Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
In it for the money, says prosecution in the second day of the retrial which mostly reiterated the District Court hearings
The second day of the appeal was dominated by the prosecution’s efforts to prove that the notorious file sharing site generated millions for its founders from ads. On the other side, the defendants’ lawyers argued that since The Pirate Bay didn’t and doesn’t actually host unauthorized content itself; it just provides links to such material and only people who downloaded copyright protected files should be liable for infringement – a story you’ve heard before, I’m sure.
Another of the four co-founders, Fredrik Neij missed the hearing, apparently for not having slept the night before. Prosecutor Håkan Roswall presented the court with emails and bank statements meant to show that the whole purpose in running The Pirate Bay for all defendants was to make money. In doing so Roswall tried to portrait the Swedish BitTorrent tracker as a commercial organization claiming the defendants gained a total of 1.2 million SEK ($178,000 USD). The sum itself is hardly impressive especially if you take into consideration the costs involved by hosting and maintaining servers.
Soon followed IFPI’s Peter Danowsky introduced much to the amusement of the audience by Roswall as a member of the “International Federation of the Pornographic Industry.” He said the music industry demands more than €2 million ($2.7 mln USD) in damages.
Danowsky also said, as reported by Zeropaid, that “the IFPI used The Pirate Bay’s own download counter to calculate the number of lost sales – effectively rehashing the illogical 1:1 argument – to determine how much harmed it suffered. With digital albums retailing for 10 euros, 6.5 of that going to record labels, he says it’s suffered at least 6.5 million euros in damages if you agree that at least a million albums have been illegally downloaded from the site.”
Moreover “he did admit using The Pirate Bay’s download counter does mean there’s a chance for a margin of error, but that in the absence of any hard data as to how big the problem is the “figure is part of the index” of data it uses to come up with a damages figure.”
According to TorrentFreak, “Danowsky further argued that for some recordings the damages per infringement should be significantly higher. Beatles albums are given as an example because the band’s music isn’t available legally online. This is an interesting argument, since there would be no need to download these albums if they were available online. Music that is shared before the official release date should also receive greater compensation, he argued.”
Then it was Monique Wadsted, representing the U.S. movie industry who tried to convince the court of the commercial purpose behind The Pirate Bay. She pointed out that the site helps people find infringing content very easily.
The last one to speak was Peter Sunde’s lawyer Peter Althin, whose argumentation lasted twenty minutes. “He refuted the claim of the prosecution that his client was actively operating the website. Sunde did have contact with the Israeli businessman who handled the advertisements, but that was because he was contacted as a spokesperson of the site when others were too busy to respond;” further reports TorrentFreak.
To wrap up, Althin emphasized that The Pirate Bay cannot be held liable for any losses suffered by the entertainment industry.
We’ll keep you posted as the story further unfolds.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Legal P2P News & Issues
The practice of p2p throttling is back in fashion (as if it had ever disappeared).Virgin Media has announced its intention to throttle the bandwidth available to users of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing over its network.
The company said it will reduce the amount of bandwidth allocated to peer-to-peer protocols and Usenet traffic.
So far Virgin Media followed a ‘fair use’ policy under which it imposed no restrictions regarding the use of file-sharing, only penalizing those users who hog more than their share of bandwidth. The new policy will include these penalizations as well.
There will be variations of the restrictions on file-sharing and Usenet traffic dictated by the overall load on broadband provider’s network. Virgin also said at least 75 per cent of available bandwidth will be always set aside for ordinary browsing, as well as time-sensitive data such as streaming video.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
Recently Wikipedia has announced its plans to launch a pioneering video streaming service based on BitTorrent on its website. The new technology will be used for all more than 6,000 videos currently hosted on Wikipedia’s servers.
Initially simply associated with illegal file sharing or online piracy BitTorrent protocol as well as the peer-to-peer (P2P) technology altogether has been then embraced one by one by universities and social networking services including Facebook and Twitter to share data between servers when its advantages in content distribution became too obvious to be denied.
Especially now that BitTorrent has added the ability to stream content through clients such as Tribler and uTorrent, its technology will become even more attractive for many companies.
Now the Wikimedia Foundation has figured out a new way to make hosting video content less costly. When viewing Wikimedia Foundation’s streaming video content via the new BitTorrent client, Swarmplayer, visitors will be actually sharing part of their bandwidth. Swarmplayer belonging to the next-p2p generation clients is for now only available as a plugin for Firefox with an Internet Explorer plug-in to be released these days, and a Chrome version soon after.
The announcement said: “Eventually bandwidth costs could saturate the foundation budget or leave less resources for other projects and programs. For this reason it is important to start exploring and experimenting with future content distribution platforms and partnerships.”
To spread the load Wikipedia bases its system on a combination of webseeds and BitTorrent peers. Traditional HTTP sources still prove very useful when it comes to high-priority sections including the start of the video but the BitTorrent protocol is employed when later segments are served.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
Last week we told you about an incredibly easy to use music downloading app called Mulve which has got everyone on the Internet excited but, which at the same time raised questions over his imminent quick shutdown.
Well, that shutdown came even earlier than expected courtesy of whom other than the mighty RIAA. As TorrentFreak reports, the RIAA had not legal ground to attack the majority of the service, but still because Mulve had a portion of its site hosted with USA-based Hostgator was able to take it down with one DMCA cease-and-desist letter.
While Mulve is confident that they will not ne offline too long no specific date for its return was mentioned.
Update: Those who liked Mulve can get Pirateapp, an open source variant of Mulve that downloads music from the same place at the same impressive speeds.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
The epic fight between file sharing and the entertainment industry was probably most “advertised” by BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay whose appeal in the case against music and movie companies (among which Warner Bros., Sony, Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures) began on Tuesaday in Stockholm.
The retrial took the start with one of the four defendants missing. Defense lawyer Ola Salomonsson explained Gottfrid Svartholm Warg’s mother has said her son could not make it to the retrial because he is ill in Cambodia.
The Svea Court of Appeal said Svartholm Warg has until Oct. 7 to justify his absence with a doctor’s certificate and have his case tested in a separate hearing.
As most of you who follow P2PON remember, the four defendants, Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom, were sentenced in 2009 to one year in jail each for facilitating copyright infringement by allowing millions of people to download and share unauthorized content through their website. Sunde & Co. were also fined 30 million kronor ($4.4 million) for damages brought to the industry.
This second round started with a very optimistic Sunde who said he believes that the verdict given last year would be overturned. “I think our chances are good. It will be difficult to make a similar judgment this time,” he commented. “I don’t see Pirate Bay as something illegal at all.”
On the other hand, prosecutor Hakan Roswall seems pretty sure that will not happen.
Commenting on the case, Andre Rickardsson, an expert on file-sharing and information technology security at Sweden’s Bitsec Consulting, said chances are fifty-fifty that the verdict would not be overturned with the sentences, however, probably reduced.
“No one has been sentenced to prison for file-sharing (in Sweden),” he added.