Swedish copyright lobby avoids precedent by paying file sharer’s fines and court costs

The Pirate Bay blog has a recent post where the author claims to have received insider knowledge on why a recent verdict from a Swedish district court (tingsrätt) wasn’t appealed against by the defendant, a file sharer.

I quote a part of a translation of the text made by the third commenter on the original post’s page:

“When you’re running a site like TPB you often get tips from different people about what’s happening in those questions of interest to you. Yesterday we got two independent tips from very reliable sources (insiders, as it is called) that the 31 year old man who was convicted to inconditional sentence have got his fines and court costs paid by the copyright lobby – this to get a precedent. In other words, the copyright lobby have more or less bought it.”

The eleventh commenter provides what seems like a reasonable explanation:

“Actually, in Sweden, the verdict of the lower courts (Tingsrätten) is not considered a precedent. Only a few cases from the Supreme Courts (Högsta Domstolen and Regeringsrätten), the Court of Appeal (Hovrätten) and some special purpose courts ( Migrationsöverdomstolen, Miljööverdomstolen, Marknadsdomstolen and Arbetsdomstolen) is considered precedents. This is one of the differences between a Civil Law system (ie. Sweden) and a Common Law system (ie. England and USA).

So, if these accusations are true, then the copyright lobby has rather ensured that this case does NOT become a precedent (which could turn out catastrophically for them, if the appeal had gone against them). However, what they have succeeded in doing is proving that (suspended) prison time is a possible sentencing for file sharing, which is what they need to get search warrants, even though they can’t point to this case in future court cases..”

If this is true, the copyright Mafia hasn’t exactly made a very surprising choice of tactics.

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