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TPB Shutdown: The Outrage

This is a fucking outrage.
 - Rick Falkvinge

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STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) -- The Pirate Bay closed yesterday - at least in some corners of the world - when one of the site's upstream providers received an order from the Stockholm district court. This is the first time anything like this has happened in Sweden and professor Daniel Westman questions whether it's in proportion to freedom of speech and freedom of information.

Last spring several major film and music companies submitted a lawsuit to the Stockholm district court to stop the downloading of materials they claimed to have copyright on.

They wrote in their submission that the corporation Black Internet 'with help from the network previously under control of DCS are now supplying Internet services to the infringement service' and demanded that the court forbid Black Internet from contributing to 'making access to copyrighted materials available'.

Black Internet shut down their capacity to the file sharing site after the court threatened with an SEK half million fine. This decision is in effect until the suit against the founders of The Pirate Bay is dealt with.

Daniel Westman, jurist and expert in IT crime, says this is the first time a Swedish court has made such a decision.

'Companies that supply Internet connections are not considered to be contributing to the availability of certain materials. In practice they can only comply with such a decision by completely shutting down the Internet connection.'

There's really not a lot else Black Internet can do. They don't control The Pirate Bay and they can't remove materials from the site. They can only switch the Internet on and off.

'But there are some issues of principle. It's too effective because it can stop even things that are not infringement and the question is whether such a decision is commensurate with what one wants to achieve.'

Another principal objection is to what extent the Internet provider are prepared to appeal the decision. Westman points out that such a process costs a lot of money and the question is whether an Internet provider are prepared to take up such a fight.

'Those most affected by this are the users and those who run the website - in this case The Pirate Bay. But they're not part of this case. Instead it's a dispute between the Internet provider and the copyright holders.'

According to Daniel Westman there are even further circumstances which make the court decision problematic. Amongst others there are materials at the site that are not illegal and it can also turn out that it's not just The Pirate Bay on the servers.

He also questions the decision's proportionality to freedom of speech and freedom of information but also the fact that one has a legal process not with those accused of infringement but with their Internet providers.

Pirate Bay Censored from the Internet

The Pirate Bay was censored from the Internet, wrote Rick Falkvinge in an angry blog post.

The Stockholm district court decided today to censor TPB from the Internet, until such time as the trial against them is completed. The Pirate Bay is offline. (Even if the crew are working on it.)

I know I'm supposed to hold back on my expletives, but this is truly completely fucked up. It really shows us that we need to swap out and/or train precisely every small fucking part of those who sit and try to interpret copyright law today.

Yeah, and rewrite the law. That's probably an easier task.

In practice this is in other words about the mafiaa suing Black Internet, one of the companies supplying The Pirate Bay with bandwidth. It's like circumventing the constitution when you can't stop the release of a newspaper by instead threatening the printing companies they're dependent on. Or their distribution channels.

Unfuckingbelievable, scary, and the type of thing that makes me really furious.

Unacceptable Preemptive Censorship in the Name of Market Forces

The Swedish Pirate Party also issued an official bulletin.

Today it became known that the Stockholm district court decided to censor the bulletin board The Pirate Bay until a lawsuit can be dealt with. The site has ceased existing on the Internet for all practical purposes.

'This is completely absurd', says party leader Rick Falkvinge. 'The court magistrates seem to think they're above the constitution. They disable the freedom of information, the freedom of opinion, and the freedom of speech clauses in anticipation of a civil lawsuit. This makes it clear how copyright law is untenable and how the court system lacks competence in the field of information politics.'

The Pirate Party shall immediately file a complaint against the district court with the justice ombudsman. The Pirate Party see this as a very serious act of defiance which must not be allowed to stand. It's the same thing as preemptively censoring an entire newspaper and stopping its release should the newspaper be involved in a civil lawsuit.

'We have to have greater respect for our fundamental rights', concludes Falkvinge.

Postscript: 'En olycka kommer sällan ensam'

'An accident seldom comes alone', states the home page of the website of The Pirate Bay who are now back online almost everywhere. The saying refers to the fact Black Internet found themselves the target of sabotage yesterday evening and a lot more accounts disappeared from the Internets.

We have some issues with some fibres that was broken. Didn't know before we had to try them out. Thanks for helping us find the issues in our setup. *Kisses*

Back online in a few hours.

For now you can find torrents at google. See, we're nice people, always helping!

Postscript: Black Internet Victims of Sabotage

Not much is known at this point but Black Internet CEO Victor Möller says it's considerable and it's serious. He won't even say exactly what's happened. But he points out Black Internet sell bandwidth to a lot of other companies and that the sabotage has spread to them as well.

'Our network isn't functioning as it should. We're working with the police and technicians to find out what's happened. It's a giant pyramid and this is serious damage for a lot of money.'

See Also
SvD: Black Internet utsatt för sabotage
SvD: Forskare ser flera principiella problem med tingsrättens beslut

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