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The Pirate Bay's leadership were sentenced by a Swedish court to a year in jail and over $3M USD in damages for assisting copyright infringement. The defiant leadership announced a press conference, pictured here, to discuss their planned appeal of the verdict.  (Source: rstmfnvideo/Flickr)
Despite a spirited fight, Sweden's most high profile pirates get sent to the jail

The Pirate Bay was the world's largest torrent site; feeding millions of users downloading legally obtained and illegally infringed works.  It was the latter that cause the admins’ home nation of Sweden to drop the hammer and announce conspiracy charges and other charges against the feisty pirates. The parties involved included Peter “brokep” Sunde Kolmisoppi, Gottfrid “anakata” Svartholm, Fredrik “TiAMO” Neij, as well as Carl Lundström, who hosted the site via his company, Rix Telecom.

The groups once had dreams of founding their own country, but the proud pirates fell, facing the legal fight of their lives.  From telling the lawyers of the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) who were assisting Swedish authorities to "go screw themselves" to releasing intriguing figures that 80 percent of their torrents were legal, the pirates put up a spirited fight indeed.  For a time, it seemed they had the prosecution on the ropes -- they had to alter their charges against the group, faced with difficulty proving their current case.

However, in the end it was not enough, and the Stockholm district court found the four pirates guilty of assisting copyright infringement sending them to a year of hard time in jail.  To add insult to injury, the court also ordered them to give up their bounty, ordering SEK 30 million ($3.59M USD) in damages.

The three week trial concluded with a somewhat surprising victory for the prosecution.  The verdict stated that the Pirate Bay leadership was guilty of "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws."

The Swedish officials have discovered that their plans to place the feisty group behind bars might be put on hold though, as the group plans an appeal.  The Pirate Bay states, "This will not be the final decision, only the first before the losing party will appeal. It will have no real effect on anything besides setting the tone for the debate."

Mr. Kolmisoppi (brokep) twittered this morning urging Pirate Bay fans to stay calm, and noted that there would be no interruption in their service or their fight against the charges.  He wrote, "Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file-sharing whatsoever."

The leadership held a special press conference for the media at the Museum of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.  At the conference were Rasmus Fleischer of Piratbyrån, Sara Sajjad of Piratbyrån, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (aka Anakata), Peter Sunde (aka Brokep) and Magnus Eriksson of Piratbyrån. Fredrik Neij (TiAMO) and the fourth defendant Carl Lundström were not in attendance.

A defiant Mr. Warg challenged Sweden's leadership to try to stop the site, stating, "What are they going to do? They have already failed to take the site down once. Let them fail again.  It has its own life without us."

As to the order to surrender his supposed bounty, he states, "I already have more debt in Sweden than I will ever be able to pay off. I don’t even live here. They are welcome to send me a bill. I will frame it and put it on the wall."

Asked if he viewed his campaign as fight for technology, Mr. Kolmisoppi responded, "I think it is something in between actually. We have a personal liability for this, we have a personal risk which has some impact on our feelings. But definitely it’s not defending the technology, it’s more like defending the idea of the technology and that’s probably the most important thing in this case - the political aspect of letting the technology be free and not controlled by an entity which doesn’t like technology."  



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By ayat101 on 4/18/2009 2:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
What TV stations SHOULD offer are regionally coded and perhaps personally tailored ads slotted in HIGH quality downloadable files. The ads would be glued in the file when the download is requested. Even offer a player that will check if each ad is watched and upload that info to the server (WITH USER PERMISSION!). You could slot web links into the ads, etc... and so on, and so on. There are various possible schemes for designing systems like this, but whatever and to each their fancy...

Then there would be NO NEED for torrents or illegal P2P, but the advertising revenue system could be maintained.

Of course the two side effects of this would be the canibalisation of hardcopy sales (DVD and BluRay), and the death of classic tv stations.

I am not entirely sure if the death of hardcopies would reduce revenues and if so by how much? Or if targeted advertising would actualy increase the money earned through its higher value? Either way keeping hardcopy market around is artificial and not needed for the consumer.

The death of tv stations in favour of on demand viewing is the BIGGIE. Not unlike newspapers and magazines are already dying. There are LARGE sums of money involved and the tv industry will fight this.

Of course there are new opportunities to reinvent tv stations or networks are content servers and advertising sellers... or if they do not reinvent themselves, somebody else will move in and take up this business niche.

So this whole anti-P2P and anti-piracy IS NOT about stealing and people not getting paid for their work as a result. It is ENTIRELY about OLD INTERESTS unwilling to change the way they do business. The illegal downloads scene is a symptom of TPTB in a way unwilling to get paid for their work in a consumer friendly system. Sooner or later what I describe is the future of entertainment delivery, it's just a question of who of the existing players will adapt and how soon and how well they will do it. For me I say: FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE! :)

An annoying side-effect of this conflict is that the social group most likely to use P2P to get entertainment is the most desired advertising demographic. This group likes to watch certain type of shows, and then these shows have lower ratings because they leak viewers to downloads. The end result is shows get cancelled. For example how many sci-fi shows are getting axed in recent memory? How hard is it for them to survive these days?

Solutions:

1. Stop being lazy and start using trackless torrents.

2. Start getting to know people, setting up and using darknet types of networks (WASTE is one - look it up).

3. Start using protocol obfuscation, encryption, etc.

4. All of the above and go back to using emule over KAD (no servers needed).




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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