Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
broadcast, sweden, trial

Companies:
the pirate bay



Pirate Bay Trial In Sweden To Be Broadcast Online

from the good-news dept

We're getting close to the start of the big Pirate Bay trial in Sweden that hopefully will settle the question of whether or not running a torrent tracker search engine is legal in that country. Apparently, the trial is being held in a rather small courtroom, and there was some fear that this would significantly limit media access (especially since all media requests were supposedly being screened to make sure that the reporters "had no connection to the movement" -- whatever that means). The good news, however, is that the court has agreed to the request from The Pirate Bay to stream the audio from the trial. Should be worth paying attention to what happens...

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  • identicon
    Nathan, 11 Feb 2009 @ 11:42pm

    I assume that the trial will be in Swedish and not English. Otherwise, I would be very interested in listening. Can anyone confirm that?

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 12 Feb 2009 @ 1:25am

      Re:

      I assume that the trial will be in Swedish and not English. Otherwise, I would be very interested in listening. Can anyone confirm that?

      Yeah, it's in Swedish, but the Pirate Bay guys promise an English translation as well...

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

  • identicon
    Trerro, 12 Feb 2009 @ 12:57am

    Subbed?

    Enough people are interested in this that it'll probably be subtitled within hours of it happening.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 1:47am

    kind of off topic but not so much

    that reminds me what happened to the trial between the RIAA and the Harvard HARDVARD LAW SCHOOL

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

  • identicon
    Andrew, 12 Feb 2009 @ 1:50am

    Boooooring

    Is anyone really going to sit for weeks and listen to two swedish guys being tried in swedish? What's the actual justification for the pirate bay anyway? Porn and software isn't really property so we can help you get it gratis?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 2:04am

      Re: Boooooring

      the point of torrent sites is the only thing they do is provide directions to the content in question, similarly to search engine that provide directions to the sites that are about what ever ur searching for.

      if i remember correctly they compare themselves to a map.

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

    • identicon
      SteveD, 12 Feb 2009 @ 4:34am

      Re: Boooooring

      A torrent tracker is ultimately just a specialised search engine, no different from Google or Yahoo. You can find copyright material though them too.

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 12 Feb 2009 @ 1:51am

    Translations

    Just to clarify it will be an audiostream that will run on SVT TV here in Sweden. Public video recording is not allowed in Swedish court rooms.

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

  • identicon
    Voice of Reason, 12 Feb 2009 @ 2:45am

    RIAA for the win

    The RIAA are going to finally muller them.

    Just wait and see. :)

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

    • identicon
      Voice of the free, 12 Feb 2009 @ 1:15pm

      Re: RIAA for the win

      In the words of Cory Doctorow,

      "It's embarrassing to see all these writers and musicians and artists bemoaning the fact that art just got this wicked new feature: the ability to be shared without losing access to it in the first place. It's like watching restaurant owners crying down their shirts about the new free lunch machine that's feeding the world's starving people because it'll force them to reconsider their business-models. Yes, that's gonna be tricky, but let's not lose sight of the main attraction: free lunches!


      Universal access to human knowledge is in our grasp, for the first time in the history of the world. This is not a bad thing."

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

  • identicon
    Claes, 12 Feb 2009 @ 5:00am

    The leader of the Swedish pirate party writes on his blog that they have managed to get a reserved seat in the court room for a live-blogger from their party, which kind of seems to contradict the image that access is arbitrarily restricted. It's still silly that a court room of this size has been chosen and that the Swedish law prohibits video recordings even though the accused persons desire transparency.

    Personally I would guess that they are found guilty of assisting copyright infringement in the lower court and that this ruling is later overruled, but that they still get into some kind of trouble due to their way of handling income from ads. Since there are some earlier rulings which show that linking to copyrighted material is not illegal it's not unlikely that the prosecutor will try to focus on the bittorrent-tracker rather than the web front-end to the torrent database.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 5:47am

      Re:

      I can see the not allowing video recordings. There are instances where that would be necessary to protect someone. For example if someone is accused of rape but found innocent... Some people wouldn't care and would call them a rapist because they saw them on TV.

      As for the court size... The courts and governments of the world don't seem to have any idea just how pissed off the populace of their country tends to be about this kind of alienation. Would be more clear if a large part weren't just apathetic to the whole thing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 5:26am

    Set a precedent ?

    Could this set a precedent ?
    Who's next ?

    Mr. Niceguy, did you or did you not point out the illegal activity across the street ?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re Google, unlike The Pirate Bay it does attempt to be responsive to concerns raised by copyright holders. Whether one disagrees with what Google is doing, it is hard to ignore the attitude existant at The Pirate Bay, which openly mocks any such concerns brought to its attention and makes it only too clear that persons expressing such concerns can go pound sand.

    No matter the outcome in Sweden, I see it as only a matter of time before The Pirate Bay is hauled into a United States Federal District Court. While its servers may be located outside the Unites States, it is not at all a difficult matter to hold The Pirate Bay subject to the jusrisdiction of our federal courts and our copyright laws.

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

    • icon
      kirillian (profile), 12 Feb 2009 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      I'm a U.S. citizen. That being said. You're comment amounts to some seriously bigoted bull-shit...assuming you're not an RIAA/MPAA/big-corporation shill.

      Referring to The Pirate Bay's attitude, I support the way they deal with the RIAA. I can't say it's the best way to deal with anyone, but it certainly does feel good when SOMEONE sticks up to the bully.

      Concerning your thoguhts that the Pirate Bay will be hauled into court...No one has the "right" to hold another to some moral standard except if mutually agreed upon (we elect a government...and we pledge our loyalty to that government. In turn, the government upholds a moral standard that is, in its turn, the mutual morality we have agreed upon). Anything beyond such is a road to complete and utter chaos...

      Personally, I think that stupid comments made by people like you who apparently talk before thinking (that's giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that you might be capable of thinking at all) are half of the reason that Americans have such a bad rap.

      I have no problems respecting your thinking. But this is just you spitting out someone else's propaganda...there's no room in intelligent discussion for regurgitation.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        I'm a U.S. citizen. That being said. You're comment amounts to some seriously bigoted bull-shit...assuming you're not an RIAA/MPAA/big-corporation shill.

        Not every copyright holder is a member of the RIAA/MPAA/etc., so your invective is seriously misplaced.

        Personally, I think that stupid comments made by people like you who apparently talk before thinking (that's giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that you might be capable of thinking at all) are half of the reason that Americans have such a bad rap..

        I have no problems respecting your thinking. But this is just you spitting out someone else's propaganda...there's no room in intelligent discussion for regurgitation..

        Since you appear to believe you have a firm handle on US law, both substantive and procedural, you are correct in noting there is no room for intelligent discussion.

        BTW, I have no "dog in this fight". All I am noting is that the law is not so clear cut as so many seem to think.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 7:57am

    I'm sorry, how exactly is the pirate bay going to be "hauled" into an american court, unless they have broken US law, in the US, and are extradited.

    Seeing as they have not set foot there, unless they decide to go, there is nothing any US court can do, apart from possibly pontificate...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      Congress has the power under Article 1 of the Constitution to regulate via its legislative powers both interstate and international commerce. Using antitrust law as an example, at this point in time under US law there is nothing preventing an antitrust action against OPEC in US federal courts, even though the antitrust violation (e.g., price fixing) is taking place entirely outside of our borders. Of course, in the case of OPEC there are serious political end economic considerations that have been raised in opposition to any such lawsuit.

      If such a lawsuit is ever filed in the US against TPB, its failure to appear before a court is its decision, in which case the party bringing such a suit would have a remarkably easy time presenting its case to the court without any rejoinder by TPB. Assuming a plaintiff to such a lawsuit can demonstrate a cognizable cause of action in its complaint, TPB would likely be held in default and a decision rendered in favor of the plaintiff.

      TPB may be able to tell copyright holders to pound sand, but this would not be a wise thing to do to a federal court judge.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2009 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        Congress has the power under Article 1 of the Constitution to regulate via its legislative powers both interstate and international commerce. Using antitrust law as an example, at this point in time under US law there is nothing preventing an antitrust action against OPEC in US federal courts, even though the antitrust violation (e.g., price fixing) is taking place entirely outside of our borders. Of course, in the case of OPEC there are serious political end economic considerations that have been raised in opposition to any such lawsuit.

        If such a lawsuit is ever filed in the US against TPB, its failure to appear before a court is its decision, in which case the party bringing such a suit would have a remarkably easy time presenting its case to the court without any rejoinder by TPB. Assuming a plaintiff to such a lawsuit can demonstrate a cognizable cause of action in its complaint, TPB would likely be held in default and a decision rendered in favor of the plaintiff.

        TPB may be able to tell copyright holders to pound sand, but this would not be a wise thing to do to a federal court judge.


        you forgot the part where the people who run Pirate bay can just ignore the judge because they aren't US citizens and (as long as TPB people don't come over here) they can completely ignore anything our courts say and don't have to recognize the US's authority in anything.

        so sure someone could sue them (assuming they want to travel international to deliver notice) and they could win if TPB doesn't show up, but there is nothing to force the pirate bay to pay any money or go to jail.

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

  • icon
    chris (profile), 12 Feb 2009 @ 8:16am

    "the movement"

    there was some fear that this would significantly limit media access (especially since all media requests were supposedly being screened to make sure that the reporters "had no connection to the movement" -- whatever that means).

    "the movement" is probably a reference to the the pirate movement in sweden. the movement is made up of groups like the pirate party, the piratbyran, and kopimi.

    there is a lot of discussion of the movement in part 2 of "steal this film":
    http://www.stealthisfilm.com/Part2

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

  • identicon
    Woftam, 12 Feb 2009 @ 8:24am

    Yes AC is right it won't be long before the "Lobbyists" convince the powers that be that this is a just cause and that TBB and their ilk should be hunted down and eradicated, just a pity they can't stick to their own FTAs instead of taking their ball n bat and going home when things don't go their way,then again there is not much point being a world superpower read "BULLY" if your not going to bully someone.

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

  • identicon
    abba12, 12 Feb 2009 @ 2:58pm

    America needs to come to terms with the fact the whole world dosen't revolve around them. American law IS NOT international law and you have no right to enforce it on another country. The Pirate Bay has no connection or affiliation to America whatsoever. Many of it's users are american, and if they were aiming to the american market perhaps that would be valid, but they market to the international market. America has absolutly no ability to legally and morally stop a website in another country run by people and servers in another country.

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

    • identicon
      eleete, 12 Feb 2009 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      And the rest of the world needs to realize that they don't ALL want that.

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

      • identicon
        eleete, 12 Feb 2009 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re:

        In any way shape or form, otherwise they would be paying TEACHERS, architects and construction workers that way and NOT LAWYERS/COUNSEL. Choose the way you pay for your goods/services. Speak UP!! to Congress, the U.S. Powerhouse. Speak to the house, all the WORLD !!!

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 18 Feb 2009 @ 1:46am

    Voice of the free has got the wrong analogy

    Here's the real analogy for the self-deceivers in anti-ip group; a certain group of people have been consistently walking straight into restaurants and eating food for free. So many are doing this that the restauranteurs are making less and less- furthermore the other clients are thinking 'hey- if they're not gonna pay...why should I?'
    If that situation is not dealt with the restauranteurs stop creating dishes and sell up. No food for anyone. THERE IS NO MAGICAL OTHER SOURCE OF FREE MEALS.
    You know- people who steal IP are mostly intelligent people. Justifying it requires a lot of intellectual effort. Well, who wants to acknowledge that there pasttime involves straight theft.
    But fellas, every single country in the civilized world supports IP. Without it huge swathes of media, entertainment, pharma, IT simply can't operate and can't invest. That'd not a world we can want to live in.
    Sure, keep stealing. But stop with your feeble efforts to justify it.
    Pirate bay are simply handing the restaurant keys to the meal-stealers. Well if they were the keys to any other form of theft then they'd go down; which is what will happen. Goodbye pirate bay.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2009 @ 11:57am

      Re: Voice of the free has got the wrong analogy

      This is a straw man that gets brought up a lot.

      Music, Movies, and Video games would all exist even if no one paid for it. They existed long before copyright ( most of the greatest music of human history was written before copyrights) and will continue to exist if copyright were to suddenly vanish.

      also, when talking about anything that is on a digital media, you can make an infinite number of copies without harming or removing the original. it is not like a sandwich where if I eat your sandwich then the sandwich is gone. it is more like a library where anyone can checkout and read books, except now you never have to wait to get the book, a new copy is made just for you.

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


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