Technology and Business Law Blog

Pirate Bay Wins the First Round

I have been reading about the Pirate Bay court trial in Sweden, after all these years of hype and the public looking forward to a long legal battle, the trial has turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax right at the second day. The plaintiffs consisting of  the entertainment industry conglomerate, had accused Pirate Bay of assisting copyright infringement. To assist in infringement the defendant had to help distribute illegal files and the plaintiffs were not able to prove that, and as per the Capitol v. Thomas case heard in the U.S, making available cannot amount to distribution of copyrighted material.

Pirate Bay lawyer has held on to the old argument that  “To supply a service that can be used illegally or legally is not illegal.” Pirate Bay does not host any of the copyrighted material themselves but makes available file sharing BitTorrent technology to search and download files. BitTorrent technology though used for peer to peer file sharing can also be used for other non-infringing uses.

The prosecution  dropped charges relating to “assisting copyright infringement”, and focused on “assisting making available copyrighted content”, stating that “everything related to reproduction will be removed from the claim”. The reason for this was that the prosecution was not able  to prove that illegally distributed files had used the Pirate Bay site.

This is a real set back for the entertainment and software industry but a victory for people who believe in creativity and progress. Just as I have stated before, copyright is losing its grip and with the avalanche of new technology, copyright infringement issues will lose its meaning. Copyright infringement has happened from pre-historic times, when man started drawing figures on cave walls and will continue till the human race exists.

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February 18, 2009 Posted by | Copyright and innovation, Copyright Infringement, p2p | | Leave a comment

O v. W

Bush’s shadow still looms over the justice department.

President Obama, as soon as he took over the office issued  memos to designed to improve the federal government’s openness and transparency. The first memo instructs all agencies and departments to “adopt a presumption in favor” of Freedom of Information Act requests, while the second memo orders the director of the Office of Management and Budget to issue recommendations on making the federal government more transparent.

In-spite  of Obama’s directive, the justice department is still trying to shield the dirty secrets and methodologies of the Bush administration, which was one of the worst administrations in the history of this country. It was a sham democracy, and the administration conducted more terrorizing activities under the pretext of security than any terrorists from outside the country. All the freedoms and values that this country was built on were cast aside without any recourse. Organization like the EFF, the ACLU and others tried their best to resist these by filing law suits and bringing these issues and activities in the open to create public awareness.

The Bush Justice Department said it would use any legitimate legal argument to defend withholding records from the public.The Obama administration is just advocating the opposite and seeking openness and disclosure, but we might just never come to know the dirty secrets of the past administration. The silver lining is that it is the past administration and thank God it is over and hopefully we don’t have to be subjected to humiliating treatment each time we are in the public for the simple reason that we look different or that our name sounds different.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Executive Privilege, Security, Surveillance | Leave a comment