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Pirate Bay, one of the world's largest and most controversial torrent/file-sharing websites could soon be given an unlikely lifeline through a loophole in Swedish law. The Pirate Party, a political group advocating file-sharing in Pirate Bay's native Sweden, are planning…
Ever defiant, the Pirate Bay has resolutely stated in a blog post on its website that it won’t be paying any fines. The post, titled “TPB FTW”, explains how the administrators of the site will be appealing Friday’s court decision, which will take another two to three years:
“You, our beloved users, know that this little speedbump on the information super highway is nothing more than just, a little bump. Todays verdict has already been appealed by us and will be taken to the next level of court (and that will take another 2 or 3 years!)”
The site also pleads with its users not to send them any donations. They provide a list of things to do if you want to support the site:
* Seed those torrents a little bit more than you usually do!
* Buy a t-shirt and show the world where your sympathy is.
* If you live in Europe, vote in the election for the EU parliament in June.
* Continue to build the internets! Start more bittorrent sites, blog more, start your own lobby group, create, remix, mash up and continue to grow more heads on this amazing hydra that we know as the internets!
* Do not be afraid of using the network. Invite your friends to this and other file sharing systems. Calm people down if they’re upset. We need to stay united.
Meanwhile, protests erupted in several Swedish cities over the court’s decision. 1,000 people turned up in Stockholm insisting that the ruling be overturned. The leader of the protest, Malin Littorin-Ferm, said:
“We young people have a whole platform on the Internet, where we have all our social contacts — it is there that we live. The state is trying to control the Internet and, by extension, our private lives,”
The generation that live ‘on the internet’ are going to become more and more important, because for them, the rules of everything – just starting with attitudes to copyright – are completely different.
It’s taken two months to get here, and now a Swedish court has jailed the four men responsible for The Pirate Bay for one year.
Despite the fact that The Pirate Bay’s servers don’t host any copyright material themselves, merely acting as a gateway for users to torrent material from others’ machines, the court has ruled that they must also pay £2.4m in damages.
A representative of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), John Kennedy, said that, “There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that.”…
The lols continue at the Pirate Bay “spectrial” in Sweden, with day four of the court case seeing the prosecutors make yet another mis-step. Movie industry lawyer Monique Wadsted attempted to introduce completely new, previously-unseen, evidence – something which didn’t go down well with either the defence or the judge.
Most of the morning revolved around questioning defendant Fredrik Neij (TiAMO) individually, with the prosecution trying to link the four administrators to the actions of their users and to advertisers.
At one point, Fredrik was asked whether advertiser Oded Daniel was involved in the technical running of the site – Fredik’s response was “No, he’s not good at that. He uses Windows, so…” and there was a massive burst of laughter through the wall from bloggers next door in the listening lounge.
Fredrik also explained how Anti-p2p companies like MediaDefender manipulate statistics, with their actions making certain torrents appear far more active than in reality. Fredrik claimed that he had no ideological connection with the site – he simply wanted to play with the Bittorrent technology.
Later on, a crucial point was elaborated upon in detail – how .torrent files can be shared in many different ways – via email or FTP, for example. This is important, because the role that the Pirate Bay performs in the Bittorrent process could just as easily be done by Google. In fact, here‘s a how-to.
The story’s still developing today, and in the latest developments the prosecutors have tried to link the Pirate Bay to child pornography – a favourite tactic of anti-p2p activists. Gottfrid said that they report the ones they spot to the police, but that it isn’t up to the site to investigate: “We can’t do investigations of our own. And if the police says we should remove a torrent, we will”.
More tomorrow. In the meantime, hackers have been defacing sites owned by the IFPI, playing the following message on ifpi.se:
Stop lying HÅKAN ROSWALL!:
The ruthless hunt conducted by the IFPI, Anti-Piracy Office, Warner Bros., and all the other companies with a pawn in the game has now resulted in a trial in which four innocent men are accused of copyright infringement. This is a declaration of war against anti-piracy outfits and the industry players behind them, and we urge the public to boycott and lynch those responsible. IFPI is just the beginning. To be Continued.
The New Generation
The defendants in the trial, however, aren’t too happy about it, with Peter Sunde (brokep) saying:
“Our case is going quite well as most of you have noticed. In the light of that it feels very bad that people are hacking web sites which actually puts us in a worse light than we need to be in. If anyone involved in the acts going on is reading this – please stop, for our sake. We don’t need that kind of support.”
All IFPI sites are now back online.