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Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay  (Source: Wikipedia.org)
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 jonup on 3/15/2010 4:12:02 PM , Rating: 3
So is every ISP. They know people are using their connection to "steal" (get widely available information from the internet) things and they knowingly help them do it.
I have a better idea. How about we put every one in jail and keep only people with strong lobbies in Washington free.


RE: A correction
By porkpie on 3/15/2010 5:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
There's a clear difference. The vast majority of an ISP's customers are using their connection for legal purposes. It's the same distinction that keeps search engines like Google from falling afoul of the law.

By analogy, the owner of a pawn shop with one stolen watch inside is innocent...but a pawn shop where 50% of the merchandise is hot has the owner arrested as a fence.


RE: A correction
By afkrotch on 3/15/2010 9:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ebay is still up and running. They have tons of counterfeit items. God knows how much of those auctions on Ebay are fencing stolen property.


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