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Pirate Bay guilty verdict: Now what?

Setting sail for the Supreme Court

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Elsewhere, the obvious tech industry suspects have waded in to share their thoughts on today's judgment.

A spokesman for the London Internet Exchange (LINX) told us:

“This verdict is vindication of our belief to pursue the infringers through the court and not hold intermediates such as internet service providers responsible for the actions of third parties.”

The Federation Against Software Theft's CEO John Lovelock chimed in with:

“From a law and order perspective FAST applauds this sentence. By enabling unscrupulous users to find downloads online illegally for free, The Pirate Bay has cost the legitimate economy by taking away revenue for content creators, reducing tax revenue and possibly even costing jobs at these firms.”

But, if the trial would have taken place in Blighty the case against the BitTorrent site would have probably fallen flat on its face, according to law firm Beachcroft LLP.

"Current legislation simply does not address these kinds of online service. Any action against Pirate Bay type services would be doomed to fail under current English law," said Robin Fry, copyright specialist at Beachcroft.

He referred to legislation stretching back to a Musical Copyright Act of 1906, "which only criminalises use of 'plates' or articles (which could now extend to software) but only if they were designed for copying specific copyright works."

Over on the other side of the pond law professor Michael A. Carrier noted that "the [entertainment] industry has not always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies and embracing disruptive innovation," he said.

"It could benefit from devoting as much effort towards innovation as it does to litigation."

For many that has been the sticking point in the case against The Pirate Bay, which first kicked off in 2006 when Swedish authorities raided server sites and confiscated tech gear from several server locations.

But the entertainment industry will remain as bloody-minded as BitTorrent players about who owns its Intellectual Property, and the ramifications of that will ultimately outlive the verdict meted out today. ®

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