Gone are charges of actual copyright infringement against the BitTorrent tracker site, now all that’s left are claims of “assisting making available” via the non-copyrighted torrent trackers it creates and hosts for users.
Day #2 of The Pirate Bay’s “Spectrial” was even more of a spectacle then the first. In just under 24hrs the prosecution, led by Håkan Roswall, shocked many by suddenly dropping half the charges against the BitTorrent tracker site.
He acknowledged that the site didn’t nor doesn’t copy any of the content shared by users and so decided to no longer pursue the site for illegally copying or producing copyrighted material. Prosecutors cannot use .torrent files as evidence against The Pirate Bay, as it was ruled that many of the screenshots used in the trial offered no clear correlation between the Web site and illegal activity. This blasted a hole in the prosecution and it had to withdraw all complaints regarding copyright infringement.
“It is very rare that you win half the case after one and a half days and it is clear that the prosecutor has been deeply affected by what we said yesterday,” said defense lawyer Per E. Samuelsson.
The remaining charges accuse the Pirate Bay of complicity to make the copyrighted works available.
Trying to remain upbeat, the ever sanguine International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ( IFPI) issued a statement explaining that the prosecution’s decision to drop HALF the charges merely helped to “simply the case against The Pirate Bay.”
“It’s a largely technical issue that changes nothing in terms of our compensation claims and has no bearing whatsoever on the main case against The Pirate Bay,” said Peter Danowsky, legal counsel for the music companies in the case, said in a statement. “In fact, it simplifies the prosecutor’s case by allowing him to focus on the main issue, which is the making available of copyrighted works.”
There was also a technical discussion over whether torrent files could be connected to trackers other than The Pirate Bay.
“I had not realized this when I went through it yesterday that the program could accept contacts with non-TPB [trackers],” said Roswall incredulously after having already submitted a number of torrent swarms as “evidence.”
You’d think that after having all this time to do some research on what he’s charging the The Pirate Bay with that he’d take the time to make sure he could actually prove something. To be quite honest, it really makes him and the Swedish “justice” system as a whole look rather incompetent.
“This is a misunderstanding over the technology from the prosecutor’s side. None of the downloads presented in the court can be proved to have been made from The Pirate Bay’s tracker,” Fredrik Neij, one of the four defendants, explained.
Stay tuned for Day #3. Who knows, maybe the remaining charge will be dropped.