Pirates Ready To Party

Pirate Bay trial prosecutor Håkan Roswall called on a Stockholm High Court judge to send each of the defendants to jail for a year, while the defendants themselves said it’s likely they’ll have a party.

“I think we’re going to go party,” said Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi at an impromptu press conference when the trial closed March 3. The verdict isn’t expected before April 17.
Along with Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, and Carl Lundstrom, Sunde is charged with copyright infringement. All four pleaded not guilty.

Sunde said he’s confident The Pirate Bay will win the case and a guilty verdict would be “a huge mistake for the future of the Internet.”

“It’s quite obvious which side is the good side,” he added.

The prosecutors have repeatedly tried to show that the site was a commercial moneymaking enterprise intent on profiting specifically from piracy. The defense team has claimed nothing could be further from the truth and there’s no indication that the defendants have bulging bank accounts or piles of cash.

The prosecutors have presented advertising contracts and estimates of ad revenue as evidence. Defense lawyers pointed out that the main contract in question was never actually implemented and that the ad revenue calculation was based on far more advertising slots than actually exist on the site.

In reality, they said, site revenue barely pays operational costs.

As the trial came to a close after nearly three weeks, IFPI Sweden chairman Ludvig Werner said the Bay’s supporters had unfairly pitched the case as a generational battle between young and old.

Helena Smith, executive chair of European independent music companies’ organisation Impala, said there will be no new music to download if the record labels aren’t protected from sites like The Pirate Bay.

The defense’s main argument is that the site is merely a search engine and repository of user-uploaded content. It doesn’t host copyrighted files and all file transfers are between the machines of the end-users. The files don’t pass through Pirate Bay’s servers.

The defense said the name of the site shouldn’t influence the verdict, as the trial must focus solely on whether a law has been broken.