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Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay  (Source:
Peter Sunde isn't letting international charges against him get him down

Peter Sunde (alias brokep), the co-founder of the troubled torrent giant The Pirate Bay, is a divisive figure in the tech community.  Worldwide he has been found guilty of multiple criminal charges for giving people the ability to find torrents, both illegal and legal.  While Sunde never forced anyone to choose to pirate material or post illegal torrents to TPB, his critics say he was aiding and abetting violations.  His advocates say that such charges are ludicrous and a sign of a broken copyright system worldwide.

Sunde is currently facing a one year prison sentence in his native Sweden and millions in fines for "
assisting [others in] copyright infringement".  The guilty verdict is being appealed, after it was revealed that the judge in the case was affiliated with several copyright protection organizations.

Undeterred by his sticky legal predicament, Sunde made an appearance via Skype at the South by South West Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.  Sunde could not make a personal trip to the U.S., as he currently has an arrest warrant over piracy charges in the U.S.

In the conference Sunde says that he understands that piracy is a forbidden fruit of sorts.  He states, "This idea has been discussed for hundreds of years. Not everything people do is good – people make Coca Cola and some people want it and some people don't, but we don't outlaw it."

When asked if piracy was like a cold Coke, he replies, "No, the Pirate Bay is more like sugar – it's bad for you but you can't stop using it. Bad because you get sued for it."

He also jokes about courting Google cofounder Sergey Brin to try to get him to change his policies.  He states, "I would tell [Brin] he needs to change. I would make him somehow. I can be very persuasive – I don't mean that in a bad way, I can be very funny and make him like me, and want to marry me and then I will write it in a pre-nup and then divorce him."

As to the pending three strikes proposals in the UK and other countries, Sunde comments, "Of course people have to have a system in place to be able to share and every country will have to do what they want surrounding that, as long as they don't infringe on freedom of speech and access to knowledge, which kind of sets the barrier quite high."

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RE: A correction
By whiskerwill on 3/15/2010 2:46:02 PM , Rating: -1
Wrong. There are several thousand people rotting in prison right now who did nothing but introduce some drug dealer to a buyer. They never touched the stuff themselves, or even made a penny off it (unlike this guy, who actually profited by helping people make illegal downloads). They're still in jail.

Another case. If you're walking down the street and a guy stops and asks you where he can find a good prostitute, you're guilty of pandering if you give him directions.

RE: A correction
By twhittet on 3/15/2010 3:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well damn, then put me in jail cuz I've introduced drug dealers to buyers before. Did I say "Hello buyer, I would like you to meet drug dealer" - no, I didn't. Torrents simply introduce users to sharing data - they play no part in WHAT kind of data that is.

Oh, and I've also told people where to find good prostitutes - it's called Nevada. LEGAL! Just like torrents should be in all countries with common sense. So please put me in jail to rot for my atrocious crimes to society.

RE: A correction
By whiskerwill on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: A correction
By mariush on 3/15/2010 8:32:53 PM , Rating: 1
Right, we should now convict people based on names.

I guess I should we should convict the owners of because they help you find people who rape, or maybe the guys who have because they're be molesting kids in their nursery.

A name doesn't mean anything and the "pirate" in the domain can have various meanings, besides to "copy files without authorization from copyright owner" (as opposed to stealing, which is incorrect)

RE: A correction
By jonup on 3/15/2010 3:49:19 PM , Rating: 4
Well, I am not quite smart so you tell me: Isn't there something wrong with such laws?
Mind you that you do your reasoning based on US law and the guy is Swede living in Sweden. And as much as we like to believe that we live in the "Land of the free", we also have the highest number of impresoned people per capita. We put people in preson for next to nothing. Therefore, though there are thousands of people rotting in US prisons guilty of pandering, while CIA allegedly is making money out of drug trafficing, I would not conclude that it is the case in some more liberal contries (including Sweeden).

RE: A correction
By theendofallsongs on 3/15/2010 6:42:27 PM , Rating: 1
I would not conclude that it is the case in some more liberal contries (including Sweeden).
If its not illegal in Sweden, why was the dude convicted in a Swedish court?

RE: A correction
By jonup on 3/15/2010 11:19:33 PM , Rating: 5
Because our (US) government put too much presure on theirs (just like in the case of the Swiss banks).

RE: A correction
By walk2k on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: A correction
By mariush on 3/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: A correction
By walk2k on 3/16/2010 1:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
If 20% (extremely low estimate I'm sure) of a web site is illegal you ask them to remove the illegal content or face punishment. These guys flatly refused to remove KNOWN illegal files when asked to. In fact they FLAUNTED the fact that they had illegal files (links) and said they were doing it to "fight the power of the big bad corporatations" and other such college-freshman philosophical nonsense.

It's like.. hey kiddo, grow up get a job and join the real world, then see how fast you call the cops when someone steals something YOU made.

But, take your terrible, straw-man arguement about drunk drivers on the roads. No you don't shut down the road, but you DO arrest the drunk drivers. Quid Pro Quo.

RE: A correction
By randomly on 3/16/2010 3:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
But TPB doesn't have any illegal files on their system. They just have tracker files. There is no way of telling if a given tracker file references copyrighted material without going out and downloading the actual file it refers to and examining it.

How is TPB supposed to download every file they get a torrent tracking file for and examine them for copyright violation? The network costs and hardware costs to do that would be enormous.

What if one of these files IS copyrighted material, haven't you just forced TPB to commit a crime by making them illegally download it to inspect it?

I don't think the legality of the situation is as black and white as you think it is.

RE: A correction
By mariush on 3/16/2010 9:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the problem - when they were asked to remove files they were asked by the means of form letters, sent by lawyers paid with over 100$ an hour for their work.
These letters were simply saying that the .torrent files were illegal and according to DMCA law they have to remove them.

Tell me, wouldn't you feel like ridiculing these well paid lawyers when you see they don't even realize DMCA applies only to US and that the .torrent files don't hold any copyrighted content and are completely legal according to Swedish law?

Even if the .torrent files reference "illegal" content, there's no actual "crime" until two people connect and start transferring files and even when this happens, the torrent files are legal to host, they're just documents.

For the owners of TPB, it's simply IMPOSSIBLE to remove "illegal" files as they don't store them - they only have .torrent files containing information about those files and these files are legal to host.

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