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:
- Rights holders are granted special permission to store sensitive personal information about civilians. Data that is otherwise strictly protected by law.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.