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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 10:39:12 PM , Rating: -1
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Afghanistan has copyright laws, and has signed international treaties to protect them (just not as many as the US wants it to):

So does San Marino:

So does Turkmenistan:

But I understand you kids want your music and you want it free, and nothing I say is going to change that.

RE: A correction
By mariush on 3/16/2010 5:14:16 AM , Rating: 2
I was listing countries from a list on Wikipedia so I never claimed I was 100% correct. I obviously didn't do research for hours just to reply on a thread.

The point is the copyright rules are not uniform everywhere, some have lifetime + 75 years copyright, some have copyright just the Berne convention, some countries consider educational works (school manuals) differently (less or no copyright), some consider certain works (like snapshots of paintings) non-copyrightable and so on.

It's impossible for a website that accepts works from people around the world to know if a specific work in a specific country is still copyrighted or not. And even if it's no longer copyrighted in a country, a person in another country may commit copyright infringement by downloading it because the work is still copyrighted in his country.

These decisions should not be handled by the website but by courts who can investigate copyright claims from companies by requesting documents and proofs of copyright ownership.
The users posting the works are also responsible, not the users, just like Youtube is not responsible for users' videos or how telephone companies are not responsible if two people plan a crime using their phones.

Anyways, the fact that some have signed international treaties doesn't mean a thing, when US itself doesn't respect and doesn't want to accept international laws and rulings.

For example, US does not allow its people to gamble outside the country (by banning credit card processors from allowing transactions with gambling websites) but allows them to gamble inside the country AND allows people outside US to gamble online on US casinos.

For this reason, some islands with casinos have sued the United States in international courts and won but US igores the ruling and doesn't feel like respecting it. However, when it gets a ruling that's good for them, they immediately start to complain.

As US still doesn't allow people in US to use casinos outside the country, those islands sued again and were granted the right to infringe on US intellectual property (as a remedy) until they commit infringement in value of 15 million dollars. (or a sum close the that)

RE: A correction
By walk2k on 3/16/2010 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
All of this is very interesting and might actually be relevant to other web sites but in fact this is "PIRATE BAY" which knowingly facilitates illegal file sharing by their own admission.

Is ANY of this sinking in? There is massive piracy going on there, they know it, I know it, and you know it. It's wrong, and it's illegal (oh except in Samoa.. lol)

RE: A correction
By mindless1 on 3/16/2010 8:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
Hold on there cowboy. Law != morality.

If you write "it's wrong" you might as well fart in the wind if you think that is a compelling argument.

I accept some level if intelectual property protection is needed in modern society. I do not accept that the system as it stands is workable or sustainable.

You might be surprised how easily you yourself may end up running afoul of copyright laws because they have been pushed to extreme measures in some cases. If we can't fairly apply a law then that law needs to change.

See how it works? I used "fairly", another opinion that like yours is not a universally held fact.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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