The Pirate Bay Gets Closer to Retrial

Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were last month sentenced to one year each in prison and fines amounting to a combined $3.6 million. All four vowed to appeal the ruling and during the press conference, Sunde went off camera and came back with a sheet of paper that said "I OWE U 31,000,000 SEK." That's as close as they are going get, he said. He went on to say that even if he had that kind of money, he would rather burn everything he owned and even then, he wouldn’t hand over the ashes.

Not long after, Tomas Norström, the judge presiding over the case, was accused of being biased in his decision due to his involvement with various copyright bodies. Norström is a part of Svenska föreningen för upphovsrätt (Swedish Copyright Association), whose other members include those who represented the entertainment industry in the trial against the Pirate Bay. Norström denied that his involvement with copyright groups played any part in his decision, however Pirate Bay defense lawyer Peter Althin said that he plans to demand a retrial.

Althin spoke to CNet on Friday and detailed Peter Sunde’s defense, adding that he is asking the high court of justice to grant a retrial in the district court of Stockholm. According to the interview with CNet, in addition to the alleged conflict of interest, Sunde's appeal objects to the verdict's conclusion that his company helped develop The Pirate Bay. Rather, he has only admitted being a spokesman for the site. They are (of course), using the ever popular argument that TPB does not encourage anyone to commit a crime. So even if Sunde’s company was found to have a development role, TBP did not assist copyright violation. Althin told the publication that Sunde is also claiming that the damages to copyright holders were too high and calculated in an unreasonable way.

TorrentFreak today reports that, aside from demanding a retrial, the four will also ask for a fresh investigation to be opened up. According to TF, the defendants will request a new investigation from the police because the investigation on which the prosecution built its case was headed by Jim Keyzer, who already knew that he was going to be employed by Warner Bros. when he interviewed the defendants.

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  • Clintonio
    It's funny, the governments and EU in general are trying so hard to paint P2P and trackers as evil that they'll willing use the same sort of bias tactics that corrupt third world nations use in "fair trials".

    If they would hurry up and realise that their out of date law systems don't work in the same way online, and come up with some useful reforms, we may not need to get into these messes.

    All I can say is that, for the sake of the net, that the Pirate Bay wins... then change their name to be less provokative.
  • Anonymous
    Its like sentencing a hotel for encouraging prostitution because they rent out rooms by the hour.. That approach won't hold... If anything, they are guilty for knowing that illegal activity takes place on their site and not reporting to authorities.