Judge In Pirate Bay Case Appears To Have Ties To The Copyright Lobby

from the ooops dept

Via Martin Thornkvist, we find out that Swedish Public radio has discovered that the judge in The Pirate Bay case apparently has some ties to the copyright lobby (that's a Google translation -- if you know Swedish, the original is here). Apparently, he's a member of a few organizations that work towards strengthening copyright laws, and even holds a board position in one of those organizations. The lawyers representing the entertainment industry also belonged to one of the pro-copyright organizations in which the judge is a member. Experts quoted in the article note that this is highly irregular, and the judge should have recused himself for conflict of interest. The judge, of course, claims that he doesn't believe he was biased at all, but others note that any hint of bias is a problem in such a legal case (let alone such a high profile one).

Filed Under: conflict of interest, copyright, copyright lobby, judge, sweden, trial
Companies: the pirate bay

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  1. identicon
    Tor, 23 Apr 2009 @ 7:22am

    Article on torrentfreak

    TorrentFreak has an good and accurate summary of the news:

    I think it should be emphasized that there is no evidence at this point to show that the judge is corrupt in any way. The trouble is that the mere suspicion that his involvement in these associations may influence the verdict is bad. It is also not clear to what extent these associations really promote stronger copyright laws, but this seems to be the case for at least one of them.

    If the judge is deemed to be biased then there will indeed be a new trial. I'm not very familiar with legal terms in English, but I believe the trial was a jury trial - the verdict was not decided by the judge alone. In fact one member of the initial jury was deemed biased and was replaced since he was a composer and member of Society of Swedish Composers. This makes it even more surprising that the judge didn't inform both parties of his commitments and memberships.

    Btw. it has been reported by those who were there that the "nämndemän" (I suppose this somehow to the jury) almost fell asleep several times during the trial out of boredom (and I can vouch for the prosecutor being really boring having listened to the trial on radio), so I would guess that the judge (who gave a very alert and good impression) had a lot of influence over the verdict.

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