Posts Tagged ‘Law

04
Mar
09

The suspense is killing me!

April 17th 11:00 UTC +1

That’s how long we have to wait for the verdict. It’s far too long for me. It’s totally a roll of the die, even if each of the sides in court are 100% completely utterly confident that their side will prevail. The Pirate Bay crew have been collecting most of the legal and media points during these two weeks, and we seen the prosecution behave like assholes on several occasion. Slandering Roger Wallis and shouting at the judge being their gravest missteps. But the political nature of the case makes it impossible to predict. 

Even worse though is that April 17th may yield nothing more than a “We will have to request a statemt from the EU”. Delaying the verdict from this instance about 2 years. After that there are two more instances to go through. It’s very likely that this issue will be done with politically and socially long before the case is settled.

The defense unanimously told the court that the case the prosecutor has put forth is utter rubbish. That it in no way ties either of the defendants to any of the acts of copyright infringement covered in the case. They can’t even legally prove that any copyright infringement took place in Sweden, let alone that TPBs servers where used in any way. Based on the lack of evidence it’s impossible to convict anyone of “assisting making available”. Their claims that 90% of the content on TPB is infringing copyright isn’t proven and the only thing on trial here seems to be the technology. The attitudes and political views of the defendants are not grounds for a guilty verdict. Also, since the core of the Internet is links to other information, simply pointing to something can not be sufficient to be found guilty in a court of law.

The defense did point out the math error of the prosecution yesterday, where 4 banners turned into 64, multiplying the estimated money earned by 16. And made a point of telling the court that even if the prosecution couldn’t get the source code to the tracker from the police, which the prosecution complained about yesterday. That source code is freely available on TPB for download. 

Some time was spent on whether paragraph 16 or 18 of the European e-commerce directive is the applicable one. Paragraph 16 says that a relayer of information is not responsible for the content. 18 says that a storage service is responsible for the content they store. In my opinion TPB steers clear of both. The torrent contains no copyright protected content and the only thing they transmit is metadata.

The defense also reminds the court that when the prosecution brought witnesses they brought CEOs that had little to no understanding of the technology and had done no research on their own. Nor had they read and comprehended any independent research and spent their time on the witness stand pushing their political views.

IFPI ceo John Kennedy even told the court that his wife keeps him away from the car because he’s that technically challenged.

When the prosecution was faced with an independent researcher who is also a practicing composer, former board member of a collection society for musicians, member of the governments IT council and professor emeritus at one of Sweden’s foremost technical universities, they resort to slander. 

The defense also points out the enormous consequences the trial will have on the Internet if their clients are found guilty. The Internet as we know it would have to be closed down if you are legally responsible of everything you link to.

More at SVD(sv), DN(sv), The Local, Torrent Freak, Wired, Threat Level

02
Mar
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 11

Closing arguments. Nothing really surprising here except maybe that the prosecutor didn’t ask for the maximum  two years of prison time. Prosecutor Roswall claims that there are 64 ad spaces on the site and at an estimated 3500sek/week The Pirate Bay has earned over 10 000 000sek. Problem with that is that there are only 4 banner spaces(sv). So income from banners is 1/16th of that. And since hardware costs are around 80 000sek/month (estimate by anakata at the press conference before the trial) on average that makes TPB a loss generating project.

But then again these lawyers don’t care about the money. It’s not going to the artists anyways. All they want is to label TPB illegal so they can strong arm ISPs to block it. Effectively shutting creators that take advantage of radically shorter distance between creator and consumer that file sharing allows, out of their most important market. 

IFPI tried this just a week earlier in Norway, but it din’t turn out so well.

Interesting to note as well is that Swedish media is talking less and less about different outfits protecting the rights of the artists. Instead they word it as protecting the rights holder. This is of course welcome. 

Much much sadder, but not at all unexpected, was that the IPRED over implementation was passed into law last week. A quick run down on how this works:

  1. Rights holders are granted special permission to store sensitive personal information about civilians. Data that is otherwise strictly protected by law.
  2. A rights holder goes to the court and claims that a certain IP is infringing on their pattern privileges and the court forces the ISP to hand over the identity behind the IP. Swedish police cannot do this, so the copyright lobby are given more rights than any other authority in Sweden. 
  3. The copyright lobby can now freeze your bank accounts and seize your property. What you need to realize here is that they will always target the owner of the account at the ISP. So the actual file sharer could be anyone at this point. 
  4. Next they will raid your house, seizing any and all computer and IT related equipment and anything else they can motivate the need for. Have private pictures of your bf/gf/spouse, well tough luck. Unusual sexual preferences? Political views? Diaries? Anonymous blogs? Accounting for your home business? The lobby will seize it all and not only for the one named on the Internet account. Every member of that family will get their lives seized. 
  5. Now they will hand you an extortion letter. It will demand that you hand over a large sum of money or they will drag you to court and sue you for many times this amount. With no computer, no cell phones, no access to your accounts you will be given 10 days or so to reply. 
  6. If you for some reason choose to stand your ground you situation is as follows: You will have to go to court and prove your innocence. There will be no lawyers with experience in pattern privileges cases available to you since they are most likely being used by or have been used by the copyright lobby. Since this is civil law your insurance will most likely not cover your expenses. And what money you have is frozen. 
  7. If you loose you have to pay for the expenses of the lobby. You will also be forced to pay for ads in newspapers detailing the crimes you were just convicted of. 

This new law allows for everything detailed above. You are at the mercy of the whims of the rights holders. And considering their track records in the US, UK and Denmark they will use any legal tool they have access to with full force. 

MEPs try to sooth us with promises that rights holders wont behave like this because it would generate badwill. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry here. They aren’t interested in avoiding badwill. They want us to fear them, so we stop developing our own society, shut up and empty our wallets in their laps.

26
Feb
09

Producer of Pusher 3 sueing The Pirate Bay, against his will?!

So Henrik Danstrup, producer of Pusher 3, a movie that is used in the case against The Pirate Bay is less then pleased at seeing his creation being used as ammunition against(sv) TPB. 

It’s strange. I’m very understanding of piracy and my sympathies lie with the pirates. The movie business needs to find a new model to earn money with instead of living in the past.

Nordisk Film on the other hand couldn’t care less about the creator and Irene Mikkelsen told Denmarks Radio that they support the Anti-Piracy Bureau fully. 

IFPI spends 82 000 000€ on this yearly. I wonder what the MPA spends on creating badwill for their clients…

15
Feb
09

Rage is rising

The blog has been collecting dust since i couldn’t sustain my rage over the FRA-Law while working. But now it seems I’m getting pissed off again. Sweden’s most important political trial of the decade starts tomorrow and today saw the start of The Spectrial. The word, a play on spectacle and trial, is the name TPB and The Bureau of Piracy has given the trial and their activities surrounding it.

Today, they both held a joint press conference at noon, wich was streamed via Bambuser(sv/en). There was some chaos prior to that though when for some unknown reason all servers belonging to The Pirate Party(en) suddenly went offline. It turned out a a fan in a firewall had made its last revolutions and thus caused the whole thing to overheat. So PP’s coverage of The Spectrial had a slightly rocky start.

Something that has been a bit of a deal in the days leading up to the press conference was that due history between TPB and certain news media in Sweden, three large ones where banned from the press conference. TV4 a commercial TV channel and Aftonbladet a Swedish tabloid where banned for their unprofessional handling of the controversy surrounding the Arboga murders.

Another newspaper, Metro was banned for a series of articles claiming that TPB hosted child pornography, but when asked by the TPB crew for the links so that TPB could hand the issue over to the police, metro refused.

The press conference itself seemed to work out well from what I could tell from the Bambuser feed (Ankata sure likes to interrupt people though). But journalists of Olde Media(sv) where probably a bit startled when it turned out they where, in accordance with the R/W Culture of the web, expected to participate right of the bat and ask questions.

Right now it feels like the calm before the storm. Olde Media have just started pushing out content from the press conference, pirates are gearing up across the board and tomorrow all hell will probably break loose. My experince of the media coverage of the FRA-Law tells me that tomorrows papers will be much akin to Highlander, in that there can only be one subject on the front pages. P3, one of the national radio channels will interrupt its normal programming to send a SIX hours special(sv) on piracy, copyright and the trial. Pirate author Anna Troberg(sv) will be on the show(sv), no big suprise to any of the regular daytime listeners of the channel perhaps. The host of the special has had Anna on radio several times already.

Swedish national TV will broadcast the audio feed live (Swedish constitution prohibits video recordings of trials), a historical first.

Its going to be a hectic two weeks to be sure. And regardless of the outcome in this instance, which will pretty much be decided by the roll of a die, sweden will yet again evolve the relation between the social and olde media. Great things happened in the wake of the FRA-Law and this trial will change media landscape again. And I’m certain, it will be for the better.

Images from the Spectrial Press Conference (also of the S23k mobile press center)

martinloquist




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