back to article Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines

It's official - the four defendants in The Pirate Bay versus entertainment industry trial have been found guilty in a Swedish court of being accessories to breaching copyright laws. The verdict was handed down to four men behind the notorious BitTorrent tracker site this morning in a court in Stockholm. "The Stockholm …


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  1. Donal Gavin

    Aww heck

    Boooo urns!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next Case

    So when are they going after Google, since the PB defence is that they were just a search engine for Torrents, as is Google

  3. Tom Haczewski

    Does this mean...

    ...that Google will be taken to court next? After all, they link to many different types of copyrighted work, not to mention all that nasty 'alternative' pornography and whatnot... where does it stop?

  4. Martin Jones


    Welcome to the new Global American Empire. You are all Citizens. You will uphold our Laws, while we blatantly ignore them with regards ourselves.

    Bend Over. Resistance is Futile.

  5. Nigel Kneale
    Thumb Up

    All together now...

    Ha ha ha ha ha...

    This is what happens when reality collides with a swarm of armchair lawyers.

  6. Ian


    In a way before the trial I figured they probably would lose, because they'd been so arrogant about it all.

    When the trial went ahead however and we saw how utterly incompetent the prosecution was, how they failed to prove anything, how they shouted down the judge, how they broke the rules of the court by introducing evidence that wasn't submitted previously and wasn't hence eligible to be used, how they couldn't get hold of their key witnesses I changed my opinion.

    The fact the prosecution won despite showing an immense amount of ineptitude and an inability to prove anything suggests that this is almost certainly a case of political meddling or simple bribery.

    I fail to see how the prosecution could've won this case with the level of ineptitude they showed and the fact they didn't actually manage to prove their point in court. Effectively they won the case based purely on their accusation, because they never actually managed to prove their accusation, it seems in the Swedish court system an accusation is enough for declaration of guilt by the court.

    I'd care less if the prosecution had won by demonstrating that what TPB had actually done was in some way more illegal than when Google references torrent files and copyrighted material but they haven't done this, they've won purely on their accusation alone with no burden of proof.

  7. Martin Jones

    Bye Bye The Register.

    Has anyone else thought this through?

    If all the boys did was make available links to networks of Copyrighted Material, then we can now reasonable expect any website that even mentions Torrent etc websites to be just as guilty.

    Which the reg is with this story (as is the Beeb and everyone else).

    Tasty Can of Worms anyone?

  8. Dennis
    Black Helicopters

    Money changes everything

    I guess a big bag of cash will always win over ideals and free spirit in the end.

    'So long and thanks for all the fish'

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't they afford...

    ...To bring a private prosecution against Google now for exactly the same thing? Pointing out legal contradictions is usually a good way to overcome stupid law.

    The prosecution explained verbally how what google did was different. Anyone with half a brain can physically demonstrate that it's the same, ergo the prosecution lied. Mistrial!

  10. michael

    guilty of WHAT

    "being accessories to breaching copyright laws" seams to me to be the most half assed offence I could think up I mean it is not even conspiracy shuley every maker of videos cd-rws dvd-rws search engins etc the list is just 2 long to type here. can be done under that description

  11. Anonymous Coward

    This is guff

    Now if I want a DVD, I'll just have to borrow it from Blockbuster and copy it.

    Until Blockbuster get sued...


  12. Tom Silver badge

    Ok next on the list

    paper and pen manufacturers!

  13. Lee Jackson
    Thumb Up

    In my opinion

    Sorry but I think thats a good verdict! With the clamp down on p2p in days gone by, why shouldnt this form of linking to copyrighted material be stopped?

    After all, wouldnt you want the guy who told the robber where you keep your spare key to also get done!?

    Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people loose jobs!

    If you think ur OK cos you only download now and again, think of the millions of others who think the same! This is such a massive issue.

    Enjoy your year boys.

    I await the onslaught from other readers.... gulp.

  14. OFI

    Uh oh..

    Wow they were pretty confident they were going to win. Time to dump all those torrents..

  15. Tharrick
    Thumb Up

    So..'s a criminal offence to provide links to illegal material? Quick, somebody let Google know! Get them to remove all the porn from their listings!

  16. Anonymous Coward


    A quick search on google provides 403,000 results for l.o.t.r. torrents.

    presumably those pirating b*stards are next?

  17. Tony


    So Sweden have just set a legal precedent that renders ALL search engines illegal.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  19. g e

    Hey El Reg, a favour

    If there's a possible way, can you avoid posting an article about the triumphant self-congratulatory trumpeting the MAFIAA will doubtless be releasing any time about now....

    PB were always gonna get slapped but it's just as tasteless listening to the legally sanctioned thieves in the industry crowing about themselves too...

  20. Andy ORourke

    From BrokeP

    in your other story, one of the founders is quoted as saying:

    “Stay calm – nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing what so ever. This is just a theatre for the media,”

    wonder how confident he is feeling now? I also wonder if every search engine in the world is concerned, after all they make it easy to find copyright protected information don't they?

  21. Adam Silver badge

    Who else

    So now that linking to copyright material has been found to be criminal, should we now expect Swedish prosecutions of the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft directors?

  22. Steve


    Isn't that pretty much a life sentence?

    I can't see the justification in handing down a fine that can't possibly be paid.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Its the intention....

    Those going on about Google being the same miss the point about the intention of what they are doing. Google index everything, it may be that this then involves making copyright material available but that is a predictable side effect of what they do. Pirate Bay appears to go out of the way to deliberately index copyright material. Saying 'But I can use it to download a linux distro so it must be legal' does not change the intention behind most of what is linked via Pirate bay which is to aid copyright theft pure and simple.

  24. Peter Thomas
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Jackson

    You're equating stealing with copyright infringement. You're not the only one who does this, but people who do it have no place in any debate on content rights.

    Whilst piracy has the potential for lost sales (and also has plenty of positives for content owners), it is certainly not the same as outright theft.

    Who thinks the disappearance of The Pirate Bay is going to stop piracy? Did the big labels think that when Napster v1 disappeared? Kazaa? Audiogalaxy? TPB is just one of many places where you can find torrents. There's a certain huge search engine that begins with the letter G that shows up such content if you specify .torrent as the filetype.

    Trying to stop file-sharing with a trial like this, is like trying to stop a tsunami with a cocktail umbrella.

  25. Dave Edmondston

    How long?

    How long till a hollywood studio decides this'd make a good film plot. That'd be ironic.

  26. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Reaping what you Sow with Intellectually MODified Seed Feeds

    "This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is making a living or a business from creative activity and who needs to know their rights will protected by law.”

    It also means that if you have a Particularly Peculiarly Powerful Program which Fundamentally Alters People's Perceptions, you can QuITe Literally Virtually hold them to Ransom and be Paid an Absolute Fortune to Ensure that they are not Abused or Advised of the Abuse to which they could be Subjected...... and all Protected by law. What a strange victory that is..... but, hey, if that's the way you wanna play IT, let the Games begin...... and may the Strangest Games Win Win :-)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A nice bit of theatrics

    Well the prison sentence (no doubt bailed until appeal) is a good bit of huff and puff while swedish copyright law catches up.

    What really gets me is that as a tracker it is content neutral. It should be the responsibility of the person initially seeding the torrent.

    Search engines are content neutral and index both legal and illegal content.

    If anything Pirate bay are doing the media companies a service. As the biggest torrent index site the copyright enforcement bods know where to look and find the sharers.

    there attepts are futile anywau. content will get out one way or another and putting things into context. When the media companies started taking a pop at Napster it boasted indexing a mere 1TB of content. Thanks to the publicity, by the time they finally closed it it was indexing 4TB. These days a single harddrive can hold 2TB of content and it wont be long before those are being passed around stuffed with new content.

    Even if they eventually make this stick, it will barely make an impact on filesharing.

  28. Peter Darby

    Sent down for a year?

    I suspect they'll become available before the official release date...

    Thankyou! I'll be here all week!

    Also: what's the plans for the damages sought to be passed on to the artists involved? Much the same as the one for the damages collected from prosecutions in the US? Being that the record and film companies keep it and don't pass it on to the people they're ostensibly collecting it for?

  29. Julian I-Do-Stuff
    Paris Hilton

    Sunshine Seek Failure

    On the one hand.... <snip>

    But on the other hand... <snip>

    Meanwhile, the cellular matrix of the Darwino-Lamarckian interweb continues to developed and...

    oooh... why's it gone so dark suddenly?

    Paris - because it's the capital of France.

    Eeek! What did they put in my coffee this morning?

  30. Lewis Benzie

    Actually ...

    @ Lee Jackson - Actually the boys arent the culprits the people downloading it ar ethe culprits their the scapegoats.

  31. Trevor

    @Lee Jackson

    This isn't the point Lee

    The point is, regardless of which way the legal scythe scythed, Google, Yahoo, et. al should be treated the same way.

    We aren't defending Pirate Bay, but a balanced legal system.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google next then

    Title says it all

  33. Anonymous Coward

    And now, what next?

    As almost everyone said, what is next, google?

    Also, taking from Ian's comments, it is sad to see that the Sweedish legal system is as corrupt and ineficient as the Portuguese.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    "Time to dump all those torrents.."

    Why, If ther fine is paid to cover the loss of sales, then what you have downloaded is now legit ?

    Simples Yeh.

  35. Thom Brown

    What about the money?

    Will the money go to the artists they claim they have been defending? How do we find that out? I suspect the artists get squat, which would mean they weren't defending anything but their own bank accounts.

  36. Stef
    Thumb Down


    So I guess now the floodgates are open. Amazon is going to go to prison for selling copies of Grand Theft Auto, which we all know is the cause of every violent crime in the world.

    Anyone "right-clicking-> Save image as" on a picture anywhere on the interwebs is going to prison, along with Google for making "Save image as" possible.

    How much of this £3.8Million fine is going to the pr0n industry? Isn't pr0n the biggest victim of copyright infringement?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    bow to our new corporate overlords

  38. Sean O'Connor

    Excellent news

    If all Bit Torrent sites were shut down and there was a way to prevent apps from being easily copied between computers I'd sell my Windows games for $4 instead of $20 - like I do on the iPhone. I hope they go to jail and lose all the ad money they've made off the back of honest developers.

  39. rogueelement

    sharing copyrighted material is wrong - but so is the verdict

    I purchase music and movies to ensure the artists are rewarded - I'm also happy to pay for media and packaging & presentation thereof. I accept the studios & recording companies take a heftly slice but I rarely buy brand new, full price, you can pick up DVD's for less than £5 and even chart CDs are sub £10 (I used to pay £15 way back when!). Good value IMO.

    So my stance on downloading for free is clear - I disapprove.

    I still disagree with the result of this trial though- Pirate Bay does not host or provide any of the copyright material, only a mechanism for accessing it. No hardware store was ever sued for selling the crowbar to a burglar who used it to jemmy open a window.

    The people who willingly share their music and movies etc are guilty of copyright breach.

  40. Frederick Karno

    no a shock

    looks like the swedish court sold out anyone can be bought with enough money.

    the verdict was pinned on and they were guilty before the case started .

    we need to support these guys and show the courts what we think of the sellout.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Copying Something Is Not Stealing It


    Copying digital media isn't stealing. It isn't the same as stealing a car. You don't deprive the original owner of the item in question. It is no more stealing than taking a photo of a car is stealing.

    You can argue you might lose a potential sale but then you can you argue that the sale never existed in the firsts place.

    Copying digital media is lots of things but it isn't stealing. Saying it is shows a lack of understanding.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I'd be interested to know what the history of the "accessories to breaching copyright" law is. It sounds like it was specifically designed to take down TPB.

    Paris, the ultimate accessory.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Google and PB

    Comparing the two.. seriously? That arguement is a joke, as much as i'd love for it to be a suitable defense you cannot honestly think they are even close to being the same.

    I'm sure the ratio of illegal:legal search results on PB is ridiculous, that and PBs mocking of companies who tried to have content removed..

  44. michael

    @ lee

    the onslaught starts

    first point downloading copyrighted metrial is not stealing it is copyright infringement

    and as a lot of pepol have pointed out it should not be stoped cos if TPB is guilty they so are a LOT of other pepol google and sony to name but a few

    and record compay profites are not going down cos of piracy I think that was one of the points in the trial I would look the refrance up but I can not spare the time cos I am at work I am shure some other person will

    yes it is a massive issue but it is a issue that needs the scalpel of reform not the sledge hammer of litigation

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The right choice

    It's a common sense ruling, it's the right ruling.

    It won't put a stop to the Bit Torrent method of downloading this material, links to seeds will just move somewhere else.

    Once the film and music industry get a grasp on new models e.g. Spotify, piracey might decline.

    Until then, we'll just have to keep socking it to the man.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Inevitable eventually

    It's a bit like pirate radio really. They set themselves up as a massive target, so obviously they were going to get hit sooner or later.

    However, the world isn't going back to the way it was. I'm not a downloader, but even I can see that.

  47. Kwac
    Thumb Down


    There seems to be a direct correlation between the program 'limewire' on a computer and the amount of malware it contains.

    Look for an upsurge in virii.

    @Lee Jackson

    copyright infringement isn't theft - it is covered by civil law.

    Agree with 50% of what the spokesman said - the result is good for business. It will do sod all for those who make a living at creativity - they'll see nothing of either the fine nor 'improved sales'.

  48. Juan Inamillion

    @Lee Jackson

    An understanding of what the case was all about has clearly eluded you. Your fatuous reference to 'a spare key' is irrelevant - the links provided by TPB don't allow you to illegally access locked up material, they merely point to where material is freely available. Exactly what Google does. As others have said here the prosecution's case was riddled with holes and inexactitudes and on the strength of the case presented the verdict is a sham. Note 'on the strength of the case presented'. That's what we're talking about here. Evidential.

    People 'lose jobs' FFS - when will you lot learn the difference between 'loose' and 'lose'. You're a 'loser' not a 'looser'. <sigh> I haven't seen anyone in the music business 'lose' their jobs recently, the record companies still have their collective heads in the sand and are still trying to sell 30 year old back catalogue for full retail price on new media. Same o, same o.

    "If you think ur OK cos" Please use adult English. This is not a texting forum for kiddies. Now I think I heard your mummy calling you in for tea, you'd better run along.

  49. Jonathan

    If you want free music....

    .... throw a brick through the window of your nearest brick and mortar CD store and take whatever you want. Since, you know, piracy is stealing after all, you may as well get a nice hardcopy if you bother to steal.

    @Lee Jackson

    Yes using torrents to download copyrighted material is and should be illegal. Does that mean operating a website that searches them should be illegal? No, it doesnt, anymore than Google is. These guys are scapegoats, because the record industry doesnt know how to deal with a threat that is distributed and lacks leadership at all. They tried suing individuals, that didnt work, they are always trying bribery and threats against ISPs, and now they influenced the course of justice against 4 guys who operate a website. Of course, they'd never try to update their business model, you know, respond to their environment. Better to just blame it on piracy.

    The pirate bay guys website was strictly content agnostic. They wouldnt care if the torrents linked to your high school essay on the American Civil War or Sony's latest movie. And thats the point - they provide a service, and it is the users that choose whether to use it in an illegal fashion or not. As The Pirate Bay themselves have said, this does nothing at all to stop piracy. Not a thing. The attention these guys have got has made them martyrs, they've gained a lot of support for their cause, and embarrassed the record companies in court. Despite the verdict, this isnt a win for the record companies, other way round. If you really want to stop piracy, A) give people an incentive to pay for music, B) stop being such douchebags so people wont pirate out of spite, C) price your music in a realistic fashion so that people think they get their money's worth, D) give better support to artists instead of spending money on marketing the latest greatest and crappest pop music.

  50. Mike Kamermans

    Not to rain on a self-righteous parade, but...

    @index argumenters: Google - and other search engines - indexes websites in general, including whatever links are on those websites. Thepiratebay (and mininova, etc. etc.) do not "index" torrent files by going out and finding them, they specifically ask users to submit them, and then in the case of really audacious sites, offer those files through their own tracker system.

    I love downloading stuff through torrents, but I also love using my brain - if you run a website dedicated to categorised user-submitted ilelgal content and offer a tracker service to enable people to find your way into the cloud of seeders for a particular file, then yes, you're very obviously quite specifically oriented towards bringing people illegal material. You're not an "index" for external content, you're a user-based content provider, geared specifically towards offering world+dog illegal material. It''s really not a complicated argument to make.

    Personally, I hope torrent trackers stay available, because they offer neatly categorised content that would otherwise cost me an arm and a leg, but you're deluding yourself if you validate using them by pretending they're just "google for torrents".

    And @Lee JAckson, no: downloading copyrighted material is not stealing. It's an activity that can, but not always does - that said, in the vast majority of cases does - lead to immaterial damages. Copyright infringement of this nature is tantamount to exactly what it says on the tin: copyright infringment.

    Don't go and equate it to a crime that's defined by taking posession of something by taking it away from the original holder. You woldn't steal a car, because you´re removing someone´s posession. If you had a machine that could instead scan that car and make a perfect duplicate, without paying the manufacturers that contributed to putting that car on the road, then hell yes, everyone would be cloning those ferrari 335s and pagani zonda's.

    You wouldn't steal [fill in real thing here], but you sure as hell would copy it for free if you could, because that's what we like, and that´s what we see in these cases. Any amount of money for a product compared to free will only lead to people paying money if they think the product´s worth it, or the creators deserve it. Welcome to psychology 101.

  51. John H 66


    I love it when people say "... when will they take Google to court!?!". Erm, when they start hosting .torrent files, and running their own torrent tracker I should imagine.

    The case changes nothing. Piratebay, and torrents in general are basically for "noobs".

  52. Onionman

    @Lee Jackson

    From Google: "Results 1 - 10 of about 3,660,000 for photoshop torrent."

    From Google: " Results 1 - 10 of about 622,000 for coldplay torrent"



  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Jackson

    "Sorry but I think thats a good verdict! "


    "After all, wouldnt you want the guy who told the robber where you keep your spare key to also get done!?"

    Appeal to emotion

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing"

    Unsupported assertion

    Which pretty much sums up the argument for Intellectual Property.

  54. chris


    find somewhere to comment, post millions of torrent links, and watch them convict themselves.

    As many a person has said before about the trial, the internet is based upon links... if they are making it illegal to link to copyrighted materal, where will this actually stop? Personally... I could somewhat agree if someone was actually prosecuted for DOWNLOADING copyrighted material, i agree, that is stealing... but linking doesn't equal downloading.

    A bit of a jump I know, but its getting as bad as the anti-terror laws here in the UK. Now photographing a police officer gets you stopped incase you are a terrorist? wow, so... everyone at G20 including all the official news teams are out to sabotage the UK... loving the logic.

    It is such a shame the internet has come to this, I vote we all join up to that VPN service mentioned a while ago purely for torrents, then we can give them the middle finger once and for all!

  55. Anonymous Coward

    This verdict means nothing

    This trial took place in the lowest court possible -- which has some kind of a jury system. The participants of this jury are selected from retired local politicians. So in 9 out of 10 times they always rule conservatively, against the defendant. These sentences almost always get appeal to the next higher court because of the incompetence of the jury and because they're politically slanted.


  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I'd say that what they re doing is slightly different than google tbh ... Google searches everything on the internet, it doesn't search for a specific thing....whereas The Pirate Bay was specifically designed to search for torrents. so it is different slightly....

    However, saying that , what Ian posted is absolutely correct. The trial couldn't have been done any better by the Carry on Film / Monty Python teams ... I can't see how the case wasn't dismissed until the prosecution could actually get a case built ... I've never heard of any instance of this type of farcical prosecution before lol ...

    I'm sure they'll get the right to appeal correctly & any competent judge would surely agree that the first trail was a farce order a retrial or ..... hopefully acquit the accused =p

    Paris: Because her torrents aren't copyrighted ;)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ok then,

    go back to 8bit and use abandonwarez.

  58. JimC
    Thumb Up

    Good - and yes, Google, especially youTube should be next

    There is something very abhorrent about Google making a fortune out of advertising driven by material in breach of copyright, and using what is to me a loophole in the law to say "If you want to do something about all our breaches of your copyright that we are making money from, you are going to have to increase your overheads to monitor our site, and only then we might consider doing something about it"

    Google is so very rich, and the content providers (yes even the Record companies and newspapers) so very much smaller and less affluent, so something is way out of kilter. Natural justice suggests it should be youTube's responsibility to proactively keep their site content legal. If its costs them too much - well maybe they don't have a business model after all!

  59. Paul


    Where can I get my distros from now?

  60. Doug Glass
    Paris Hilton

    Oh Just Damn

    Now we all have to actually [re]start paying for what other people own and wish to sell. Now that's just a pitiful idea, the idea that what we own is actually our property.

    And only 16 comments??? Wow, who'd at thunk it.

    Paris because even Paris pays her own way.

  61. Matthew
    Thumb Down

    google next?

    what a can of worms

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jail a bit harsh

    but the book was thrown, and the example made.

    The revolution will not be torrented.

  63. A J Stiles

    @ Lee Jackson

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from."

    Stealing involves permanently depriving someone of something. So, kindly name the thing which you used to have before I made a copy of your copyrighted work, which you don't have afterwards. Or shut up. Your choice.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    theft is theft

    theft is theft, enabling the distribution of stolen goods is enabling the distribution of stolen goods.

    you people will just have to pluck up courage and go shoplifting.

  65. Stef

    @ Lee Jackson

    While you have a point, your post implies you have never lent or borrowed a CD/DVD/Video/Book to or from a friend. The financial difference to the copyright holder between borrowing and downloading is?

  66. Toastan Buttar

    @Ian: "Interesting"

    I too was sure that the prosecution didn't have a leg to stand on in Swedish law. The next few days will be VERY interesting.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is making a living or a business from _raping consumers and artists_ and who needs to know their _pillaging_ will protected by law.”

    Fixed that for you...

    As For Lee Jackson's Comments (Lee Jackson as in did music for Duke Nukem 3D, perhaps?), Two points:

    - "Stealing" is when you take something from somebody and they no longer have it. You can't "steal" something intangible.

    - Ignoring point 1, Charging AU$80 for a game and $30 for a CD or DVD is rape. Pure and simple. Rape is worse than theft. When you stop trying to rape me, maybe I'll stop "stealing" from you.

  68. Geoff Mackenzie

    Oh no!

    I may as well uninstall my Bittorrent software now.

    Oh, actually, hang on, I'll just use a different tracker.

    I wish TPB the best of luck with their appeal.

  69. b166er

    Really, it's a bit LOL

    How we keep voting these asshats into power.

  70. user

    Davy Jones locker

    Haul away boys, we're no deid yet!

  71. Thomas Baker

    Throughout this case...

    ...people have been putting forward cogent arguments and counter-arguments, logical and often well-reasoned posts about how these people should or should not be prosecuted but really they're all a waste of time. There is no law in the world now, can't you all see that? Whoever has lots of money, power, political influence will win, full stop. It doesn't matter if there's no case to answer, no evidence, other rulings that negate the prosecution's case, logic, reason, right, wrong; there is only ever going to be one winner. The judges, the press, the politicians, the police, all work at the behest of large corporations and influential pressure groups, (no points for guessing which particular branch of political meddlers will have supported the big Hollywood studios...and we all know about their global reach and subsequent compliant media whitewash).

    These are the darkest days in the history of man, because there is no law now and no means of fighting those who have slowly but surely come to power behind the various puppet governments of America and the UK, etc. You can't protest, you can't organise yourselves as before to form a militia to disrupt and overthrow, you are being watched constantly, your web browsing and emails are recorded and monitored.

    There will be a lot of people out there saying "Good! Serves 'em right" and simultaneously saying they haven't got a problem with how the world is going, and nothing to fear if you've got nothing to hide, etc (ah to live a life completely through euphemism) which is bully for them...until the powers that be do something that THEY don't like...or make something illegal that THEY like to do. And they'll turn around and suddenly realise that they too are powerless to stop it or fight it or to argue with law and reason and logic, because it's too late, we're already screwed.


  72. Steven Jones

    Not surprising

    This is not wholly surprising. First tip is if you want to produce a site to aid people in the unauthorised downloading of copyright material and you want to use the defense that it is just intended to help people find legitimate material, then best think about plausible deniability from the beginning. Calling something "Pirate Bay" looks like a deliberate provocation and hardly helps their case.

    Secondly, all those arm chair lawyers (with which this site abounds), the actual operation of law does not revolve around your "how many angels can stand on the head of a pin" bits of sophistry. There are things like intent and even common sense taken into account. Not always - like the stupid ruling of a German court that Google image thumbnails breached copyright rather than being fair use. But what you can't rely in is so little bit of sophistry such as this has a legal use. I've no doubt you could use the butt of a handgun to drive in nails, but that isn't going to look too convincing in a court of law.

    As for carrying this principle forwards to Google - well I think not, at least as far as criminal sanctions go. Google is clearly a general purpose search engine and used mostly for legitimate purposes. I think the worst that could happen is some authority somwhere imposing conditions on Google to not give links to sites which are breaching copyright. Very difficult to police of course.

    However, in one sense it doesn't matter much, apart from the consequences for the defendents in this case. Technology will move on and later generations of file sharing will get more and more difficult to close down, as they will be inherently decentralised and will also use other tricks to avoid users being tracked.

  73. Kerberos

    @ Lee Jackson

    Without piracy there would be no iPods, no MySpace, no MP3 players, no YouTube, no internet radio, no iTunes. Hell, the mp3 format would just be an off-comment in a mailing list somewhere. If nobody broke the law the music industry would have absolutely no reason to innovate, and they have proven quite comprehensively that they have no intention of doing so and would stuff the mp3 genie back in the bottle if they could.

    If everyone obeyed the law 100% we would still be using CD walkmans to listen to music on overpriced, monopolised, silver discs.

    It's simple capitalism, with piracy as a factor. If you do not provide what your customers want they will go to the competition. Piracy is a major problem because the industry wants to define the needs of the customers like they always used to, but no longer can through technology.

    While big business hates it it is essential for customers as it drives down prices and creates competition where none previously existed due to monopoly.

  74. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    A guilty verdict was inevitable

    If people were not seeking to illegally download copyright material, why would they need links to where it was held ?

    In that respect TPB were providing a service to facilitate the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

    How would TPB be judged were it not links to illegal material but a directory of assassins and hit men ? The principles of the case and defence would be identical. Against "Free Speech" comes responsibility; TPB seem to believe they had an inalienable right of the former and none of the latter, the court saw it differently.

    The real question now is how the judgement affects others who provide such links, individuals and some well known search engines. Search engines at least have an additional defence over TPB that they never set out with the intent to provide such links which would probably make a lot of difference.

  75. call me scruffy
    Thumb Up


    It's to do with the faith in which the material is carried, Google is a search index of pretty much everything, in that respect google search could be considerred neutral, sure some of links that a google search might return may be links to copyright material that has been placed on the web without the appropriate authority, but google's not explicetly encouraging such information. TPB was biased towards copyright violation, and by their self chosen name appeared to condone piracy.

    Also is a tracker really the same as a search engine? A search engine provides a list of fuzzy-matched resources for a query, based on the content of those resources on the last occaision that they were scanned. A tracker allows distributors of a specific resource (a particular file) to register, (rather than being scanned) and then provides a real time list to clients that exactly request that resource. I'll be interested to see how sites like XTVI fare.

    I think a few people would do well to sit and think

    "when I hit 40 to overtake that ka, I was for a few seconds, speeding."

    "when I post to the reg I'm skiving from work." (Which I am, right now!) and

    "when I warez stuff, I may be breaching copyright" (Which I have.)

    And reflect that they aren't spotlessly white, but it's a shade of grey most people don't mind.

    I'd still be pissed off If I ended up in a prison cell that a drug dealer should be occupying though!

    Just a question, Did the convicted have day-jobs or did they proffit from TPB?

  76. mittfh

    Ho hum...

    Given the amount of time and effort the media moguls have invested in trying to shut down one torrent tracker (and failed, if the site continues to operate while its founders are in jail), I don't think isohunt, torrentz, torrentscan, torrent-search-bar, torrent-finder and all the other sites returned by entering the phrase "torrent search" into a well known general purpose search engine have much to fear.

    In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if someone decides to set up a distributed open-source tracker network, spread across different servers in different countries, owned by different people. That would be almost impossible to shut down as if one node 'failed', all the others would still be operational.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    End of Illegal Downloading?

    Is this really the end or is it another false dawn like the downfall of Napster? Maybe it'll just mean lesser sites will pick-up if Pirate Bay closes. Or maybe downloaders will develop different smarter technology. Taking on Pirate Bay is one thing. Taking on Google is quite another.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all those asking "When will Google get it?"

    To be fair to Google, they didn't call themselves "The *Pirate* Bay".

  79. Archie Woodnuts

    How odd

    TPB appears to still be up and running; it's almost as if nothing has changed out there on the Seven Seas.

  80. Anonymous Coward

    Just a year...

    Hey the site is still up, time to grab those movies. :)

  81. Phil Standen
    Paris Hilton

    @Lee Jackson

    I don't think anyone is going to argue that they aren't guilty of "being accessories to breaching copyright laws". Clearly they are.

    However the double standards applied are the problem, as all and sundry have pointed out, google must be next. having one rule for those with power and one rules for those without is not a good precedent to set.

  82. Neil

    I expect

    That a swarm of gun-toting officers will soon be raiding my local library and dragging away the old dear that works there, as she provides DVDs for rent (she even CHARGES for the ability to take it away and copy it! Talk about proceeds of crime!), and even has a photocopier to make copies of printed copyrighted works ON-SITE!

    Surely an appeal will get this overturned as the biggest pile of horseshit ever to come out of a trial-room.

  83. Anonymous Coward

    @in my opinion

    Yes I agree, stealing in any capacity is wrong. Yes you would want action against the person that told the robbers where the spare key was, just like all parents of peados should be thrashed and castrated for bringing them into the world (a little too far perhaps...?). However let's take a step back and be realistic. This is the internet, TPB are just listing torrents placed there by others, they are not actually doing the illegal bit (the uploading and downloading). Then there is the scenario I had just recently in a house move...a few CDs were trashed beyond repair in an (admittedly rather foolish) box stacking and collapsing incident. I am not paying again to listen to music I own. Some of that was older stuff and not actually on my current MP3 playlist...due to laziness and not being bothered to copy my entire CD collection. So I grabbed a copy...I haven't done anything wrong, I had the CDs and paid for them, I can make backups of that material but hadnt, luckily someone else had and so I took a copy of their backup and now they are on my mp3 list and I actually bought a newer album they did because of my rejuvenated feelings for their music. Would never have happened if it weren't for TPB, so the RIAA can knock £7.99 off that total amount for lost business as they actually gained some.

    Secondly with all this 'digital distribution' arsery that seems to be sweeping the world. I buy my copy of said music/game/movie and the provider goes tits up (yep blame the current Brown economic policy...why not) . If my hard drive dies what am I supposed to do? Buy it again from a different provider? I think not. Oh hello bit torrent...tada my game/movie/CD is back. Other advantages to torrented material are no intrusive and annoying DRM on games which they are still insisting on using, hell I wish I could pay for a cracked version of a game over the retail release most of the time because it means I can install and play it when I like, not when Steam/Impulse/etc says their servers are able to accomodate my connection.

    Stealing = bad. I think we all know that. Money hungry corporations operating outside the correct legal parameters = worse. But we all know the future will be run by corporations and not governments, do you think Jaqui Smith came up with the national dataspy? nope she was probably requested to bring it into play over a nice fully complimetary meal and a fat sack of free porn which she then went on to try and claim back anyway. As a famous nobody once said to me over tea in the park, "Proof of the greed is in the scandals."

    Thank the-non-existant-god-that-may-exist-depending-on-religion-and-attitude-towards-being-victimised-by-anyone-that-doesnt-agree-with-you that Google (and others) is still linking to these areas of 'legitimate backups' so lazy people like me can recover lost CDs, etc without having to re-purchase.

    A sad day for the people of Earth. I hope we get a bank holiday in 50yrs time when the revolution comes.

  84. Steve
    Dead Vulture

    TPB Blog post

    As El Reg has not provided TPB's comments, here is...

    "So, the dice courts judgement is here. It was lol to read and hear, crazy verdict.

    But as in all good movies, the heroes lose in the beginning but have an epic victory in the end anyhow. That's the only thing hollywood ever taught us."


  85. Anthony

    Re: Interesting

    Or perhaps it could point to the fact that they were so legally indefensible even incompetents could prove them guilty?

    One can only hope that the content owners now step up to the plate and start taking digital distribution more seriously. This particularly applies to the distribution of content that is physically (digitally?) not accessible to you no matter what you do - things like TV shows. If no network wants to show something in your area, sell it to us directly for God's sake!

  86. Daniel Rendall

    This doesn't really apply to Google

    Google, it could be argued has substantial non-infringing uses. The fact that it may throw up links to torrents of copyrighted material is unfortunate, but that is not its raison d'etre. This is not a defence open to The Pirate Bay. In the first page of hits for 'Browse Movies' at the moment I see Watchmen, Hotel for Dogs, Monsters vs. Aliens, Tropic Thunder, Wolverine...

    Despite the plucky rhetoric of the PB apologists, the Pirate Bay exists purely as a resource to enable unprincipled cheapskates to enjoy the product of other people's labours, without any intention of rewarding those labours. Forget the spiel about 'new business models', if this becomes the dominant paradigm for 'consuming culture' then culture will simply not be created - you can play the well-worn card about the ridiculous salaries afforded to the big stars and I'd have a modicum of sympathy, but sets will not be built, lights will not be rigged, sound will not be designed and costumes will not be made if the relatively lowly people involved are not paid. And it's hard to see how the "business model" espoused by PB advocates will pay them. Maybe I'm missing something.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the law?

    I find it hard to believe this judgement was arrived at in accordance with jurisprudance, and that's far more worring than the actual result.

    If the case against them was good then fine, but it was a very badly constructed case and the actual offence "being accessories to breaching copyright laws" is so 1984 I think they are breaking Orwells copyright

    A sad day for the law

  88. james hedley
    Paris Hilton

    RE: everyone comparing Google to TPB

    Yes but you can't force the music industry to sue Google. That's the problem with letting sorting stuff out like this with private lawsuits - the law will be applied unevenly and certain unlucky sorts will be made examples of. It's not like the state is prosecuting someone for a crime, they aren't allowed to pick and choose who they put in court for real crimes (at least in theory).

    Paris coz she loves a good torrent.

  89. Aaron


    nothing really changes torrent sites come and go, (good job I dont use torrents really) but people still download what they want because they want to try it, sometimes I download something like it and buy the original, most of the time I decide it was a waste of bandwidth and delete it. Ether way from me piracy increases legal revenue from me because I just wouldnt buy it at all if I couldnt see if I liked it or not.

    Oh well anyways back to my downloading still got another 50+ gig to grab today :)

  90. Dave Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @ Lee Jackson


    As for the previous posters who've made the Google analogy, there is (IMO) the issue of intent. Pirate Bay should be seen as doing what they did predominantly to facilitate illicit activity.

    OK....flame on.....

  91. Anonymous Coward

    @ Lee Jackson

    I disagree, I wouldn't say it was a good verdict. But for reasons mentioned previously rather than any freetard reasons. The prosecution presented an abysmal case, and won purely on their statement that what TPB was doing was wrong.

    Their illustration of how TPB differs to Google must have been pretty soul destroying for the Lawyer presenting it.

    Why should the linking be stopped? I'm not going to argue it's about free speech, but where do we stop? The internet as a whole works largely on the basis of links, do you really fancy being in a position where you would somehow have to prove that you didn't know something was copyrighted? Would that even be an adequate defence?

    The thing about copyright is it encompasses a good many things, say you read an article that you really like, so you link to it. If that article has been ripped off from someone, then working by this judgement you could also be at risk.

    I download my music legally, but only because I have finally managed to find a site that is convenient and doesn't try and enforce formats/DRM onto me. OK so i can't get my music in OGG but at least there's no DRM.

    [ Vaguely related Anecdote]

    A while back I was searching for a track, didn't know the name of it, but could describe where I'd heard it. Eventually I found it on Amazon, available for download. But only to US customers. Armed with the name I looked for a UK site ...... Nothing.

    In the end I used a proxy to make myself look like a US customer. Was this illegal? Probably. But most people would have just gone to BitTorrent once they tired of looking.

    [/Vaguely related Anecdote]

    Why should I not be able to obtain music when i want it, in the format I want it? This is the one reason I would use P2P etc. If you can't make it available the way I wan't it, I'll find it in that format - DRM free.

    It's been mentioned before, but copyright infringement is not theft by definition. You are making a copy and therefore not depriving the owner of anything. Not that it affects the rights and wrongs, but I wish people could ge thteir facts straight. Comparing copyright infringement to Piracy makes a mockery of the hell people who have run ins with real pirates endure.

    I did kind of see this judgement coming, but I also wholly believe that the judgement means nothing. TPB will continue, people will continue to use it, if TPB was to vanish something else would appear.

    If the IFPI et al would fix the cause rather than trying to nuke the symptoms then perhaps things might change

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    As much as i think the verdict in this theatre showtrial is a fudge designed to send out a no-copying message on behalf of a doomed 20th century corporate media industry that looks increasingly desperate in its bid not to lose its control over content distribution - the defendants did themselves no favours with their cocky "f**k you" attitude.

    If they had been seen to be willing to collaborate with copyright holders when they requested takedown notices their defence would have been much stronger. Offering to introduce an anti-copyright system that would block certain content from the tracker - based some ineffective filtering strategy - would have rendered the case much more difficult for the prosecution.

    Google collaborates with copyrights holders - thats what makes them different from TPB who basically just said we don't care what people use our service for...

  93. Mr Snrub
    Thumb Up


    Any defence for these muppets is simply an attempt to justify theft, I have no sympathy and think it's a great result.

  94. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    The difference with Google

    The difference is when Google are informed they're linking to illegal content, they remove it. These guys didn't, and they didn't take reasonable steps to ensure no further illegal content was posted.

    I don't know how it works in Sweden but in the UK both of these steps would be necessary to avoid being charged (at least with libelous content online, which I have some legal experience with :-)

  95. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Re: Lee Jackson

    I'm going to reply but perhaps not in the way you might expect

    Yes the pirate bay is guilty of providing an index to copyright material

    We all know they are no matter how we all despise the record/movie companies

    (tell me again in the days of globalisation, why a US movie DVD should cost 50% of a UK movie DVD when they both come from the same plant in China and why exactly are they released at different times?)

    However, a little experiment a minute ago with google of typing "torrents+black+sabbath" into the search bar brings me up pages of links to copyright material...... which is exactly what PB were doing........

    There google are guilty of the same offence... but wont be dragged through the courts because they can afford better lawyers than the media industry

  96. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @In my opinion

    You miss the point Lee. Copyright infringement is not something you should be locking people up for. Nobody can ever prove that a download is a lost sale. The media companies see that for example 1000 people have a copy of their song and therefore that is 1000 lost sales.

    If you are looking to download something that surely means you are either unable to pay for it or unwilling?

    Copying albums and software is what some people will do and have been doing for years. Compilation tapes between friends etc.. The media companies always see these as lost sales and who remembers the "Home taping is killing music" adverts of old? yet 25 years alter the media companies are now blaming the Internet.

    We don't need these media giants, they are just miffed because people are no longer willing to pay the excessive prices they charge and they've had to lower prices.

  97. Ron

    win for USA

    It seems that no body can get away from the evil wrath of the U.S.A these days. They put pressure on others to abide by their laws and yet when they break them we can't do anything?

    Is there anybody who doesn't know that torture is going on in an American facility? and yet we can do nothing against that?

    Piracy does kill the market but it was the way this trial was conducted that annoyed me.

    Why should pop stars get millions and millions of pounds anyway, we need to change the way we think and allow all sorts of free bands to surface and get rid of all the crap that we see today. Piracy will pave the way for a new type of consumerism in the end anyway.

    (Pirates because we are all Pirates at heart)

  98. Andus McCoatover
    Thumb Down

    Pirate bay Torrent?

    Isn't it possible to make a torrent of a torrent (etc, ad infinitum) which uses The Onion Router for access? Such that sites like Pirate Bay become torrents themselves? No fuc*ker knows where they are?

    Dunno - I'm no whiz*.

    Just seems the Pigopolists got nasty, having had their noses well-and-truly rubbed in it with the "DVD Jon" episode.

    * Moderatrix - Can we have an "I might be talking out of my arse" icon? (T'is Friday, and I've been in my "Living room" for awhile. You know the one, 150 yards away from my bedroom, equipped with pool table, juke box, plasma TV, pretty Vietnamese girl opening a beer for me, etc...)

  99. lupine


    if the jails in sweden are anything like the ones in scotland then #gulp# is right...

    poor boys...

  100. Paul

    To be fair.. the google argument - google provide more search results than just torrents. They've got a big net.

    TPB _only_ has lists of torrents, so their defence is a bit different. That said, it's still bollocks. :)

  101. Anonymous Coward

    @ Lee Jackson

    You mean 'result', not 'verdict', I'm assuming.

    Unless, of course, you know what the charges were, have knowledge of the Swedish laws and are acquainted with the arguments presented and the behaviour of the bench ....

    I could be wrong.

    So, we get your drift -- you don't like enablers of 'copyright theft.'

    Lots of us do, though, because we don't agree with the extent of the copyright holders reach ... plus other aspects of their behaviour and relationship with state legislators ...

    Pirate logo for obvious reason.

  102. EvilJason
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Jackson

    I'm not going to troll but i will answer your correctly

    Firstly this was NOT a good verdict because the prosecution did such bad job with the case and yet still won, remember this was a criminal not a civil case as such to find someone guilty of a criminal accusation you have to have proof beyond a doubt of there guilt the prosecution did not do this.

    Further more copyright infringement is not stealing its copyright infringement and as such you can not compare examples from totally different crimes as an example to a different one now.

    People lose jobs when profits are up as well when profits are down it has nothing to with loss of profits.

    The fact that you are happy these guys are going to jail btw if there appeal fails shows what kind of person you are.

    Here's a hint of the people and companies you support: Ever single penny of that money if it has to be turned over will never see the pockets of ANY artists or the pockets of the so called small people who's jobs you said will be lost because of a loss of profits, NONE of it will be used to save those jobs.

    Think on that before the next time you support people who would abuse the court abuse there customers and abuse there clients i.e. the artists


  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Lee Jackson

    "Sorry but I think thats a good verdict! With the clamp down on p2p in days gone by, why shouldnt this form of linking to copyrighted material be stopped?"

    The problem isn't that it shouldn't be stopped, the issue is that the burden of proof required for a conviction has been lowered for electronic crimes. In the real world if you steal something the police have to have evidence you stole it. In the electronic world just providing enough evidence to create a rough guess that someone might be guilty seems to be enough. This is unacceptable as it will (and as demonstrated by the US RIAA court cases) already has resulted in netting innocent people.

    "After all, wouldnt you want the guy who told the robber where you keep your spare key to also get done!?"

    Er, no? What exactly has he done wrong? I might not like the guy, but expect him to go to prison just for passing on information? Hell no. Even if he told the robber my burglar alarm code I wouldn't want him to be punished by the courts. I'd hate him personally, but this wouldn't happen to me because I wouldn't tell people where I keep my spare key or what my burglar alarm code is in the first place, so the analogy is fairly flawed anyway.

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people loose jobs!"

    No it's not stealing, you seem to have a poor grasp of the law and this seems to be where you points are consistantly falling down. Stealing deprives the entity stolen from of the original product, copyright infringement merely makes a copy of the product. If you have a wooden front door and someone went and got their own piece of wood and carved it to the exact same pattern you could at best say they've copied your idea, but you'd sound like an idiot if you said they stole your front door. Claiming stealing in piracy cases is equally dumb.

    You're also wrong on profits going down because the music and movie industry profits are up year after year despite this supposed major piracy problem. People have lost their jobs in these industries (i.e. songwriters) but that's because their jobs are obsolete and these people haven't kept their skills uptodate for the industry to have any reason to employ them. This has nothing to do with piracy though, it's the usual cost cutting profit increasing measures we've seen become such a fad in recent years and is similar to outsourcing of technical support and software development to india.

    "If you think ur OK cos you only download now and again, think of the millions of others who think the same! This is such a massive issue."

    It is indeed, the Office of National Statistics in the UK just this week released their latest general statistics on the British population. It stated that 12% of people in the UK file share and that's based only those who would admit it when surveyed or who don't cover up their activities meaning the actual figure is almost certainly much higher. Even with the conservative 12% figure that's 7.2million people in the UK alone. File sharing is also even more prominent in other nations such as Sweden, Australia, Canada and so on. The question has to be asked then, if it's such a big issue, if so many people do it, and if despite it being such a big issue the movie industry and music industry are increasing their profits solidly year on year then what exactly is the big deal? Aren't government supposed to support citizens? If so many citizens want to do it and are happy with it and it clearly doesn't harm the industry or at least harm it enough to do any actual net damage then why is such a fuss being made? The only result that could arise from outright abolishing file sharing is that you'd have a population that is far less cultured, has far less access to media, but still wouldn't have any more money to spend on media than they already do and hence not even any real gain for the movie and music industry.

    If you abolish file sharing, we all lose. Luckily, that's an impossible goal. Still though, Lee, please, at least get a grip on the law and understand why we have things such as innocent until proven guilty and burden of proof before you comment in future.

  104. Mark Menzies

    @ Lee Jackson

    .... I admire your courage lol.

    It did need saying tho, so, well done bud. :D

  105. Tony Barnes


    Title says it all really, wouldn't of thought they'd lose

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad they're going down - shame it was on such shakey grounds

    What they were doing was blatantly morally wrong, and the service was to intentionally facilitate crime. Yes, Google, Yahoo et al may reference copyrighted material, but that is not their primary intention. It's a shame that the prosecution seems to have been so inept (from accounts here), but in the end the bad guys lost, so all's well that ends well. I hope that they do appeal, and their sentence gets lengthened.

  107. Danny
    Thumb Down

    your opinion

    okay Lee, i'll take up the discussion.

    how's about the fact that most people downloading wouldn't consider buying the product even if they couldn't download? how about all those people that will buy a product after downloading it because they like it?

    Piracy has been around for many many years, but only in the last 5-10 years has the recording industry claimed to be hurt by it, we had internet before that time and we all downloaded stuff, what changed?

    even musicians are turning their backs to the recording industry because they think they're being treated unfairy, the products they make are WAY too expensive.

    to top it of, what will this ruling really mean? even if the Swedish supreme court finds them guilty, will that change anything?

    and what about gaming? an industry that has long been plagued by piracy, they're doing great, why is that?

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Lee Jackson

    I don't agree with you but you have made me think.

    Maybe.... Just Maybe it has gotten a little too easy

  109. Luke

    lets be honest

    .... we all knew that this was going to happen. It's not exactly going to stop the exchange of materials online though.

  110. Matt
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Jackson

    The agument isn't about if downloading copyrighted material is illegal or not, we all know it is. The argument is if making links to places where you can download copyrighted material is. This court ruling has said it is, therefore according to this interpretation google are just as guilty. as are yahoo and most other search engines.

    If I tell a burglar where you live does that make me a criminal if he breaks in to your house and steals your car?


  111. gribbler

    What a shame...

    now I will have to get all of my torrents from isohunt or torrentz or stream videos online from tvshack or just record things from the TV myself....

    This is a real shame, not because what the TPB was doing was legal (I am not even going to argue that one), but because it shows again the inability of the media industry to adapt to new distribution and market models.

    There is NO WAY that this will stop people from downloading copyrighted content, at best it will slightly reduce the problem for a short time. They may have won the battle, but they don't even stand a chance of winning the war.

  112. Anonymous Coward

    @Lee Jackson

    What about when profits go up? Like they have every time there's been a thing that'll "kill the music industry" but in reality only makes it more popular.

    And it may be the decision you wanted, but it's not a "good" decision. The prosecution were worse than useless- and still haven't (adequately) explained how searching Pirate Bay is any different to "" or

    "", both of which turn up results that may be in violation of intl copyright laws.

    They even had to pare down the charges because they couldn't find anywhere near enough even circumstantial evidence to make the initial charges stick.

  113. Stephen ONeill

    Who wants to bet

    ... that the only people in that court room who actually understood the issue were the defendants?

    All this proves is that stupidity is pandemic where neither the prosecutors nor jury need to understand a case nor its consequences before "judgment" is handed down...

  114. Justin Stringfellow

    what's swedish for...


    Just wondering.

  115. Anonymous Coward

    @Lee Jackson

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing"

    No it isn't. It isn't even copyright infringement if I have the copyright owner's permission.

    Stop talking out of your arse.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A lot of people probably also do what I do - download something, watch it/play it/listen to it, and then if they enjoy it go and buy it.

    But I don't see the point in rewarding people for producing something that's utter cack - I wouldn't get rewarded for my job if I was crap. It's just in my job people can see whether I did a good job or not before they pay for it.

  117. erik svensson

    It's not over...

    Remember the verdict will be appealed which in Sweden is pretty important. In the first court (tingsrätten, county court for the swedish challenged) the majority of the court members are laymen with no legal schooling. They are politically appointed. The appeals court, however, do not have any laymen and so it might very well be a different verdict there.

  118. Adam West

    @Lee Jackson

    "why shouldnt this form of linking to copyrighted material be stopped?"

    It should, in my opinion. But youre missing the point, deliberately I suspect. Fact is, Google et al provide the same service as Pirate Bay. So why didnt the music industry go after them too? Its because theyre going after the technology, not the crime. If linking to copyrighted material is illegal, then EVERYONE who does it MUST be prosecuted and/or forced to stop. You cant just cherry pick the easy targets (ie not the big search engines). And if its not illegal for Google et al, then its not illegal for anyone else either.

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is bad...

    .. for the internet in general, weather you think piracy is bad or good or whatever, this now says tht LINKING to material is an offence, in theory google is now breaking the swedish law, so is the bbc (they linked to the pirate bay site, who link to the material).

    Does that mena that linking to google will also make you guilty of the crime of "making avilable" as you link to google who link to the pirate bay who link the torrent files who link to the people.

    If this doesn't get overturned, the internet is offically broken due to it being illegal.

  120. Stephen

    They brought it on themselves

    When pigs become hogs they get slaughtered.

    TPB got too big for their boots and were far too arrogant from the off. I am still amazed that they thought they could hide behind the "we are just a search engine", yet their site name and brand is all about being a haven for Pirates!!

    Yes they got singled out, but maybe they should have called themselves "TorrentBay" or something where they could then claim to be just a search engine and not have their defense laughed at.

  121. Mark SPLINTER


    I hope they DO prevent google from indexing illegal downloads. I hope google get fined 17 trillion dollars or something. I hope the lawyers and ISPs get together to make it near impossible to download copyrighted works without paying the price the owner demands.

    The owner could then choose a price of $0.00 but that would be his choice, not the choice of a bunch of retarded geeks sponsored by a fucking nazi. kthxbai.

  122. paul
    Paris Hilton

    here's hoping...

    TPB use the precedent set to raise a class action suit on behalf of all europeans against Verbatim/ Sony/ Iomega/ TDK/ BASF/ SanDisk/ Hitachi/ Western Digital

    Thats before we get to the software people, Iøm sure MS assists in copyright infringment.

    I'm quite sure a competant team will have this judge begging for mercy before long. Its not that I agree with what they are doing, but I just don't think its fair or "just" to single them out. Especially when there are clearly much bigger fish to fry.

    I bet our Paris loves a big fish

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Phonographic Industry

    Am I the only one who read that wrong?

    Certainly they're in the business of...

  124. Simon Painter

    it's the party line, Lee Jackson

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people loose jobs!"

    It's not quite as simple as that.

    Nobody has actually produced any evidence that people who watch pirated movies would actually pay for the movie if it was not available for free. There is anecdotal evidence that many people who swap files then go on to purchase the movie or music at a later date. An independent (and by that I mean not funded by the music industry OR the pro piracy lobby) study would be good news because it could help clear up some of these myths that are spread by both sides.

    I categorically do not involve myself with any form of piracy however a good friend of mine, let's call him Simon Paynter, does and he told me that he has quite often purchased movies on DVD after watching a download and that he would never have purchased it if he hadn't seen the download first. He also tells me that he has bought music after hearing it for the first time on a swapped MP3. This is all just anecdotal but until someone actually does some solid research into the buying habits of the pirate masses the rest is just FUD and propaganda.

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a difference...

    Between justice and the law. Apparently the court has decided the law was broken. The fact that other companies also break the law but have hitherto remained unprosecuted is largely irrelevant.

    However, a case on the principle of unequality before the law may prove succesful. This, however, has no bearing on the defence in this case.

    This may be a more suitable path out of this mess. Not to appeal the verdict but to bring a case before the prime legislative court on the basis if said inequality before the law.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    OK, I know there was HUGE money behind this case, but with the blatant incompetence of the prosecution added to the paper thin charges and the fact that the case was tried outside the US, I thought there was no way they could lose.

    Just shows, as someone mentioned earlier - The Americans now officially rule the world.

    Oh, and Lee Jackson - go troll somewhere else.

  127. Anonymous Coward

    @ dennis, anon "this is guff", etc

    TPB will continue without them,, there has never been any doubt about that.

    Anyway, I see this as a last desperate act of a dying industry. They didn't realise the potential of the internet and paid the price.

  128. Anonymous Coward

    What is wrong with you all?

    Why does every one of these comments appear to support these self-promoting, neo-nazi-backed wankers?

    Making stupid fatuous claims that Google and paper and pen manufacturers (wtf???) should be sued next reflects the crass stupidity and stultifying pig-ignorance of the average interspaz commenter.

    You all need to get a life.

  129. MnM
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Jackson


    It's the media industry's attempts to curtail fair use (e.g. Sony rootkits, what fallen angels Sony are), screw up all our tech (e.g. can't watch HD over DVI), and generally behave like a mafia that leaves me with little sympathy for them when they complain about common or garden home use copyright infringement. The business model which they're trying to cling on to only came about because of an accident of technology in the first place, but they did then build an industry out of it. Having said that, filmmakers/studios still have cinemas, musicians/managers still have gigs. Theatre still seems to exist, despite having never had the help of big studios.

    I don't particularly like them, but I want to see The Pirate Bay win, and the higher the court, the better (no not the court of public opinion, a proper one with a judge or several). The studios are fighting for a self-serving distortion and nothing more.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It just goes to show

    Does "It just goes to show you can't be too careful" fit in here?

  131. Stuart


    I really don't know where I stand on this. Making money or reducing income to people who have expensively created original material is wrong morally and economically (since the original idea of IP was to encourage people to invest in creating goods that would not otherwise be available).

    I believe in IP protection as a beneficial policy. But then IP protection has gone into overdrive. I thought I would like to download an old silent film - to find it was still in copyright and would be for the foreseeable future. The beneficiaries were not the creators or their immediate families. So copyright income is not pension or going to encourage a dead person to create more good stuff.

    And so it goes on. We have a problem with pharmaceuticals - where the current judgement is that drugs are best protected for 20 years so big pharma can get payback on R&D. That or even longer would be no problem with movies or songs. But 50 years tops.

    More than that puts the movie/record/copyright companies into the captive greed category. Morally and possibly economically thieves themselves. I choose to not pay them by not using their material. I worry I should indeed subvert their business model by torrenting until they come to a more reasonable deal with the people to make money in the short term and create public goods in the long term for us all to share.

    Follow their desires and Shakespeare will soon be back in copyright (if only Time Warner could claim they owned the first folio:)

  132. Dan

    From the TPB web press release:


    They are concerned about the judgment, but everybody knew that the losing party would appeal anyway. Both parties expect the case to go to the highest court in Sweden.

    The judgment calls into question the legality of Google Search, and of YouTube.

    Functionally, there are only two difference between TPB and Google Search: TPB only indexes material at the explicit request of the hosts, while Google indexes material proactively; TPB does not copy or host anything except the links, while Google Search copies and makes material available from their own Cache.

    Quotes, paraphrased, pulled out of the live stream:

    "Don't use laws to shape behavior, let the laws match the behavior"

    "The higher up you go in Swedish Courts, the fairer judgment you get. Nobody believes that this is a fair judgment."

    "It will take another 4 or five years before final judgment comes."

    "Prosecution's lawyers refused to deny allegations that they were running a political trial"

    I missed a good bit due to technical issues. Full thing should be available at

  133. Anonymous Coward

    @lee Jackson

    A blatant troll and you should be ashamed of yourself

  134. Peter

    Come on, guys...

    ... this is schoolboy excuse stuff. Google is a search engine which occasionally accidentally links to copywritten material, but removes that link as soon as it is requested to do so.

    Do you really, honestly believe that The Pirate Bay, who use a pirate ship as a logo, have nothing to do with piracy? The whole "you can't prove anything!", "actually wthere are lots of legitimate P2P uses!", "You can't blame *us* just because we put up and maintained links to the results of your work so people could copy it without paying you!"

    This is the kind of "But you can't *prove* it was me" nonsense that crumb-covered children use when mummy finds that all the biscuits have gone. Unless you can genuinely say that you had no idea that The Pirate Bay was in some way deliberately involved with piracy, why do you think that everyone else, including the judge, was somehow fooled?

  135. This post has been deleted by its author

  136. Anonymous Coward

    Well this opens up a few questions for sweden

    If running a sefver that is linking to copyrighted material that other people have posted (not the four convicted) is illgal in sweden, dosn't that mean everyone who runs a website that allows users to posting links to other servers are also illegal as it may link to a copyrighted material or who knows what else.

    If yes, that means google is illegal in sweden and so is every search engine and forum and so is this site in sweden as I could post a link to a torrent right now in this post.

    Or is this simply a one law for one set of people and a different laws others? and the mpaa/ifpi/riaa/whatever gets to decide what is legal and what is illegal? so much for the legal system, if this really is the case then anyone can be done for anything as you may or may not be doing something illegal according to the mpaa/ifpi/rtiaa.

    I thought laws were there for a reason so you knew what ones you were breaking... oh and this will not stop torrents, it will just be run by people not in the UK/USA or sweden.... russia is probably the best place I doubt they care about hollywood. Or if you do run a site be sure to hide yourself ^^ nad pose as someone else.

  137. Julian Smart

    @Lee Jackson

    As somone who lives by copyright material, I quite agree with Lee and the verdict - I don't see why encouraging theft should be condoned in any way. They obviously knew they were stealing, as the name suggests. Still, I guess a lot of not very mature people won't like their illegal toys to be taken away.

  138. Simon Neill

    @Lee Jackson and others thinking this...

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people loose jobs!"

    No, copyright infringement is NOT stealing. This is a civil matter not a criminal matter, especially on the level of a single user downloading.

    Consider those crappy ads they plastered all over DVDs. "You wouldn't steal a handbag/car/movie" Well, if I steal a handbag someone has lost a handbag and I have gained one. If I "steal" a movie/tv show/music track the owners still have it. I've downloaded all sorts over the years. Some I have later bought, some I have scrapped because it was shite. You would find it very hard to prove a lost sale. As a concrete example I currently own every Futurama DVD. I wouldn't even have watched it without a friend sending me an ep over the net. Same for Family Guy.

    This of course is not saying it is right to download files without permission, just as it is not right to drive 33mph in a 30mph area. It is however time to admit that it doesn't do as much harm as they say and that it is never going to be stopped through legal action.

  139. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    @Lee Jackson

    Strip DRM from legit sources. Provide fair value for dollar exchanges. Remove the pointless middle-man. An artist can distribute directly to their consumer without the need for Record Companies or Film Studios.

    The industry has been dying for years, they just refuse to fall over.

    I hope the appeal is heard someone with a little common sense.

  140. Dan

    @ Lee Jackson

    Go with the right analogy. TPB is the photographer's guide that taught your neighbor how to take pictures of your landscaping. When he hung the pictures of YOUR hard work in his house without paying you, you claimed damages equal to what you spent on the landscaping. From the publisher of the photographer's guide.

  141. Kenny Millar

    Get a grip people

    There's a huge difference between Google and TPB.

    TPB was obviously designed to allow access to stuff you didn't want to pay for.

    At no time did they ever try to discourage people from carrying out illegal activity from their site.

    The verdict is a good one.

  142. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low cost hosting and bandwidth

    If the TV and Film companies had any sense they could be using the torrent system for their own means.

    Private torrent trackers have existed for a few years and prove that it is possible to monitor what and how much a torrent user has downloaded/uploaded.

    All the media companies need to add on top of that is a charging structure that rewards seeders (thats users who are hosting their files for them) with lower cost downloads and only allows people to download when they have credit.

    An example of the pricing structure - If I upload 50 times more than I download then whilst that relationship is maintained I can download at half price.

    If I upload 100 times more than I download then I get downloads at 10% price

    This arrangement is always self managing. To upload you have to download first and only users who dedicate large amounts of harddrive space and leave their connection open constantly are going to get to a situation where their uploads are much larger than their downloads.

    Unpopular TV shows and films will always be available on a slow download from the companies own servers.

    Popular items will be hosted on thousands of users PC's and available for quick download (I can already download some popular TV shows via torrent quicker than it takes to watch them)

    The TV companies need to let go of the idea of maintaining ownership of the file... these files are always going to be shared illegally by a portion of the online community after download - DRM restricted or not.

    Add a couple of adverts into the mix and they should be able to turn a healthy profit.

    Also, If they allow torrenting of non-DRM'd files then legitimate users are free to watch/listen on any device they see fit and will be less tempted by the illegal options.

  143. NickR

    @Lee Jackson

    "Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing from. "

    What about if you have permission/licence ?

    Whose responsibility is it ?

  144. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... the appeal of the appeal to the appeal will determine ultimate justice. Everything else is just jumping through legal hoops have must be jumped through...

  145. Anonymous Coward

    I knew there was a good reason...

    to have all that research done into hydra botnets and fast dns.

    Still, there's probably an appeal to come.

  146. Kevin Johnston


    I'm probably not the first with the shin-kicking but you seem to have missed the point here. What they have been found guilty of is providing information as to where to find copyrighted material. As previous comments have explained, this is pretty much the whole purpose of the web plus countless 'real-world' facilities such as libraries, DVD rental facilities etc etc etc.

    The reason for the confidence of the PB boys was that if they were guilty then so was every search engine on the web along with sites which simply held archives of past work.

    I would imagine that Google et al may have an interest in assisting with the appeal, just to be on the safe side. If TPB really are breaking the law then someone needs to be a little more precise in which law that is.

  147. Anonymous Coward

    GOOGLE! NO!!!!

    OhNo. Looks like Google might be going under soon too.

    Im just waiting for the sweedish court websites to be hacked/ddos'd to hell.

    Im sure there will be great support in Sweeden and the rest of the world. To show that we cannot allow these big corporations tule countries like the US do.

    We cannot let it stand!

  148. AlisonW


    If providing links to copyrighted material is now considered illegal then just about every website in the world is illegal; every time an off-site link exists it must now be considered - at least in Sweden - as an invitation for the reader to inspect copyrighted material.

    So that's me in the stripy pants and top then ...

  149. Dave

    @Lee Jackson

    You have to remember that these record companies are in the game to line their pockets off the work of others. They are an unnecessary (especially in the internet age) evil who look for talent, make a few bucks, and then leave the artist in the gutter to move on to the next big thing (ever wonder where one-hit wonders come from?). Just like sports agents, they are parasites that do not provide any service that couldn't be found elsewhere. Unfortunately for musicians, the costs of having records produced can run into thousands and thousands. With the internet age (and maybe a knocked off copy of a audio sequencer), artists can produce tracks and publish them at minimal cost. Suddenly, due to the nature of internet users, and new publication methods, they find their profits slide due to illegal downloads and the change of practices within the industry. They are still turning a profit though.

    When you say that downloading is illegal etc, then you are correct, but not in respect to this case. These guys who run the Pirate Bay are not hosting the illegal content. They are merely serving up the torrent files, or the means, to obtain illegal content. You have to remember that they are also providing the means to obtain a lot of legal stuff too. If you are given a phone number for a drug dealer, have you broken the law? It is your decision whether or not to then pursue the purchase of drugs. The end-user needs to be held responsible, not the guy who gave you the phone number or provided the torrent file.

    This then means, as they have been found guilty, that your ISP, Cisco, HP, Dell, IBM, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, the Linux community, Mozilla and about any other corporation/organisation that gives you the means to obtain illegal data are equally as guilty as these guys. The only people who should be prosecuted for this are the end-users. If I created a system that allowed people to share files, and then the users used it for illegal purposes, then I would certainly be very upset if I was blamed (fair enough - the pirate bay, by name, was probably never intended for legal content). In fact the media are just as guilty for highlighting the service Pirate Bay provide through media coverage of this case! The ruling here makes no sense at all and this can be seen by extrapolating the implications of this case.

    Basically, adapt or die. If the industry can't adapt to the transition to the age of the internet, then it will die. I won't miss them. Instead of being force fed the same old shit, we might actually hear an artist or two that have real talent. Remember that when tape cassettes came out, we had the same warnings from the record industry.

    Flame on!

  150. Armus Squelprom

    Lee Jackson, he has the big cojones, Si?

    Fair comment Lee, and hopefully you won't be attacked for making it. I think it's a bit simplistic though, myself.

    The real question is how many lost sales result from file-sharing, not how many copies were shared. Because file-sharing is so easy, many users soak up vast amounts of data just because it's there. They download music which they don't like much and rarely listen to, they have several versions of Corp XP Pro tucked away for no particular reason. Those aren't lost sales, and the copyright owners haven't suffered any disadvantage.

    Similarly the schoolkid who has a dodgy version of Photoshop - there was never any prospect of him paying £700 to own a licenced copy, and perfect enforcement would just result in him using GIMP or PSP. Arguably Adobe has actually gained, because their dominant market position is maintained until little Kev can afford to buy a kosher copy.

    I think we'd all support copyright owners who go after deliberate commercial abuses - companies running scores of desktops on hooky versions of XP & Office, small traders selling retail PC's with bent OS's, dealers on ebay etc. They're systematically profiting from someone else's hard work, and they're fair game. Not sure that's the same thing as kids swapping mp3's, or P2P downloads of the new series of 24, etc.

    Anyhow, the Pirates are appealing (to many of us, anyway) and I guess the case won't be resolved for a year or two yet. It'll all be quantum computing and black helicopters by then, and arguing over the 'rights' for an episode of Doctor Who may seem terribly quaint.

  151. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    @Lee Jackson

    Some people download to keep. Others use it as a "try before they buy" system to make purchase decisions. I am curious to see whether trashing pirate bay reduces or increases music sales. It will take a long time to tell. The worst music thieves are often children who grow up, get a job then buy legitimate copies when they can afford it. Hearing other people's illegal downloads encourages some people to go shopping. I have no idea where the balance of profit really lies, but I am sure it is nothing like as one sided as the music industry claims.

  152. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting comment

    There was a previous story on this an hour ago -

    And there was an interesting comment posted there I'd like to bring here for thought: (not me, btw, just cross-posting it for the other readers)

    Sunde revealed it on Twitter before the official verdict that they'd already lost.

    Is this even legal?

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 17th April 2009 09:54 GMT

    If it's proved that he had access to the actual verdict before it was publically released then surely this means that the trial judge and/or jury if applicable have been discussing the trial with people outside.

    If so, then surely that's grounds for a mistrial?

  153. dan

    @lee jackson

    It's not stealing, it's (accessory to) copyright infringement. No entity was deprived of a good as a result of copying the material. An entity was deprived of a sale, or so they say, though the link has not been proven. This is a blatant example of corporations using the law to support a failing business model in ways in which the law was not intended to be used. The law needs bringing in to the 21st century, which they are going to do (see ) but unfortunately the law won't be drafted to protect our rights as citizens but the rights of the corporations who are steering the process through lobbying, lying and PR campaigns.

    The companies who "provide" us with music don't want you to be able to copy the tracks you have paid for to another form of media, say for playing in your (electric) car. When you buy music off "them" they treat you like you don't actually own the music, so much as license it off them. They would probably like to charge you every time you play the track, or read the book, or watch the video, or whistle the tune. They want to charge you if you play music to cows. In the future, listening to music in your car with passengers will probably be considered a "public performance"

    They want control and we are giving it to them without so much as a question. Welcome to the New Order TM, we'll swipe your credit card on the way in, in case of "incidentals". If we have to call in the riot police on horses who will crack your head open with a truncheon sending you home in an ambulance, we'll charge you for the privilege.

    Happy days.


  154. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Nigel Kneale

    @Nigel Kneale - one word: muppet.

    Regardless of what form of law was practised or in what manner and in how many ways this law conflicts with the shitty realities of our world, you have managed to completely MISS the whole point of this and the issues involved....

    ....and commented on the ONLY insignificant point in this whole debacle, bravo.

  155. Andy

    Not like Google

    To the people saying the Pirate Bay were no different from Google is ridiculous:

    1) Google does not market itslef as repository for torrents of ripped music, DVDs, software, etc

    2) Google have a policy of "Tell us if something is dodgy an we'll investigate". Pirate Bay's was tell us if something is dodgy and we will tell you to go F yourself.

    3) The Pirate Bay really need a better brand name if they want to be taken as anything but a piracy indorsing website. The priate ship logo probably not helping much either.

    4) Why do people obsessed with getting dodgy copies of CD's and DVD's want to ruin the Internet for everyone? Why would you want Google shut down? Just to prove a point?

    Armchair lawyers seem to forgot that the law is meant to be applied in the spirit with which it was meant and not necessairly in a strict sense. e .g. PB's sole purpose is to supply links to dodgy downloads. Google is indexing everything and happens to scoop up the bad stuff. Google attempt to remove this stuff automatically or comply with requests to have it removed should it slip through. Therefore Google are OK and PB are not.

    It also doesn't really matter how poor the prosecution is and how wonderful the defence is. At the end of the day it's down to a jury or judge to decide whether a criminal act was committed. If you run a website with the sole intention of linking to dodgy stuff then most people will think this is highly dubious at the very least.

  156. Francis Fish

    @lee jackson

    Problem is that if I were to download, say, a digital version of something I already own on vinyl I'd be breaking the law. You have to buy it again and again, which is great for the Beatles. A lot of indie groups just want to be heard and aren't that bothered by this. It's the big money people that are hurting. In essence they pay the artists the equivalent of minimum wage and keep the rest of the £15 or whatever you pay for themselves. The existing copyright law has been bent (as in it used to only extend for a few years and is now something insane like 100) to keep these jokers rich over many years. If you even hum a tune you're breaking the law (seriously).

    Also, some people put up things that are extremely rare and hard to find and the record companies just sit on them because they can't make any money so they do the "dog in the manger" thing and prevent anyone from listening to them.

    Plus, there are a lot of books from the 50's and 60's that are out of print and are decaying because of acid in the paper - they will never be read by anyone and whatever history they may represent (e.g. early SF) will be lost.

    It's not as simple as you think. The laws were constantly redrafted over the last 30 years every time these monopolists looked like losing their grip on control. I'm not a freetard, but don't like monopolists keeping my history away from me, either - no-one loves them and they are stupid and greedy.

    Have a google for Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture - long read but very interesting.

  157. Anonymous Coward


    This will be just the boost TPB and all the other torrent indexers will need. I hadn't realised I could watch movies and listen to whole albums *before* I bought them.. what a great advertising medium! Yay!

  158. Brendan Sullivan

    @Lee Jackson RE: In my opinion

    The P2P crackdown was not exactly a spotless crusade of righteousness either. P2P and Torrents are technologies that allow individuals to share data and to efficiently distribute many copies of data. Technologies, like inanimate objects, are not good or evil.

    The people who are in fact breaking the law are the people who make the infringing content in the first place.

    >Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing >from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people >loose jobs!

    This does not change the fact that the Pirate Bay; much like Google, Yahoo, telephone companies and many others; are not actually responsible for the content that users put on their site/system. The Pirate Bay operated as a content aggregator, they did not host the infringing content themselves nor did they create the infringing content.

    Also the major media companies that the prosecution represented have actually been reporting consistently good profits and haven't (that I know of) made any big layoffs.

  159. system

    RE: In my opinion

    "I await the onslaught from other readers.... gulp"

    So you should. Copyright infringement is not theft. One involves removing something from the owners possession, the other doesn't. It's not rocket science.

    Downloading is not even a criminal offence in the UK. Check section 107 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The only thing a private user of infringing material can be prosecuted for is distributing "to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright". Everything else is a civil matter.

    If it's a matter of ensuring jobs are kept, then I would like to know how you can afford to purchase every single DVD and CD offered for sale. Refusing to buy even a single thing they release (even if it is Hannah Montana: The Movie) reduces their potential profits and costs jobs. Conflating loss of potential profits with theft means you go to prison, along with everyone else in the country.

  160. Steve Swann

    @Lee Jackson

    ...except the defendants were not found guilty of downloading and distributing copywritten software/media. They didn't steal anything.

    Instead, they were found guilty of 'being accessories to copyright theft' inasmuch as they provide a search engine and links to copywritten material. I therefore, as many others have already, suggest that ANY SITE that provides links to such material is now fair game.

    Amazon. IMDB. Google. Yahoo. YouTube. FaceBook......

    And once we're over that hurdle, consider the 'illegal' material that the same sources link to.

    Porn. Extremism. Anti-Government propaganda. 'foreign' new sources....

    The powers-that-be wanted control over the internet, and through this legislation and the scapegoating of a 'soft' target they are going to get it.

    The precedent has been set. Wave bye to your freedoms on the internet.

  161. Chris Silver badge

    This didn't come as a surprise...

    @Ian: I too figured they'd end up losing, though I'd decided that before the coverage of the trial had even begun and the confidence/arrogance of the TPB crew became known - whilst there have been "interesting" legal outcomes in other such cases, AFAIK they've always been as the result of appeals and retrials, whereas the initial verdicts have always gone the way the *AA's have wanted them to go. So for TPB to be found guilty in the initial trial isn't a surprise, but if (and I hope they do) they go to appeal then I wouldn't be too surprised to see a different outcome.

    @Lee Jackson: Oh dear...

  162. Anonymous Coward

    missed the point

    All those people saying 'well Google will be next’ have completely missed the point. These folks have been found guilty (for now) of 'assisting the exchange of copyrighted material'. The part that was found as 'assisting' was the BitTorrent tracker, not the links to copy write material like Google has.

    The defence tried to say they are no different then Google, and if the judge had agreed then they would have been found guilty, however the judge found that the key difference of the tracker meant that this was 'assistance'

    I do not understand why people read an article, instantly decide what the correct decision should be, and immediately think that without looking at the evidence or hearing the arguments that your gut instinct is correct and everybody else is clearly an idiot. Do you really think that the Google argument had not been thought of....really?

  163. Anonymous Coward

    @Lee Jackson

    My guess is that their *intent* is what... er... sunk them. Google's logo isn't a big fucking PIRATE SHIP - and whether or not that counts legally, it's probably the major reason the Bay got nailed. Google is clearly a general search engine, but it's hard to make that argument when your web site is basically called, "Come here to infringe copyright place".

    People don't like arrogance, and in this case they served up enough of their own to match the media industries'.

    Unfortunately, the really nasty bit is that the precedent will now fall a major step in the wrong direction - and the next guys may get done in without the arrogance and obvious intent because of this. And there may now be a default assumption that bittorrent == piracy, even when people are using it to distribute home-grown game mods and linux distributions.

    Mr. Lunde et. al may have done us all far more harm than good by fighting for our rights...

  164. Geoff May

    @Lee Jackson

    Think of it like this: You buy a car from Vauxhall and said car is capable of 140 mph. You get stopped by the police and decide to contest the fine in court. You tell the judge it isn't your fault the car is capable of 140 mph therefore you cannot and should not be fined for driving at this speed. It has to be Vauxhall's fault.

    That is what this judgement means.

    It takes the responsibility away from the guilty parties and passes said responsibility onto those who are providing a means of breaking the law.

    In this particular case, PirateBay can be used to transfer legal data round and it probably was being used in a legal manner as well.

  165. Dave Ashe
    Thumb Up

    They portrayed themselves as the upholders of freedom

    What about the freedom to create music and sell it to make a living?

    Or the freedom to create an amazing film and sell it for the art that it is?

    When everybody is copying everything it doesnt work.

    If you dont recieve recompense for your work it destroys your ability and even in some cases motivation to create something great! You cant work for nothing.

    I see the lull in quality of art, music, movies etc. all attributed to in-your-face mass distribution of anything and everything for free, we have become the "i want it ALL for free" culture, you only get what you pay for!!!

    People have to make a living from their art, whether its software, entertainment, information products or anything else!

  166. Anonymous Coward

    I'm so angry...

    These guys are innocent, freedom loving people; it's not like they were making money and using it to finance a fascist organisation or anything?

    Oh, hang on; I'll just get me coat...

  167. Matthew

    @ lee

    That assumes that you would buy the material if you didn't download it :-)

    which is most cases wouldn't happen..

    Plus alot of it is TV anyway that people just want to watch in their own time etc, but is paid for by broadcasting fee anyway.

  168. Anonymous Coward

    Who thinks anything will change as a result of this....?

    Congratulations, IFPI. Not for having won this case, but for showing the world that it was brought purely to try and protect your own revenue stream, and not for some altruistic reason.

    The thing is, though, absolutely nothing will change as a result of this. If anything, this case has brought attention to the Pirate Bay to non-techie people like my sister and my mother. They'd never heard of bit torrent and would never had known what the Pirate Bay was - probably guessing it was something from those films starring Johnny Depp.

    I can't see the Pirate Bay site going anywhere soon, as this ruling will undoubtedly go to appeal. Even if the Pirate Bay does get taken offline, there will be countless others that spring up to replace it. However, now my mum and my sister and millions of others who don't really take an interest in technology are now aware of its existance. Even if the Pirate Bay sinks, a quick search on Google (which both my mum and sister are aware of) will lead them to its successors.

    In the same way that the Napster trial achieved very little except in bringing the term MP3 to the masses, the Pirate Bay verdict will do the same thing for Bit Torrent. The cat has undeniably been let outta the bag, and you're not gonna be able to put it back inside it now.

    So, if these court cases are doing you more harm than good, exactly why do you continue to even bother with them? Copyright infringement online has not decreased as a result of all the cases you have brought - if anything, it is flourishing more than ever, thanks to the free publicity you've given it. Absolutely everyone now knows that you can download MP3s that will work on all MP3 players or can be burned to disc provided you don't buy them from the official sources and instead download them.

    Come on, IFPI, it's time you realised you can't continue your money-making cartel any longer and that you need to embrace this new technology you've been so fearful of for so long. Fighting it isn't getting you anywhere, it's actually making things worse.

  169. h4rm0ny

    It was a buisness

    Didn't the operators of TPB make nearly UK£50000 per month from advertising, etc.?

    Bandwidth can't be that much for providing torrents - they weren't even seeding themselves. So they must have been making a pretty penny, eh? No wonder it was concluded they were making money from copyright infringement.

    I think this result is probably the right one, though I dohn't like to see people imprisoned.

  170. Steven


    A site set up to specifically index, categorise and rate torrents of coprighted material is not the same as Google. Stop blathering such nonsense please. It makes only slightly less sense than the suggestion that Blockbuster should be held accountable aswell.

  171. Mike


    @Lee Jackson

    those guys told thousands of robbers how to make a copy of a key which couldn't be used to steal anything from you... pretty damn harmless right?

    just because they are greedy enough to demand money for something *someone else did* doesn't mean refusing to give it to them is theft, not only is it not theft because nothing was stolen from them, but the simple fact is they were in the wrong for demanding money for it in the first place.

    what would you think if i started demanding that all of your clients start paying me for the work you've done instead of paying you (what the RIAA/MPAA does to artists)? then would you call it theft if they told me to piss off?

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame you for him

    I blame you because it's easier than blaming him.

    Yours faithfully,


  173. Anonymous Coward

    Missing the point

    Google is not called The -> PIRATE <- Bay. Google (and most other web sites with links) does not specially and exclusively support the distribution of pirated software and media.

    As an analogy - if I as a waiter copy down people's credit card details, it can be argued that what I did is not a crime. But if I were to give that details to others to scam using those credit card details, I will most definitely will be guilty of a crime.

    Okay, perhaps not the best of analogies, but good enough I hope to make my point.

    The Pirate Bay (TPB) existed for a single primary purposes - allowing you to illegally participate in downloading pirated software and media. Despite numerous (legal) attempts from the copyright owners to get TPB to cease with their activities, they purposefully did not. And that is a crime. Period.

    Those 4 dumbtards responsible, deserve being fined and sentenced.

    And no amount of arguing about how record labels suck, about how movie distributors rip us of, about the stupidity behind DRM, changes the fact that TPB supported criminal activity.

    And if you want to change the system, you sure as hell DON'T do it by operating outside the system!

    Mine's the one with legal copies of music CDs in the pocket, as I believe in paying for music that I like.

  174. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    And yet the "pirates" still win...

    Disregarding the government-granted monopoly-creating immoral privilege of intellectual property for a moment, let's consider the future. Now that the entertainment industry has won, and their popularity sinking faster than the Titanic, it would be reasonable to suggest that this result will only give people more incentive then ever to ignore the copyright labels and download even more. In other words: they may have won the battle, but they will lose the war.

  175. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where do you stop?

    Gosh, we had better ban ordinary search engines too. No, make that the whole Interweb tubes thingy. Best be safe, let's ban computers as well. Tape recorders, obviously. No, I nearly forgot, what about electricity, oh, and printing. Ahh, that's better. No-one's copying any of my stuff now.

    Hey, are you looking at my cave painting? And what's that you're whistling?

  176. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hah, it is but a mere flesh wound!

    Verily, I will continue to download what I like, when I like and how I like.

    Bllllllpppp! to the RIAA and cohorts.

    I fart in your general direction, etc

  177. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    favorite quote from sunde - "It's so bizarre that we were convicted at all and it's even more bizarre that we were [convicted] as a team. The court said we were organised. I can't get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you're going to convict us, convict us of disorganised crime.

  178. Simon Langley
    Thumb Down

    Ordering back the waves

    I am disappointed but this decision will make absolutely no difference to anyone expect perhaps the four unfortunate defendants.

    TPB will probably continue the same as ever, just from a different location. Even if it didn't there are a million and one torrent sites, not to mention Usenet, Rapidshare, IRC, public ftp servers...

    The toothpaste cannot be squeezed back into the tube - it is too late to stop file sharing. Aggressive legal action by rights holders will achieve nothing except further antagonising their own customers. This has already been admitted implicitly by most of them by halting legal action against individuals who download material illegally.

    Keep litigating dinosaurs and let's see who is the long term winner - Pirates FTW.

  179. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "you're a user-based content provider, geared specifically towards offering world+dog illegal material."

    No, you a user-based content provider geared towards providing content to the user. It has nothing to do with illegal material , if they choose to puit up the material then its the USER at fault, not the service.

  180. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes it is stealing...

    ... no it is not theft, but it is stealing in exactly the same way as you can steal someone's idea.

    A perfectly acceptable definition of stealing is to take the property of someone without their permission. If I own the copyright of something, that is my property. If you take my property without my permission, you have stolen it.

  181. steve

    @ lee jackson

    As a songwriter who has a percentage of my songs licenced by EMI I think you are missing the point. These corporations are taking huge PROFITS from this music and it does not "trickle down" to employees except in a 'minimal' way controlled by an unfair market. My music is pirated and i could not care less... as with most people on the planet I work for a living as well (security guard - for my sins). The music business model must (and will) change for the better for musicians and consumers when the Corporations are taken out of the mix (since pirating etc. prices for those who buy music has already lowered a lot - I dont see the street lined with starving musos.. This is being forced on the media corporations due to the "Pirates" using new means of distributions - Great!! no-one need to be a millionaire. Good songwriters will always be able to make money either thru music or work - its the same choice for all of us.

  182. Anonymous Coward

    Search Engines and TPB

    TPB does not index copyrighted material - it indexes torrents (that some, okay most, just happen to refer to copyrighted material). However Google does not allow you to browse it's indexes using subject headings like Movies, TV, Porn, Books, Software etc which clearly refer to material that could be copyrighted. TPB organises the indexed torrents into a clear structure to make it easy to use but also make it obvious IMO that the site has been designed to help you search for copyrighted data.

    If torrents had a built-in classification system (and they well may do, perhaps v2) and TPB (and their ilk) generated indexes based on this User Generated content then they could argue that they they are only using the User Generated classifications to generate their portal to their indexed torrent data i.e. they don't know what the torrent refers to - I sure ain't no lawyer so probably crap.

    What we need now is a site to list all torrents as a large amorphous blob and let Google/Yahoo index it for us and then we wouldn't need TPB and the Movie Industry will have to take on the Chocolate Factory directly - I wonder how long it will be until google stop indexing .torrent files (or returning them in search results).

  183. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 10:53 and all the other little children posting here

    "This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is making a living or a business from _raping consumers and artists_ and who needs to know their _pillaging_ will protected by law.”

    Consumers chose to consume or not. For fuck's sake we are talking about music, games and films here not essentials like food, electricity and beer. If you think $80 is too much for a game then you don't have to buy it. To take the digital content vs. car argument as an example I think £120,000 is too much to pay for an Aston martin but no court would let me keep one if I nicked one. Likewise artists are free to sign or not, if they don't like the terms then they can refuse to sign. If they want the drugs and pox-ridden groupies then they have their choice.

    With all due respect I recommend that those of you who try to justify downloading things you have no right to download with anything other than "I want it for free" need to grow up. And those of you who just want everything for free you need to grow up.

    However, a bit of research RE: Copyright infringement != theft:

    Although I can see some [sophistic] logic in the assertions that you cannot "steal" copyrighted material the theft act 1968 defines theft as (irrelevant portions omitted - if you want to see them look it up):

    Theft act 1968:

    1 Basic definition of theft

    (1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and thief and steal shall be construed accordingly.

    (2) It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief's own benefit.

    4 "Property"

    (1) Property includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

    5 "Belonging to another"

    (1) Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest (not being an equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an interest).

    Which looks to me like there is a very good argument for copyright theft to be actual theft. Specifically intangible is mentioned as is a good definition of ownership. And this predates the innertubes by a long way.

  184. Anonymous Coward

    Back @ Its the intention....

    @ AC Friday 17th April 2009 10:11 GMT

    I have been to Pirate Bay once or twice both times to download software I ether had a license for or was freeware. Now I know most people don’t use it for that however it is a list of torrents and it was bought up in the case that there are legal torrents listed on the site. The Google/Yahoo argument does stand as they list both legal and illegal torrents, as well as warez sites etc. And they should be in more trouble as the Google bot and yahoo slurp do most of the listing - therefore they list the sites themselves.

    On to your final point and this does bug the crap out of me. Despite all that’s been said by the MAFIAA (I like that one) copyright theft is impossible. You can infringe copyright and break copyright, you cannot steal it. Theft is depriving someone of an item. If I steal your pen its theft as you cannot use it. If I make a copy of it I have stolen nothing. Ahh you say but the company that made it. Well I have stolen nothing from them, but I have, by copying their pen, breached their copyright. That is not the same a theft, so give it a rest.

  185. Steven Jones

    @Giles Jones

    They were not locked up for copyright infringement. They are being locked up for deliberately facilitating others to breach copyright. The very name "Pirate Bay" hardly helped their defence.

    As for not requiring media giants. I suppose you can make an argument that if the music market fragmented (as it is) into lots of independent artists, rather than a few media and industry-promoted over-paid mega-stars, then that might be no bad thing. It doesn't actually cost much to produce and distribute (most) music these days once the over-priced producers, managers and recording studios are dropped out. Although be warned - if they don't get you on recorded material, they surely will on live. It's interesting how those who begrudge paying £8 for a CD will happily pay £50+ for a ticket with booking, transaction and delivery fees more than the price of the album.

    However, you might wonder who will finance those Hollywood block-blusters and mega-games. Now we are talking about serious money - from the 10's of millions to the hundreds of millions. Given that is a commercially risky game, then you really do need thoser mega-corporations. You can't produce the next block-buster film the way - well, not until we have computer programmes that can produce films, dialogues, realistic acting and plotting automatically - then we won't need the media giants. Until that happens, you are stuck with them or you do without big films.

  186. Andus McCoatover

    @ Danny

    <<how's about the fact that most people downloading wouldn't consider buying the product even if they couldn't download? how about all those people that will buy a product after downloading it because they like it?>>

    Cory Doctorow had the same opinion when he released his novel "Little Brother" on the internet. Damn good read, for less than a tenner in paperback (imported UK-->Finland), I ordered it. (

    OK, on-screen PDF format's crap (newspaper style, 2 colums to a page), but I think that's the general idea....Same as putting MP3's up, compared to a 'decent' format.

  187. Anonymous Coward

    Burn the terrorist witches!

    As we all know, its only terrorists who share things with one another.

    Honest, upstanding capitalists always form a service provider / customer model, where revenue must flow towards the service provider, from the direction of the customer.

    The gods of American capitialism are angry and must be appeased! They should execute them for witchcraft er.. I mean terrorism, and crimes against capitalism, live on the evening news!

    They should be made an example of.

  188. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For he sake of argument...and just to diffuse the 'brick through the window and nick cd' argument.

    If I hear a song I like on the radio, and decided to check out the cd, I can go to a good store and they will let me listen to it on headphones.

    On the net I am afforded no such luxury. Sometimes you can hear 2 or 3 snippets in low fi, and the rest is blind trust.

    Would you accept that, if youbought a new car and asked to test drive it, you would be able to test, say, the indicators and the horn for 30 seconds and then have to decide to buy it or not ?

    So, what is wrong with listening to a cd from a torrent before you decide to buy it. ?

  189. Anonymous Coward

    In Sweden, it's illegal to link to others...

    With this ruling, in Sweden, it's illegal to link to others if you do not know whether those sites are violating the copyrights of 3rd parties.

    Google should start worrying.

  190. DR

    PB V Google

    Last I saw the pirate bay allowed you to upload torrent files...

    in fact when you download a torrent file it comes from

    this is not the same as google indexing and providing a link to torrent on another persons server

    if the pirate bay were literally just searching lists of torrents on other servers and providing a link to it then you could call them a search engine. but they actually facilitate the means of getting the torrent files by hosting them.

  191. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @erik svensson

    Interesting. So effectively there has been a decision handed down by the equivalent of a magistrates court where the only people there with any legal background would be the defence and prosecution, neither of whom actually makes the decisions.

    While I don't totally condone the actions of TPB it would be nice if any country in the world made at least a pretence of following the law rather than continually bending over for the corporations and media. Media showcase 1, legal argument 0.

  192. Mycroft

    Don't forget, people

    Home taping is killing music. Never saw Maxell et al in court tho.

  193. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Copying Something Is Not Stealing It

    That really is the stupidest rationalisation for stealing that I've ever heard.

  194. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    In Summary

    While most people are grown ups and understand that copyright theft is illegal, and can live with their decisions, the reg is now full of freetards who didn't expect copyright law to hold because they don't like being considerred "wrong".

    I wish they'd piss off back to slashdot, I really do.

    Actually, I bet the slashdotters wish that they'd piss off back to kinder garten.

    Be Gone!

  195. Ben Tasker
    Paris Hilton

    Fantastic PR!!!!!!!

    The judgement has been all over the news today, and I've had a number of people ask what The Pirate Bay actually is (I resisted asking where they've been recently?). Now what are the odds that a good proportion of these people will try using Torrents now?

    If anything the coverage of this case has done nothing but make more people aware that you can get music for free.

    Personally I pay for all my music, but then I generally only buy music from Indie bands nowadays.

    The music industry has bent people over for far too long, once they change their business model to make music more affordable, less crap and get shot of DRM the problem may shrink

    Paris because she knows when she's been screwed!

  196. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will others spring up??

    I would have thought that the risk of multimillion dollar fines and a year in the slammer might change the mind of some of those that might think about stepping into to replace PB. Plus one would guess that now the lowest hanging fruit has been picked that the lawyers will be going after other torrent sites almost immediately.

  197. Steven Jones


    "If I tell a burglar where you live does that make me a criminal if he breaks in to your house and steals your car?"

    No, but if you tell somebody where the owner's spare house key is hidden, or how to force open the kitchen window and have a reasonable suspicion that the recipient was going to steal the car then you would most certainly be committing a crime.

  198. MnM

    @Lee Jackson 2

    My friend fancies you, she's engaged to a guy on death row but said there was something about the way you write she can't ignore. Fill yer boots mate!

    Shame about all the tiresome legal advice about infringement <> theft though. Please instruct a QC next time you plan to submit a comment, as it only takes one word out of place to upset this rabble. A few Tiscali staff on here today perhaps?

  199. ShaggyDoggy

    @ DR (13:35)

    Wrong - PB store a link, the physical file comes from a 'seeder' users HDD, please read up how torrents work.

    Google also store a link, and when you click on it you get the file e.g. a picture which may be copyrighted, or a music file, or a porno image, etc.

  200. Anonymous Coward

    Is anyone up for...

    .. starting a fund for their court fine?

    3,573,441 users - $1 each - BAM!

    Might however fall a bit short of the $3.58m target :(

  201. daily

    Pirate Bay

    The comparison with Google does not apply because even though they do the same thing, the court judged on intent.

    If Pirate Bay had named itself Content Neutral Torrent Tracker Search , they would have not been found guilty.

  202. Bill Cumming

    Why they won't go after Google...

    ....Gmail... That's why!

    --Hands up who's got a Gmail account?

    --Keep them up if you pick up your ISP's mail via Gmail

    --Keep your hands up if you have searched for a torrent using Google

    --Keep them up if you believe Google has NOT linked the search you your Gmail account...

    that many hands still up... tut! tut!

    So now they have your gmail account and ISP name and User login name add to that they have your searches for torrents. I'd not be surprised if they then sell or give the data to the MPAA et all.

    Google = the MPAA/RIAA's search engine....

  203. MnM
    Thumb Up

    @Lee 13:27

    just saw yours after I'd posted mine - just to clarify it's not your comment I'm having a go at, but all the previous twattery.

  204. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arrogance was the downfall...

    Bottom line, they provide a website from which pirated material can be accessed.

    The fact that they weren't hosting the content is a moot point.

    I dislike the various music/movie corporations as much as the next man, but the Pirate Bay flouted the rules and were openly dismissive, arrogant and childish about attempts to stop them providing access to torrent files containing copyright material.

    They made a LOT of enemies of people with a great deal more influence and money than themselves and unfortunately, I doubt an appeal will do much more than reduce the sentence and fines.

  205. Erik Aamot


    "Welcome to the new Global American Empire. You are all Citizens."

    eh .. these fellows would have not been convicted of a criminal charge in America .. the copyright holders can't even bring a successful civil case against torrent tracking sites here

    it's particularly Swedish law, and by extension, EU law that has allowed this

    it's up to Swedish citizens to clean up their corrupt courts, their corrupt politicos.. up to citizens of each of your European countries to stand up and not allow abuse of court systems there by American Corp copyright holders

    as an American citizen I encourage you to do so, and as an American citizen I'll continue to work against bad law, corrupt courts and corrupt government here .. ok ?

  206. Andrew Tyler

    Ah well.

    They had it coming. I imagine a lot of media publishers are breathing a huge sigh of relief (at least for now) and I sympathize.

    It is a little disappointing though because I have downloaded legitimate torrents that linked to the pirate bay. They are good for people who can't afford their own bandwidth-- in my case, my friends' bands music and video game mods. Presumably they'll have to use one of those other torrent search engines, but what does this mean for torrent search engines in general? I suspect it is impossible to run a legitimate search engine on a larger scale, so are we just going to see no torrent search engines at all anymore? I'm not entirely clear on how torrents work exactly, but there has to be some sort of centralized matchmaker, yeah?

    They may have been doing a disservice to every torrent search engine by not really denying anything and, at the very least, pretending to run a legitimate site.

  207. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do people use it?

    Well, there is the case that your favourite programmes get snatched by pay TV providers and you don't want/are not allowed a dish.

    Or that you want to watch a HD film on your PS3, but that studio did HD-DVD instead of BluRay so the PS3 owners had to play the downloaded rip of the HD-DVD, Paramount really shot them selves in the foot.

    Or you want to see if a new album is worth buying as you would never hear it on the radio.

    Or you want to watch a film without having anti copy messages rammed down your throat (are you reading Fox?).

    All moral reasons but classed as copywrite infringement

  208. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Justice not yet served

    Until these criminals spend the next 20 years in prison and fork over tens of millions in fines, justice has not been achieved.

  209. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I'm intrigued with this notion of "accessory to breaching copyright laws", shall we expand this notion to fullest extent? Would the logical conclusion to this argument be that Sony should also be sued as they make (do they still make them, I refuse even to look at a Sony catalogue since the BMG Rootkit fiasco) made twin deck tape recorders, who else should be sued, manufactures of DVD/CD writers, the manufacturers of blank media, photocopier manufactures, their agents and the companies that service them, and the suppliers of paper, toner etc. Who else? DVD rental companies.

    It's time for MAFIAA to quit, so they've shut down TPB…. Oh wait, no they haven't, the site is still up, and even if they did, as fast as they can shut down one site three more will spring up to replace it. Consider the old archive of ALT.GUITAR.TAB, the MAFIAA got that shut down only for OLGA (On-Line Guitar Archive) to appear which in turn begat Renegade OLGA which had several mirrors. How long before all torrent sites become mirrored.

    Somebody tell the MAFIAA to wake up and smell the coffee, that the train has left the station, the horse has bolted and it no good trying to lock the stable door now. The MAFIAA failed to embrace the new technology, instead they tried to control the market, and failed totally.

    Meanwhile in other news, Broadband operator Bahnhof is continuing to destroy the IP address details of its customers in an open and fully legal bid to undermine Sweden's new anti-file sharing laws. Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung has said he is determined to protect the company's clients.

    Finally, an ISP with a pair.

    Paris, who also has a nice pair.

  210. Anonymous Coward

    Illegal ?

    "By Tharrick Posted Friday 17th April 2009 09:57 GMT's a criminal offence to provide links to illegal material? Quick, somebody let Google know! Get them to remove all the porn from their listings!"

    Where are you, Saudi Arabia ? Porn isn't illegal in most of the world you prick.

  211. Leonard Shelby


    SSL Usenet FTW.

    P2P died years ago.

    A year in bangup in Sweden? Wow.. The fine is the killer. Anyway, who cares, people can still get what they want, just not in the same way. It will make no difference.

    I have no sympathy for those who profess to create `art` and then expect to be paid disproportionately, repeatedly and forever for their `creation`.

    As others have said - art should be about passion, not churning out generic shit for corporations who market it. I long since gave up donwloading films and most music, as it is all utter meaningless vacuous DRIVEL. I pay for albums released on small labels (if on a label at all), which actually carries some kind of meaning or message, or has some passion behind it... I will go to concerts and gigs, and happily pay. The argument is long and academic and I lack both the time and inclination to go into it with people who would not understand the concept anyway.

    Meanwhile our great nations continue to rape and pillage natural resources from all around the globe, little men with white collars and quiet voices killing from the behind their desks! Enjoy your comfortable lives, and all your precious `intellectual copyrights` - you fools.

  212. Tom


    @ Onionman

    It is only fair that if you are wanting to show a comparison between TPB and another search engine, that the comparison ought to be carried out properly and the results of both search engines displayed.

    Here are the search results from TPB

    Coldplay Audio torrents Displaying hits from 1 to 30 (approx 832 found)

    Photoshop Application torrents Displaying hits from 1 to 30 (approx 998 found)

    Here are my google search results.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 58,200 for coldplay audio torrent. (0.23 seconds)

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,710,000 for photoshop torrent. (0.10 seconds)

    The ruling against the TPB is ludicrious, and smells of "judges & officials" being bribed.

    The only difference I can see between a site such as TPB and say Google, is that TPB will show results for the torrent, and Google directs you the sites or other search engines to locate the link for the torrent.

  213. michael

    @ pepol who take issue woith the name "the pirate bay"

    "I rose by any other name would smell just as sweet"

    do I need to pay to use that line or is it covered by fair use?

  214. Kwac
    Thumb Down

    Sony Music - How to increase music sales

    Stop taking the piss, basically.

    Wander along to wikipedia and look up the name of one of your new range of 'superstars' Leona Lewis.

    You expect fans to go out and:

    1) buy the album

    2) buy singles from the album so they can listen to the B sides

    3) buy the re-released album AGAIN, so they can listen to the album, listen to tracks already released elsewhere in the world, listen to the B sides of singles that you've already bought (plus an extra track) and watch promotional videos of the singles.

    Whilst simultaneously blocking stores selling copies of songs she released prior to her appearance on TV - where one of the 'mentors' in the X-Factor was your 'A&R Executive'.

    As an aside, as the costs for a download doesn't include transport, packing, storage, manufacture how much extra does she get for every copy downloaded from iphones, Amazon, etc?

    As a further aside, would I get a reduced sentence if I downloaded on a Sony computer, recorded on a Sony disk, watched via a Sony DVD player on a Sony TV - or is that a completely different thing to assisting 'pirates'?

  215. Steve Swann

    Let's get this clear...

    Even *if* you consider breach of copyright as a form of theft (I don't; I hold with the legal definition of 'depriving someone of the use of property', for the record) then it's not the poor, poor artists, writers or musicians you are stealing from - it's the corporations; massive multi-nationals, who are the so-called victims.

    They've already stolen the rights from the artist who produced the material (Cf: buying land from the Indians using beads), and the originator receives a tiny slice of the pie.

  216. Tony

    @'Its about the intent' and other such rubbish

    It is perfectly legal for shops in pretty much every country in Europe to sell bongs, king-sized rolling papers etc which are used exclusively for smoking drugs. They also sell digital scales, small plastic bags etc which are blatantly for dealing said drugs. Possession and consumption of those drugs is actually a genuine criminal offense which in most countries can carry a significant jail term, however selling those items is still perfectly legal. The law is clear - The offence is committed by the person that buys/sells/takes the drug.

    So... why is assisting copyright infringement (which is a very minor civil matter) punishable by a year in prison, whereas assisting consumption of narcotics (which is a serious criminal offence) totally legal?

  217. Andus McCoatover

    @ Erik Aamot


    What if the appeal(s) go(es) in PB's favour? Will the RIAA, etc be crying "Sad day for American justice [Oxymoron alert!]"

    You betcha.

    Is there a 'Sweden' in USA? Well, a 'little'. It's in Kansas, natch.

  218. Mectron

    Attention all terrorists

    Want to cause damage and win public support at the same time?

    Primery target: MPAA headquater

    Secondery Target: RIAA headquarter

  219. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @AC 14:03 GMT

    "one would guess that now the lowest hanging fruit has been picked that the lawyers will be going after other torrent sites almost immediately."

    Eh, I doubt it, TPB founders have said that they are going to appeal, I suspect that will be followed by more appeal to higher courts, so I would expect it will be several years (not unless the MAFIAA bribe somebody to 'expedite' the case) before the final result is handed down. It would be a foolish person what would try to take another case when the appeal is still pending. The timeline looks like this:-

    MAFIAA take legal case against torrent site #2 based on TPB case

    MAFIAA wins case against torrent site #2

    TPB wins appeal

    torrent site #2 sues MAFIAA

    MAFIAA sues own lawyers for giving them bad advice

    Lawyers make lots of money

    MAFIAA loses artist's money

    downloading continues for site #3, #4 and #5

    MAFIAA begins to see some advantages to selling on P2P

    New technology is developed that supersedes P2P

    Paris, even she knows how to make money on the internet

  220. Lee Jackson
    Thumb Up

    @ Me

    I dont pretend to be an expert to those who have given me the low down. But fact are facts:

    Download something you havent paid for. Stealing! You can call it whatever but its all the same.

    I understand these guys arent stealing themselves, however their site (as named) is dedicated to linking and allowing those other people to.... OK INFRINGE!

    Thus, they should be shutdown!

    Thanks for all the feedback tho :) Nice to be famous for a day.

  221. ShaggyDoggy

    @michael 15:23

    since copyright only lasts currently for a max of 75 years after authors death, I think you're pretty much ok to use that line

  222. B Ward


    I am annoyed that they get called pirates. Where are their eye patches? wouldn't it be more fun if they had cutlasses and cannons and paid the RIAA a visit?


  223. Anonymous Coward

    Arnt the media companies guilty of this crime too ??

    If the crime is "being accessories to breaching copyright laws" surely the media firms are guilty too as if there were no copyeighted media there would be no crime.

    The media companies are making the copyrighted material available in the first place.

  224. chris

    Godwins Law for rape

    "Charging AU$80 for a game and $30 for a CD or DVD is rape. Pure and simple. Rape is worse than theft. When you stop trying to rape me, maybe I'll stop "stealing" from you."

    What's the equivalent of Godwins Law for claims of rape?

    Most moronic comparison ever. Really, get a grip on yourself. Go and speak to rape survivors. No you better read about it, I don't think you're old enough to be allowed out of the house alone.


  225. Steve

    @ David Ashe

    "I see the lull in quality of art, music, movies etc. all attributed to in-your-face mass distribution of anything and everything for free, we have become the "i want it ALL for free" culture, you only get what you pay for!!!"

    If the drop in quality is due to downloading, how the fuck do you explain the 1980s?

    The quality of music is not reduced because the poor record companies are running out of money to "invest", it's reduced because the major labels have a stranglehold over what music gets heard. There's still the same amount of talent in each generation, but the vast majority of air-time is given over to a small group of similar artists who are treated as consumables by the industry and replaced every 12-24 months.

  226. Ylydxi Reclo
    Thumb Down

    my v sign / middle finger here

    Well, f**** you, co*ksu**ing p'esident of the International Federation of the Pornographic Industry

  227. Steven Jones


    "I rose by any other name would smell just as sweet"

    do I need to pay to use that line or is it covered by fair use?

    I assume you meant "A" rather than "I", but Shakespeare is long, long out of copyright so I rather think that you are safe on that.

  228. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and thief and steal shall be construed accordingly."

    Which bit of "permanently depriving the other of it" did you not understand?

  229. david mccormick

    Is something missing?

    Does the ruling actually say the site must be 'taken down'? I've just tried and it is still there with new entries for dvd and high res quality movies and new music entries. doesn't that sort of put a damp squib on the 'victory' of the music and film industry bods.

  230. Dylan Fahey

    The lost art of being a judge.

    Am I an accessory for even searching for torrents? Just because I tell a thief that the store door is open, doesn't mean I'm guilty of anything, it's the thief that went in and 'got' it. I (PB) didn't steal anything, nor am I an accessory.

    This will get kicked out after an 'unbought' judge reviews the erroneous judgment.

  231. Anonymous Coward

    "Lost sales" is bullshit

    "Lost sales" - the usual bullshit metric the major labels like to use.

    If I want something enough to pay the asking price, I'll pay the asking price == 1 sale and 1 sale only. Otherwise it was never going to BE a sale and if it wasn't available for download I'd do without it.

    These days, there's hardly anything coming from the corporate "entertainment" giants that's worth the price OR the time spent to download it. I'd rather support the independents who at least have some passion for what they do, rather than just having passion for whatever profit they can squeeze out of the latest fad artist.

    Instead of playing a never-ending, un-winnable game of Whack-A-Mole with sites like TPB, the "entertainment" industry needs to start upping it's game, returning to producing stuff people are willing to pay for. The way things are headed they'll be begging people to illegally download their shite in another 5-10 years.

    While they're at it, stop insulting us with those worthless anti-piracy ads on DVDs, all they do is compel me to rip the movie so I can watch it without the forced, unskippable crap.

  232. Peter

    Dose of reality

    First of all, copyright law is seriously broken now. Copyright durations lasting decades or centuries past the death of the creator and so on are there purely to enrich large media companies.

    In addition, organisations such as the RIAA are abominable in their actions, their morals, their treatment of artists.

    However, having contempt for one side in this argument does not make me fail to realise....

    Piracy is wrong. People keep using the following excuses:

    "Every pirated copy is not a lost sale". Absolutely true, which is why the "losses" media companies claim are rubbish. On the other hand a *lot* of pirated copies *are* lost sales. Claims that anyone who would have bought a copy if they couldn't get one for free doesn't pirate is as dishonest as claiming that everyone who pirated a copy would have bought it. Piracy does cause lost revenue.

    "I always buy a copy if I like it" - this is an excuse often claimed but not always rigorously enforced. How many people who claim this after, say, 50 hours of playing a game and completing it, really do go out and buy it and stick it on the shelf? Really? No, there's always something better to spend your money on, but I really did mean it, honest, it's just this one case....

    "The quality is so rubbish, they don't deserve the money!" I heartily agree. Which is why I don't buy rubbish. However "I hated it so I'm not paying for it but I played it for 30 hours", or "It's not worth the money, but I've kept a copy on my hard disk, my iPod and burned a CD" is not exactly convincing. If you don't like it, don't pay for it - and don't pirate it. Easy. Yes, sometimes you can't find reviews, demos or listen to it on the radio before you buy, but in 99% of cases you can. How do you expect to convince companies to make better products without buying the good stuff and ignoring the bad?

    "It's not really a crime. You're not stealing anything, just making a copy". Well, sort of true, except that you're not really paying for a small plastic disk. You're paying for thousands upon thousands of hours of work by hundreds of people. These people depend on selling copies of their work for their livelihoods. The image that software, games and music appear by divine creation in thousands of little boxes in a big souless global megacorp warehouse is wrong. Plenty of software houses have gone bust. Maybe if System Shock 2 had sold a mere 25% more copies - and at least that many were pirated - Looking Glass Studios woould still exist.

    Quite a few of the above posters really boil down to "I want my free stuff without having to pay for it!" rather than being the moral "freedom fighters" they believe themselves to be. I doubt that many of them depend on sales of their copyright works for their income. But lets do a test. Here's my challenge to you. Tell your boss that you have no objection if he were to "pirate" your work and take a copy from your hard disk instead of paying you for it. Promise you'll continue to generate content for him even if you get no money for it. He won't be committing a crime - after all, he won't be taking your car, or your house, he just won't be paying you for the work you do that he uses, just as pirates don't pay creators for their work that they use.

    Let me guess - that's different! That wouldn't be fair! My copying a novel and not paying for it is fine, but my boss copying a report *I* wrote and not paying *me* for it would be wrong! I'm not a hypocrite, it's just different somehow! Because it's me!

  233. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    No difference at all!

    Check the stats on your local torrent site.

    A certain Bond film from 2007 - 2.7 millions downloads, still active

    A certain car/boy racer themed movie, TPB stats in the last 10 minutes - 15,000 seeders, 14,500 leechers.

    They are called torrents for a reason!

    I am not condoning it, just realise that one song and dance by the **AA's doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things. If something for nothing is available, people will fill their boots!

  234. Doug Glass

    Honor Among Thieves

    Wow, all you guys that are so vocal against the law maybe need to form a union. I respectfully suggest the names as Vocal Society of Honorable IT Strategists.

    For simplicity's sake you can shorten it to its initials: Vocal S.H.I.T.S. Or maybe into quasi Geek Speak and just call it V-SHITS.

  235. Gaz


    Given how blatantly they were geared towards the large scale infringing of copyrighted material (and making money from it) its hard to see how this could have ended any other way. There was absolutely no effort to disguise the fact the service had no legitimate use significant or plausible enough to be worth defending. From the choice of a pirate ship (with cassette tape topping a skull and crossbones) as their logo to the prominent frontpage links to unlicensed movies, albums and games it was obvious.

    Comparisons with search engines or services miss the point. Sure Google has links to copyrighted material but this is simply the predictable side effect of being a good search engine (i.e. inherently content neutral and indexing everything). Unlike TPB they do not go out of their way to index unlicensed material and also have takedown procedures for illegal content that is reported to them.

    Also by equating freedom of speech with the freedom to trample over the rights of others these muppets are undermining the very ideals they claim to defend. And all for little more than their own selfish greed and that of their fellow bit-tards...

    @Leonard Shelby

    So your argument is too academic? Try me. Otherwise its just a condescending cop-out. So you're implying that everything being pirated is mainstream drivel? Lovely piece of circular logic there. Just from a quick search I've found a tracker for a local metal band I happen to like from Manchester. You know one of those niche bands with a small label that do it for the passion (because there sure as hell isn't much money to made in it!).

    The solution to a broken system that screws both customers and artists is not just to skip the middleman and screw the artists directly. Especially when its the ones at the bottom of the pile that end up feeling the pain and not the corporate fat cats or famous people you're aiming to stick it to.

    Oh and I love the jump from pikeying music to global injustice. Hope you don't break anything falling off your high horse...

  236. Sean Bailey

    I'm a downloader...

    I expect the legal letter to be flying to Vulture Central to disclose my IP very shortly.

    I used to buy lots of movies and CD's, I used to buy TV show boxsets etc etc, until the last couple of years.

    Then I, along with the majority of others started getting treated like criminals, rootkits on CD's/DVD's from Sony, DRM everywhere, massively reduced functionality from the likes of Bioware, and of course the utter loss of morals from game companies claiming that their product was fit for release and purpose.

    I got fed up paying through the nose for incredibly buggy games, for companies covertly installing monitoring software on my pc, from companies automatically treating me like I was going to rip and share their games.

    So I turned to the web, and I turned to TPB. There I could find movies and music without the rootkits, I could find the games I wanted without the 3 activations and gone limitations, but I also found new stuff, movies I wouldn't have watched, so I went out and bought the DVD, I found artists that I wouldn't have bought the CD's of, and I went out and bought. I even found a few (very few) games that had been tested properly before release, and hell yes I went out and bought them.

    Yes the guys at TPB are publicity whores, yes they know what they are doing, and yes in my opinion they facilitate copyright infringement, but since when was a court of law a place to be tried by public opinion? The prosecution failed to provide the evidence, they failed to provide a convincing case, in most areas they failed to show any understanding of the way BT works.

    It's a crying shame when Governments and even the courts can be bought outright by a special interest group.

  237. Watashi

    The market just doesn't work

    Spotify is the future. Not. How much would it cost a normal family of four to listen to all the music they wanted free from adverts? £480 pounds a year, or the equivalent of buying 50 albums a year. That's about 4 times more than the average family pay for music at the moment, or a mark up of about 300%. If it becomes very popular and economy of scale kicks in we should have to pay no more than £3 a month subscription. Will this ever happen? No chance.

    The music industry makes money by taking other people's talent, packaging it up and selling it to the consumer for as much money as possible. Companies like HMV, iTunes and Spotify act as unecessary middle-men adding an extra unecessary cost to the system for doing what you should be able to do for almost free. You should be able to buy mp3s direct from the record label. Why can't you? Because this represents a big investment by the music industry giants for very little long-term pay-out. Much easier and cheaper to get governments to enforce the continuation of what you already do - make music and then charge on a per track/album basis (Spotify will pay the music labels just as much as if you bought the music from iTunes).

    The music industry is effectively a government backed self-organising cartel and vertical monopoly, and there is zero competition between different systems of music creation. Entry into the market is next to impossible, the only hope for a different system comes from often mocked Web 2.0 amature outfits, criminalised P2P systems or heavily criticised non-establishment musical acts like Radiohead. Even future friendly tech sites like El Reg bolster the agenda of the existing obsolete system by calling anyone who wants change a 'freetard'.

    The new digital media technologies offer us the chance to massively increase the provision of music at a cost no greater than what we already pay. We can easily support the current level of music talent and still make ALL music available to EVERYONE without having to pay stupid Spotify prices or put up with adverts interrupting listening pleasure. No one would have to go to prison, organised crime would be starved of income and artist popularity could be more accurately measured for fairer distribution of royalties. It's a win-win situation for everyone concerned. And we consumers wouldn't have to pay any more than we already do.

    But no-one in the music industry wants to know. Musicians care more about fame and money than making their fans happy, governments care more about keeping industry happy (and creating shiny new laws, which most governments seem to love doing these days) than serving their music loving citizens and the journo's are lackeys for companies that care just as much about controling intellectual property rights as the music companies do. Money makers see an infinitely and exponentially growing music sales curve and absolutely oppose anything that may derail this theoretical profit growth - even if there is no actual factual or logical reason for believeing this growth is even possible.

    It is a great shame that despite our suddenly (re)discovered awareness of the failings of market forces, society still can't apply these market critical principles to any sector beyond the banking system. Or perhaps the problem is that the Establishment has become so out of touch with both the citizenry and reality that it doesn't matter what normal society thinks about anything. Banking regulation is the exception to the rule.

  238. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @michael 15:23 GMT

    "I, Rose, by any other name would smell just as sweet."

    I think it's a quote from Billie Piper in Doctor Who.

  239. Anonymous Coward

    The point about theft... not whether or not taking a copy is the same as "permanently depriving" but that it is "dishonestly appropriating".

    You know when you download whatever application/film/album/discography that you aren't really entitled to get it this way, but do it anyway.

    Theft is in the mind according to the letter of the law. DISHONEST appropriation with INTENT to permanently deprive. If I put a bottle of beer in my shopping trolley with the intention of making a break for it and not paying then I am a thief at the moment I form the intention, it's just that it is only provable when I go on to leave the shop without paying.

  240. garbo

    @AC 10:53 and all the other little children...

    Let me get this right...

    "Theft act 1968:

    1 Basic definition of theft

    (1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and thief and steal shall be construed accordingly."

    So, by this definition, I can take your Aston Martin for a joy ride, return it, and walk away without charge. So, theft is NOT theft if thief returns stolen property?

  241. Gaz

    @The market just doesn't work

    Though I agree that digital prices often don't reflect the lowered distribution costs, £3 a month is probably a bit unrealistic. Even if you ignore the recording costs, the bandwidth alone is probably going to cost more than that!

    Also think your comment about musicians only caring about fame and money is unfair. For every band that makes the big time there a plenty more who ARE doing it for the music because quite frankly they will never make enough for it to qualify as a living and yet carry on doing it anyway. The downside of course is that they have to hold down normal jobs to fund their music meaning they have less time to devote to it. The simple fact is that regardless of your motivations producing music professionally costs money.

    I'll give the example of a local metal band I occasionally roady for (unpaid). Having gone on a recent tour with them I was shocked by quite how much they were having to spend just to play their music to a live audience. After several years playing small venues to build up a fanbase and make contacts they'd finally started landing gigs supporting larger bands like Lacuna Coil and Wednesday 13. It wasn't just a matter of being invited to play however, they also had pay significant sums of money for the privilege (in the region of couple of grand).

    Sure the venues paid them after each gig but the amount was often barely enough to cover their petrol costs let alone anything else like food or accomodation. Their cut of the entrance fees was also pretty much non existent with the only opportunity to make any money coming from selling merch. The end result was that despite doing quite well on that front they were still nowhere near breaking even and thats assuming that the merch sold was pure profit. Which of course it wasn't seeing given the cost of getting it produced, especially for a band without the funding of major label. Their album alone for example cost £30k to get recorded, mastered, manufactured and distributed.

    This is the hard reality for alot of artists even if they are a talented, something often overshadowed by the handful of big names and bilking major labels.

  242. Andus McCoatover


    <<1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and thief and steal shall be construed accordingly."

    So, by this definition, I can take your Aston Martin for a joy ride, return it, and walk away without charge. So, theft is NOT theft if thief returns stolen property?>>

    Yep, NOT theft. It's called "TDA" - aka 'touching the dog's arse' - "Taking and Driving Away". The word to pop out at you should've been 'permanently'.

    No different to a bloke going for a piss in the boozer, I can't find my fag-lighter, so I use his, and put it back. Theft? Don't think so.

    When I had my laptot stolen, I got in indirect contact with him via his friend, told him if he returned it, I'd tell police to drop it. He returned, police dropped. No sweat.

  243. Matt Bradley
    Thumb Up


    Good. Shame it wasn't a longer sentence though.

  244. Anonymous Coward


    The answer is obvious - don't host links to torrents. Just post Magnet hashes. (Of course this requires a compatible client like uTorrent or Azureus/Vuze).

    Mine's the one attracting the bits of metal.

  245. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @ Me

    Lee Jackson writes...

    "I dont pretend to be an expert to those who have given me the low down. But fact are facts: Download something you havent paid for. Stealing!"

    You don't pretend to be an expert or even informed, but you'll give us the "facts"?

    "Thanks for all the feedback tho :) Nice to be famous for a day."

    Yes, now half the Internet knows that Lee Jackson is King of the Britards.

  246. Anonymous Coward

    Re: OMFG

    "The solution to a broken system that screws both customers and artists is not just to skip the middleman and screw the artists directly. Especially when its the ones at the bottom of the pile that end up feeling the pain and not the corporate fat cats or famous people you're aiming to stick it to."

    So, is the solution to regulate every site on the Internet in such a way that you need an "Internet licence" to get onto the net in the first place and to have every upload approved by some government appointee? Or is the solution to have DRM on everything? You're not really proposing any solution as such, but you're also not far away from advocating the reconstruction of the kind of producer-to-consumer media that we already have, with all the "opinion shaping" that goes along with it. At what point does "protecting the rights holder" become an excuse for shoring up the status quo in a much wider sense?

    "Oh and I love the jump from pikeying music to global injustice. Hope you don't break anything falling off your high horse..."

    Just because you choose not to see the connection between broader "intellectual property" regulation and the political enthusiasm for the "knowledge economy", which more or less amounts to other people doing the real work and paying Europe and the US for permission to make all those lovely gadgets, doesn't mean that other people are wrong to join the dots and, in this case, point out that even though our political overlords would have us handing out tickets to distant corporations under the direction of lawyers, it doesn't mean that we should consider the conditions under which the shiny gadgets are made to be somebody else's problem as we hand over our cash.

    Sometimes I think that the rush to embrace the "knowledge economy" is as much about insisting that "our hands are clean" and pleading ignorance of exploitation as it is about not bothering to actually make stuff any more.

  247. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @AC 10:53 and all the other little children posting here

    Lee writes...

    "Consumers chose to consume or not. For fuck's sake we are talking about music, games and films here not essentials like food, electricity and beer. If you think $80 is too much for a game then you don't have to buy it. To take the digital content vs. car argument as an example I think £120,000 is too much to pay for an Aston martin but no court would let me keep one if I nicked one."

    I actually believe in copyright. Nevertheless, we do not always choose to consume. If I go into the supermarket to buy my essential beers, I may well get bombarded continuously by the music that various corporations wish to promote, and yet I don't find it unreasonable that people may believe that having heard a song a hundred times, that the song has more or less been given to them.

    It's like stepping out to walk to the supermarket - perhaps a rare act for many Britards, but bear with my reasoning here. Upon walking five metres I am bundled into an Aston Martin and made to drive round the block several times (perhaps also being made to listen to whichever artist is currently on "high rotation" or whatever, but this is a distraction from the main point, albeit a pertinent one) before being sent on my way. Now, should this happen a dozen times, perhaps I might consider my now-routine involuntary rides in the Aston Martin to be something I am entitled to on occasions of my own choosing. And why not? I never asked to drive an Aston Martin, but now I find myself doing so regularly.

    Really, it's not about consumption or theft at all. Content distribution and broadcasting is an arcane matter which, if revealed in a balance sheet and presented to you upon your entry into the supermarket on the matter of how you, a consuming Britard, influence the revenues of Big Content and Big Media, and how the supermarket balances their expenses against your anticipated behaviour and habits, you'd have to reassess whether any price on the shelf accurately reflects anything being sold at all.

    I hope this isn't too sophisticated a topic for someone who is so eager to label everyone else as "little children".

  248. Steven Jones


    "So, by this definition, I can take your Aston Martin for a joy ride, return it, and walk away without charge. So, theft is NOT theft if thief returns stolen property?"

    In fact there is a specific offense covering that - it is called "taking without owner's consent". With most objects, such an activity (that is making use of without permission) would probably just be a civil offense (subject to damages only). In the case of doing this with a car (in the UK at least), this is a specific criminal offense.

    Of course these attempts to make "breach of copyright" the same as "theft" are, of course, wrong-headed. They are two different things, which does not make "breach of copyright" necessarily any less a crime than straight theft. For "normal" breaches of copyright, then the offense is civil only (that is subject to damages). However, be warned - the financial impact of losing a civil case can be far, far worse than a criminal case. The two things that you can say is that you can't be jailed for losing a civil case (at least not directly - you might get jailed under contempt of court if you don't comply with court rulings) and that you don't get a criminal record.

    UK (and most other jurisdictions) also allow for criminal convictions for copyright violation, especially if there is a serious attempt to make money out of it or to promote widespread violation.

    The moot point over damages is just how much damage is done by enabling violation of copyright. It's clearly nonsense to say that every pirated copy is a lost sale but, conversely, it is equally ridiculous to say there have been no lost sales or, possibly as relevant, that the price of the "legal" item hasn't been forced downwards by the availability of a "free" pirated alternative.

    Anyway, these four defendents appear to be both idiotic and arrogant and the various judges and courts of the world aren't likely to be persuaded by the school-yard level arguments of some of the twerps that post to this board.

  249. A J Stiles

    @ garbo

    You are right, borrowing a car without authorisation is technically not theft according to the Theft Act 1968.

    "Permanent deprivation" can be actual or in effect (since the value of certain goods is time-sensitive). Taking a concert ticket and returning it after the event has finished, or taking a loaf of bread and returning it after it has gone stale, would be considered effective permanent deprivation since the value of the article has been diminished in the meantime.

    However, even if the deprivation was not considered "effectively permanent" by the court, you would still be liable for criminal damage by causing wear and tear to the vehicle. You might be considered to have stolen any fuel you used. Furthermore, you could be sued if the registered keeper of the vehicle suffered some financial loss (say, they needed it to drive to work) or suffered damage to their reputation as a result of some bad driving on your part causing people to think that that was how the registered keeper normally drove (though that might well be hard to prove in practice).

    You also would almost certainly be uninsured; since most policies, even with an "any driver" clause or an "any vehicle" clause, require that the driver have consent of the registered keeper.

    Anyway, in recognition that the Theft Act may not apply, there are separate offences relating to the misuse of motor vehicles.

  250. Anonymous Coward

    muppets fuffing about

    1. Downloading copyrighed material.

    First of all downloading copyrighted material is not necessarily illegal (dependent on country) not even in the EU. Second it is not necessarily immoral - downloading material which you already have the right to use is not. Additionally material might also have been intended for distribution by the original copyright owner. Third the copyright owner does not always have the right to limit the distribution of his or her works (fair use etc).

    2. Intent and Piracy.

    People have the right to dislike copyright law in a modern democracy. In this case the Pirate Bay did promote political propaganda antagonising copyright. Their attitude was that copyright is wrong. They did suggest that people should use their technology to bypass copyright restrictions. Copyright infringement is not the same as murder, it is not the same as national terrorism. Promotion of political agendas which are different from those established are often ostracized. But the legal application in this case is a disgrase to a modern democracy.

    3. Copyrighted material.

    All material online is created, most material is created by someone. Creators usually have an implied copyright wether it is stated or not. This usually means that there is no such thing as uncopyrighted material. This fact does NOT mean that all copyrighted material available for download through the help of torrents would be antagonised by the legal copyright owner. Or that the copyright owner would always have the legal right to antagonise it.

    4. Artist and their living etc.

    It is NOT TRUE that people have to make a living from their art, whether its software, entertainment, information products or anything else! Just look at all those specialists "professions" which have dissapeared over the centuries. People who do "stuff" for which other people do not want to pay for will not make a living on their activities. Either they will have to do their "stuff" as a hobby or they will have to move on to "do" some "thing" else. Just like everyone else in all other businesses!

  251. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The best of Democracies

    In the UK our humble overlords do not need TPB to get "free" films - even (pseudo) adult entertainment via cable.... We have a very satisfactory setup here in the UK where our leaders are beyond reproach, and as such do not require any support from representatives of undemocratic associations.

    Basically - Our democratically elected and valued "representatives" can "afford" to be tough on copyright piracy...

  252. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @garbo the child

    "So, by this definition, I can take your Aston Martin for a joy ride, return it, and walk away without charge. So, theft is NOT theft if thief returns stolen property?"

    Very confused circular reasoning - so what is your point? By definition theft is theft otherwise it is not theft by definition. Your description of a joy ride however is not a description of theft if you intended to return the car. Which by the way is why you called it a joy ride in the first place! This does not make it legally acceptable - it just does not make it a theft! For the same reason that vandalizing your car is not the same as stealing your car.

    If you continue to read up about deprivation of artefact usage you might eventually discover a more appropriate definition to be used instead instead of theft. But theft it is not and so a person who borrows your car without your permission and returns it later is NOT a "thief" and the property was NOT "stolen". There is a reason for why "intention of permanently depriving" some one of property is specifically mentioned.

    You should not call some one a thief who has not stolen anything... Life is not black and white in world of adults.

  253. A J Stiles

    Those who think it is theft

    I'm still waiting to hear what the "thing" is that you used to have before someone downloaded a copy of something, and that you don't have afterwards.

  254. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Those who think it is theft

    "I'm still waiting to hear what the "thing" is that you used to have before someone downloaded a copy of something, and that you don't have afterwards."

    Indeed. Still, I don't think that simplistic corporate propaganda employing the term "permanent joyride" has the same shock value as that employing the term "theft", so I guess we should continue to expect more of the same.

  255. Gaz

    @AC Sunday 19th April 2009 00:01 GMT

    First off props for taking the time to respond. Apologies if I came across as confrontational, had one too many arguments that day with people being disengenous over the whole issue. I realise now you're not.

    "So, is the solution to regulate every site on the Internet in such a way that you need an "Internet licence" to get onto the net in the first place and to have every upload approved by some government appointee? Or is the solution to have DRM on everything? You're not really proposing any solution as such"

    No. And I honestly don't know what the ideal solution is either. Its not necessary to have it however in order to recognise when something is broken. How is allowing a third party (e.g. TPB) to profit at the complete expense of artists an improvement over the status quo of allowing a third party (e.g. record companies) to profit mostly at the expense of artists?

    Personally I think that a certain amount of "piracy" is healthy as it prevents groups like the record companies from having a complete monopoly and charging whatever they want. Not every download is a lost sale. I strongly believe that if you're "in" to your music for example it can be mutually beneficial (e.g. discovery leading to purchases, gigs, etc).

    Equally however some downloads probably are lost sales especially among people with a more a casual interest. Different ways of recompensing everyone involved are needed because you can't compete directly against free. If as seems to be the case, advertising alone is not sustainable we may have to consider something like taking a cut of say broadband subscriptions into a pool for sharing out. There would be issues on how the money divided out and making sure it doesn't go into a blackhole like it does alot of the time now. DRM could actually serve a useful purpose tracking the numbers of different downloads in order to do this. Of course there'll be the usual pissing and moaning that its not fair for people who don't dowload etc. However I don't see it being much different from the way we all contribute (e.g. tax) to things we may not make use of directly and vice versa.

    Ending the use of DRM to lock content down (except for say content being rented out or supplied on a subscription basis) and offering more legal alternatives would also help. And we are slowly heading in that direction already. 2 years ago I struggled to find any digital store carrying the kind of music I enjoy. Now I can buy albums for even some of my more obscure bands from Amazon MP3 for a fairly reasonable £5-7. Sure theres still a way to go. It would be nice for example to have higher quality encoding available more widely (e.g. FLAC). Services like could offer a subscription services with unlimited streaming and perhaps member benefits (e.g. discounts off download to own, merch, etc)

    "At what point does "protecting the rights holder" become an excuse for shoring up the status quo in a much wider sense?"

    Thats exactly the point though, it shouldn't be. I honestly believe there is debate to be had on copyright/filesharing but it is a separate one from wider issue of freedom of speech/net neutrality. The latter is not and should not be about the right to help yourself to someone else's work for free when they have no recompense. By hijacking the issue TPB are undermining the argument for something far more valuable: to keep the web as one the place where we can have the closest thing to true freedom of speech.

    "Just because you choose not to see the connection between broader "intellectual property" regulation and the political enthusiasm for the "knowledge economy"

    Perhaps I can't see the wood for the trees again but I honestly think that the connection in this case is limited. They crossed the line from accepting donations/sponsorhip to actively making money (e.g. from ad revenue, selling merch, etc even if I'm prepared to accept it barely covered running costs, which I don't). Consequently I have difficulty in believing that there is a wider principle at stake.

    The judgement itself does not as far as I can see change where the legal lines are currently drawn. IP laws remain the same and the same safe harbour provisions are available to services with plausible non-infringing uses. TPB were so blatantly the wrong side of the line I don't see how its possible to defend them without being disingenuous.

    Don't get me wrong I realise there serious problems with IP regulation (and quite a lot of other things) at the moment. What started as a well intentioned to encourage and reward innovation has been perverted into a way of making money at the expense of the very things it was supposed to ensure. The lower bar set for patents and ever increasing duration of the exclusive rights granted are only part of whats gone wrong. And you're absolutely right how our consumer goods are made should not be someone's problem seeing as we are responsible for the demand in the first place.

    However for reasons stated I don't believe the TPB case was about any of these things and that to link them is to trivialise the the wider issues.

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 20th April 2009 09:50 GMT

    "It is NOT TRUE that people have to make a living from their art"

    You're right. However I'd argue the world would be poorer place culturally if this became the norm.

    Sure professions have died out over time but nearly always due to lack of demand. This is NOT the same as people not having to pay. There IS obviously still demand for things like music, movies, games, etc otherwise people wouldn't be downloading them. Thing is its now possible for people to get what they want for free.

    This isn't a problem if we find a way of recompensing artists fairly (e.g. through advertising, donations, indirect sales generated by publicity, etc). Otherwise we all lose out, as less art ends up being produced due to artists having to make a living by other means. Warm fuzzy feelings don't pay bills.

    No doubt in such a situation many will try to carry on doing their art because of the enjoyment it brings them and others. However they have the money already (or patrons with money) it likely be at their own expense. Why is this something we want to aspire to? Do we really want to return to the days where art was a preserve of the rich? On a more general level, why should people be expected to give you something (e.g. entertainment) in exchange for nothing?

  256. Anonymous Coward

    making a living from art

    ***"It is NOT TRUE that people have to make a living from their art" You're right. However I'd argue the world would be poorer place culturally if this became the norm. ***

    What does it mean to "make a living from their art"? Does this mean to make a living on copyright revenue from intellectual property"? Or does this mean payment for practicing "artistery" (exhibition, show, writing on demand etc)? Perhaps the time for making money on collecting "intellectual property" is over? Just like the transformation to an industrial society changed the world, the way we live and the way we make a living - perhaps now it is time for the "knowledge society" to change the world?

    *** Sure professions have died out over time but nearly always due to lack of demand. This is NOT the same as people not having to pay. There IS obviously still demand for things like music, movies, games, etc otherwise people wouldn't be downloading them. Thing is its now possible for people to get what they want for free. ***

    In life there are many things which many of us would not pay for but which we often assume to have. Free in this case usually means that we are not prepared to pay in monetary terms for what we want. There are quite a few examples of things which are got without them being simple financial transactions. Some of which would in many countries be both immoral and illegal if they were treated as financial transactions indeed. "Having Sex" is a an example of activity which by many is viewed as immoral to pay for - even if most people appear to expect to engage in it "for free". This "having sex" is often incorporating some surrounding and contextual cost but is not itself usually charged as "a service". We could ofcourse say that in Sweden (where paying for sex is illegal and prostitution appear to be somewhat less common then in the UK) the availability of and appetite for "free sex" has brought the market for prostitution to a grind (more so I would suggest then the criminalisation of it). In any case I would argue that in Sweden there is plenty of demand for Sex and the limited access to prostitutes would not appear to have had a negative effect on the average persons sexual enjoyment. Neither quality or quantity appear to have been negatively influenced.

    *** This isn't a problem if we find a way of recompensing artists fairly (e.g. through advertising, donations, indirect sales generated by publicity, etc). Otherwise we all lose out, as less art ends up being produced due to artists having to make a living by other means. Warm fuzzy feelings don't pay bills. ***

    I do not believe that we as a society would necessarily loose out. Does anyone really believe that the Swedes loose out in their personal sexual practices and entertainment because paying for sex is unacceptable and illegal? I would suggest that it would appear that Swedes have a much more vigourous (and possibly more entertaining) sex life than we have here in the UK. In any case, making a living by "other means" might not be as bad considering that those "other means" might be very different from what we can imagine when looking at the world of today. And who knows perhaps fuzzy feelings might pay the odd bill...

    *** No doubt in such a situation many will try to carry on doing their art because of the enjoyment it brings them and others. However they have the money already (or patrons with money) it likely be at their own expense. Why is this something we want to aspire to? Do we really want to return to the days where art was a preserve of the rich? On a more general level, why should people be expected to give you something (e.g. entertainment) in exchange for nothing? ***

    First of all I see no problem in the idea that people do their art because of the enjoyment it brings to them and others. I do however see a lot of issues with the idea that some people appear to do their "art" for the money only. Why should we not want to aspire to the idea that people would only "do art" for its own sake or for the pleasure of it? I do not belive we would be returning to any previous culture - I believe that we are moving on to a new and slightly different one in the future. While this may require some resources it is not necessarily a preserve of the rich. If it ever was, in the 19th century for example an amazingly large proportion of the common Czech population was enjoying in playing, singing and composing music - and ripping each others ideas of in the process. Second I truly believe it is incorrect to assume that people expect everything for nothing in general. In my experience people appear to be prepared to pay for entertainment - people are just not all that interested in paying for the use of "intellectual property". People appear to happily pay for live entertainment for example.

  257. Gaz

    Re: making a living from art

    *** What does it mean to "make a living from their art"? ***

    Simply to be able to produce art professionally and still have a reasonable chance of making ends meet. Ideally like you say from live performances, writing on demand, etc. However I do still think there is place for copyright protection, not so much for making money directly (e.g. as in the case of royalties) as in helping to ensure an artist doesn't lose money they've already spent.

    Producing an album for example still requires a not insignificant initial spend. Assuming its good and generates sufficient demand (e.g. for the purposes of argument enough to breakeven if it was a purely physical product they were selling) its only fair to have a way for the artist to at least cover their costs. If another means of doing this is found then IP protection would become superfluous.

    And perhaps you're right, we may well be on the brink of another sea change. It is already possible to record and distribute content digitally much more efficiently than before. In terms of music however I'd argue that some genres (e.g. electronic) lend themselves better to this than others. In many cases there is still a noticeable difference quality for example between a home made EP and one professionally produced in a recording studio.

    *** In life there are many things which many of us would not pay for but which we often assume to have... "Having Sex" is a an example ***

    I guess the question is whether professional art should become one of these things. Sex is perhaps an unfair comparison though. Its usually sufficiently enjoyable for the parties involved that the contextual costs can be considered marginal rather than "production" related ;)

    *** Why should we not want to aspire to the idea that people would only "do art" for its own sake or for the pleasure of it? ***

    I wholeheartedly agree! Its just that I don't see how this should necessarily preclude people from making a living out of it. To take a ye olden example, bards were often afforded free food and lodging in return for their services.

    *** I believe that we are moving on to a new and slightly different one in the future. While this may require some resources it is not necessarily a preserve of the rich. If it ever was ***

    Admittedly I'm looking at this from the point of view of art as profession rather than a hobby, which I recognise is only subset of a much wider scene thats always been around as you quite rightly point out. Obviously there is a lot of professionally produced mainstream drivel. Equally however in other cases I believe the extra time/effort/money spent really shows in the final result. Basically I don't think we want to get to the stage where for example albums are regularly not produced because people lack the initial funding (similar to what happens with some inventions nowadays).

  258. Matt Bradley

    @A J Stiles

    "I'm still waiting to hear what the "thing" is that you used to have before someone downloaded a copy of something, and that you don't have afterwards."

    Oh that's easy. A source of income, and a way to pay for the cost of production by reselling the product.

  259. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Matt

    *** "I'm still waiting to hear what the "thing" is that you used to have before someone downloaded a copy of something, and that you don't have afterwards."

    Oh that's easy. A source of income, and a way to pay for the cost of production by reselling the product. ***

    Do not describe it as an inevitable fact when it is not a fact!. You did not loose a source of income. You *PERHAPS* lost a source of *POSSIBLE* income. Just as you *PERHAPS* gained advertisement and so *POSSIBLY* got yet another sale!

    Your SPECULATIONS are NOT FACTS, pretending them to be facts is MISLEADING and DISHONEST! It is pure wishful thinking to believe that all copied material would have any straightforward and unproblematic ntaural relationship to sales and loss of income!

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