Thugs Hurting YOUR Hobby Stand Trial

simflightlogoIt is good to see the lowlife of Pirate Bay in court once again, and this time with some serious, although fumbling, prosecution and charges. The Sweden based piracy site has been taunting authorities and commercial developers for many years, all the while making money of stolen software and openly stealing from thousands of developers and publishers, thereby severly hurting YOUR hobby. Carl Lundstom, the apparent investor, Peter Sunde, a programmer, and two of their cronies stand trial and face 2 years in prison (not nearly enough). Lets hope they DO get convicted this time around, or it will be time to start boycotting Sweden and its failed justice system! Read about it here.

0 Responses

  1. this court case cannot be propagated enough, the more international interest and attention it gets, the higher the pressure is on the swedish (law) system to finally put an end to this miserable situation. of course it will not end piracy ever, but it could set a very strong note on this issue.

  2. To fight technology is futile. The folks behind the Pirate Bay didn’t even invent the bit-torrent protocol. Today there are allready houndreds of thousands of torrent sites online. The Pirate Bay has only grown big because of the attention the music, film and software industry has given them. It’s just a collection of links – they don’t steal or make money on the software/films/music. Actually Google does the same thing in a much larger scale as you can search for torrents posted on thousands of different web sites all at once. The Pirate Bay is just one such site.

    The implications of incriminating the posting of links are massive and could put the publishers of say behind bars for links posted by users in their forums. I am against any attempt to regulate and cencor the Internet. It’s an utopian thought at best. The development of society should not be dictated by how a few rotten apples conduct themselves. It’s a moral issue and society needs to discuss and understand why people steal and prevent it (if democratic laws says so) instead of wasting their resources after the fact. Rather than wasting resources on lawsuits and whining the industry should have spent more time developing their products and how they are distributed.

  3. All this achieves is extra publicity for the site and its owners in an an age where `fame` and `infamy` are one and the same.

    And while the pleas are obviously from the heart, why can’t you accept that the very people you are appealing to are the criminals, not the site owners? We don’t hold BMW or Honda responsible when one of their cars is used in a criminal act, it’s down to the occupants. Sites like these exist – and are successful – because of the deep canker within our own hobby, not through the creation of a website elsewhere. And actually, if you look at the figures, the sharing of product from our hobby is a pinprick compared to others, in proportion to the size of the industry. And the reasons for pursuing PB and its owners have very little to do with right or wrong. Mostly it’s about greed and influence, agendas and obfuscation.

  4. No, the Pirate Bay has grown big because of people like you who do not recognize right from wrong anymore. These guys ARE stealing income from SMALL companies and INDIVIDUALS, just as much from large corporations, and are totally disgusting. The ‘links’ you are alluding to sure as heck are NOT being put on-line by the rightful owners. If you are thinking this is ‘Robin Hood’ behavior of any sort, then you’re living on a different planet.
    Please let us take away YOUR income, your house and your car and lets talk again a year after that. Good idea?

    You are right in one thing only; it is impossible to fight technology with technology, especially if one doesn’t have a billion dollar R&D budget.

    This is not about regulating the Internet, nor of trying to ‘curb’ your imaginary freedom of speech, but of protecting decent and hard working people from anti-social behavior by criminals who have no respect for others and hence have no place in our civilized societies.

    Such a pity that Australia is colonized already, eh? Now where do we deport them to?

  5. Heinlein described a penal colony on the moon, sounds like a good idea.
    Used to be pirates were hanged from the neck, seems an even better idea (certainly cheaper).
    Niven talked about the death penalty for even minor offenses, and using the bodies to harvest organs for transplant. Works well in China even today (sadly they don’t hardly ever prosecute intellectual property theft as it’s a mainstay of their national economy).

  6. Here we go again.
    Svein-Frode, in some way I do understand what you are saying.
    The problem is that PB in my view entices people to pirate – the name in it self is a clue. So it’s okay to point potential thieves to the loot and say I just do the same as Google I’m innocent? To me that’s clear that it’s there only purpose.
    However I agree, sometimes when I search for a particular product on Google, I get all sorts of bit-torrent sites up – and that appalls me. Google or not – it should not happen.

    Now – saying that the industry should stop wasting their resources prosecuting and use the time to develop their products – is the same as to say that you should stop going after a thief steeling from your home as you should spend you time develop at better lock on your front door.

    Well – that’s my 0.2€..

  7. Amen, Francois . The attitude that “it’s ok, because everyone does it” is exactly why thieves like this have thrived. These people have DIRECTLY STOLEN from the bank accounts of THOUSANDS of developers, big and small, myself included. Pirate Bay has been the primary seeder of MOST of the stolen software on the planet, and they can, should, and must pay for their crimes.

    The notion that “they don’t make money” is ludicrous. READ the indictments. These people have been making MILLIONS of dollars per year off of other people’s backs. 2 years is a slap on the wrist. They should be paying restitution for the rest of their miserable, leeching lives by shoveling snow off the side of the road.

    The real travesty is Sweden’s total lack of respect for the international business community, and flagrant disregard up to this point. This has been dragging on for years and it needs to end now.

  8. Francois,

    Right or wrong as in black or white? I think very important principles are at play here. Who do we hold responsible? Those individuals (ab)using technology and infrastructure vs. those who create it and make it available. Robin Hood has little to do with it.

    Should car makers be held responsible for drivers speeding – they could easily have made their cars safer by not allowing them to travel above certain speeds? Should makers of ammunition and guns be held responsible for every death created by their products? Should the cigarette companies be held responsible for the death and health issues of smokers? Who should control information on the internet? Gouvernments, businesses, the people?

    Anyone installing stolen software on their computer is a thief. If the people behind Pirate Bay should die on the cross for such sins is another question. How much worse is their crime compared to that of an industry making VCRs, hard disk recorders, DVD burners, mp3 and divX players and extremely cheap media?

  9. The name of the site is “The Pirate Bay”. They FACILITATE, DISTRIBUTE, and CHARGE for the illegal distribution of COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS in violation of the respective property holder’s license agreements.


  10. Before this gets too carried away (and that includes my bosses here, Gentlemen!), let’s remember two things, and apologies for using capitalisation, but these things do need to be emphasised:

    1) This is a CIVIL, not a CRIMINAL case, because the offence is civil, not criminal. It is NOT theft, because the law says it is not theft (and that includes almost all nations’ law, not just Swedish). Those who have brought the case can only seek damages and costs, not criminal convictions.

    2) because this is a civil case, not criminal, indictments are civil in nature and have not been proven or investigated by an independent authority. The claims of earning “millions of dollars” have yet to be proven and until they are, they are accusations, not facts.

    Personally, I believe that TPB is very much guilty of providing access to software in breach of a number of parts of copyright law, so should be found guilty here on the remaining charges (half of them were dropped today “to simplify proceedings”), but regardless of how strong your feelings are on the issue, shouting “flog them!” or “jail them for ever!” as some people are, is utterly pointless because that is not the way the law works.

    The debate of whether it should become a criminal offence is very much needed, but right now it isn’t. If you want the law changed, tell the people who write the laws in your country.

  11. Jon,

    I applaude anyone that lack total respect for the international business community which has once again brought the world into a deep recession with their disregard for sustainability, moral, life and society. Millions of people will loose their jobs and the bill will be handed to future generations which will have to pay for the failed world order.

    The indigtment claims that The Pirate Bay has earned 1,2 million SEK from their operation, which equals to around 0,2 million USD. The earnings come from donations and advertising which has been used to fund the infrastructure. Not very profitable to put the entire entertainment industry out of business it seems…

  12. All fine and dandy but you only have to read their site to know what sort of people they are and want to be, we don’t need a lawyer for that.

    They’re criminals in my book, and they’re guilty as hell in my book. When the laws are flawed and justice is failing, should we still fold as stupid sheep (apologies to the sheep) and let criminals take advantage of us, laughing in our faces?

    NOT in my book.

  13. Just for the record, I think the discussion is civil and worthwhile! No offence taken and none intended!

  14. It is soooo easy to point the finger at the “international business community” or anyone else for that.

    The simple black and white of the whole situation is that someone is using someone else’s property (intellectual or real) without that owner-person’s permission.

    That is wrong in everyone’s bible. (lower caps in the sense that even aboriginals have their “creed”). Yes, there are “big fish” who commit crime in the billions. But even the “little crime” of 1200000 SEK (what the hell is small about that?) or the crime of even giving away other people’s IP is still crime.

    A million might not hurt Global Company A, but even a few hundred dollars of lost revenue for FS addon developer B can mean the complete loss of a livelihood. But there is no excuse for a crime at ANY level. Don’t forget, a lot of those global multinationals are driven by shareholders. It isn’t always the company that is at fault, but quite often the shareholder pressure. OK, in the end it is the person who callapses under that pressure who is weak, but “Forcing” someone to commit a crime is almost as bad as the crime itself.

    So… the shareholders also carry some blame in many cases.

    And what of the man in the street? The “Svein-Frodes” or “Chris Brislands” or whoever… we all want cheaper prices for the stuff we buy legitmately. The more we buy the cheaper products, the more the market pressure rises on the makers of quality stuff to cut corners to make prices cheaper. I’d rather have a Breitling than a Timex, but I don’t have the cash and I am not going to steal one.

    Ultimately it is up to each and every individual on this planet to learn respect for every other individual. Oh… preaching again… *lol*… OK… Anyway, what it amounts to is that SW pirates (and all of their pond-life kin) are disrespectful eejits. And so is anyone who thinks hacking, cracking and freely distributing someone else’s property is good.

  15. I respect your view Francois. I can see that you feel threatned and must defend what puts food on your table, I just think you’re barking up the wrong three. Those using your software without giving you the money are the ones who should be held responsible. As Ian says, the people behind TPB might be immoral, but they aren’t proven criminals yet. Justice has failed when people are judged without a fair trial based on democratic laws equal to all.

  16. Justice only fails when decent hard working people are not protected from those that don’t care about the other man’s possessions and rights. I know that the folks downloading the illegal stuff should get slapped too….. but we all know we’ll never get at them. And many are even dumb enough to believe that it is actually allowed or at least ‘no big deal’ when using that software.
    I think some even are too enticed by the availability of it to withstand. And therefor those making it available are the first to weed out. Without them, and without crackers, there IS no software to steal, unless you learn to hack yourself.

    I’ll tell you what. I’ve been ‘Mr. Correct’ for 56 years now and have been stolen from, cheated upon and lied to so often I can’t even number. All the time believing that I will get defended and protected by the people we pay for that.

    I, for one, am fed up with it and to hell with democratic laws that get bent by undemocratic people. Lets go back to the laws of the West. Simple. You catch a guy red handed stealing YOUR stuff, you either hang him or shoot him.
    Since that won’t happen, unfortunately, we’ll do the second best thing.

    Hang them for everybody to see on the Internet !

    Now, there’s a guy in Philadelphia doing the same… hope we get to see him next in a trial. 😉

  17. yes, the philadelphian USAF member (calls himself HC136TH), first class SOB, hurts this hobby even more, as he specializes in FS. that is a true parasite that earns money with FS developers property without any shame and laughs in the face of this community.

    all his members, paying and non paying, that are certainly also part of our readership here, should be ashamed! but that will never happen of course…

  18. The problem with that view, Francois, is that the people who should be in serious trouble end up being protected from you, for committing the accepted-as-far-more-serious offence of physically threatening them.

    Copyright law was written when it was simple and straight forward to enforce, not in the current world of easily reproduced and easily distributed materials. It has to be revisited and it is far from helpful to trivialise the problems with the law by simply trying to bypass it.

    The MPAA/RIAA/whoever have caused the current situation where people think it’s “okay” to illegally distribute material.

    They scream about how the world is going to end, then post record profits every year. They don’t care in the slightest about Bill Bloggs, producing an add-on for FS, or simDownloadShop who distribute it, they solely and entirely selfishly care about their own bottom line and their own position in their own industry, which has no reference in most peoples’ lives at all.

    What needs doing here is an ending of the hyperbole and blatant untruths, then solving the problem, not just complaining about it.

    TPB and their ilk are helped, not hindered, by pointless cases such as this which will do nothing to reduce the amount of illegal downloads available. They are helped massively every time a case falls down, or every time a totally insane judgement is handed down, because people can see that the law is flawed beyond belief and can see that millions of people are still doing the same thing, so the court case achieved nothing – there is no deterrent effect.

    At the moment, press coverage of copyright infringement revolves entirely around “Big Business” crying into their newly-posted record profits, which is not going to change public perceptions. It involves products that sell millions upon millions of copies at what people see as grossly inflated prices (the old “It costs less than a pound to make a CD, so why does it cost me £15?” question). When very rich people start crying about how much money they aren’t bringing in, people couldn’t care less. If they can afford a limousine and live in a tax haven, they aren’t going to miss a few more quid, are they?

    It would be a lot more helpful if these stories showed, clearly, the effect on the low-volume developers and people who really are hurt by what the people downloading these torrents are doing and said coverage ignored the wailing from “Big Business” apart from to show that the effect is felt across the board. Yes, everyone knows it affects the Sonys, EAs and Codemasters of this world too, but the effect of a thousand illegally distributed copies of Bill Bloggs’s add-on is rather more when he has an annual income from software of $10,000 than is the effect of millions of illegally distrubuted copies of a song when the record label’s income can be measured against a benchmark of $1 Billion worldwide.

    This needs to be solved. That solution will not come from lynch mobs, false accusations or utterly ridiculous damages claims. The only way it can be ended is by getting people to not want to download the files. With “society” getting ever more insular and selfish while the effects of their actions are further and further removed from the little bit of world they live in, I have no answer to that. I would certainly take part in serious and sensible discussion of how that education (partially through punishment of those found guilty, partially through stopping people wanting to do it) can be done.

  19. Sorry, the guys at PB aren’t hurting my hobby at all. The idiots that donload cracked software are hurting it. I am using PB nearly every day, and each and every single piece of software running on my computer is legit and paid for when it is payware.

    As I make my living from intellectual property, I strongly oppose software piracy, but it’s not PB to blame that it happens. They offer a legit and useful service. The idiots that create torrents of cracked software and the idiots downloading it are the real culprits.

    Just my 2c.

  20. Bernard, you actually believe that? The pirate bay is not to blame because all they offer is a service that facilitates piracy? Do they enforce copyrights? No. Would you like to see copies of the letters received back from the Pirate bay in response to cease and desist requests from major US corporations?

    Apple computer:


    The Pirate Bay DISPLAYS these letters as “trophies”. The link above is SOURCED by PB. You are living in a dream world my friend.

    As to the ridiculous sum sited in the “indictment”. The PB has 1.5 million users, and that doesn’t include ancillary trackers. The total loss to the industry, and particularly smaller developers like those who make up our hobby is devastating. These people are not hobbyists. They are calculating thieves, and you’re apparently buying it hook line and sinker.

  21. No, sorry Bernhard, but while Jon is still incorrectly trying to define what they do in emotive terms rather than accurately, (IT IS NOT THEFT), TPB exists for one reason only, and that is to allow people to search for cracked or other illegally sourced software.

    I, like many people, use Bit Torrent itself for perfectly legal means. A lot of Linux distributions are provided on it, MMO patches are distributed by it and I used to use it (until the site changed its login procedure, invalidating my account as I used a webmail address to access it) for downloading add-ons to a racing game.

    TPB makes no attempt at all to appear legitimate, they do post letters as shown above to show that they believe they are untouchable. I cannot see how they can possibly defend against the remaining charges, however, that they facilitate breach of copyright.

    Right. Anyway. Jon: For the final time, you need to do some research before making legal accusations. Theft is a very specific offence, requiring the thief to take something tangible, with the intention of permanently depriving the rightful owner of it. The only ways that theft can apply to software are if someone takes a boxed product in this way, or if they take the only copy of the source code. Theft cannot apply to downloaded goods unless the source code is taken, as nothing tangible is taken. This is why breach of copyright is tried in courts as the offence Breach of Copyright and not as Theft. A Theft case would collapse immediately.

    I can and do understand that there are strong feelings surrounding this, but using emotive language, to try and make something into something that it is not, is considerably less than helpful.

  22. I couldn’t disagree more, Ian. You presume that my use of the word “theft” is being used within the confines of a court of law. It is not, nor is any of this discussion. Theft is when something you own, has been taken from you without your permission. Just because the Pirate Bay “only” facilitates that theft, doesn’t mean they’re not stealing from me. They are in no uncertain terms thieves in the sense that they’re taking away my money.

    Please don’t assume or assert that I don’t do my research. I have a vested interest in what happens to the Pirate Bay, and I take no shortcuts, nor do I have any illusions about what these people do, and exactly how they profit from my work.

  23. You may well have a vested interest – many of the people in this hobby and industry do. That does not change the law and, whether you like it or not, the law (local or international) is the only definition of what is and is not illegal and to what degree.

    If, as I suspect, your products and/or work are being distributed by Torrent and TPB is facilitating people finding those Torrents, then they are not, in law, stealing from you. As we are discussing a legal case here, then the legal terminology is the correct reference to use. Legally, they are committing an offence, they are harming you and therefore they should be tried and, if found guilty, punished for that. I would suggest that in this instance, though, that a prison term would not help in the slightest and a financial penalty reflecting the harm they have caused is far more appropriate.

    Copyright law, as I said before, is now totally inappropriate for this kind of case. That is why the law needs revisiting – there is a very strong case for why certain parts of Copyright law should be covered by criminal rather than civil laws – and making more appropriate to the modern world.

    Make no mistake. I want that site shut down. We all know, however, that another will immediately spring up to take its place when that happens, which it will one way or another.

    What you say here has implications for this site. If you make an allegation on this page, we, not you, are responsible for that allegation. We published it. I don’t want to have to edit posts to protect the site’s position legally, so I will ask you again, and this is the final time, to use the correct terms and not to make accusations that will not stand up in a court of law. If you have a case that will stand up, then would it not be more productive to take it to an appropriate forum, get together with the thousands of other developers and publishers who have cases against this site, and actually do something about it?

  24. I fear the wideness of the scope and the vehemence of the vitriol obscures the simple issue that many of the fully-legal sim products we enjoy have been created on pirate software, distributed by developrs and distributors who say one thing, yet practice something else.

    I could name names, and I do have the evidence to prove it, but to reveal it would destroy all remaining vestiges of trust in this hobby and force sites like this who sell stuff to have to practice what they preach, or be the perpetrators of the very act they condemn. I guess you’d have to remove at least 60 percent of your products that are currently on sale, an that’s just based on personal experience. I’m sure the scantest of enquiries would make that closer to 90…

    Would you, for example, remove `Developer X` from your distribution if I were to show you that they knowingly distributed a competitors product to beta testers for comparison purposes?
    That one very vocal developer with a penchant for alleging malfeasance among their own customer base has actually supplied pirated copies of competitors products? I’ve got the files. I’ve got the emails. And that’s before we get to the close scrutiny of the individual machines on which these `honest, innocent victims` create their saleable wares. I wonder how many of their machines would show only honestly-obtained, legitimate software..?

    Be very careful where you swing that axe Francois, you might end up chopping off the wrong head. PB isn’t the problem, despite their demonising which sadly has only the opposite effect to that wished for. The people that use it are. And when `they` are `us`, the problem lies with US, not them…

  25. Simon, same applies to you. Be very careful what you say on this forum – I have no intention of standing up in a courtroom to defend your accusations!

  26. Alright, Ian. I get it. I really do, and I’m going to shut up now. But in the future, if the topic is going to be “Thugs Hurting YOUR Hobby Stand Trial?”, then please don’t try to tell me using the word “thief” in the context of a discussion with that title subjects your site to anything remotely resembling legal responsibility. You have opened the door, and now you’re saying “well, it’s open, but only part way and noting bigger than my own opinion can get through.”

  27. Ian, luckily for you, you don’t have to.
    And I can and will swing axes to my heart’s content. If people like those running the PB can go scotfree for so many years, then I have nothing to worry about. And Simon is the very least of my worries in this world. 😉

    Jon, I meant what I said in the title. These are thieves, that’s MY story and I’ll stick to it, to heck with semantics and political correctness. I’m not a lwayer, just a tax paying citizen saying what’s on his (and many other’s!) mind.

    And now y’all excuse me, I have a vacation waiting for me and I’ll be ‘gone’ for a few weeks.
    Cheers !

  28. My friends, one thing is certain, as long there is Internet, Piracy Will Never End! Don´t waste citizens money in this type of justice. Put killer and Child molestors behind bars. Or simply adjust the prices of a product by country, since in my case Portugal i pay the same for something as a guy in the UK ho as a minimum wage much higher than in Portugal. And please don´t talk about piracy bringing down companies since sony as an example dosen´t sell Recordable Hardware for people that wan´t copies of products that they already have, if you no what i mean. I rest my case your honor! :p

  29. i am closing the comments on this post, enough was said, this is not a law debate site.

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