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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:06

WikiLeaks Cables Show the US Copyright Industry Pushed for Guilty PriateBay Verdict

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Cast your mind back to mid-2009 and the now infamous Pirate Bay trial. If you remember this was a landmark case in the country of Sweden simply because it was out of pattern based on the Sweden’s laws and the way they had done business. The Pirate Bay founders were all found guilty despite not actually having hosted a single file on any of their servers and not having violated the existing laws in Sweden. However, due to having a judge that was an active member of a copyright protection group and a lead investigator that was trying hard to secure a job with a motion picture company the table was already set and the Pirate Bay gang was bound to be found guilty.

Now during the trial a number of site (DecryptedTech included) talked about the inconsistencies and the possibility that the US copyright cartels were putting pressure on Sweden to get this win. The topics of the judge’s work to push copyright reform in Sweden and the Lead investigator’s new job were all dismissed by the copyright industry as conspiracies. Still the doubts remained simply because the connections were so obvious to anyone looking at the situation. However, there was no hard proof of interference by the US or the Copyright industry.

Well that was the case until a few diplomatic cables were leaked by WikiLeaks. It seems that not only did the US Copyright Cartel ask for the Pirate Bay to be found guilty they made it part of a list of demands. The threat to force Sweden to comply was to keep them on the Special 301 Initiative list. This is a list of countries that have not done enough for US interests. Being on the list can have some trade and economic consequences that Sweden apparently did not want to continue.

The list of items included the following.

“Priority Actions to be Taken in 2009:
IIPA requests the following actions by the government of Sweden, which, if taken, would result in the most significant commercial benefits to the copyright industries:
• Adopt the copyright law amendments on injunctive relief against ISPs and a “right of information” to permit rights holders to obtain the identity of suspected infringers from ISPs in civil cases
• Prosecute to the fullest extent the owners of ThePirateBay
• Increase the prosecutorial and police manpower devoted to criminal Internet piracy enforcement
• Commence a national criminal enforcement campaign to target source piracy and large scale Internet pirates
• Ensure that rights holders may pursue the new civil remedies easily and quickly
• Take an active role fostering ISP-rights holder discussions to effectively prevent protected content from being distributed without authorization over the Internet”

Note item number two on that list specifically calls on the Swedish government to get involved in a judicial issue. This is something that is not allowed and is by any measure or standard simply wrong. Bear in mind that the IIPA is the International Intellectual Property Alliance. On their own website they describe themselves as “a private sector coalition, formed in 1984, of trade associations representing U.S. copyright-based industries in bilateral and multilateral efforts working to improve international protection and enforcement of copyrighted materials and open up foreign markets closed by piracy and other market access barriers.”

They claim to have over 3,200 members all of which are US based companies. They describe the Special 301 initiative as: “IIPA submits an annual report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and other U.S. Government agencies in the U.S. Government’s annual "Special 301" review on whether acts, policies or practices of any foreign country deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access for U.S. persons relying on intellectual property protection.”

It seems we have found the hard evidence to show that the original Pirate Bay trial might not have been all that fair and/or impartial. To find hard evidence that US corporations sought to, and did, influence the laws and legal proceedings in another nation is a frightening thing. Then again we saw the same thing happen in the Mega Upload case where the industry sent the US DoJ and FBI on their own errand to take out a service they saw as potential competition. This effort is still ongoing as they try to prevent Kim Dotcom from even having the funds for a proper defense. We have talked about the Mega Upload fiasco and the siege tactics on more than on occasion so we will not go into them again here.

In the end it seems that the US government might have forgotten who they are supposed to serve and who the real “bad guys” are. Instead of devoting time and large amounts of money to prop up a broken system of bad patents and even more outrageous copyright laws they might want to get back to actually doing some real work.

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Read 4742 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:08

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