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Pirate Bay rejects law-breaking claims

'Cocky attitude not sufficient to issue guilty verdict'

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A defendant in The Pirate Bay trial has dismissed claims that the notorious file sharing site’s activities are illegal.

Jonas Nilsson, who represents The Pirate Bay’s co-founder Fredrik Neij, insisted in the defence counsel’s closing statement today that the BitTorrent tracker’s operations were completely legit.

He also took a swipe at prosecutors who are standing for big name entertainment industry players that include MGM, Universal and Sony, after they reiterated yesterday that the trial was against The Pirate Bay and not the technology used to run the site.

"The prosecutor has said that it is not the technology that is on trial, but it is Pirate Bay's technology and how it is used that renders it permissible," Nilsson told the court, according to The Local.

He also dismissed claims from the prosecution that much of the material found via The Pirate Bay was copyrighted media. "There is no evidence that supports this," he said.

"It is a completely legal technology that is offered by The Pirate Bay. It is an open site where users themselves upload content. There is certainly a lot of copyrighted material but this is an internet problem, not a Pirate Bay problem."

Nilsson also argued that BitTorrent tech could be used both legally and illegally not only on The Pirate Bay but also via the likes of Google or MySpace.

“That someone at The Pirate Bay has a cocky attitude or certain political standpoint is not sufficient to issue a guilty verdict," he said.

He also rejected the chief prosecutor Håkan Roswall’s claims made on Monday that alleged The Pirate Bay brought in around 10m kronor ($1.1m) a year.

"It is not proved that Fredrik Neij has earned any money, just that the Pirate Bay's advertising revenues have gone to paying the site's costs."

Roswall, in the prosecutor's closing arguments yesterday, called for prison terms of one year each to be handed down to Peter Sunde, Carl Lundström, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Neij if the four men behind The Pirate Bay were found guilty in the case.

The trial is expected to end today but the court could take a few weeks to reach a verdict.

In related news, The Pirate Bay reportedly went temporarily titsup late yesterday. It was flaking out for much of Monday before its services were halted for several hours while the outfit scurried to a secret location to fix the hardware problem.

Rumours unsurprisingly rumbled through the interwebs suggesting that the outage had some connection to the trial. However, The Pirate Bay's operations flickered back to life this morning, and - for now at least - it's business as usual. ®

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