|Home » Industry Watch (» The Technological » Hall of Monkeys » Heroes Banquet)
Fredrik Neij's a Free Man
And he's enjoying his beer. And he says Sony orchestrated his arrest. From JP.
JÖNKÖPING (Radsoft) — And so ends the saga. The saga of Norrahammar son Fredrik Neij and his part in The Pirate Bay - the world's biggest file sharing site. Now he's out of prison - now the family are waiting in Laos.
'Finally, I'm enjoying the beer', he says at the pub in downtown Jönköping.
The world famous net pirate was released on Monday from the facility in Skänninge where he's spent two thirds of his ten month sentence.
He says his time behind bars was a relatively quiet experience. He was placed in a section with hardened professional criminals. And he was there for being an 'accessory to copyright infringement'.
'There were nine of us in that section, and the others wondered why I was there with them. The staff wondered too. The others had spent more time inside those walls than outside throughout their adult lives. They're professional criminals.'
He spent his days watching a lot of television.
'I had cable-TV, so there were a lot of science fiction series. They didn't dare let me to go to the school - there were computers there. They thought I was some sort of super-hacker.'
The legend of Fredrik Neij and his part in The Pirate Bay goes a long way back. Their server hall was raided six years ago, the judicial process beginning thereafter. That process made its way to the court of appeal where he was sentenced to prison and to pay damages in the amount of SEK 45 million, together with the other two defendants Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde.
'The supreme court found our case too complicated. Those old gits simply didn't understand it. Durning the district court trial, one of them sat there asleep.'
'But it was worth it. I took a stand for freedom of speech.'
He started working with The Pirate Bay mainly because he enjoyed the technical challenge. He didn't care about politics - their ideologue Peter Sunde could take care of that.
'But I've become more interested in those issues as time goes on.'
Orchestrated by Sony
He was arrested in Thailand last autumn, at the border to Laos where he currently lives - something he's convinced was orchestrated by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
'Sony bribed the border police. You can see that in the documents that leaked out. Sony knew the arrest would take place. I'd crossed that border 28 times without incident.'
Now he's going to spend a few weeks in Sweden and let his children meet their relatives in Jönköping. Then it's back to Laos where he currently lives. He's no longer involved in The Pirate Bay.
'I'll always be remembered for The Pirate Bay. I've turned things over to others who are prepared to continue its operation.'
He can't live in Sweden for financial reasons - the bailiff would take everything he earned for the damages assessed by the court. He works remotely from Laos with IT. More he won't say.
'My clients would sever contact and distance themselves.'
Do you download anything that's copyright-protected today?'
'Oh of course. All the movies and series I watch. But no music. I don't listen to that. I listened to retail CDs in prison because my brother bought me a stereo.'
Laos has no legislation against file-sharing. That's not a high priority in an underdeveloped country.
'Most people here use the Internet for their smartphones. But I have a fibre hookup.'
Early this morning we were informed that Fredrik Neij was apprehended by Thai Immigration authorities as he crossed from Laos into Thailand. Neij is facing a 10 month prison sentence in Sweden for his conviction in the Pirate Bay case. Neij may also face new charges for his continuing role in the operation of TPB and two additional charges for computer hacking. Two laptop computers were seized from Neij at the time of his arrest, and may provide additional evidence against Neij and others in the ongoing TPB investigation in Sweden. Jan Van Voorn and Neil Gane are in contact with both Swedish and Thai authorities providing additional assistance. Thai Immigration is planning a press conference for tomorrow, November 4. We have alerted our Communications Section, and do not plan to comment to the media.
My congratulations to Jan and Neil for their continuing efforts in this case. Another excellent example of global cooperation and coordination between pour [sic] content protection hubs.
More to follow as learn additional details.
WikiLeaks: The Sony Archives