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Sweden's Pirate Party the New Election Bomb
Now you see it, now you don't, now you see it again.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Rick Falkvinge's excellent op-ed summary of recent events in Sweden one year to the day after the lower court verdict in the trial of The Pirate Bay was published yesterday in the Stockholm evening tabloid Aftonbladet, then removed, then later reinstated.
Nothing was changed in the article.
Falkvinge said he thought he knew why the article was taken down and Aftonbladet's Karin Magnusson today corroborated his theory.
Rick Falkvinge's (Pirate Party) article about the verdict in the case of The Pirate Bay was taken down late yesterday afternoon from Aftonbladet's debate section.
The article contains an accusation of bribery of a named policeman.
Due to a slip-up in our routines, the matter of publishing the name of this policeman was not vetted.
We then took the article down temporarily in order to contact our editor and to give the accused policeman the opportunity to respond.
This has now been taken care of and we therefore again make the article available. Nothing has been redacted in the article. The policeman has declined our offer to respond.
Karin Magnusson, Aftonbladet Debate
This is probably about the bribed policeman Jim Keyser and how in the middle of the article I say straight out 'j'accuse'. So that no one will misinterpret this: from the facts which I recounted for Aftonbladet when presenting the article, I concluded this was a bribe and that in other countries this would without question be legally regarded as a bribe, and I accuse policeman Jim Keyser of taking bribes from someone connected to the investigation, and this from the facts as I know them. There can't be any doubt about that.
Falkvinge goes on to link to the article where the relationship between Keyser and Warner was first exposed.
Back From Warner to the Police Job
The policeman who investigated The Pirate Bay only to be later given an appointment at Warner Bros is now back with the police. The prosecutor also revealed he was in the employ of Warner before charges were brought against The Pirate Bay.
Prosecutor Håkan Roswall, who led the investigation of The Pirate Bay, was contacted last week by a solicitor who at the behest of Warner told him how police investigator Jim Keyser had been recruited by the media company. Keyzer is now back at his post in the IT crime division in Stockholm after having at the end of May discontinued the leave of absence he'd been granted when he got the job offer at Warner.
'Warner took the initiative to contact me. They provided me with information about the timeline for their contacts with Jim during the interview process and later the recruitment process', says Roswall who now turned over this new information to the defence attorneys.
Roswall won't disclose when Warner first came into contact with Keyser but he can corroborate that Keyser received a formal offer 21 January - before charges were brought against The Pirate Bay.
'My assessment is Jim Keyser on 21 January was brought into a situation of dependence to Warner. He is their employee, or at least they have reached an agreement that he is.'
But the prosecutor doesn't think this fact will influence the value of the investigation because it was already completed and distributed to the defence attorneys.
'So it is not my intention to take any measures or add to the investigation', says Roswall.
Had he begun discussions with Warner before he completed the investigation of The Pirate Bay?
'I'd rather let the defence attorneys decide to what extent that should be public information.'
But isn't it the case that someone who has shown a clear interest in a job can have an interest in producing results that are helpful in getting that job?
'That's something we can discuss. We're talking in such case about petty bias and I really don't have enough to go on to offer a judgement call. I'm satisfied with attesting that there was a situation of dependence starting on 21 January.'
Carl Lundström's representative Stefan Jevinger declines to comment on these developments.
'We'll have to see what we do with this. The defence have their strategy, the prosecutors theirs. The prosecutors will present theirs in the coming trial and it can be in the interests of the defence to not say more than we need to before then.'
Sydsvenskan have been unable to reach policeman Jim Keyser and Warner representative Lars Håkansson for comments.
Pirates the New Election Bomb
The unredacted article by Rick Falkvinge as published in Aftonbladet.
Today it's one year since the verdict in the trial of The Pirate Bay.
From the unconstitutional raid on 31 May 2006, to investigating policemen who were openly bribed by the media giants, to the world media who exressed shock at the corruption when it was discovered the district court magistrate was an active member of the same lobby organisations as the plaintiff companies, this war by the establishment against the challenger The Pirate Bay is a scandal from beginning to end where it is obvious nearly all parties involved have let might triumph over right.
It all starts at noon on 31 May 2006. Fifty policemen go into the server hall that hosts amongst other clients The Pirate Bay and they seize everything in the room. Many small businesses are powerless and have to close down operations when they lose both their web servers and their customer databases.
Seriously: how often do we see an operation involving fifty policemen for a real crime? For a victim laying bleeding in the street? It's obvious that the powers that be, right from the get-go, from Day One, wanted to show the world there's a difference between people and people.
Everyone found in the vicinity of the operators of The Pirate Bay were to be harassed. Their legal representative was arrested and brought for questioning and DNA registration! One individual who'd only dated one of the operators had her own computers confiscated. They were definitely being branded as outlaws. Membership in the Pirate Party trebled in a week.
But they can't succeed in branding them as outlaws - they're heroes. Three days later there are demonstrations all over the country where the operators of The Pirate Bay are exalted as the ideal of our generation. An entire generation rallying unanimously to their support.
And that only further annoys the establishment.
The IP cartels, with a nod of approval from the establishment, don't hesitate to use dirty tricks. One of the more notable of these is that one of the policemen involved in the preliminary investigation, Keyzer, is bribed with a well paid six month post at Warner Bros when the investigation is completed. Warner are one of the companies behind the police complaint against The Pirate Bay. Things like these are regarded as outright bribery abroad and consequently have been forbidden for some time. At home in Sweden our minister of justice Beatrice Ask thinks it's only a good thing Swedish police get additional training outside their department.
One facepalms. Or is horrified. Or both.
The trial begins in the Stockholm district court nearly three years after the raid of 31 May 2006. One of the operators is held accountable for the political content of remarks he made at one of the demonstrations after the raid. It couldn't be more obvious that the trial is political from the beginning. No one believes their eyes when the verdict is returned on 17 April 2009. 30 million in damages and one year in prison?
The notorious 'Hagamannen' was sentenced to pay 850,000 to his victims for nine brutal rapes. That's just under 100,000 for a traumatic rape. Here the sentence is 30 million for abetting the copying of 20 songs, 9 movies, and 4 computer games. That's about one million each. For abetting the copying. Ten times the damages for a brutal rape.
It becomes clear there's a difference between people and people.
Membership in the Pirate Party trebles in a week. Again.
Then there's a worldwide storm when it's discovered the magistrate in the trial is a member of the same copyright organisations as the plaintiff cartels. The world media write of corruption in the trial of The Pirate Bay - abroad they call a spade a spade. Corruption. Clear corruption in the Swedish justice system, this in the case that gets more media attention than any other for the entire year. My answering service gets questions from everyone from the BBC to CNN.
Today we've arrived in April 2010 and the case will go before the court of appeals in the autumn. The defendants and their attorneys can only attend if the trial takes place in the time period first suggested by the court, early in September. But the court listened more to the media companies and thus the trial will take place first after the national elections on 19 September. At this point no one should be surprised: the entire establishment, from the politicians to the courts to the justice system, are trying to avoid another political election campaign centering around The Pirate Bay.
The story of the establishment's war on The Pirate Bay is a thriller with corruption, constitutional criminality, bribes, and a buddy system. This never was a judicial trial but has always been a political one. The upstarts are to be branded no matter the cost. Civil rights and fundamental principles of law are sidestepped when someone dares to challenge the system. The situation must be dealt with politically. That's the reason we need the Pirate Party in the parliament, more now than ever.
No so long ago the Nobel Prize winning poet Verner von Heidenstam wrote that it's shameful and a smudge on Sweden's reputation that civil right is money. The question is whether this isn't more true today than when von Heidenstam wrote about it 111 years ago.
Aftonbladet Debatt: Piraterna ny valbomb
Sydsvenskan: Åter från Warner till polisjobbet
Rick Falkvinge: Aftonbladet och tillbakadragen artikel