Rick Falkvinge's discussion
Original forum post here.
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Five legal scandals at a time
As all of you probably know by now, the police - 50 of them, to be exact - has gone in and closed down The Pirate Bay, the world's larget bittorrent tracker.
This alone is a huge outrage. Those servers do not contain any copyrighted material. The Pirate Bay doesn't violate the copyright law; this has been proven in previous trials. The police has been used as a tool for private lobbyist organisations, organisations that consider their interests threatened. As everyone with an understanding of Bittorrent technology knows, there is no copyrighted material on The Pirate Bay. Swedish law has been used by the industry lobbyists to harass the innocent. This is a legal outrage.
But there are more pitch-black sides to this story.
Let's start with the fact that one of the three arrested was the legal advisor of The Pirate Bay. Everyone knows that a legal advisor is a person who can help you with advice about the law, as well as help you in writing legal letters and other documents. In this case, the legal advisor of TPB was arrested as though he was a part of the activities, and a DNA test was force upon him. This is a legal outrage.
Independant artists have been calling me during the day, artists that pointed at the fact that The Pirate Bay has been their way to spread their music to the fans, music on which they later earn money through live concerts and other revenue streams. In effect, there is a situation where the established record companies has used swedish law as a way to hinder competition from new, creative artists. This is a legal outrage.
A number of small-time company owners have also called me during the day, desperate, since the prosecutor, Håkan Roswall, had decided that everything in the room was to be seized. All the servers, said to be between 100 and 1000. The servers of The Pirate Bay were clearly marked as such; the law on searches is clear on the fact that there should be a reasonable judgement on what is seized. This is clearly not the case here. The result is that all the companies hosted by the same company [as The Pirate Bay] lost all of their web services. Company owners have called me in despair, feeling helpless, as though they were outlaws. Their only crime is to house their equipment resided in the same room as the accused, but because of it, their business is closed down for an indefinite amount of time. This is a legal outrage.
Finally, there is Piratbyrån, the servers of which were also next to the servers of The Pirate Bay. Here, the situation means that an industry interest has used swedish law to close down another organisation[*], where the organisation is the ideological opponents[*] of that industry. They're closing down people with opinions[*] they don't like, and to top it all off, it's in the start of the election movements [The election is fall 2006]. This is a legal outrage.
There will be much happening around this issue the next few days. One thing's for sure, the upholders of the law made many mistakes today. I hope this is the last time the make the mistake of confusing industry interests with independant [and objective] sources.
Because we are going to remind them of this.
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*I didn't know how properly translate the word "opinionsbildare". It would litterally be "builders of opinion".