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 @ 11:09am

    Re: Confused about the conflict of interest

    "He isn't associated with anyone that would benefit from the Pirate Bay being convicted."

    Are you sure? I am not. And even if he weren't there's a problem if the associations of which he is a member on the whole supports changing the laws in a certain direction. The chairman of the Swedish Copyright Association is a professor who has very strongly supported copyright extension for recorded music from 50 years to 95 years and he has written articles in newspapers warning the government not to listen to those who don't want a system where ISPs can be forced to hand over sensitive information linking IP addresses to ISP subscribers to rights holders (he got his way since the Swedish implementation of IPRED1 now looks like this). Now he may not be representative for the whole association, which describes itself as a kind of forum for discussion, but I still think the public view of this organization is that it's populated by more copyright hawks than doves.

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