice pressured by the US to illegally make a case of TPB, through the police officer responsible for the investigation (Jim Keyzer) “just happened” to get a job at Warner Brothers the weeks before I myself got promoted from a witness to a suspect, to the judges in the court cases being either board members, or in one case the actual chairman of the board, for the swedish pro-copyright society, it was clear to us that the supreme court – where many of the judges make a lot of money on their own copyrights – would be hard to persuade to take the case. Even though most of the public would want the case tested there. Even though it’s one of the most important cases for all of the EU.
Another view worth reading comes from my friend Martin Thornkvist, who is from Sweden, and ran a record label in Sweden and has worked with a bunch of Swedish artists. You might think he'd be against The Pirate Bay, but he's quite upset about this ruling, noting that it makes him both sad and angry. He points out that it makes him sad, because the entertainment industry is still fighting their fans. He notes that when they stop fighting their fans -- as the record labels finally realized with Spotify -- piracy almost disappears. Though he also points out that without The Pirate Bay, Spotify almost certainly would not have existed. And that's the part that makes him angry. Despite helping to push the world forward, the thanks they get is jail time:
I’m angry because the founders of The Pirate Bay don't get the recognition they deserve. For pushing the development of new services further and forcing the media industries to distribute their content in a manner that people want, (ie not plastic discs and windows policies).
Meanwhile, the site itself has moved to a .se domain, assuming that the US government is likely to seize their .org before too long. Because, you know, that'll really stop file sharing...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Uncouth

    Why, there's not an 'Mercan alive who'd go some some foreign .se site! ...right?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Flattr

    How well is Flattr working for Techdirt? Honestly, I've only ever seen a 0 above the Flattr link, but that may be because I haven't gone back far enough in the archives. I think it's an interesting concept but I'm not convinced that it works that well in practice, so it would be cool to hear what Mike has to say from an end user standpoint.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    I guess pointing out that you are once again being a pirate apologist and supporter is just stating the obvious again.

     

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  4.  
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    eileentso, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Flattr

    From its profile page https://flattr.com/profile/techdirt looks like 4020 flattrs received to date. Yay for Techdirt, yay for Flattr !

     

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  5.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    And yet you just can't resist...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Flattr

    Did that 4020 actually yield cash or something else? Or is it all just Whooooofiiiess?

     

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  7.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flattr

    :eyeroll: It's pronounced 'whuffie'

    Besides, all fiat currency is intrinsically worthless.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    I guess it needs saying. Nothing negative from Mike about the amount of piracy on the site, nothing negative about how they failed to respect DMCA and takedown notices, nothing negative about how these guys appear to have hidden all the money spent on advertising (and there was a lot of it, don't let them kid you!).

    TPB needs to go away, plain and simple. It is no longer anything than a poster child for why the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN and all them will keep winning.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flattr

    Of course it yielded cash thats the whole point! You can't Flattr just for fun, the same way you can make a PayPal Donation of $0.00 for the sake of doing so or any other reason.

     

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  10.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    nothing negative about how they failed to respect DMCA and takedown notices


    Why would they need to? Are they based in the US?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    quite sure this will please a lot of the trolls visiting here:

    h**p://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-verdict-signals-threat-of-huge-new-anti-piracy-campaign- 120201/

    just waiting for the backlash that i am sure will come if this starts! i reckon things will get nasty!

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Flattr

    How well is Flattr working for Techdirt? Honestly, I've only ever seen a 0 above the Flattr link, but that may be because I haven't gone back far enough in the archives. I think it's an interesting concept but I'm not convinced that it works that well in practice, so it would be cool to hear what Mike has to say from an end user standpoint.

    I keep meaning to do a post on it, but haven't gotten around to it. It makes us money. Not a huge amount, but some. To be honest, it's about on par with Google ads. I don't think they have a very large American user-base yet, and most of our readers are American. But each month we do get some money from them.

     

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  13.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is no piracy on TPB. They offer a service that lets you find where files are and who is sharing them. The sharers might be committing acts of piracy, but TPB does not.

    There is no reason for TPB to respect DMCA and takedown notices. Do you regularly follow laws of other countries? They aren't based in the US, they don't need to follow US laws.

    The court case already exposed the amount of money they made. If you think there was more, why didn't you file an amicus brief? Was it because the evidence for your claims was missing, probably hanging out with their missing money?

    TPB might be a poster child, but making it go away won't change anything. Napster was a poster child. Did the entertainment industry stop pushing for more laws because they killed it? Did they stop after killing grokster, e-music, limewire, etc? They'll just latch on to another and continue their woe-is-me charade.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flattr

    Did that 4020 actually yield cash or something else? Or is it all just Whooooofiiiess?


    Every flattr click involves cash, so yes.

     

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  15.  
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    James Lundstrom (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    To make an omelette you need to break a few eggs. The Pirate Bay and Piratbyån (Pro piracy thinktank) has redefined the whole worlds view on piracy, sharing etc. I don't think anyone missed the fact that TPB promoted piracy just as much as RIAA is still claiming that home taping killed the record industry. You could always go for the lame argument that they were wrong based on the legislation but the same can be said about book printing, the weaving machine and many other technology disruptors through history.

    As for DMCA; the last time I checked TPB is claimed to have been run by Swedes in Sweden, the court(s) that convicted them were Swedish. That pretty much clarifies the lack of need to care about DMCA.

    Furthermore a number of Swedish law professors argue that as a middle man you can not be convicted for accessory to copyright infringement, especially since noone in Sweden has been convicted for copyright infringement through TPB to begin with. But Oh, I forgot, since when did MPAA & RIAA care about legislation

     

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  16.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Nothing negative from Mike about the amount of piracy on the site,...

    Obviously, I'm not Mike, but, think about this: If I have a business model that succeeds with or without piracy, why would I label piracy as either a positive or a negative? It would just be.

    ...nothing negative about how they failed to respect DMCA and takedown notices,...

    Since they are not located in the US, they didn't have to respect the DMCA. It's not a global law you know.

    ...nothing negative about how these guys appear to have hidden all the money spent on advertising (and there was a lot of it, don't let them kid you!).

    Maybe, just maybe, there wasn't all that much money to begin with. One would think with all investigations into TBP concerning this trial that they would have found something.

    PB needs to go away, plain and simple. It is no longer anything than a poster child for why the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN and all them will keep winning.

    Keep winning what? TPB hasn't gone away. If it ever does, then you might be able to say you won something.

     

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  17.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Re:

    Dang it. This is a response to Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 12:47pm

     

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  18.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sorry, I didn't realize that you have to berate The Pirate Bay or you are automatically a "pirate apologist".

    A site located in a foreign country must abide by US laws? DMCA doesn't apply to anyone outside the US.

    Winning? They've been trying to remove The Pirate Bay for years now and it's still up. You call that winning? They'll never win. They can't. There's a handful of them and millions of people on the internet. They haven't "won" a damn thing so far, just petty battles and symbolic victories that amount to nothing.

    You have some pretty grand delusions. Take you medication.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "A site located in a foreign country must abide by US laws? DMCA doesn't apply to anyone outside the US."

    Nope, they don't. What it means is that since they are in a country that doesn't have DMCA, they are directly responsible for infringement without any recourse to an "oops" law like DMCA.

    A DMCA notice is considered a nicety when you send it to a site out of the country, in most places you could just move directly to the lawsuit and be well within the law.

    "Winning? They've been trying to remove The Pirate Bay for years now and it's still up."

    Blame the legal process of a country that allows them to keep operating, a system that is very slow to come to a conclusion on anything, and with a fairly weak enforcement side on top of it. Years of playing games, hiding, and all that... it takes time to push these things all the way to the end - and the pirates know that and play with it.

    In the end, the founders will be doing whatever the Swedish version of "don't drop the soap" is.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When I start seeing arguments and data from the entertainment industry that is fair, accurate, and rational, I'll be more open to discussion of if and how Techdirt can be more balanced. As long as the entertainment industry continues to be wholly one sides (and mostly dishonest at that), I don't really see an issue with Techdirt exclusively representing the other sides viewpoint exclusively.

    The entertainment industry success has little to do with TPB as much as it does their control of money, leverage and influence. Companies like Disney have been working their agendas long before the internet even existed or the the people who built companies like Google or Microsoft were even born.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh no, copyright infringement! I sure hope they get raped.

     

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  22.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't copy that floppy?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Uncouth

    I have this bizarre urge to google goats to see what relation it might have to .se

    very odd.

     

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  24.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The MAFIAA middlemen needs to go away, plain and simple. It is no longer anything than a poster child for why Youtube, Rapidshare and all them will keep winning.

    FTFY

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Whatevs, clownface. I recall a few years ago that one of the ops got a bad cold and the site was down for a week or so.

    That was far longer than any outage caused by law enforcement, even when massive pressure from the MPAA and the rest of the alphabet soup got the Swedes to seize their gear. They were up within 48 hours that time, as I recall.

    They can't do it, because we won't let it happen. They can play whack-a-mole for the rest of our lives, but the Internet community controls this WAY more than any government, and though it hard for an industry tool to understand, the community has far more resources and passion than every copyright whore in the world combined.

    Eventually, it will become obviously bad for business to continue to push this nonsense. I'd say it already is, but what counts is when they realize it.

     

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  26.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No dipshit, US law doesn't apply to foreign sites hosted in foreign countries, including The Pirate Bay. They have no legal liability to the US nor DMCA safe harbors protection. It's absolutely astonishing that you think that US copyright law applies to them but the DMCA doesn't because the sight is foreign. Neither US copyright nor DMCA apply to The Pirate Bay.

    "In the end, the founders will be doing whatever the Swedish version of "don't drop the soap" is."

    If that happens, The Pirate Bay will still be operating regardless. So it nets the IP lobbyists nothing.

     

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  27.  
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    Pirate Apologist, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "TPB needs to go away, plain and simple. It is no longer anything than a poster child for why the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN and all them will keep winning."

    the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN and all them are winning? yea... just like the Charlie Sheen WINNING!!!
    I bet they have tiger blood too?

    and TPB did go away... remember you already won/bought off the right people last year or so...

     

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  28.  
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    Zos (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Flattr

    THat's why i haven't joined to be honest. I love the idea, i love the concept, but there's only maybe two sites i've ever seen the button on. I do keep pumping it to artist friends online in the hopes of it getting more acceptable though.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What the fuck douche? Did you not read what I said? US law doesn't apply to them, the DMCA is a nicety, nothing more when it comes to dealing with a site offshore. For the most part, the copyright laws of a given country would apply, and that would generally allow for direct legal action without notice. Sending a DMCA notice, while not legally binding, is perhaps a nice attempt to try to get things resolved without a lawsuit.

    Can you please at least learn to read before you spout off?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Check back with us when they have been shut down or neutered, turned into the latest napster.

    Ask Kim Dotcom how it's working out for him.

    You might want to try fixing yourself first, before you work on fixing other people's opinions.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re: Uncouth

    I googled your suggestion and all I got was pics from an MPAA board meeting.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're joking if you sincerely think that suing children, grandmothers, homeless people, dead people, printers and iguanas was a winning strategy.

     

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

  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "US law doesn't apply to them"

    I'm glad you finally admit it, at least.

    "For the most part, the copyright laws of a given country would apply"

    At least until the RIAA decide they don't like Swedish law and force the US government to try and apply US law. Which is what people are objecting to.

     

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  34.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you please at least learn to read before you spout off?

    You made it loud and clear that you wish them to get raped in prison. How very nice of you.

    Of course that's not gonna do anything to prevent filesharing but oh well...

     

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  35.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    RIAA, MPAA, BREIN and all them will keep winning.

    Keep? When did they ever start to win? Or has filesharing already stopped but noone noticed?

     

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  36.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:27am

    Re:

    Any reason to ** the link?

     

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  37.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Flattr

    Join it. If u read how it works you'll see that if you don't use at all, the money goes for charity. And if you click one site only, all the money goes there.

    IT's a great idea from a great guy.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I presume this means you're already fixed, then?

     

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  39.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I noticed that not once in your diatribe did you decry the amount of soap-related child abuse that goes on in prisons around the world. But we already knew you wouldn't, being a pedophile apologist and all.

     

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  40.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They tried fixing him but they couldn't curb his fixation with pedophilia.

     

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  41.  
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    hmm (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 9:12am

    not subtle

    The judges and the prosecution in the TPB cases received direct payments from warner brothers and a few other US companies on the strict instruction of "find them guilty".

    Direct, 100% complete corruption of another "sovereign" country by the entertainment industry.
    everyone involved in that kangaroo court should be in prison themselves.

     

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  42.  
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    hmm (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 9:17am

    and here we go again

    The next generation of file sharing software thats just starting to trickle out makes the anonymous-tech of TPB seem like a guy with a megaphone screaming "LOOKATME...LOOKATME!!! IM DOWNLOADING MOVIES!!!"

    Pretty much undetectable as it requires supercomputers doing MONTHS of crunching just to be able to source out one counterlink....all the new data doesn't just look like gibberish or encrypted traffic, it literally looks like VALID TRAFFIC to a VALID site :)

    MPAA/RIAA forced people into developing this and they've created an unstoppable monster.

     

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  43.  
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    wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In all efforts to stamp out piracy by legal force, the burn-your-barn-to-get-rid-of-the-rats principle still applies.
    You lose your barn, but the rats just go elsewhere and infest and set up shop in somebody else's barn. And the Whack-a-mole goes on until there aren't any barns left to burn. Then they infest your house, and you gonna burn your house down? I don't think so. Getting a cat would be a much more practical solution.

    How much better it would be if the powers that be would make some legal way to share files and content owners to make some decent money off of it (by some form of licensing maybe?) rather than burn the Internet to the ground and make criminals of all of us who use it.

     

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  44.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're still assuming that they operate in a country that considers what they are doing to be illegal somehow. Not every country in the world agrees with the American form of copyright law. Some have very different stances on it. The fact that they still operate makes it clear that they are beyond the reach of your beloved copyright censorship.

    Your comments makes it clear that you have no clue as to how the internet works or maybe you just don't care. You want to close TPB for no logical reason, only because you don't like that they exist. Yes people use TPB to distribute copyrighted materials, that doesn't mean they are liable for their users. They just index everything without discretion because they don't think they bear the obligation to protect another company's legal privileges granted to them by a government they have nothing to do with.

    Assuming you're not a Muslim, would you like Muslim law to apply to you? Would you like be obligated to uphold the laws of other nations when you have nothing to do with that nation? Would you like to have a government that means nothing to you to come and demand that you abide by their laws? Laws that don't apply to you and have no analog that applies in your nation?

    Dislike TPB all you want, but don't think you can apply laws that matter to you onto those that are not governed by the same.

     

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  45.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why should the government solve this? Why should tax payers be the ones to shoulder the burden of solving a problem the industry is perfectly capable of adapting to on their own? They just don't want to adapt. They want to keep going the way they always have and they expect the government and the people to protect and respect that. No, that's not how it's going to be. They can find their own internal solutions instead of crying to our government to fix their own failed business model.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nope, they don't. What it means is that since they are in a country that doesn't have DMCA, they are directly responsible for infringement without any recourse to an "oops" law like DMCA.

    The DMCA does not protect one from things they are already not liable for, so no. They would not be directly responsible. Why you would think that is completely beyond me.

     

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  47.  
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    Alei, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Awesome, the U.S. f*ck up the world, yet again.

    I'd love to see an investigation into their politicians to see if THEY'VE ever illegally downloaded anything.

    Of course, bratty rich kids can afford €200 textbooks while they're university students, but what about people who can't?
    We're not allowed to gain knowledge and qualifications, because we can't buy books?

    And what? For foreign TV shows/movies/music I need to pay 3x more and wait until they've already finished being shown on TV/Cinema?

    I thought our home countries we're supposed to be AGAINST repatriating money.

    Bottom line: without TPB/torrents I wouldn't know three languages, I wouldn't have a doctorate, and I'd still be stuck in my home country with no ambition to excel.


    Sorry about that guys, rant over. Completely off the legal subject, I know.

     

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  48.  
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    shogun, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 10:15pm

    Re:

    Finally! Someone points it out. File Sharing isn't just about gaining a few more hours of mindless entertainment. It's also a tool to better yourself and the world around you.

    Freedom of knowledge can do more wonders than any Sony black suit ever could. These tools can try greasing the corporate gear, but in the end I choose to place my faith in human potential.

     

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  49.  
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    orionsirius, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:30pm

    u folks are so intelligent, very smart comments,love reading them, americans are money hungry and always wanted to control the world any way they can.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:41am

    Re:

    Damn right! Give all your delicious monies to me now, nom, nom, nom!

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:47am

    Pretty hilarious to hear all the butthurt people in here talk about how "The PIRATE Bay" doesn't promote piracy. Maybe their reading comprehension skills are just low.

    Guys, let's not get overly pious about The Pirate Bay. The simple truth of it is that it was designed and intended to promote piracy (which sits fine with me, since I am a pirate and have only a modicum of personal scruples). The name isn't an accident; they were wantonly flaunting the fact that they were flouting existing anti-piracy measures at the time that they conceived the site.

    Funny thing about that: turns out that they weren't as good at flouting as they thought they were.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Ando, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:08am

    zzzzzzzz

    All these lawsuits and idiots trying to take down TPB are doing nothing but promoting piracy by making aware to the public that things like torrents and TPB exist. There are so many people out there that go about their day with no knowledge of torrents and mainstream pirating.

     

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


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