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The Pirate Bay’s “Spectrial” Begins in Stockholm…

           

In the continuing saga arising from the collision of Internet music and film distribution and copyright holders, another trial started today in Sweden. The complainants in this case are major record labels and movie studios, and the defendants are the people behind (and presumed to be behind) the torrent tracking website The Pirate Bay.

What makes this case different from the many others that have preceded it—most famously the one against Napster—is the theatricality the defendants and their supporters have brought to the proceedings. Apparently, the PB team and their attorney appeared in a court filled with supporters dressed as pirates. Yes, pirates. In part, the defendants are, as one report puts it, “intent on seeing the trial as mere spectacle and sideshow.” To that end, they referred to the proceedings as a “spectrial” in a press release yesterday. In addition, they traveled to the courthouse in Stockholm aboard a restored bus, dubbed the S23K and decorated with pirate symbols, that will function as a press center throughout the trial.

The Pirate Bay founders/operators have a reputation for irreverence, often responding to legal complaints with insult-laden missives. A reply to attorneys for DreamWorks, for example, included these words: “It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are ……. morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.” Even more choice language appears near the message’s close (another page contains links to all of the complaints they have received as well as their replies). Still, it remains to be seen whether they will be as successful in court as they have been in garnering public support…

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