Posts Tagged ‘Fredrik Neij

19
Feb
09

The Pirate Bay Trial – day 4.1

I’m sort of short on time today and there’s tons of stuff that needs telling. Regrettably I will have to keep it simple.

Sources: Rick Falkvinge, Christian Engström and SVD.

The day actually starts of with some humor. The Bureau of Piracy rep Tobias Andersson is in the courtroom and is being called as a witness in the case. This is not allowed according to Swedish law and he is asked to leave. mr Andersson asks the court:

“Does this mean I’m not allowed to listen to radio either?”

After some glances between all parties (the case is broadcasted live on national radio and national TV) the judge replies:

“Well, we can’t stop that, but you can’t be in here and that side *nodding towards the prosecution* wants you to leave”.

Mr Andersson shakes his head and leaves smiling.

The by now legendary King Kong Defense creator Per E Samuelson continues to explain the time lines and nature behind different actions and purchase that proves that his client Carl Lundström isn’t part of The Pirate Bay crew. He outlines several emails that proves that Mr Lundström at first tried to find country with, in his opinion, more favorable laws to host TPB but ultimately fails and removes himself from the project.

During this Gottfrid and Peter can’t stop smiling. Could it be this image that is currently seen on the front page of TPB that amuses them?

kingkong

Testimony of Fredrik Neij aka TiAMO

Neij starts the testimony by speaking freely. Talking about his passion for technology and that this was the reason he became involved with The Pirate Bay. Neij brought his laptop with him for his speech and is reprimanded by the judge. It’s not allowed to read on the witness stand.

Neij is clearly nervous.

We decided to make the tracker open and uncensored, to support the BitTorrent technology and its community.

Oded Daniel is a colleague and friend of mine. The assumptions of the prosecutions that all contact between him and me concerns TPB is not based in fact. When Oded joined TPB we where already in roughly ten other projects together. Today that number is more like 20.

Neij also points out that the statistics on TPB are unreliable largely because of saboteurs that are trying to corrupt TPB’s data.

Having covered his notes the prosecutor starts asking questions:

P: Do you have any form of technical…

N: No

P: … degree.

P: When did you meet Oded

N: When we started with ads on TPB. I have no interest in economics, i focus on the technical aspects of the site.

P: When did you first come in contact with Oded?

N: I don’t know, during 2004 perhaps.

P: We found documents at Gottfrid’s dated October 2004. Could this be the time you came in contact with eachother?

N: I don’t no, my sense of time is not to be relied on.

P: Who mailed who first and why?

N: Oded contacted us. He wanted banners on TPB.

P: You mean he contacted you?

N: I don’t know since I have never really… had the energy to answer such mails.

P: How did Oded make a living at the time?

N: I have no idea.

P: Did he want to buy banner space?:

N: Yep

P: You mentioned collaboration on other projects. Could it be that Oded is involved in the technical parts?

N: No, i handle everything technical. He isn’t very skilled with technology, he uses windows.

At this point roaring laughter can be heard from the listening room on the other side of the wall.

P: When did you understand the nature of TPB?

N: Probably when Gottfrid moved the site to me.

P: So Gottfrid moved in with you?

N: No, he moved the site to my computers.

P: How?

N: tar.gzip

P: That’s a backup format.

N: More like an archive.

P: What machine ran it?

N: A celeron *insert large amounts of technical stats here*

P: You never contemplated the symbolic value of the name?

N: not really, good name, nice logo.

P: When was this?

N: January 2004

P: From what I can tell the domain was registered in July?

N: Yes. In the beginning the tracker was called tracker.piratbyran.org, but since the site was called The Pirate Bay we acquired a domain of our own. They where alto more expensive back then.

P: Are you the one that replies to mails sent to the abuse address?

N: There is no abuse address. Not on the domain level.

P: Following this you had the desire to expand the site?

N: Well, interest in the site grew

Here Fredrik goes into detail on how the processes where split onto multiple machines.

P: How the the interest increase? Did you advertise it? On MSN or anything?

N: No. Since I don’t have the energy to answer emails I definitely don’t have the energy to advertise the site.

P: After that you translated the site into English?

N: Yes, when we discovered that 50% of our users where outside of Sweden we made the site international.

P: Who is “we”?

Discussion on the size of the crew

N: The others did the boring stuff like coding PHP and HTML.

P: Who was in charge?

N: No one was in charge. Who ever wanted something done did it.

P: Where there no discussion in the group about future goals?

N: The old one was built on a template system that was very demanding on our hardware.

Neij goes on the motivate the redesign of the site.

P: The question is though, who was in charge? Was there a boss?

N: No.

Neij describes the workings of a community

P: But that means that no one is in control of the system.

N: No. The ones with access can make changes. Like I said earlier, commercial sites are run by companies. Ours is a hobby and doesn’t really suffer from being offline a few days.

P: What makes a file sharing site popular?

N: That it works, looks nice and is easily accessed.

P: The content it provides doesn’t matter?

N: In my opinion it doesn’t.

P: Has there been any occurrences of torrents of pirated material?

N: Your investigation should have told you that.

P: Were you aware that there are torrents linking to copyright protected works on the site?

N: I guess I’ve been aware of a few. To what extent I have no idea. There is no specific file that I can recall.

Neij is trying to avoid answering. This prompts the prosecutor to read from the police interviews where it’s apparent that Neij is aware of links to pirated works.

N: If you already had the answer, why are you asking me?

P: Because the court needs to know the answer to this question

The judge agrees.

P: How where you aware of the links to the pirated works? You must have discovered it somehow.

N: Well, through the legal threats perhaps.

P: So you were aware of the complaints?

N: Yes, they were referring to US law.

P: Many of these complaints are addressed to Fredrik Neij which is you.

N: Yes, thats because I own domains.

N: We consulted lawyers to learn if it was legal to link to copyright protected material, and they told us in no uncertain terms that yes is was legal. Both before and after the copyright amendment of 2005.

P: Could it be that their answered was based on the BBS-law?

N: No, i specifically asked if The Pirate Bays was legal.

P: But that requires you to be aware of The Pirate Bay and what it does.

N: Yes, and I trusted that they did all required research before answering the question.

P: Were you in contact with any form of authority?

N: No, non of the authorities. But we have read your memos stating that our site is legal.

Roswall wrote this memo a few months before the raid in 2006. It did not sit well with the US and representatives of the Swedish justice department were flown to the US to be “enlightened”.

N: … if  a torrent doesn’t match it’s description we remove it.

P: So yo removed torrents.

N: Not me personally. The moderators did.

P: For what reasons?

N: If it contained viruses. My knowledge of the work of the moderators is very limited. I only know they exist.

P: Link to copyright protected works where not removed?

N: I did not remove any such torrents.

P: Did anyone else?

N: I don’t know.

P: This brings us to the matter of the money. You have received money from TransWorld Ad.

N: Yes, for work done for Oded Daniel. It’s his company.

P: Registered in Israel?

N: I wouldn’t know.

P: The transfers concern “Purchase of media”?

N: He calls everything that.

P: I see. What kind of work did you do?

N: Running roughly 10 sites in Holland.

P: What did you do on them?

N: Same thing I do for TPB. Took care of the technical operation.

P: Why does Oded write “Purchase of media” all the time?

N: Because he works in advertisement?

P: So he always writes that?

N: Pretty much always. Since he mostly does payments concerning advertisement that part is already filled out. He’s very lazy. Some times he send me stuff addressed to AAA1 for example. He never touches whats already written.

Roswall pulls out an invoice that says something different.

P: You just said he always writes “Purchase of media”!

No he didn’t! You ass hat! He said “I princip alltid”, litteraly “In principle always”.

N: “Always” as in usually.

Roswall pulls out an email concerning the founding of a company and ask Neij for details.

N: That has to be when Carl wanted to buy a share of TPB.

N: Gottfrid explained how it works.

P: And that got Lundström interested?

N: Apparently

P: Do you know why?

N: No the slightest, it doesn’t even interest me.

P: The email header shows it was forwarded to Gottfrid.

N: Yes. Probably so I wouldn’t have to read it.

P: It details sponsorship. What kind of sponsorship?

N: Probably refers to my lower pay in exchange for bandwidth.

P: How much lower?

N: We never discussed that, I just accepted what was offered.

P: How much did your colleagues get payed?

N: Not the slightest idea.

A bit later on Roswall asks if PRQ, the webhost that Neij owned did anything else then run TPB.

N: You carried away 185 servers, 11 of those belonged to TPB, so yes PRQ had other clients.

P: 195 servers.

This is followed by some partly confused discussion about signing of contracts and scrapped projects and who was legally responsible for what.

P: On page 43 … this is an email that you wrote, addressed to Oded, subject “Transfer Calle”, with a bank account number. Why did you write this?

N: So that he would get his money?!

P: What money?

N: For two servers that you have there that we couldnt pay at the time, so this is payment for that.

P: It says towards the end that he’s getting 1.5%. How does that relate to purchase of computers.

N: I don’t know.

P: Page 50. This details that Oded is sending, Peter, Gottfrid and you these revenue reports. In which it says, TiAMO, please send the report to Calle only after it finalized”. That indicates that Calle should receive this…

Judge: Would the prosecutor please ask the question.

P: What does this mean?

N: That Calle should get a copy.

P: Why?

N: I don’t know, he asked me to?

P: Did you?

N: I don’t recall. Was there ever a finalized version?

P: … I don’t know. That was all my questions I think. Did you answer what you paid for the computers?

N: I don’t know, prices change from one week to the next.

At this point Peter Danowsky takes over. I don’t have time today to cover that or the testimony of Gottfrid which also took place today. I will have to take care of that tomorrow.

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