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back to article Pirate Bay judge cleared of bias by Swedish appeal court

The judge in the Pirate Bay trial has been cleared of any accusations of bias, a Swedish court of appeal ruled today. In April it was revealed that Thomas Norström was a member of the same pro-copyright groups as several of the main entertainment industry reps in the case. At the time the judge meted out sentences and fines to …

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Silver badge

And we thought our legal system was screwed!

So much for Justice must be seen to be done

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WTF?

youve gotta be S&^tting me

thats almost as bad as the judge being on the bloody payroll !!!!

how can they not rule him as being biased !!!!!

Words just fail me at the moment !!!

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Stop

also

when accessing pdf links you put the link in warnings e.g. (pdf)

Can we now have the same for twitter links e.g. (twatter)

Off to go clean the puke off my keyboard

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Badgers

<title>

Taking it to the ECHR will tie the original case up in litigation for a few more years and allow TPB time to get even more MEPs and overturn the copyright law.

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Grenade

Bull

"The court has come to the conclusion that none of these circumstances, neither alone nor together, means there is doubt on whether the judge was objective,"

thats c**p, the fact that he has signed up to the copyright organization at all is enough for him to have some kind of bias,

there is no way that even if this guy did not activly take part he still would not have some feelings against file sharing

this is a rubbish desicion and is still no better then the original trial desicion

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Anonymous Coward

Betcha that pisses off the Pirate Bay Boys

Ouch, it's gonna hurt when the Pirate Bay Boys end up in the slammer and lose all they own.

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WTF?

Doesn't matter whether he was biased or not

The law must be *seen* to be unbiased, which hasn't happened in this case.

The judge should have declared an interest and recused himself.

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Grenade

Amazing.

Only at the last second was the judge in this bias case changed from a man who was a member of the SAME COPYRIGHT ORGANISATION.

Been taking notes from the US judiciary I think.

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Thumb Down

Bias

I think, whether the first jude displayed bias, or not, should be immaterial. The fact that he was part of a distinctly bias group and, though it, an associate of the prosecution, means he should have immediately disqualified himself from the case. Not doing so is, in itself, bias.

The Pirate bay guys should be given a fair trial by an unbiased judge. Then, assuming they are found guilty, it will have some air of legitimacy, rather than this, which has only a stink of corruption and government interference.

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FAIL

wow

"The court has come to the conclusion that none of these circumstances, neither alone nor together, means there is doubt on whether the judge was objective," the court said in a statement.."

WHAT? Exactly how did they come to that conclusion? This can be likened to world cup football matches. There is a reason the referees are chosen from a neutral country to both teams playing; someone NON-BIASED is presiding over the event.

The affiliation with the pro copyright group added to the fact of the mickey mouse prosecution case and all the mistakes that were made early on, it's hard to believe there is still a case here at all. There's something very odd about all of this...

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Bronze badge
Flame

FAIL on BrokeP's part

So if "BrokeP" (get a real name twit) was up before the beak for burglary and the judge was a member of his Neighbourhood Watch then he'd no doubt be claiming the judge was biased because of that. Look dipshit, you were doing something of questionable legality, while the judge wasn't. BrokeP - you lose, so go straight to jail you sad bandwidth waster.

Rant off.

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Pirate

fraudulent trial

Otherwise known as a conflict of interest. If TPB 4 do get locked up I imagine the protests that follow will bring Stockholm to a standstill for days. Getting 8% of votes in the recent elections to the European Parliament suggests the beginnings of a significant political movement.

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No doubt on whether the judge was objective!?

Astonishing. Best of luck to them pursuing this. I mean, what a bizarre assertion! What would it take for suspicion of bias to be considered reasonable!?

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Anonymous Coward

Cleared?

Actually, just read that quote again:

"The court has come to the conclusion that none of these circumstances, neither alone nor together, means there is doubt on whether the judge was objective,"

It doesn't say the judge was or wasn't objective, just that whatever he was, there is no doubt!

So they've had a look, decided the old duffer wasas biased as hell and decided to be clever in their statement.

Paris because she knows how to give a funny handshake!

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Stop

Wow.

Sweden's either got a pair of big brass cajones or they don't mind being seen as that woefully corrupt.

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Bronze badge

What's that

a judge passing judgment on a judge?

Not much chance of a conflict of interest here then?

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FAIL

WTF?

And here I was under the impression that judges and juries are supposed to be impartial and judge things based of THE FACTS and THE EVIDENCE. Oh wait I should be used to this seeing as I live in the states.

/fail for myself because I forgot this key point

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Anonymous Coward

It's about the law

It doesn't matter if the judge was bias as long as the ruling is based on the facts of the case and law, which it appears to be. People can find fault with any judge or law, but that doesn't mean the criminals get to go free. It doesn't work that way.

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WTF?

@Chris Wareham

"Look dipshit, you were doing something of questionable legality, while the judge wasn't."

A judge taking backhanders in brown envelopes - or in kind - from your copyright-club mates is as illegal as fuck. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if that beak ended up with WB job just like the knobbled cop did.

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FAIL

I am looking.....

forward to seeing how the ECJ rules on this case. I myself am concerned about the lack of impartiality of the Panelists that WIPO out forward to hear cases under the UDRP domain name

dispute system. For example, they have many Panelists that appear biased in that they represent and are members of IP enforcement bodies, THAT is hardly neutral.

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Pirate

ARRRR!

That's all.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

And afterwards...

...the supreme court judge, original trial judge and the prosecutors all retired to the local gentlemans' club for port and cigars.

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Troll

@Chris Wareham

Obvious troll is obvious...

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Megaphone

Stop it, or you'll all go blind!

Onan

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Troll

@Bryce Prewitt

"Sweden's either got a pair of big brass cajones or they don't mind being seen as that woefully corrupt."

*shrug* Its sweden.. Scandinavias black sheep. Only country to make the Stazi seem human.

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JK
FAIL

So...

While I don't think I can support the pirate bay...

... if the judicial system is supposed to be taken seriously, then they have to stop pulling stuff like this.

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Grenade

Poor, poor freetards...

The whole world's against you. It's all an evil conspiracy by music business lawyers in Black Helicopters. They are more powerful than governments, etc.

If all that is true, how come file sharing is unstoppable?

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Bizarre

How can a judge with strong pro-copyright views preside fairly over such a copyright case? This is insane - the guy should clearly have recused himself from this case.

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@Barry 13

How can a judge with strong pro-not murdering people reside over a murder case? Quite easily as it turns out.

The people asking these sort of questions presume that infringing copyright is ok, substitute the crime in question with something else and it doesn't really seem to be a problem.

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Human Rights?

What human rights is BrokeP referring to? The ability to pilfer copyrighted files and facilitate that pilfering wasn't a human right the last time I looked.

I can't see what other right he's referring to.

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Another blow against armchair lawyers

Face it, freetards, when it comes to the law, you know jack shit.

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Pirate

@Michael 2

"Deciding the judge was biased would have been as absurd as deciding that someone who thinks murder and rape are morally and legally wrong is therefore biased against people standing trial and then found guilty of murder or rape."

The idea that murder and rape are bad is not controversial. The idea that non profit-making copyright infringement is bad is controversial. The proof of the latter is that Swedes elected an MEP on a platform that non profit-making copying should be permitted. So your argument is without merit.

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Big Brother

Wanna bet that...

...the appeal court judge is also a member of the same pro-copyright group as the original bent beak?

Big Brother is Watching You..... or rather, thanks to the Pirate Bay, I am watching Big Brother!

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@copsewood

The idea that copyright infringement is controversial is only prevelant in the community of people who infringe copyright. There are many things that some groups of people consider controversial, in some communities it's controversial to suggest that gay people should have the same rights as hetrosexual people, that doesn't mean that the people who hold views like that are in the right. Siteing proof of Sweeden's pro-copyright infringing beliefs based on a single election of an MEP would mean that the UK population think that being a racist is fine, because we elected a couple of BNP thugs to Europe. I would beg to differ.

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Alert

Substitute the crime in question...

Let's see if this works for _exactly_ the situation presented here:

1) A judge who believes that murder is bad should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of publishers of addresses of gun shops being charged with accessory to murder.

2) A judge who believes that CO2 contributes to global warming should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of advertisers for cars for violating the Kyoto Protocol.

3) A judge who believes that prostitution is bad should not be considered biased when presiding over a trial of publishers of phone books for accessory to solicitation for sex.

If you do not see what the problem is here, you are confusing your own bias against others with factual law. It is not a crime, even under the draconian US DCMA, to post links to sites where you do not have control of the content, and where you trust the users of your site to update descriptions of what they found there to warn(!) others of what they found. This is considered "academic" review, like it or not.

On another note: by International Copyright Treaty (the one that INTERPOL is threatened against you with every DVD viewing), the infringement must be prosecuted in the country of incident... which would not be Sweden - it would have been the country of the people that downloaded the .torrent file that was _linked_ to by the Pirate Bay servers - if this was, in fract, a crime.

The only reason Sweden was chosen is because that was the country of residence of the accused. Proper legal procedure would have been to get judicial waivers of all the countries applicable that would have them agree (under the rules of the Treaties) that the judgement in Sweden, if prosecuted there, would be binding for their jurisdictions as well. Only then would they have been able to pursue a case against them there.

That did not happen.

Over the last several years, US conglomerate interests have been focusing down on automated systems that were put in place for completely legitimate reasons as "bastions of piracy" (Reading U. anyone?). That fact that it is the people that use the system that exploit it is conveniently left out because that makes it too hard, expensive, and a political grenade for the agencies and associations to pursue.

They know who is infringing on their copyright - it is their own consumers. But, no one makes any money if you keep thwapping your customer over the head when they buy from you, do they?

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Pirate

@Fraser

"There are many things that some groups of people consider controversial, in some communities it's controversial to suggest that gay people should have the same rights as hetrosexual people, that doesn't mean that the people who hold views like that are in the right."

You've just given us a very good example which proves that what is considered controversial is subject to change. When I first heard the word "homosexuality" this was a criminal offence, and few people would have thought the idea that gays should have equal rights worth consideration, while I guess that in many liberal societies today the idea that gays should have equal rights is probably the majority view.

Then, in various US states, having a judge who was a Klu-Klux Clan member presiding over a trial of a framed black civil rights activist would not have been dismissed as representing a conflict of interest until this issue was appealed to the federal level. It's the same kind of issue here: the presumption that being an advocate of a copyright extremist advocacy organisation doesn't create a conflict in this trial is being used to marginalise any opposition to extreme copyright by branding it criminal. Yes, it's true that the repression here isn't on the same scale as that of blacks in the southern US in the fifties and sixties, but let's not ignore the fact that copyright extremists are threatening to lock their opponents up in jail here and are attempting to use their power as judges do this.

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Troll

The legal Einsteins are comming out of the woodwork!

There is no such thing as an unbiased judge.

In order for the defendants to get a retrial they would have to demonstrate how their conviction does not square with the facts of the case. The judge's bias is irrelevant if his decision was based firmly on the facts and how they relate to the law. The appeals court agreed with the lower court.

The Pirate Bay hosted thousands of links to copyrighted material for the expressed purpose of bringing users together for copyright infringement. Anyone who actually believes TPB had no idea or control over the links posted on their web site has either never looked there or is a liar. That’s a textbook example of aiding and abetting. It’s a slam-dunk conviction. Grow up and deal with it, kiddies.

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Big Brother

@Escovado

"That’s a textbook example of aiding and abetting. It’s a slam-dunk conviction. Grow up and deal with it, kiddies."

A textbook example of a troll, more like. For "aiding and abetting", the prosecution would have to show tortious behavior on the part of Pirate Bay downloaders AND the defendants, AND have quantifiable evidence of damage to the plaintiff.

Of course any reasonable person who can read Swedish can see they achieved absolutely none of the above, and were handed a summary judgment on a plate by a nobbled judge. Under Swedish tort, TPB have no duty of care to validate the links on their site, but criminal law may apply for strict-liability stuff like child porn.

BB, because IPTards have no problem fucking your privacy for money.

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Grenade

Fascism in 'Socialist' Sweden, how ironically German!

Chris Wareham, you seem to rather miss the point, Pirate Bay did not breach the degenerating sham many call Copyright, they are just a search engine like Google, they just happen specialise in providing results for BitTorrent files, something Google also caches and returns results for!

The key problem now is that corporations have revealing that their evil Corporatism (aka Fascism) had never gone away, but was merely camoflaged; they are quite obviously working ever more closely with corrupt politicians, and the legal system, to make a mockery of fair play and lawful justice!

The copyright system has been systematically corrupted and extended beyond reasonable bounds, so that many, like myself, now hold Copyright in contempt, and are not surprised at further corruption, like CopyFraud. Copyrights and patents need a massive reduction in scope, to get bar crooks out of the way of productive people, including customers, and genuine Capitalist businesses.

Note, I do not consider any artificial business, like a corporation, with less responsibilities and more rights than a person, by Fascist state edict, either lawful, or a genuine Capitalist business, that is just Socialism for the Rich.

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FAIL

@Steen Hive

One does not need to provide “quantifiable evidence of damage to the plaintiff” to prove copyright infringement. To establish copyright infringement in a court of law, a copyright owner must establish proof copyright ownership and proof of copying.

TPB advertises itself as the place to “Download music, movies, games, software!” They host thousands of bit torrent links to copyrighted works. They don’t call themselves “The Pirate Bay” for nothing. Furthermore, according to their “About” page: “The Pirate Bay was started by the swedish anti copyright organization Piratbyrån in the late 2003, but is since October 2004 separated and run by dedicated individuals.”

So what we have here, in their own words, is a web site, started by an “anti-copyright organization” for “Download[ing] music, movies, games, software.” You can spin the technicalities of the case all you want, the bottom line is that Pirate Bay set themselves up to aid and abet copyright infringement and they got busted for it.

This line from TPB’s “About” page is just precious: “Using the site is free of charge, but since running it costs money, donations are very much appreciated.” Gee whiz, it's too bad Pirate Bay doesn't feel the same way about all the people who spent millions of dollars creating the copyrighted works they help give away for free, huh? They are nothing but a bunch of arrogant and hypocritical thugs.

The users of TPB perform the actual copyright infringement and TPB knowingly brings them together to do so.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines “aid and abet” as “To assist or facilitate the commission of a crime or to promote its accomplishment.” Copyright infringement is still a crime and TPB facilitated in the commission of that crime.

TPB was convicted of aiding and abetting copyright infringement. Their conviction squares with the facts of the case. They got what they deserved.

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Big Brother

@Escovado

"One does not need to provide “quantifiable evidence of damage to the plaintiff” to prove copyright infringement. To establish copyright infringement in a court of law, a copyright owner must establish proof copyright ownership and proof of copying."

Proof of copyright infringement is quite rightly not enough to satisfy a tort suit in Sweden. Damage to the plaintiff must be established and shown.

"Black’s Law Dictionary defines “aid and abet” as “To assist or facilitate the commission of a crime or to promote its accomplishment.” Copyright infringement is still a crime and TPB facilitated in the commission of that crime."

"Black's Law Dictionary" might also inform you that copyright infringement is not "still a crime" - It never has been in countries with non-Mickey-Mouse legal systems. This is civil law here.

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FAIL

@Steen Hive

"[C]opyright infringement is not 'still a crime' - It never has been in countries with non-Mickey-Mouse legal systems. This is civil law here."

Nonsense. Copyright Infringers may also be subject to criminal prosecution if the infringement is found to be "willful" and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain. That is the law in most "non-Mickey-Mouse legal systems." The copyright infringement by the users of TPB was most certainly willful and TPB's owners willfully aided and abetted in the infringement.

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Big Brother

@Escovado

"Nonsense. Copyright Infringers may also be subject to criminal prosecution if the infringement is found to be "willful""

Rubbish. "Copyright infringement for pecuniary advantage" may be subject to criminal proceedings and is a different offence, no amount of sophistry on your part will conflate the two. TPB were sued in a civil court - there was no criminal case against them. Actually, there wasn't even a proper civil case made as has been explained to you. The judge was likely got at in a manner similar to the initial investigating officer, because mere "bias" isn't enough to explain the verdict. TPB have been successfully sued by copyright organizations for being arseholes in a kangaroo court, where the presiding judge was undeniably "jävig", they clearly contravened no Swedish law.

The Pirate Bay case is about much, much more than copyright infringement. At least in Sweden, this case will have ramifications for stuff that is actually important, like personal privacy, civil rights and net neutrality. That the actions of foreign corporations have trashed the Swedish Constitution and discredited the legal system with the help of a corrupt judge and his cronies is of far greater import than a few annoying people "getting whet they deserved".

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FAIL

Is isn't enought, must appear to be one

"The court has come to the conclusion that none of these circumstances, neither alone nor together, means there is doubt on whether the judge was objective," if translated correctly is a wrong verdict as it isn't enough if judge is objective, european himan rights protocol demands that he must appear to be objective too.

BrokeP is right, if the court only considered if the judge was objective or not they missed the whole point. HE MUST APPEAR TO BE OBJECTIVE TOO. There are several precidents in european court of human rights that state the appearance of being objective is as important as being objective. The judge clearly does appear to be nonobjective eg biased and that is enough to strike down the original judgement and for retrial.

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