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For Håkan Roswall that is.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep, Radsoft, SvD, Piratpartiet, SVT, Rick Falkvinge) -- Need a good solicitor? Consider Per E Samuelson. Samuelson represents Wasa heir Carl Lundström in the TPB trial. So far the mild mannered Samuelson is making fools out of the prosecution.
Kiosks across the country carried the news headline today.
Per Samuelson's opening arguments were in two parts: the case in general and his client in particular. Speaking of the case in general Samuelson cited EU parliamentary directive 2000/31/EG from 8 June 2000. Excerpts from his arguments follow.
To convict someone of a crime one must bind the accused individual to the act on the level of the individual - and not on the level of The Pirate Bay. And the prosecutor has not been able to establish this.
File sharing services on the Internet are in the form of information that is transmitted through the services. The information passes through the services. And the middleman - the file sharing service, those offering the service - stand here accused today.
But there's no doubt it's the service itself the prosecutor is trying to push them into - not the user, not the one who initiates the transmission, not the ones who use the transmission, but the middleman.
Our legislation is therefore very central to the case. I haven't heard my opponents speak about what I would consider the deciding factors in this case - namely the directive of the European Parliament and European Council 2000/31/EG from 8 June 2000. Chapter 12: the member states shall ensure that a service provider providing a social information service consisting of transmissions in a communications network shall not be responsible for the transmitted information - shall not be responsible for the transmitted information.
And then there are three conditions.
First: that one has not initiated the transmission. One more time: that one has not initiated the transmission. Here the prosecutor clearly pointed out that those who have initiated transmissions are individuals who can be identified and who have uploaded these torrent files. They can be identified. They call themselves King Kong and whatever. I've seen all the names. They're the ones who've initiated the transmissions.
Second: that the middleman has not chosen the recipient of the transmission. And this middleman has not done that.
Third: that the middleman has not chosen or modified the transmitted information. The Pirate Bay haven't done that. They have no responsibility for these operations.
And this directive was implemented in the sixteenth and nineteenth paragraphs of our business law.
And if you read a simple comment to the nineteenth paragraph: 'In general one should be able to claim middlemen seldom have intentions in relation to the content of the information that passes through the service. In many cases it should also be unreasonable to demand the middleman checks the contents. That is to say: you can't say either that the middleman should have been aware of the contents.'
It might be difficult to absorb this in such a case with so much media attention but with a simple afterthought it sbecomes self-evident.
Blocket.se: if a user advertises something that's illegal, child pornography as an example, it's self-evident the owners of Blocket.se have no responsibility for it. And it's just as obvious that the one who provides the connection to the Internet and to Blocket.se has no responsibility for the information that passes through that service.
So these general opening arguments serve to establish yet again that one must not get lost - this case is about basic criminal law. Namely that there is no responsibility for the middlemen. None!
To win his case the prosecutor must prove that the defendants on the individual level have encouraged the real users' alleged criminal activities. And he doesn't even try!
This is going faster than we expected!
- Magistrate in TPB trial