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Swedish Court Finds Pirate Bay Founders Guilty of Copyright Infringement

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Friday April 17, 2009
A Swedish court has found four founders of the Pirate Bay guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced them to one year in jail with a fine of US$3.6 million.  Quick takeaways:
  • an appeal is likely so this is the first word, not the last one in this case
  • based on historical precedent, this will have no significant impact on the volume of file sharing
  • copyright law is implemented domestically, so the impact on other countries is limited
  • the major effect from the decision could come from attempts to leverage it to encourage ISPs and search engines to play more active roles in policing their networks
Comments (12)add comment

kenny said:

Let's get gougle into jail, you can find torrentz file on google
yeap, google must go to jail :)
April 17, 2009

kenny said:

implications are complex
not only providing the content but facilitating how to find it becomes illegal. Another typical example of old production relations blocking progress of new technology, world is on the verge of a huge change and it will happen sooner if the old order keep pushing to hold against that change, you are seeing that everyday: governments trying to subsidize or bail-out inefficient companies based on old technologies, etc, etc. Internet is a monster that came alive as DARPA evolved and that monster is pushing for changes everywhere, old business models don't realize they need to adapt if they want to survive.
April 17, 2009

Devil's Advocate said:

This won't hold
If this decision survives the appeal process, this would be further proof of collusion, but it won't change one outcome... the labels are as good as dead.

They've only succeeded in causing public outrage and encouraging more filesharing to take place via darknet or virtual/encrypted/private networks.

Their business model is dead.
Their days are numbered.
April 17, 2009

United Hackers Association said:

microsoft has a search, so does yahoo
ya get em all canceled lets SHOW once and for all that removing p2p wont give them any increase in profits
April 17, 2009

Jerrycan said:

I wonder if google will....
remove it's "filetype:torrent" search option, as there might be some parallels here...
April 17, 2009

United Hackers Association said:

haha google is mpaa friend
“In another step in its transformation from an online jumble of amateur videos to a destination for mainstream TV programs and movies, YouTube said Thursday that it had signed deals with Hollywood studios to showcase thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of movies on its Web site.”
April 17, 2009

plasmacutter said:

If im not mistaken the swedish court works differently..
I've been reading up on this and it appears the swedish court system works vastly differently from the traditional north-american systems...

While i'm not a swedish lawyer, the basic consensus (seemingly confirmed by video conferences since the verdict) is that the verdict of the lowest instance will have no consequences. They will appeal, which means they will not go to prison yet and they will not have to pay the damages either.

Personally, I consider it a horrific case of intellectual dishonesty that these industry groups are characterizing this decision as having the finality of a US style criminal conviction when in reality it's more like a grand jury indictment.

April 19, 2009

Riley August said:

See the Krona
Have you SEEN what this is doing to the economy? Small and medium tech firms are shutting down left and right, and there's talk of Google pulling their assets. Hell, they're probably even pulling their BRIBES out! I mean normally it goes up and down, but it's been a steady $2 a day drop since the trial...
April 22, 2009

Maebnoom said:

Swedish ISPs Ignore Request to Block The Pirate Bay
http://www.zeropaid.com/news/8...irate-bay/

Pretty much what I expected. This won't slow down TPB; it will merely inconvenience the individuals who were charged.
April 22, 2009

Maebnoom said:

Judge is Biased
...
Turns out the judge in the case is also a member of some copyright organizations.

http://www.sr.se/sida/artikel.aspx?ProgramId=1646&Artikel=2785979

(it's in Swedish)

Go figure!
April 23, 2009

Martin said:

Re: judge is biased
In english:
http://www.thelocal.se/19028.html
April 23, 2009

Dr Zuck said:

Bias?
Are you really biased if you are a member of an association where all IP lawyers come together? Normally the memberships would not have raised concern, but in this case none of the defendants counsel are IP specialists (!) and thus not members of any IP associations...
April 27, 2009

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