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Pirate Bay facing prosecution

Pirate Bay facing prosecution

The four men behind The Pirate Bay are now facing prosecution for conspiracy to break copyright laws.

The Pirate Bay, one of (if not the) most popular file sharing sites on the internet, is now facing prosecution for conspiracy to break Swedish copyright laws according to the BBC.

The Pirate Bay first ran into trouble in May 2006 when police seized many computers from the four men who run the site, closing the site for a time. However, the founders have always maintained that the servers which run The Pirate Bay do not store any copyrighted material, but only offer links to the download locations.

The website, which is said to have around 15 million users and around a million downloads at any given moment, is supported entirely by online advertising.

The owners of the site, Carl Lundstrom, Peter Sunde, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg could face a maximum of two years in prison if they are convicted on these charges which apparently relate to "20 music files, nine film files and four computer game files" according to the BBC report. Plaintiffs include Warner, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI

Prosecutor Hakan Roswall is seeking for each of the four men to pay £90,000 in damages - which is calculated to be the minimum that each could have profited from the alleged activities.

John Kennedy, chairman of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, has said that "The operators of The Pirate Bay have always been interested in making money, not music. The Pirate Bay has managed to make Sweden, normally the most law abiding of EU countries, look like a piracy haven with intellectual property laws on a par with Russia."

The BBC is currently hosting a video interview with the defendants in which they express their own views in much more depth.

Is Pirate Bay doing anything wrong or are they being unjustly targeted? Even if they aren't legally in the wrong, are they on morally shaky ground for exploiting legal loopholes? Let us know what you think in the forum.

20 Comments

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yodasarmpit 31st January 2008, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Is Pirate Bay doing anything wrong or are they being unjustly targeted? Even if they aren't legally in the wrong, are they on morally shaky ground for exploiting legal loopholes?
Of course what they are doing is morally wrong, however, they are not carrying out any illegal activity.
Loophole or not, legal action should be based on facts not opinion.
C-Sniper 31st January 2008, 18:33 Quote
^^^ agreed. Also they have a nice legal section which is always good for some laughs.
Bungle 31st January 2008, 18:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasarmpit
Of course what they are doing is morally wrong, however, they are not carrying out any illegal activity.
Loophole or not, legal action should be based on facts not opinion.
Yes but they are aiding and abetting known copyright infringers. Remember if you are aware that illegal activity is being commited you are not free from prosecution.
Firehed 31st January 2008, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasarmpit
Of course what they are doing is morally wrong, however, they are not carrying out any illegal activity.
Loophole or not, legal action should be based on facts not opinion.
Well let's not forget how subjective morals are. I have no moral issue downloading an album - why? It's not because I don't care about the artist. It's because it leads me to discover new music that I like, which I then in turn go out and PURCHASE. Sure, they didn't give me permission to have a free trial, but they still get my money.

In any case, agreed. I hope that the Swedish courts don't behave like those of the US, where they try to make an example out of people they don't like regardless of what the actual laws are.
Kode 31st January 2008, 19:12 Quote
2.5 million registered users according to their blog, i agree with Firehed on the issue of morals, its hard to have morals when the riaa and the mpaa are obviously lacking in these areas, personally if i like an album or a film ive downloaded i'll buy it, but thats just me, and i tend not buy without watching/listening first, ive bought too many albums based on a song i like only to find the rest of the album is crap
mclean007 31st January 2008, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle
Yes but they are aiding and abetting known copyright infringers.
They are making available a service which is used (and which they know is used) to facilitate copyright infringement, but that isn't quite the same thing. ISPs know that the service they provide can be and frequently is used to facilitate copyright infringement, as do the manufacturers of DVD writers (or, going further back, Minidisc hardware, VCRs, cassette recorders, reel-to-reel recorders etc.) and the writers of CD ripping software. In every case, there is a legal purpose and an illegal purpose to which the product or service can be put - all can be used to facilitate copyright infringement, but file sharing software can be used to distribute open source or freeware software; DVD burners for backup, VCRs to time-shift TV programs; cassette recorders for recording yourself singing Baa Baa Black Sheep. I don't agree that a person who makes available a multi-purpose tool should be held morally or legally responsible for the nefarious uses to which it is put. Are kitchen knife manufacturers guilty of murder every time someone is stabbed with one? Is Apple responsible for the fact that Joe Bloggs has his best mate's album ripped using iTunes? Is Google responsible for the fact that you can use it to find things for free that you should have to pay for? Admittedly, TPB could be said to be slightly more in control of the trackers they host, but ultimately TPB earns money from advertising alongside what are essentially search engine results - trackers are nothing more than 'pointers' telling your bit-torrent software where to find what you want.
Quote:
Remember if you are aware that illegal activity is being commited you are not free from prosecution.
Not true. You are entitled to turn a blind eye - there is no generally applicable whistle-blowing law, at least in the UK. In some very specific circumstances (e.g. if you are a lawyer and you suspect your client of money laundering) you are required to report it and it is a criminal offence not to do so, but if you see someone beating someone up in the street and you stand by and let it happen, you might, morally, be scum, but you aren't committing a crime.
bigniall 31st January 2008, 19:41 Quote
Lawyers and solicitors get paid huge sums of money every day finding new loopholes in every law in the land - perhaps they should question their own morals from time to itme!
Bungle 31st January 2008, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
They are making available a service which is used (and which they know is used) to facilitate copyright infringement, but that isn't quite the same thing. ISPs know that the service they provide can be and frequently is used to facilitate copyright infringement, as do the manufacturers of DVD writers (or, going further back, Minidisc hardware, VCRs, cassette recorders, reel-to-reel recorders etc.) and the writers of CD ripping software. In every case, there is a legal purpose and an illegal purpose to which the product or service can be put - all can be used to facilitate copyright infringement, but file sharing software can be used to distribute open source or freeware software; DVD burners for backup, VCRs to time-shift TV programs; cassette recorders for recording yourself singing Baa Baa Black Sheep. I don't agree that a person who makes available a multi-purpose tool should be held morally or legally responsible for the nefarious uses to which it is put. Are kitchen knife manufacturers guilty of murder every time someone is stabbed with one? Is Apple responsible for the fact that Joe Bloggs has his best mate's album ripped using iTunes? Is Google responsible for the fact that you can use it to find things for free that you should have to pay for? Admittedly, TPB could be said to be slightly more in control of the trackers they host, but ultimately TPB earns money from advertising alongside what are essentially search engine results - trackers are nothing more than 'pointers' telling your bit-torrent software where to find what you want.

Not true. You are entitled to turn a blind eye - there is no generally applicable whistle-blowing law, at least in the UK. In some very specific circumstances (e.g. if you are a lawyer and you suspect your client of money laundering) you are required to report it and it is a criminal offence not to do so, but if you see someone beating someone up in the street and you stand by and let it happen, you might, morally, be scum, but you aren't committing a crime.
Read this.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4771910.stm.
"eBay said the case reinforced its position that as an "information society service provider", its duty is simply to remove illegal sale notices from its site when it is made aware of them rather than to comb through it for them." The question is, are they doing enough to prevent illegal transactions.
The point about CD writers is invalid. When the equipment leaves the factory, the company has no knowledge of how it is being used. With Pirate bay, they own the servers that these illegal sharing activities are being conducted on and so have to take some responsibility for what goes on. In there lies the question though, how much preventative measures should Pirate bay be taking to stop this.
mikeuk2004 31st January 2008, 21:20 Quote
Does that mean google goes to court?? They know people use their search engine to find copy protected material and therefore are aiding and abetting known copyright infringers.

Bye internet, you were loved while you were here.
DXR_13KE 31st January 2008, 21:30 Quote
Quote:

In an few hours from now The Pirate Bay team will probably be charged with aiding or facilitating copyright infringement. If they are found guilty, they could receive sentences of up to 2 years in prison, but the site will remain online, no matter what.


Last month, the Swedish authorities announced that they were planning to press charges against 5 people involved with The Pirate Bay, stating that the 5 individuals will be charged with “facilitating copyright infringement”.

Today, after nearly two years of collecting evidence, the prosecutor will officially press charges. But, no matter what the outcome of the case, The Pirate Bay says that they’re here to stay.

On the Pirate Bay Blog we read: “In case we lose the pending trial (yeah right) there will still not be any changes to the site. The Pirate Bay will keep operating just as always. We’ve been here for years and we will be here for many more.”

The Pirate Bay is not hosted in Sweden anymore, in fact, the Pirate Bay crew claims that they themselves have no idea where the servers are located. After the raid on their servers in 2006, they decided that it was better not to know where they are. One thing is sure though, they are not hosted in just one country.

For those who are interested, all the legal documents the police collected in the upcoming case can now be bought form the Swedish police for only $1000. They sure try to profit from all the recent media attention. However, Brokep is reasonable, as he says: “Even though the information in the investigation might be a bit personal at times (alcohol intake, sex addictions) we’re not suing the police for commercially exploiting the material they took from us without permission.”

For now, The Pirate Bay team is staying confident and firm in the belief that they have nothing to worry about. They argue that they are just running a search engine, and never stored any copyrighted material on their servers.

Stay tuned for more Pirate Bay news today.
http://torrentfreak.com//images/pirate-bay-map.jpg
mclean007 31st January 2008, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle
The point about CD writers is invalid. When the equipment leaves the factory, the company has no knowledge of how it is being used. With Pirate bay, they own the servers that these illegal sharing activities are being conducted on and so have to take some responsibility for what goes on. In there lies the question though, how much preventative measures should Pirate bay be taking to stop this.
I recognise that the point about CD writers is not a perfect analogy. My comparison to Google, however (as repeated by mikeuk2004) is pretty much bang on - Google indexes and links to sites which offer copyright protected content for download without the licenceholder's permission; TPB provides an index of trackers, which enable users to download copyright protected content without the licenceholder's permission. Both use their index to drive traffic to the site which they monetise through advertising. What is the difference?

Don't follow the relevance of your BBC link on the eBay story - first of all, eBay was cleared. Secondly, this was nothing to do with copyright infringement; thirdly, eBay receives a share of the revenue from each sale, so could be argued to have an agency arrangement with the seller. TPB simply lists, sorts and indexes things and profits from the traffic generated (like Google).
mclean007 31st January 2008, 22:04 Quote
Actually, to compare Google to the eBay question, it would be like Google hosting ads for illegal goods / services - don't know if it happens or Google's stance on that, but it is more like that than comparing to Google/TPB search results.
Bungle 31st January 2008, 23:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
I recognise that the point about CD writers is not a perfect analogy. My comparison to Google, however (as repeated by mikeuk2004) is pretty much bang on - Google indexes and links to sites which offer copyright protected content for download without the licenceholder's permission; TPB provides an index of trackers, which enable users to download copyright protected content without the licenceholder's permission. Both use their index to drive traffic to the site which they monetise through advertising. What is the difference?
Your right. There is no difference in theory, but google has alot more legitimate links to legal sights and is an aid to commerce. If international law is changed to make companies more responsible for what they provide links to, then watch out.
TPB provides links to predominently illegal copyright material. Not only that but they advertise links on the front page to this material. Willingly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Don't follow the relevance of your BBC link on the eBay story - first of all, eBay was cleared. Secondly, this was nothing to do with copyright infringement; thirdly, eBay receives a share of the revenue from each sale, so could be argued to have an agency arrangement with the seller. TPB simply lists, sorts and indexes things and profits from the traffic generated (like Google).
The point I was trying to make (and failed obviously) was in relation to aiding and abetting: "eBay said the case reinforced its position that as an "information society service provider", its duty is simply to remove illegal sale notices from its site when it is made aware of them rather than to comb through it for them." Whenever the word duty is used it generally implies law (read a copy of your health and safety at work act). Ebay has a duty to remove notices to illegal sales.
TPB knows full well that the majority of the links it host are to illegal content, but does virtually nothing to prevent the practice. Quite cleverly though they have denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the servers that are hosting the links, so they are in a much stronger position than last time. I mean come on, when a link to "[PC] Halflife 2 full game cracked by wibblehackers 4Gig download", what else could it be.;)
Kode 1st February 2008, 00:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle
The point about CD writers is invalid. When the equipment leaves the factory, the company has no knowledge of how it is being used. With Pirate bay, they own the servers that these illegal sharing activities are being conducted on and so have to take some responsibility for what goes on. In there lies the question though, how much preventative measures should Pirate bay be taking to stop this.
The illegal sharing activities are NOT being conducted on TPB's servers, the illegal sharing activities are being conducted on users machines, directly connecting to another users machines, TPBs servers are in no way involved in the actual sharing, all they do is tell the torrent software where they can find it, if someone puts your postcode into their tomtom and uses the tomtom to go to your house and rob it, is it tomtoms fault?
DXR_13KE 1st February 2008, 00:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle
I mean come on, when a link to "[PC] Halflife 2 full game cracked by wibblehackers 4Gig download", what else could it be.;)

sometimes it is porn.....
rhuitron 1st February 2008, 10:11 Quote
The Pirate Bay.
In my house it is!!!!!

F U mother F'ing Crusaders and Do gooders.

Kudos to the Founders, and to bigniall
Pirate bay lives ON!!!!!

And Have you guys ever stopped to think that Google also helps with Child Porn <-------------------

Becuase like the gents in the forum are saying, Google Indexes and links to Child porn when somebody looks for it in the Photos search.

*Vomits*

Anyways.
Best of luck to the Founders. (I know their names, But I am just calling them that, so they sound super cool. Which they are!)
Lepermessiah 1st February 2008, 14:35 Quote
I hope piracy stops, it is hurting PC gaming, I have no sympathy for ignorant pirates.
DXR_13KE 1st February 2008, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
I hope piracy stops, it is hurting PC gaming, I have no sympathy for ignorant pirates.

i will laugh in your face if that happens and sales do not increase.....;)
Lepermessiah 1st February 2008, 15:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i will laugh in your face if that happens and sales do not increase.....;)

It will, that is obvious, people pirating games like Crysis have enough money to buy a top PC yet not a game? Come on, what a moronic comment. will they increase a lot? No, they will increase, and face it, when devs see 50% of gamers playing online using a cracked copy, it makes them think they need to look at the consoles, regardless of the actual impact. It hurts period.
DXR_13KE 1st February 2008, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
It will, that is obvious, people pirating games like Crysis have enough money to buy a top PC yet not a game? Come on, what a moronic comment. will they increase a lot? No, they will increase, and face it, when devs see 50% of gamers playing online using a cracked copy, it makes them think they need to look at the consoles, regardless of the actual impact. It hurts period.

that is interesting, everyone that pirates Crysis has a "top PC".... kewl, then i must fire up the torrents and see if my machine will morph into a "top PC".[/sarcasm]
game sales would increase..... maybe by less then 10%.... i don't know... maybe they would go down seeing that people would be mad, ISPs would see a reduction in package speed and profits... blank CD/DVD manufacturers would loose money with less sales, computer manufacturers would loose money because more money would go for the media it self or people would have no media to play on these so they buy less hardware, MP3 player sales would go down..... all kinds of things would happen around the world, unexpected things.... humanity is very hard to simulate in these events that have yet to happen.....

as for devs seeing 50% players playing with a pirated copy and doing nothing..... i think that they are retarded... there is such a thing as global key ban system, you were affected by the ban and you paid for the game? go to your shop and talk to them so they can exchange the game or talk to the makers of the game give a prof of purchase to them and they will send you a new key....... and as the game goes cheaper, more people buy it (this happens with me and loads of my friends) and play online transforming that retarded 50% value into a similarly retarded 85%+ value if the dev does nothing to prevent pirated keys from entering the system.

it has all to do with dev smartness, manoeuvrability, and the quality of your media.
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