Court Tells Pirate Bay Founders They Can No Longer Work On The Pirate Bay

from the yeah,-that'll-work dept

You can't say the entertainment industry isn't persistent in their attempts to shut down The Pirate Bay (though, a portion of the site's popularity can be attributed to their neverending campaign against the site). While the industry won its lawsuit against four of The Pirate Bay's founders earlier this year, the ongoing appeals process is taking too long for the industry -- and the court had not issued an injunction against the site, so it's still running (though, plenty of users have since bailed out due to concern about the failed attempt to sell the site). Still, the entertainment industry has been trying a bunch of different ways to shut down the site in the meantime. Initially it got an ISP serving the site to stop, which caused a brief downtime. However, the latest, as pointed out by brokep, is that the industry appears to have convinced the court to bar two of the defendants -- Gottfried Svartholm-Warg and Fredrik Neij -- from doing any work on the site (Google translation from the original, so would appreciate any detail corrections if the translation isn't accurate).

It's difficult to see what this accomplishes. Brokep points out that the two aren't involved with the site in the first place, and don't live in Sweden any more as well, so it's not clear what this does. On top of that, even if they were involved, it's not like others wouldn't quickly take their place anyway. The whole crusade continues to be a massive waste of time and resources by the entertainment industry for no clear gain.
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Filed Under: copyright, fredrik neij, gottfried svarthold-warg, lawsuits, sweden
Companies: the pirate bay

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  1. icon
    Tor (profile), 30 Oct 2009 @ 1:09am

    Some analysis

    This case is very interesting because none of the earlier court decisions have weighed the interest of access to files spread via TPB legally against the interest of rights holders to stop infringements (assuming that TPB is legally responsible for such infringements). The verdict against the Pirate Bay founders was only about ~30 copyrighted works and not about the site as such. The injunction against an ISP wasn't based on any proportionality assessment of the kind mentioned above since the ISP failed to bring this information to the table and the court in this kind of case is only allowed to consider the information brought forward by the parties involved (the TPB guys failed to respond because they were not at home and didn't get their mail in time). The ISP decision also didn't mention anything about blocking the whole site - that that was the only technically viable way of blocking the specific works mentioned in the injunction is another matter.

    Now one of the TPB founders have for the first time forced the court to weigh legal file-sharing against illegal file-sharing by providing relevant information. Here's how the judges argues - a translation of an excerpt from the court decision protocol:
    "Fredrik Neij has objected against the charges by claiming that there is a significant amount of legal material on The Pirate Bay and that artists use The Pirate Bay for spreading their works. There is no reason to doubt this information, but it does not result in any change to our assessment. Nor can the circumstance that a prohibition, because of technical difficulties, may have the consequence that certain legal material cannot be spread via The Pirate bay cause a prohibition to be viewed as an unproportional measure or result in a different conclusion."

    Not a very satisfactory explanation IMO. If proportionality is always assessed in that manner I'm afraid that it will have very bad consequences sooner or later.

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