updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu April 23, 2009
P Bay Judge Said Biased
The judge that ruled against the Pirate Bay has today been accused by one of the site's attorneys of an unfair bias that invalidates the case. Lawyer Peter Althin in his motion to the Court of Appeal alleges that Judge Tomas Norström is or has been a member of the same copyright support groups as the media companies involved in the lawsuits, giving him an incentive to rule in their favor. Althin plans to demand a retrial and notes that one judge was already excluded from the case in the fall for similar reasons.
A lawyer for additional Pirate Bay member Gottfried Svartholm Warg, as well as a separate attorney uninvolved with the case, also supports the notion that the judge is too deeply linked with the industry to provide a fair view of the case. Judge Norström himself doesn't deny his associations but claims they don't present a conflict.
In the trial, the Pirate Bay's defense had argued that no actual illegally pirated files were hosted on its servers and thus that the site wasn't directly contributing to piracy as had been claimed in the primary charges. Prosecutors had responded by saying that providing a search for pirated files amounted to responsibility, but have been countered in the wake of the verdict by complaints that such broad wording would make Google and any other search site guilty of piracy by making it possible to search for pirated material.
Critics have also alleged from the outset that the arrests and trial were brought as special favors for the music and movie industries.