The Pirate Bay Issue - English Translation

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Interview with Henrik Pontén

Every swedish file sharer's nemesis, Henrik Pontén, leader of Antipiratbyrån, has been interviewed by di.se. There is a very important note, but I'll make that point after the translation.

*** *** *** Translation
Antipiratbyrån: They've caused great damage

Henrik Pontén, lawyer at Antipiratbyrån, are you satisfied after this wednesday's police raid on the pirate site The Pirate Bay which Antipiratbyrån has been fighting fiercly for a long time?
"Yes, I'm happy that the police have started working with these matters. At the same time, we here at Antipiratbyrån have primarily worked against the copyright-hostile organisation Piratbyrån, the ones behind the site. The Pirate Bay is at the bottom of the chain, even if the damage they've done is very extensive."

Why is it that it's taken so long before anything happened in this case? The Pirate Bay has been around for about 2,5 years now?
"That's a question I'll have to refer to the police."

How will you proceed in this matter?
"It's all in the hands of the police now, so we'll have to wait and see what happens in the investigation. But in the future, there is certainly the possibility of demanding that damages be payed."

Are you worried The Pirate Bay will be resurrected?
"The people behind it have already announced a promise, but that's in line with their outwards profiling. You should remember the servers seized by the police will cost hundreds of thousands crowns to replace. We'll just have to wait and see."

What's your view on the web hosting company Bahnhof, which you earlier have reported to the police, last week announced an appeal for Integrity marking among the service providers in order to protect their customers? Is this something that will make it more difficult for you in the fight against pirates?
"It's worth lots of welcomes and appraisal if the service providers want to pick up the debate on on-line integrity. Of course, they have never supplied information on their customers before, so the real difference won't really be that huge. It's a punch in the air, really."

Now that one of your largest targets are gone, what happens?
"Our goal is to make the Internet something good for everyone involved, for both consumers and producers. Our work is to first supply legal alternatives, something that is expanding as we speak, and after that reach people with our information. Legal actions are our third choice. Going as far as it has in this case is rare."

*** *** *** End of translation

Notes
Ok, now read his first answer again. Unless Pontén has been severely misquoted, this means bringing Piratbyrån down was the main purpose of all of this. It is true that Piratbyrån started The Pirate Bay, but since it shadowed its other work, they were separated in the middle of 2004. Piratbyrån is simply a web site with news and discussion forums concerning copyright law and patents. Can it be that Antipiratbyrån has actually aimed for, and succeeded at, violating our constitutional right to free speech and our own opinons? It certainly seems so. The worst part is that they managed to trick the police into doing this for them. It also seems Pontén is aware that the charges pressed will not lead to anything; he seems pleased that the investigation will cripple The Bay for a while, since all the servers will be kept for as long as the investigation is going on. He seems very smug about it..

Addition (June 2nd)
Read this. Henrik Pontén claims to have been misquoted in this interview. The quote on di.se has been changed. The part that previously said
Yes, I'm happy that the police have started working with these matters. At the same time, we here at Antipiratbyrån have primarily worked against the copyright-hostile organisation Piratbyrån, the ones behind the site. The Pirate Bay is at the bottom of the chain, even if the damage they've done is very extensive.

..now says
Yes, I'm happy that the police have started working with these matters. For a long time, The Pirate Bay has been a large distributor of copyrighted files. The damage they've caused is very extensive.
Wow. Just, wow. This is clearly a post-construction. There is no way they could've misquoted him that severely. Personally, I'm hoping for a recording of the interview to be released. I'm guessing that won't happen, though.

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