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Further Trial Delays for The Pirate Bay
August 28, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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With everything that's going on in the file-sharing world, it's easy to forget that administration behind The Pirate Bay is facing a criminal copyright violation trial in Sweden. The stakes aren't too terrible for the end user, as a worst case scenario wouldn't destroy the globally based network. However, the administrators are looking at hefty damages and possibly prison time - providing the case against them ever gets to trial.

The Pirate Bay is looking at a significant damage claim from the entertainment industry, primarily from the MPA (Motion Picture Association) and the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). Total damages sought by the plaintiffs are ~$2.5 million from the IFPI, ~$15 million from the MPA, and ~$185,000 from the Swedish government. Whether or not that will happen remains unclear, as the much anticipated trial has yet to start, and according to The Local, has been delayed once again:

"'It has taken an extremely long time. It took time to inform the suspects, the last one as late as May. Then the claims from the plaintiffs had to come in,' said Anita Thimberg, an administrator with the Stockholm District Court, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper."

To better understand the situation in Sweden, Slyck has caught up with Peter Sunde, spokesperson and named defendant in The Pirate Bay trial.

Slyck: From your perspective, what is causing the delay?

Peter: I think it's the fact that the courts are very busy and the so called crime is not something that they can prioritize over real crimes.

There's also many factors here - they have decided to include four people that they claim to be part of the group (which is not correct), where one lives outside of Sweden. If he cannot come to the trial it will not be considered a fair trial in Sweden, since there can be a blame game against a person that does not show up to the trail. That's why the courts work very hard for everybody to be present.

Slyck: [The Local's] article states the lawyers are busy, does this include TPB's lawyers as well?

Peter: I think it only include our lawyers. We have some of the top lawyers in Sweden that are active in most of the court cases that you would read about in the Swedish news papers. They're famous here and a lot of people employ them because of this. The courts have to respect that they (our lawyers) [cannot] prioritize our irrelevant case over people suffering from real crime. Also, in the end, the courts will have to listen to our own time schedule as well, since we cannot be expected to be available 24/7 with these cases (as I mentioned before with the guy living abroad). And to sum it up - they need to find 6-10 days of free time in the [busiest] court in Sweden, make the [busiest] lawyers in Sweden have their schedule fitting with these 6-10 days, together with our schedules. It's a quite hard thing to do. Do you see this delay benefiting your case, or does your side already feel well prepared?

Peter: We want the case tried as soon as possible in order to get our point proven - that we're totally legal. We already know that today, but having a court case hanging over you for years and years is a big injustice against us as people tend to be a bit uncertain about what we do. We have previously written to the courts and asked them to get it moving with our case, but they have not done so.

We're very well prepared and have been so even before the unfair raid against us. Especially now with the case of the bribed police officer, we have even more proof of the injustice. Realistically, when do you see this trial begin?

Peter: My guess is at earliest next summer.


Trials of this magnitude typically aren't settled overnight. With delays piling up, it may be a long time before a resolution is reached. In the meantime, The Pirate Bay and its ten million plus user base continues to expand, further aggravating the efforts of the entertainment industry.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers

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