backtop


Print 99 comment(s) - last by badgood.. on Apr 30 at 1:10 PM

Pirate Bay admins' lawyer demands a retrial

Last week, the trial of four admins from The Pirate Bay, the world's largest torrent site, concluded.  The result was a stunning defeat for the pirates, with a guilty verdict and a sentence of over $3M USD in damages (to be paid to Warner Bros., Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures) and a year in jail.

Now new revelations have surfaced.  It turns out the judge presiding over the trial, Judge Tomas Norstrom, was a member of two Swedish copyright protection groups.  He confirmed his affiliation this week, which first surfaced in Swedish Radio reports.

The affiliation represents a relatively clear conflict of interest, given that the prosecution lawyers consisted of three lawyers of similar affiliations.  Peter Althin, who represented Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde in the case, is demanding a retrial.  He states, "This is completely new to me. It is reasonable that we should have known about this before.  It is a clear case of bias."

After successful actions against Kazaa and Grokster, two popular P2P clients, copyright lawyers are eager to trying to take down The Pirate Bay, which boasts over 22 million users.  And it appears they had a fully loaded deck to do it with the trial of the administrators, as they had control of the Judge and the prosecution.

All four defendants will appeal the guilty verdict Friday.  It is likely that all of them will request a retrial as part of that appeal.

Judge Nordstrom, meanwhile, defends his record, claiming he was completely unbiased.  He admits he is a member of The Swedish Association for Copyright and Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property.  He also admits he worked with Monica Wadsted, who represented the American movie industry in the trial, in resolving internet domain name disputes.  Despite these close ties, though he insists the trial was clean.  He states, "I don't think there are any circumstances that have made me biased in this case."

Meanwhile, Pirate Bay ringleader Peter "brokep" Sunde was quick to poke fun at the judge's affiliation, calling it "quite remarkable".  He sums up the trial, in comments to the AP, in one word -- a "farce".



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: How in the hell...
By Motoman on 4/24/2009 11:51:36 AM , Rating: 5
...that may have been a wise move on their part, but in general, what process happens to validate a trial judge for a given case anyway? I can't believe that this wasn't caught somewhere in the judicial system before that judge was ever assigned to the case.

It's like the farmer assigning the fox to preside over the chicken coop.


RE: How in the hell...
By MozeeToby on 4/24/2009 2:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's generally left up to the judge to be responsible and vet himself which apparently he failed to do in this case.

It's worth noting though the except for having the charges dropped as much as possible, TPB didn't really care about this trial. In Sweden, anything more than a traffic ticket routinely goes to the appeals court. The lower court is thought of more as a hurdle you have to get over before the real judges get involved. It's entirely possible that TPB's goal in all this is to have it sent all the way up to the supreme court and get a final ruling on the matter, rather than fight similar cases over and over again.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki