Warner Brothers Hires Lead Police Investigator On The Pirate Bay Lawsuit

from the conflicts-of-interest dept

Stephen Holthaus writes in to point us to a press release from The Pirate Bay about the fact that the chief police inspector who built the case against the Pirate Bay in Sweden has now been hired by Warner Brothers. Unfortunately, it seems like the folks at the Pirate Bay may be overplaying this news, implying that he was employed by Warner Brothers while conducting the investigation. Instead, the details show that he merely switched jobs last month. That's not as scandalous as the Pirate Bay folks make it out to be. While they do have a point in suggesting that some of his investigative work may have been part of the "job interview," it's not unreasonable that Warner Brothers would decide to hire someone who had the experience this investigator had. After all, the RIAA and all of the major record labels have a history of hiring former law enforcement officials (no matter how pointless their "anti-piracy" efforts are). So, while it may call into question the guy's objectivity during the trial, the guys at the Pirate Bay probably should tone down the moral outrage on this one.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Haywood, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    I dunno

    Sounds like; do us right here and we'll take care of you down the road. The fact that they kept up appearances by not officially hiring him until the smoke cleared doesn't mean he wasn't on the back door payroll.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:39am

    Tone down what?

    The Pirate Bay should tone down their outspokenness for being continually harassed and illegally raided, and they shouldn't point out the clear case of conflict of interest and potential collusive action?

    I work with databases and front end software and it took me months to get the job. Are you really suggesting Keyzer suddenly decided to change his career and give up his public service pension and rewards and got the job inside a couple of weeks? It doesn't work that way on this side of the pond.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Michael Whitetail, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Mike, Im fairly certain that this kind of thing is against the law in their country, hence the outrage.

    Remember that they have laws that expressly forbid collusion from outside parties (I.e. corporations and lobbyists) with lawmakers/government officials.

    Its more than reasonable to expect that something similar covers their law enforcement people from being influenced or manipulated during a highly sensitive investigation; not to mention the need to protect innocents from harassment from police doing the bidding of thier vengeful corporate masters.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    MikeR, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    I have a feeling it has nothing to do with what side of the pond your on.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    matt, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    eh, some issues here

    Mike, I find an issue here. If he was hired in last month, then the question is when did these negotiations start?

    It's not the magic switch that shows enough collusion, but people do not get hired overnight. If they do, is even more suspicious and typically against hiring policy at any company in the world.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Neverhood, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    It is an ongoing investigation

    What's happening here is that the leader of the police investigation AND key witness is being hired by the biggest company behind RIAA in the ONGOING case against The Pirate Bay.

    He didn't even testify yet... how can he NOT be incompetent as witness?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Re: eh, some issues here

    It takes a couple months minimum to get on with an employer at the professional level regardless of what side of the pond you are on..3 or 4 months is a reasonable time period for negotiations background, credit checks, etc. Finally, I think this might very well be a conflict of interest to work for the plaintiff in a case such as this without some kind of a time period to pass. As a regular reader and replier on this forum I can usually see the perspective of the writers, in this case I have to wonder when was the last time Mike applied for a job? I have to side with the P-Bay on this one.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Captian Sleuth, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Thanks.

    Yeah... no collusion here. I'm sure the chief police inspector has always desired to work for Warner Bros...

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Rob (profile), Apr 18th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    How this is not...

    a complete conflict of interest really shocks me. The two fields aren't even related. Its one thing if he does the investigation then gets set up with a sweet federal level government job; its another when he does the investigation then immediately gets hired by a party with direct interest to the case.

    I would be yelling louder than those guys at the Pirate Bay on this one, this seriously looks like Warner is just taking care of an inside man for some favors he pulled previously. That or they promised to take care of him, and something about this case is so botched that it would cost this officer his job, and they owe him one. Either way - this is beyond any reasonable law enforcement practice, and this man should be held from testimony.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 3:18pm

    WB should also not even have been TALKING to him until the trial is over. He is a primary witness. This seems like a clear case of Appearing to be witness tampering" and does not matter whether it actually was.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Bobbknight, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    Mikey, Mikey, Mikey

    This WAS Quid Pro Quo!

    Nuff said.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    karim, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 4:37am

    WB....

    The conflict of interests???

    It reminds me of that guy in California whom tried to patent the "Mexican Red Beans",
    Or when Phlip Zimermann introduced the PGP.

    Pirate Bay is providing a platform which has been missing for a long, long time.

    Democracy is based on DISSENSION.

    Here is more than a "Not accepting the Estblishment's GAGGING ORDER" at stake.

    By the way, it may be relevant, to remind ourselves what is going on right under our nose in respect to our present situation where every single e-mail, telephone conversation etc. has been monitored and recorded for years.

    Silence is NOT an option when it comed to civil liberty and freedom of expression.

    The Pirate Bay must be supported by ALL.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    niftyswell, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 5:46am

    could also be

    That the investigator had knowledge of the 'methods' used by the MPAA during the investigation and was in effect paid off in order to keep those methods from coming to light. Everyone has heard about the attempts to block and bring down the site that PB is currently pursuing in court. This fellow probably had plenty of inside information that MPAA doesnt want to come out.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Mike and the Free Market

    So, while it may call into question the guy's objectivity during the trial, the guys at the Pirate Bay probably should tone down the moral outrage on this one.

    Sometimes Mike seems to get a little carried away with the idea that "the market" should replace government regulation. When taken too far that idea supports the notion that "the market" can determine who's been naughty and who's been nice and will punish wrong doers accordingly without government intervention. In such a world "morality" is only determined by the market.

    So, I disagree with the statement that "...the Pirate Bay probably should tone down the moral outrage on this one." I think they are perfectly right to display moral outrage in this case and should also push for government action in response.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    SELURNATAS, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 12:35pm

    A severe lack of common sense

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if I learned that the guy who wrote this article was also 'being looked after' by Warner. I've never seen such a dumbass statement that completely disregards common sense and the internationally-adopted criteria defining collusion in an ongoing legal matter.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Pudro, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    To Mike and others

    Just thought I'd point out that you are getting the name of the site wrong (though Mike got it right once). It's name is The Pirate Bay, with the word "The" being capitalized and part of the name. So it's initals would be "TPB", not "PB". Other than that, Mike seems to have made a mistake all to familiar when dealing with TPB. He didn't look into how the differences in Swedish law (compared to ours) effects the issue (as Michael Whitetail pointed out).

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:19pm

    Re: A severe lack of common sense

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if I learned that the guy who wrote this article was also 'being looked after' by Warner.

    Now that's hilarious. That would certainly be the first time anyone ever accused me of being on the big record labels' side. Have you ever read a thing I've written on this site before? Repeatedly I've been accused of trying to destroy the record labels, and here you are suggesting I'm a shill?

    Yikes. Get a grip.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    Re: How this is not...

    a complete conflict of interest really shocks me. The two fields aren't even related.

    If he was hired to conduct piracy investigations, then they're very much related.

    The record labels have hired many former prosecutors and law enforcement officials for the job.

    I agree that it's dumb, and it may cause problems in this case, but it's not so out of the ordinary as people are making it out to be.

    this man should be held from testimony.

    On that I agree.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    Remember that they have laws that expressly forbid collusion from outside parties (I.e. corporations and lobbyists) with lawmakers/government officials.

    if there's evidence of collusion, that's one thing. It's not clear at this point that there is. Going from a gov't job to an industry job (especially where you've worked with companies in the industry before) is not uncommon.

    I agree it's worth looking into, but no one has presented any evidence that there was a biased decision made here.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re:

    Going from a gov't job to an industry job (especially where you've worked with companies in the industry before) is not uncommon.
    Neither, unfortunately, is collusion.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Michael Brutsch, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 11:00am

    where's yer seein-eye dog, ump?

    Wow, Mike. Never seen you call one this badly before. Perhaps you'd like to be an official for a Dallas Mavericks game? ;)

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This