Feeds

Pirate Bay judge and pro-copyright lobbyist accused of bias

Defence lawyer demands retrial

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The judge in The Pirate Bay trial has been accused of bias, after Sweden's national radio station revealed that Thomas Norström was a member of the same pro-copyright groups as several of the main entertainment industry reps in the case.

Sveriges Radio's P3 news programme claimed Norström is signed up to the Swedish Copyright Association (Svenska föreningen för upphovsrätt), which also counts Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted as members. All three represented the entertainment industry in the case against BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay.

Additionally, the judge sits on the board of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd), which is lobbying for tougher copyright laws.

However, Norström insisted to the radio station that his membership of the various copyright protection groups did not “constitute a conflict of interest”.

Unsurprisingly, one of the defendants’ lawyers in the case has disagreed with that standpoint and this morning called for a retrial.

"I will point that out in my appeal, then the Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) will decide if the district court decision should be set aside and the case revisited," Peter Sunde’s lawyer Peter Althin said today, according to The Local.

"In the autumn I received information that a lay judge could have similar connections. I sent these to the court and the judge was excluded in order to prevent a conflict of interest. It would have been reasonable to then review this situation as well."

Expert attorney Leif Silbersky told Sveriges Radio that if any of the lawyers representing The Pirate Bay wanted to demand a retrial, it would have to happen “immediately”.

Meanwhile, Pirate Party chairman Rickard Falkvinge accused the copyright lobby of bringing “corruption” to Sweden.

Sunde - aka BrokeP - characteristically used Twitter to give his views about the latest revelation.

“For those who missed it - the #spectrial judge seems to be working within the copyright lobby. Breaking news right now in Sweden,” he wrote earlier today.

More recently he cockily quipped: “Oh how I love the smell of victory in the morning.”

We asked the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry to comment on Norström's close ties to pro-copyright groups, but at time of writing it hadn't got back to us. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.