Freedom of speech
So which copyright materials have TPB directly infringed by distributing themselves ? Clearly their 'crime' is to state where stuff, some of which rights owners don't want you to have, is made available. That's a bit like locking someone up for telling an undercover cop in a pub the name of someone who distributes dodgy DVDs. Why not go after the distributor ?
It's not exactly shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre is it ? That's the classic case arguing for for limits of freedom of speech, but this isn't an issue of public safety. So since when did copyright trump other human rights ? I don't read copyright as being in the ECHR or the US Bill of Rights in any sense directly, and it's not as if non-commercial distribution of IP prevents commercial use.
The fact one of their founders has legally supported some disreputable guys in a different area entirely really isn't in the slightest bit relevant here is it ? It's really just a way of asking us to ignore the important issues in this particular case by puffing out a smokescreen isn't it ?