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back to article Pirate Bay rejects law-breaking claims

A defendant in The Pirate Bay trial has dismissed claims that the notorious file sharing site’s activities are illegal. Jonas Nilsson, who represents The Pirate Bay’s co-founder Fredrik Neij, insisted in the defence counsel’s closing statement today that the BitTorrent tracker’s operations were completely legit. He also took a …

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Anonymous Coward

Yup

I noticed TPB's downtime. This completely put a stop to my copyright infringement activities for around 15 to 20 seconds while I tried another of the many well-known trackers.

Really supports the prosecution's case, doesn't it?

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Pirate

Oh dear...

""It is not proved that Fredrik Neij has earned any money, just that the Pirate Bay's advertising revenues have gone to paying the site's costs.""

It's just as well this is a beyond-reasonable-doubt criminal case, because in a balance-of-probabilities civil case, refusing to refute the claim would leave them wide open.

Do any legal eagles out there know whether this lack of denial would be usable in a civil suit by an individual copyright holder?

May the Pirate Bay become a graveyard of wrecked hulks.

Down with the Pirate Bay.

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Unhappy

Down again

Pirate bay is down again... Dammit!

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Boffin

I'll bet

That when the result is revealed it will be so misguided, lacking clarity, meaningless and rambling that both sides will claim victory and in the end there will be no change to the current status quo.

Can we have a rich lawyer icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps El Reg could pay attention to this bit:

“That someone at The Pirate Bay has a cocky attitude or certain political standpoint is not sufficient to issue a guilty verdict," he said.

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Anonymous Coward

Even if they're not found guilty...

...the "rights owners" (hate that term) will get them in the end.

Look at the way they septics have gone after furriners who run gambling sites. Who'd like to bet that one day they will visit a country that kowtows to the US (wonder where that might be then?) and find themseleves arrested and summarilly extradited to the US to stand trial. The more we see that famous cocky attitude the more likely it is to happen.

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Paris Hilton

Down due to?

Are they down due to too much traffic caused by massive exposure in the News?

Paris as she’s been known to go down for exposure... (see pirate bay for video evidence)

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Anonymous Coward

Evidence somewhere surely?

He also dismissed claims from the prosecution that

much of the material found via The Pirate Bay was

copyrighted media.

"There is no evidence that supports this," he said.

Cough, "right"

Surely if these people are taking Pirate Bay to court for proving access to copyrighted media they must have done even a minimal survey of the Pirate Bay links. My guess would be that over 95% of all the torrents indexed by Pirate Bay are to copyrighted material and if that's the case I would have thought that would have been something the prosecutors would have wanted in front of the court?

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Dead Vulture

technology

its technology could be used for illegal purposes????

ok, prosecute Dell/Apple/Compaq computers because i can rip a CD on to it and copy it... illegal.

After that prosecute BMW etc because its technology allows me to speed... illegal

Prosecute Colt because its gun technology allows me to kill .. illegal

and once again they fail to see that stopping the most popular just means that another most popular will soon appear... ala Napster (remember them????)

anyway , time to eat a kitten

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Bronze badge

although im getting bored with the repetiotions of this story

i just pondered on the idea of how many of the jury download torrents and like to be able to download torrents

maybe even members on tpb

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Pirate

@Anonymous AHole

" It's just as well this is a beyond-reasonable-doubt criminal case, because in a balance-of-probabilities civil case, refusing to refute the claim would leave them wide open.

Do any legal eagles out there know whether this lack of denial would be usable in a civil suit by an individual copyright holder?

May the Pirate Bay become a graveyard of wrecked hulks.

Down with the Pirate Bay."

Look Anonymous Asshole, it's very easy. The Pirate Bay is one of the reasons that ITunes now sells high bitrate non-DRM tracks for a reasonable price, because when the music industry was screwing everyone, everyone went to file sharing sites. When the movie industry realises that they could make more money by charging a fair price the Pirate Bay will be doing a lot less business and everyone will benefit. If copyright holders rights had always been the upheld as they would like them to have been, there would have been no public libraries, no magnetic media, no MP3s, no TIVOs and no doubt a lot of other stuff that short sighted self righteous people like yourself take for granted.

Long Live The Pirate Bay.

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RE: Oh dear...

"It's just as well this is a beyond-reasonable-doubt criminal case, because in a balance-of-probabilities civil case, refusing to refute the claim would leave them wide open."

Not at all. In case you never noticed, trials in "civilised" countries place the burden of proof on the accuser, whether it's a reasonable doubt case or not. Imagine yourself accused of murder at a time when you were asleep in bed, alone, and thus lacking an alibi. Now try to imagine how you would prove your innocence from a holding cell and you might see why it's up to the prosecution to prove guilt rather than the other way round. Unless of course simply saying "I didn't do it" was enough to get you released.

RE: Evidence somewhere surely?

"they must have done even a minimal survey of the Pirate Bay links"

These are the same people who tried to present torrent files into evidence that didn't even use TPB as the tracker. So I'd guess they didn't :-P

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Anonymous Coward

Next up is the ISPs

If Pirate Bay loses, then next up to be sued will be the ISPs. It will always be easier to go after big targets like TPB or ISPs than to go after individual file sharers.

One you establish the principle, that a third party is guilty for a users violations, it will only extend from there.

Why sue users when you can sue a site, why sue a site when you can sue the ISP, why sue one ISP when you can target a carrier...

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Black Helicopters

worrying!

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmbills/009/09009.100-106.html

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/03/0029258

"Nilsson also argued that BitTorrent tech could be used both legally and illegally not only on The Pirate Bay but also via the likes of Google or MySpace."

Does this mean "facebook" will be the new national identity database????

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g e
Silver badge

Hold on... I got it!

"why sue one ISP when you can target a carrier..."

Why sue a carrier when you can sue the media creator!

They just need to sue the record co's for making the media available in the first place!

Sorted.

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Pirate

Down with lawyers

I'm not sure I know the answer re. copyright - does anyone? But everyone really should read TPB's responses to legal threats at http://thepiratebay.org/legal - I wish the rest of the world stood up to law firms in the same way - lawyers are just overpaid bullies that spoil the world.

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Pirate

Wont someone please think of the...

so called security experts who worked oh so hard to encryption on programs to make them uncrackable...

If it wasn't for the likes of the Pirate bay, those poor chaps would of been out of a job long ago. It's a vicious circle really! Although saying that, bringing down the pirate bay won't really stop pirating, there's other trackers out there, other ways to download files (newgroups on Virgin Media anyone?)

So.. yeah.. who will be the next target in the media? ISP's? Google?

Long Live The Pirate bay - Y'arrrr

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Go

What's in a Name

Maybe they should have chosen a name that taunts just a bit less. Maybe those that call themselves pirates deserve to be treated as such. Maybe discretion is the better part of valor; not to mention simply keeping a low profile and staying off certain people's RADAR.

Que Sera, Sera

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This argument sounds eerily familiar...

It is a completely legal technology that is offered by [Napster]. It is an open [application] where users themselves upload content. There is certainly a lot of copyrighted material but this is an internet problem, not a [Napster] problem.

Didn't we lose this battle already? :(

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@ lionel baden:

"i just pondered on the idea of how many of the jury download torrents"

Well, now they've had it explained to them, they probably all will...

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@Seanie Ryan

"Prosecute Colt because its gun technology allows me to kill .. illegal"

This, sadly, has been done in the U.S. ...with the result being that the firearms manufacturer paying massively.

Good example of a bad result.

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Pirate

ISPs Next?

Agreed AC, if they win then the ISPs also may be seen to have a 'duty of care' to the copywrite owners in transmitting data carrying their warez oops, wares.

I dont use tpb but respect people who stand their ground against large corps

So hoist the jolly roger & run out the guns!

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Anonymous Coward

@System

Ignorance of the law is no excuse!

The two standards for proof, beyond-reasonable-doubt in a criminal case, and balance-of-probabilities in a civil case, are EXACTLY what you have in trials in "civilised" countries. For avoidance of doubt, that includes the United States and Great Britain.

Like many people, you appear not to realise that in civil suits, the plaintiff does NOT have to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt. This is very important, as it means that however weak the plaintiff's case, if you make no reply to it, you will LOSE. You can't just refuse to testify. You have to make a stronger case for your position.

I am not a lawyer and this is not advice.

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Pirate

Long Live The Pirate bay - Y'arrrr!

nuff said

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Pirate

Damn Right

"Look Anonymous Asshole, it's very easy. The Pirate Bay is one of the reasons that ITunes now sells high bitrate non-DRM tracks for a reasonable price, because when the music industry was screwing everyone, everyone went to file sharing sites. When the movie industry realises that they could make more money by charging a fair price the Pirate Bay will be doing a lot less business and everyone will benefit. If copyright holders rights had always been the upheld as they would like them to have been, there would have been no public libraries, no magnetic media, no MP3s, no TIVOs and no doubt a lot of other stuff that short sighted self righteous people like yourself take for granted.

Long Live The Pirate Bay."

Yep. and part of the argument that is always convieniently overlooked by the supporters of capital accumulation. The music industry et al find that they dont have the collective nouse at this time to compete properly, so what do they do to protect the wealth of a handful of men? Go to court.

Fuck 'em. Compete properly. Adjust your business models you jerks.

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RE: @System

Nowhere did I say that a civil case needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. What I said was that it was up to the prosecution to prove the charges, whether beyond reasonable doubt or otherwise. If the prosecution fail to prove the charges to the required level, then a reply is not even needed.

If it was your original comment (hard to tell with anon), it would seem that you are ignorant of the law.

For starters, entering a plea of "not guilty" says that the defendant is refuting the charges. Whether or not the words "not guilty" are used in the closing arguments is irrelevant. And closing arguments is exactly where this quote is from. I think Gottfrids response of "Where is my ten million, please, I want it, where is it?" can be taken as a denial of the accusation at the time it was made.

Secondly, stating that the prosecution have failed to meet the burden of proof for a criminal case does not automatically open up the defendants to a loss in a civil case. It may well be that the prosecution failed to meet any legal standard of proof in their allegation. "It is not proved" doesn't mean "It can be proven at a lower standard" or "It happened but you can't prove it", it simply means what it says.

Thirdly, the prosecution seemed to be taking a wild guess at how much the site turned over in advertising revenue according to http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-trial-day-10-calls-for-jail-time-090302 . This would likely fail even a "balance of probabilities" standard for evidence, unless the prosecutor is also qualified as an accountant and has in depth knowledge of server hosting and bandwidth costs as well as online advertising markets. Making wild-ass guesses is not the same thing as evidence.

So, no, using the words "it is not proved" rather than "it did not happen" cannot be used to nail them in a civil trial.

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Gates Horns

Not Guilty

Not Guilty does not mean that you refute the charges...it just means that you do not feel guilt.

Either you have done it and you are not remorseful, or you do not feel guilty because you didnt do it.

"how do you plead?" the correct reponses should be:

"I am not guilty" or

"I am guilty"

It is more a statement of feeling.

This whole part of the courtroom 'scene' suggests that the defendant is, or should be (feel) guilty of something. which in turn means that the authorities should have done their respective jobs properly.

Unfortunately lawyers tend to bend language quite significantly, as well as people who hear the words but not their meaning.

Evil Bill - because he should be guilty

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Anonymous Coward

@system

No, the original comment was not posted by this anonymous coward, who does not want to be mistaken for a lawyer and sued by some fool who relies on these posts as advice.

You have now mixed up the original issue with whether or not evidence given in a criminal trial can later be used in a civil trial, which was nothing to do with your first post, which seemed to be stating that the plaintiff in a civil case would have to prove "guilt" to the standards of a criminal case. I am unsure from your rejoinder whether you have this straight yet.

You still seem to think that civil case "prosecutors" need to make a strong case. Actually it goes like this; plaintiff claims copyright infringement and asks for damages, gives testimony stating that respondent supplied illegal copies and that the plaintiff therefore lost x amount in royalties. Sworn testimony is evidence. The respondent gives no testimony. Balance of evidence is therefore in favour of the plaintiff. What the plaintiff needs to do is testify that he didn't supply copies of copyright material. That makes it one word against another. Plaintiff would then need to produce further evidence to support his contention.

Of course the respondent's lawyer might challenge the plaintiff's testimony; "how do you know", "where did these figures come from" but it is unlikely that he will be able to completely negate the plaintiff's testimony by cross examination alone. He will need to introduce evidence to support his client's side. Plaintiff's estimate of revenue lost to them or gained by the respondent may be characterised as a "guess", but the respondent provides no counter evidence. 15 love to plaintiff. Evidence is introduced in testimony, if not by the respondent in person, then perhaps by an expert witness. Simply not giving evidence in a civil case is a mistake. Not turning up is the other common mistake.

Yes, people have gone on to be sued successfully for civil damages after a criminal prosecution has failed, the most famous example being that of O. J. Simpson, but that was not what the original post re: civil and criminal standards of proof was about, nor was it apparent in your first reply that that was the issue you were addressing. Shifting ground is not a valid argument.

Part of the confusion is no doubt due to the fact that there are both criminal and civil copyright laws. The prosecution here is seeking to JAIL the defendants, not get damages. Perhaps Pirate Bay will also face civil action. The music publishers have had a lot of success with civil cases against individual downloaders, who often pay whatever is demanded rather than get into a court battle, with a higher claim and costs added on.

Incidentally, it has recently become common for shops to pursue shoplifters through civil claims rather than seek a criminal conviction for theft, partly because the police don't want to be bothered these days, but mostly because the standard of proof is much lower and the "defendants" don't realise that they are not going to be able to get away with just keeping schtum.

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Pirate

Feh!

Torrents huh? Now what a quaint way to get video!

TPB could go tits up and it's passing wouldn't leave a ripple in the waters.

Oh, if the authorities only had an idea of how many computer savvy women and housewives share videos, music and software and more importantly.. where.

I think of it as Hell's Coffee Klatsch.

Sites like TPB are for the angry teenage fanbois. The real shit happens... well.. where few are actually looking.

Deb.

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Flame

civil case? - not likely.

"""It is not proved that Fredrik Neij has earned any money, just that the Pirate Bay's advertising revenues have gone to paying the site's costs."" It's just as well this is a beyond-reasonable-doubt criminal case, because in a balance-of-probabilities civil case, refusing to refute the claim would leave them wide open."

I do not think so at all:

1. The prosecution suggested that the technology is not the focus (this makes the gun metaphor irrelevant).

2. The defendant did respond with suggesting that there is no copyright infringing material on their site. The prosecution did withdraw from this issue.

3. The defendants can have opinions about copyright which are not liked by the prosecution. However such opinions are not in themselves illegal and would not be sufficient to carry a civil case.

4. The matter of making money on TPB is interesting but not necessarily a base upon which a civil case would get very far. The above 3 points are heavily against the case. If the technology and its availability is not deemed a suitable target for the prosecution to use (probably because this foundation would upset the business model of Google and others which are viewed as legit businesses etc) then the diffulty is to isolate the use and application of this technology specifically for illegal activities. This is something which the defendants have made a case against in the trial. The prosecution has not taken their case further in this issue. So the prosecution has now moved towards focusing mainly on the political opinion of the people behind TPB. It is very unlikely indeed that a civil case could be succesfully brought forward based on targetting a person just because of their personal opion on copyright law is different from the one promoted by the record companies.

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