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Serious copyright-infringement case preceded by parties and a European bus tour

In a criminal trial so popular that reporters had to purchase seats from ticket scalpers, administrators for the infamous file-sharing portal The Pirate Bay faced their first day in a Swedish courtroom on charges of assisting others in copyright infringement.

Defendants Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström face accusations from a wide variety of entertainment labels and copyright organizations, including Sony BMG, Warner Music Sweden, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision, and MGM Pictures – who collectively are demanding at least 120 million kronor (US $14.3 million) in compensation for The Pirate Bay’s role in allowing users to copy music, movies, TV shows, and videogames.

Prosecution is focusing specifically on a handful of titles, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, season 1 of the TV show Prison Break, and the computer games Call of Duty 2, Diablo 2, and F.E.A.R.

Day one of the trial saw the prosecutor painting The Pirate Bay as an ideological project, and its administrators as benevolent computer nerds whose project eventually grew to something larger than they could support – hence The Pirate Bay’s decision to display advertisements and start collecting revenue. By the time Swedish police raided the site in May 2006, prosecution claims The Pirate Bay grossed a total of US $150,000.

In accordance with The Pirate Bay’s stance that it is innocent of copyright infringement because it doesn’t actually store any of the content, all defendants plead not guilty to any criminal wrongdoing and only two of them – Neij and Svartholm – admitted any responsibility in administering parts of the site. Lundström, in particular – who faced unrelated controversies in the past – said his hosting company, Rix Telecom, only sold The Pirate Bay bandwidth and server space “at market prices.”

Stockholm University tort law professor Marten Schultz, speaking with Wired, said the figures presented against The Pirate Bay are “grossly inflated,” and the defendants claimed that what revenue they did make only partially covered The Pirate Bay’s expenses.

The Pirate Bay leadership is attempting to attract as much attention as possible in support of its case, throwing parties, press conferences – which blacklisted major media outlets because of their prior behavior – and touring the European countryside in a converted Swedish public transport bus. The focal point of its efforts is a specially-purposed website called Spectrial, which serves as an internet rallying point, events calendar, and feed portal for The Pirate Bay’s twitter and micro-blogging efforts.

Interestingly, the trial features a number of live audio feed broadcast in The Pirate Bay’s native tongue, as well as additional tech feeds in English, Swedish, and a number of other languages.

Outside the courtroom, onlookers waved black pirate flags and held street protests in support.



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By spikedbanana on 2/17/2009 11:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the cops are downloading copyright material - why would they care if the public is doing it? It's not an issue in Canada like it is in the rest of the world.


I'm not sure which part of the country you're in but the cops will bust you if you openly sell copyright material. The night markets (or flea markets) now do not have copied material any more. Copy for personal use, everyone here does it including the cops and no one really cares.

If you think this free ride will last long, think again. Our Canadian Government has no balls and will bend over, say yes and then ask for more. I've only seen it reported once and I'm not sure if it's still in the works but the Canadian Government, US Government and the EU have teamed up to try and make it very difficult for you to have music, even legally purchased ones, on any of your devices (i.e. iPod, mp3 players, computer).

The artical goes on saying how it can be passed without any debate by by-passing the house with the executive signature of the US President. This group has no representive that support the people just goverment officials and industry execs. It also goes on saying how US, Canada, and EU border agents and police can search your iPod's music and fine/jail you for illegally downloaded music. It was to be passed by the end of 2008. I'm not sure where this is at or if it has been shot down, but when there's money involved, illegal or not they will try anything.

If anyone has any more info about this, post the link please.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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