Pirate Bay trial day three – the "King Kong" defence


As we’ve reported on developments in the Pirate Bay’s trial for two days running now, I don’t see why we shouldn’t carry on, so long as there’s interesting stuff to share.

Today’s session was cut rather short, but the whole trial is still ahead of schedule. It began with the prosecutor presenting his amended charges (following the withdrawing of half of them) and outlining the damages sought by the content owners.

Interestingly, they’re calling every download a lost sale, and multiplying any damages by 10 if they were leaked before release, or otherwise unavailable online. In one case, the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau doubled all their damages to account for a “loss of goodwill”.

In the second half of the session, the defence responded, and reacting to the new charges, again asserted their innocence. Each picked holes in the case of the prosecution, but nothing we hadn’t heard before until Carl Lundström’s lawyer, Per E Samuelsson took the floor.

“EU directive 2000/31/EG says that he who provides an information service is not responsible for the information that is being transferred. In order to be responsible, the service provider must initiate the transfer. But the admins of The Pirate Bay don’t initiate transfers. It’s the users that do and they are physically identifiable people. They call themselves names like King Kong,”

“According to legal procedure, the accusations must be against an individual and there must be a close tie between the perpetrators of a crime and those who are assisting. This tie has not been shown. The prosecutor must show that Carl Lundström personally has interacted with the user King Kong, who may very well be found in the jungles of Cambodia,”

Basically, he’s saying that for the defendants to be guilty, they need to have personally been involved with every interaction between sharers and downloaders – simply setting up the noticeboard isn’t good enough, especially as there are plenty of people using that same noticeboard for sharing perfectly legitimate content.

Following that statement, the court adjourned the case until tomorrow. On brokep’s fantastic Twitter stream, he relates that everyone then went for pizza together. He asked the prosecution to pick up the bill. They refused.

Half the charges against the Pirate Bay abruptly dropped


In a shock development this morning at the “Spectrial” of the Pirate Bay’s four administrators, half the charges against the site have been dropped. It’s a massive blow for the prosecutors, who will now only be able to try the defendants for “assisting making available”.

This happens on only the second day of the trial, and came about because the prosecutor has no way of proving that the .torrent files that he’s using as evidence were actually tracked by The Pirate Bay at any point. In fact, many of the screenshots submitted clearly state that there’s no connection to the tracker.

This is significant because, as I pointed out on Channel 4 News yesterday, the Pirate Bay only acts as a signpost for the files shared over it. It’s like a matchmaking service – uniting people who have content with the people who want it. It takes no part in the actual transaction. As a result, the Pirate Bay likens the trial to a car manufacturer being prosecuted for making cars that can exceed the speed limit.

In the meantime, the site itself has seen a surge in popularity thanks to the publicity from the trial. 150,000 more torrents are currently being shared than at the same time last week. Swedish web traffic is also up 10Gbs over previous weeks, and TPB claim that upto 80% of web traffic is bittorrent.

Of course, this won’t stop the prosecutors attempting to being the site to justice once more, with stronger evidence, but given that the trial’s been two years in the making already, it’s not going to be soon. Given the inevitable appeals the the four promise following any successful prosecution, by the time any action is taken on the site, there’ll almost certainly be a new king of the hill in the filesharing world.

Jay's c-JAYS headphones are lightweight, but heavy hitters


The world of mid-range headphones has just got a little more cluttered with the release of the c-JAYS, from Swedish manufacturer Jay’s Headphones. They’re over-the-head jobbies and they come with three sizes of foam cushion, from small to whopping (whopping pictured above).

You’ve got to love that way that whenever technology companies invent something, they give it a silly name and acronym. In this case, Jay’s has invented something called the Elastic Multi Layer (EML) Membrane, which apparently makes things sound nice, and SGSCC (Single Crystal Copper) cables, which reduce distortions.

For those keeping score, that’s the second time today that an abbreviation doesn’t match up with what it’s abbreviating. I’m not a happy bunny.

Swedish kid collapses after 24-hour WoW marathon


Fuelling further tabloid hysteria about the dangers of online gaming comes a story straight outta’ Laholm in western Sweden. Some poor 15-year-old kid was enjoying the new WoW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, with some friends, but 24 hours into their mammoth gaming session, he collapsed and suffered what seems to have been an epileptic fit.

Doctors told the father that his son’s bodily systems had been disrupted by a combination of sleep deprivation, lack of food, and the prolonged period of concentration playing the game. He’s expected to make a full recovery, but seriously – this is just an idiot kid. The fault isn’t in the game, it’s in the parents who didn’t tell him to stop or at least get him to eat some food and have a nap.

Swedish kids embarrassed by dirty dads' online habits… mums too


Children in Sweden are embarrassed and concerned about what their parents get up to on the Internet, according to a report from the Barnens Rätt i Samhället (Children’s Rights in Society) organisation.

A common concern is that of dads who spend their time on porn sites, or who flirt (or worse) in chat rooms.

“I read his MSN conversation log. I was just curious. And then I saw that he was talking to, like, young girls. And the disgusting part is that he’s 53!” said one teenage boy…

Police officer investigating Pirate Bay was on Warner Bros. payroll


Gather round me hearties as I tell ye a tale of the thickening plot of the Pirate Bay court case in the far off land of Sweden. It seems the prime witness for the prosecution be tarnished. Gyaaaaargh! Tarnished, I tell ye!

It turns out that investigating police officer Jim Keyzer was in fact in the very employment of one the plaintiffs, Warner Bros., while still working for the coppers…

Time to download Heroes, as The Pirate Bay has added four new servers and pimped their datacentre

jack-sparrow-johnny-depp.jpgHo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Don’t glance at your calendar, it’s not International Talk Like A Pirate Day again, and no, you’re not experiencing a strange Groundhog Day-esque de ja vu, but we are talking pirates. The Pirate Bay, to be exact.

The world’s most popular BitTorrent tracker, based in Sweden, has been down for a few hours today, and, according to Torrent Freak, this is due to the Pirates moving their servers to a new datacentre and adding four more servers to their already-massive 12 they currently run…