The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde Questions Why We Let Dying Industries Dictate Terms Of Democracy
from the seems-like-a-reasonable-question dept
Peter Sunde, a very thoughtful and insightful guy, who’s been completely demonized by the entertainment industry for his role with The Pirate Bay, has written up an interesting piece for Wired UK where he not only goes over highly questionable issues related to his conviction, but raises a larger question about why we, as a society, allow one obsolete industry to have so much power in government and policy issues. The connections between those involved in his prosecution and the entertainment industry are simply too numerous to be fair:
The Swedish prosecutor sent out a memo in 2006 saying that TPB wasn’t guilty of “main” crimes — at best it aids and abets (he also mentioned that the people running TPB were very clever). But Hollywood was not happy with this and forced the Swedish Minister of Justice to visit the White House and talk about it. The United States told Sweden that if they didn’t get rid of the site, they would not be allowed to trade with the US!
The minister (illegally) told the prosecutor what had happened which forced him to raid TPB — only a few weeks after sending out that memo about how legal it was.
Evidently, Warner Brothers felt that the investigation was taking too long. The studio contacted the police officer in charge of the investigation (one person that worked mostly by himself) and before I had even been questioned by him, he interviewed for a job with Warner Brothers.
When we found out he’d been hired (by him changing his employer from “Polisen” to “Warner Bros” on Facebook) the reply we got was that it was proof that Swedish IT police are of such high caliber that even the big US companies would hire them.
I got promoted from “witness” to “suspect” a week after the job was promised.
During the trial it turned out that the judge was the chairman for the Swedish pro-copyright society, one lay judge ran a record company, another one was formerly the chairman for the songwriter lobby organisation. I could go on.
It’s stories like this that raise significant questions about the prosecution. Even if you believe that Sunde was guilty of what he was charged with, I would think you should be able to admit that the list of things above should not have happened under any circumstance. When you read that… and then realize that the guy leading the prosecution against Megaupload for the US DOJ used to work for the industry as an “anti-piracy” exec — you see the same pattern happening again and again. People who have too close connections to industry are making decisions on these issues designed to protect their industries, rather than looking at the actual impact on society and the economy. That’s a pretty big problem, and shows how “regulatory capture” can sometimes become “judicial capture” as well.