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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 Camikazi on 3/15/2010 3:50:35 PM , Rating: 4
It's not really stealing, stealing implies taking from the owner and them not having it anymore, this is copying, not the same thing.

RE: A correction
By whiskerwill on 3/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: A correction
By walk2k on 3/15/2010 6:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, you're probably better off just shoplifting the DVD from a store. At least then the store is only out 1 DVD. When you download torrents it automatically shares them with the entire rest of the internet (that's how torrents work) and could potentially be costing them hundreds if not thousands of sales... A fact that is always convienently left out of the conversation by the "it's okay because I wouldn't have bought it anyway" crowd.

RE: A correction
By Solandri on 3/15/2010 6:31:57 PM , Rating: 5
Wrong. Ownership implies you control something. If someone uses what you own without your permission, they've stolen it.

Regardless of the semantics, the problem is that in their zeal to protect their control, the owners of copyright have overstepped some common sense grounds for how the ownership/licensing should work. I pay for a CD to listen to a song. It shouldn't matter what format I listen to the song in. Yet the RIAA shut down a service which let you download an MP3 of the song if you put the original CD in the computer's drive (this was back when MP3 ripping software was clumsy and unreliable). Past RIAA executives have even argued that copying a CD so you can listen to it in both your home and car, or converting it to MP3 so you can play it on your computer without having to change CDs is illegal. And the fact that I already paid to be able to listen to a song on LP, 8-track, and cassette counts for nothing. If I want it on CD, I have to pay just as much as someone who has never paid to hear the song. Or if my kid breaks the CD, suddenly their argument that "you didn't buy the song, you paid for the privilege to listen to the music" no longer applies, and they expect me to pay full retail for another CD effectively paying twice for the privilege to listen to the same music.

When you make up rules which don't make common sense, you shouldn't be surprised that people violate those rules. Just like you shouldn't be surprised that people drive 65 on a long, straight section of freeway if you set the speed limit at 35 mph. The software industry suffers the same piracy problem, but their approach makes a lot more sense. They let you make backups, they give you a discount for upgrading, and they will send you replacement media if you break a CD. I almost never see people arguing that they should be allowed to download commercial software for free, because the software industry's ownership rules make sense.

In contrast, people arguing that they should be able to download music for free are pretty widespread. Fundamentally, I disagree with them. But I can understand how they come to that conclusion - because the RIAA's ownership rules make little sense.

If you sneak into an empty hotel room and spend a few days there, you're guilty of theft of services. But you took nothing from them.

Actually, the hotel needs to pay to clean the room, so yes you took something from them. But to continue your analogy, applying the RIAA's rules to hotels would mean:

- If you want a second key for the room, one for your wallet and the other for your jacket in case you go swimming without your wallet, you have to pay for a second room.
- If you wish to upgrade from a regular room to a suite, you must pay full price for the suite. You do not get a discount, you forfeit the money you already paid for the regular room.
- If you lose your key, you have to pay for another room to get a replacement key.

If those nonsensical policies were common in hotels, it should come as no surprise that people are sharing instructions on how to copy hotel keys for free. The problem isn't the people, the problem is the stupid ideas of music ownership/licensing the RIAA is trying to force onto people.

RE: A correction
By porkpie on 3/15/2010 6:39:06 PM , Rating: 1
"I pay for a CD to listen to a song. It shouldn't matter what format I listen to the song in."


RE: A correction
By Solandri on 3/15/2010 8:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
Because music is software. In the old days, it had to be tied to hardware (LPs, tapes) because of technological limitations. But the advent of digital music has freed it from those shackles and it no longer needs to be tied to a hardware media format. Ultimately, music is software. When you're buying music, you're not buying the LP, tape, or CD. You're buying the data, or rather a limited license to be able to convert the data into audio sounds in a private setting.

Data is data. The format it's stored in is irrelevant. Even the movie studios recognize this, and is allowing people who bought the now-defunct HD-DVD format to convert to Blu-Ray for a nominal fee to cover materials, processing, and shipping.

RE: A correction
By porkpie on 3/16/2010 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 3
"You're buying the data, or rather a limited license to be able to convert the data into audio sounds in a private setting."

You're buying a limited license to use the data in the format provided. Period. And that license is priced accordingly, based on the owner's expectations of marketability into other formats and venues.

Personally, I think recording studios should modify their licenses to allow format conversion. However, claiming you have that right already is fallacious. Data IS data...but you don't buy the data. You buy a right to use it in a particular manner.

"Even the movie studios recognize this...."

They're offering you a courtesy, to replace a now-defunct format with a newer one. That's not the same thing as a god-given right to convert music into multiple formats without permission.

RE: A correction
By daInvincibleGama on 3/15/2010 8:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
Flamebait? Please be flamebait, and not really that stupid.

RE: A correction
By jonup on 3/15/2010 11:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Because one can copyright the song not the CD.
(Yes, the CD is patented but that is irrelevant to the question)

RE: A correction
By afkrotch on 3/15/2010 9:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you sneak into an empty hotel room and spend a few days there, you're guilty of theft of services. But you took nothing from them.

Nope, you took nothing from them. You didn't use their electricity, water, sewage, toilet paper, shampoo, ate from the mini-bar, used the internet, and they didn't even have to send a maid to clean the room either.

RE: A correction
By whiskerwill on 3/15/2010 10:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you did none of those things and cleaned the room up yourself, you still are guilty of theft of services. And if you think you can't go to jail for that, think again.

RE: A correction
By NT78stonewobble on 3/16/2010 6:30:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well you shouldn't go to jail over that. Pure and simple.

Owner of hotel room or the copyright owner haven't lost anything unless they can without doubt prove that the guy would have bought the service/copyrighted work if the he weren't able to access it for free...

RE: A correction
By porkpie on 3/16/2010 10:06:25 AM , Rating: 3
Absolutely! And when you hotwire someone's Porsche for a joyride, you shouldn't go to jail unless they can prove you would have bought it, if you hadn't been able to drive for free.

These $#&! laws are just so damn tiresome!

RE: A correction
By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
If someone uses what you own without your permission, they've stolen it.

No. They have "infringed".

Stealing copyrighted material is worse because it actually causes the owner loss.

Not a single person has been charged, or even ACCUSED of theft in the courts because of file sharing. Stop interjecting emotional arguments and lies into this debate. There is no theft here. IP infringement is NOT theft.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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