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First Swede Convicted For File-Sharing Now Cleared 278

Posted by kdawson
from the search-me dept.
Caine writes, "A 29-year old Swede, who was the first to be convicted under last year's new file-sharing laws, has been cleared on appeal. The court of appeal did not consider the screen dumps provided by the Antipiracy Bureau enough evidence to be able to convict the man. Since the crime does not carry a high enough punishment under Swedish law to allow for a search of the defendant's house, this means it will be virtually impossible to prove file-sharing crimes in the future."
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First Swede Convicted For File-Sharing Now Cleared

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  • Heh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:37AM (#16275901) Homepage
    Technicalities like that always amuse me, especially when they work out in favour of "the little guy". We have a few laws like that here in Canada, and I hope they don't change.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Headcase88 (828620)
      It's nice when a technicality works for the little guy, but a technicality is still a technicality and ideally, none should exist. The law should be fair and make sense. Not that that ever did or ever will happen.
      • Wait... what?

        The law is fair and does make sense. Not all crimes allow for a search of the person/property in question -- speeding, littering, etc. If the article summary is true, then the police broke the law by searching this guy's house. Pointing out your rights were violated is not a technicality.
        • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Caine (784) * on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:43AM (#16276705)
          Ehum, the police never searched his house, and neither the summary or the article itself says that as far as I can see. What it does say is that the police is not allowed to search someone's house for proof of file-sharing crimes, which means, together with the fact that screen dumps and logs are insufficient, that it's very hard to get someone convicted for filesharing.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          The point they're trying to make is this:

          We should not be here cheering because a man wasn't convicted under this law due to lack of evidence.

          The laws should be fair. If someone is breaking the law, we should WANT them to be caught. We should want the truth to be out.

          When the people are cheering because the state can't use the mechanics of society to effectively enforce the law, that means there's something very fundimentally wrong.

          But of course, when you're running a societal operating system that was bu
          • Re:Heh (Score:4, Interesting)

            by PriceIke (751512) on Monday October 02, 2006 @11:32AM (#16277431)

            > When the people are cheering because the state can't use the mechanics of society to
            > effectively enforce the law, that means there's something very fundimentally wrong.

            Unless there's something fundamentally wrong with the law. Then it's a reason to cheer.

          • And logs... I can easily doctor a log with search & replace to show different IPs. If RIAA/MPAA is just digging for out-of-court settlements, who is going to be the one to "validate" the logs/screenshots and testify they saw them in their original form? If we continue to allow corporations to file their own subpoenas without any independent verification, we're all screwed.
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:51AM (#16276063)

      Technicalities like that always amuse me, especially when they work out in favour of "the little guy". We have a few laws like that here in Canada, and I hope they don't change.

      I don't consider this to be a technicality. I consider this to be the law working exactly as designed. Swedes consider privacy important, thus the police violating your privacy (seriously infringing your rights) in an attempt to find evidence of a much less serious matter is pretty idiotic. It would be like the police being allowed to shoot people they see speeding. It makes a lot of sense to me.

      • It's true, but your argument puts it as exactly that - a technicality, where one law is rendered virtually unenforcable by another. In this case, privacy wins, and it would make sense for Sweden to simply remove the law from the books, since it's unenforcable clutter at this point in time.
        • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:23AM (#16276431)

          It's true, but your argument puts it as exactly that - a technicality, where one law is rendered virtually unenforcable by another. In this case, privacy wins, and it would make sense for Sweden to simply remove the law from the books, since it's unenforcable clutter at this point in time.

          I disagree. The law makes copyright infringement illegal, but not a serious crime. People may still be convicted of it, it is just that the evidence needs to come from something other than an invasion of privacy. People can still be convicted of this, just not en masse by some sort of automated system like the music distribution representatives would like. For yet another analogy, it may be illegal to smoke pot, but the cops can't invade your home to check without evidence. This does not mean the law can't be enforced, it just means they have to bust you in public places or when they break in with a different warrant.

    • by suffe (72090)
      What is worth to take not of as well is how the Swedish legal system works. In the first instance there is no judge to quote the law at you and then throw the book on you. Instead it's a group of people (I want to say three, but don't trust that) that usually have some sort of political agenda. You don't need a law degree to judge in the first instant, you need little more then the clothes you wear and some political work. As you move one step up though, things get more organised and proper, which this case
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SQLz (564901)
      I wouldn't call it a technicality. Lets hope that noone ever considers a screen shot actual evidence in a court of law. The lawyers must be Counter-Strike players, "Look your honor, he was teh h4xor!"
  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:44AM (#16275987) Homepage
    I went to Upsalla (sp?) in Sweden on holiday a few years ago. The people were nice, the food was great, everywhere was clean and the women were attractive. Now I can also do all the filesharing I want to? I'm moving.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You might want to check up on the tax rates before moving...
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Hey, that's the trade-off for fundamental socialist services like medical.
    • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:54AM (#16276109)
      Unfortunately, I don't think it's that easy to move to Sweden, especially if you don't speak Swedish. I guess I'll have to pull out all those old Muppet Show tapes and start learning...

      Ungersh veer hurne, a-gede hu genish gadoo. Yay bursht der horne bersh ter mmmm BORK BORK BORK!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MrZilla (682337)
        I don't think not knowing Swedish will be a major problem for anyone wanting to move here. Might be a little inconvenient, but almost the entire population speaks passable English, so as long as you don't mind weird grammar and funny accents, you should be ok.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        As an American living in Sweden I can say... IT IS THAT EASY :). Been here a year and have picked up some Swedelish, but it is hardly required learning.

        Hej Då, Y'all.

        • So, and I'm being absolutely serious here, what would I need to do if I were interested in looking into moving there? Would I need to find gainful employment first? Would I need to contact the state department for a work visa? How long should I expect the process to take?

          I am an educated, highly valuable IT employee (systems engineer) so I don't think it would be incredibly difficult to find someone who wanted my services, but I don't even know where to start. And yes, I am fed up enough with life here i
          • by mikael_j (106439)
            May I suggest Arbetsmarknadsverket [www.ams.se] if you're looking for a job? Or perhaps CSjobb [csjobb.se]?

            /Mikael

            • Interesting... I speak reasonably good German, and I can generally make out the gist of Swedish text. Sweden's a very cool country. My first girlfriend, Anna Bourcell, was Swedish (her family moved to Ireland). Gosh she was beautiful and I miss her.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by TheJollyBob (1008399)
            Why not take a look at www.sweden.se ? Especially at 'About Sweden'->'Fact Sheets'->'Working and Living'. ... and by the way: welcome ... :-)
          • by EvilIdler (21087)
            Lots of IT businesses in Scandinavia have a large number of foreign workers
            that the written and spoken language at work IS English. The neighbouring
            country (Norway), where I'm stuck, is about the same in most things, but reportedly has
            lower taxes. We've got Opera as one example of a realtively big international
            business, and IT workers in general speak English fairly well.

            The tax thing in Sweden isn't too bad once you're on Swedish wages, anyway.
            Food's cheaper over there than here, which is why you see flock
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by sharkey (16670)

        Unfortunately, I don't think it's that easy to move to Sweden, especially if you don't speak Swedish.

        I'd figure the hard part would be convincing your parents to buy a house with a basement in Sweden, but what do I know?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pimpimpim (811140)
      sweden will be for filesharing what holland is for pot.
      • sweden will be for filesharing what holland is for pot.


        So where do you go when you want to smoke some weed and download some MP3's? If the EU is really serious about cooperation between member states, they really need to address this issue before any more progress can be made!

    • "The people were nice, the food was great, everywhere was clean and the women were attractive. Now I can also do all the filesharing I want to? I'm moving."

      Apparently you have never heard of ABBA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABBA [wikipedia.org]
      or Ace of Base http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_of_Base [wikipedia.org]
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:46AM (#16276011) Homepage Journal
    You mean, despite all that time I spent in MS Paint doctoring screenshots of eMule so the title bar reads "Roy's Internets" and changing the files-in-progress to read "Roy's stealing stoled Metallica musics" and "Star Wars that Roy didn't pay moneys for," my work is now pointless? Damn, I'll never get those three minutes back, and will just have to find some other way to get Roy thrown in jail.
    • by grazzy (56382) <grazzy@quake.EEE ... inus threevowels> on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:59AM (#16276155) Homepage Journal
      It would be funny, it's just that the morons at the swedish "anti piracy bureu" tried just this. They even FAXED the screenshosts - because we ALL know that faxed documents are digital and thus exact copies of everything sacred and holy.

      Courts do not have the technical expertise to understand how pathetic and stupid it is to use a screenshot of a common program running as a evidence in a trial that changes the outcome of millions of people. I can accept you get a fine for it, but this was a legal matter which carried a conviction. Not anywhere near where you want evidence like that.

      Best part is, they "trusted" the evidence since it came from such a renomed organization, namely the people paid of by the entertainment industry to throw their own customers in jail. Not exactly a outfit I'd enjoy taking care of my savings..
    • by roystgnr (4015)
      You mean, despite all that time I spent in MS Paint doctoring screenshots of eMule so the title bar reads "Roy's Internets" and changing the files-in-progress to read "Roy's stealing stoled Metallica musics" and "Star Wars that Roy didn't pay moneys for," my work is now pointless? Damn, I'll never get those three minutes back, and will just have to find some other way to get Roy thrown in jail.

      What the hell, man? What did I ever do to you?!?
  • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Monday October 02, 2006 @09:56AM (#16276135)
    You need evidence to convict someone of filesharing? I thought the big companies just pick a name out of the phone book, and then you're guilty even if you are dead, don't own a computer, can't spell "Limewire" and used to live atop Pike's Peak.
  • by ronanbear (924575) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:00AM (#16276169)
    Cheap flights to Sweden

    Learn Swedish for free

    • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:12AM (#16276319) Journal
      Actually, most Swedes speak english as well or better than Americans, or so I have been given to believe. Looking more and more inviting by the second.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by eddy (18759)

        I wouldn't say that. Speaking for myself, my spoken English is absolutely atrocious (never have much of a reason to practice it), but I do believe Scandinavians are good at understanding both written and spoken English, so if you're touristing here making yourself understood isn't much of a problem. There is an age barrier here; some eldery never learned English -- my grandmother for instance hardly knows a word.

        There's always the Mastering Swedish [slayradio.org] if you want to pick some of it up :-)

        Also, some say alc

        • by xtracto (837672)
          Well, your country seems very interesting. I for one will look to take some vacations there. I am from Mexico currently living in the UK. On about 2 years I will be looking for work and I am willing to relocate anywhere, and I have always wanted to visit the nordic countries ( watch the aurora borealis, visit finland, etc). If Sweden is as cool as it seems, who knows, maybe I will find some nice work there.

          Is tehre any game developing company there (dont mind if it is small or medium)?
          • by AGMW (594303)
            Well, your country seems very interesting. I for one will look to take some vacations there.

            I, for one, welcome our new Swedish overlords, but welcome even more our new Swedish overladies!

    • Just out of curiosity...how hard is it to emigrate to Sweden? How do they view Americans there? And what kind of job market awaits those of us who do not speak the language?

  • Jules Tell me about the piracy situation in Stockholm. It's legal there ain't it?
    Vincent: Well it's legal but it ain't 100% legal. But that don't matter because if they log your IP address connected to a tracker it's illegal for them to search your aprtment. In Stockholm that's a right the cops don't have.
    Jules: That's all there is to it. I'm fuckin' goin'.
    Vincent:I know, baby. You'd dig it the most.

    "I thought we had what we needed without conducting a search. It is not permitted to carry out a search for t
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:08AM (#16276273) Homepage
    is still a point of dismay to me. The least those involved could do was not call it sharing. I do not know much about economics, but I do not see how it benifits a society to not freely share and celebrate music and other forms of art.
    • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:13AM (#16276333) Homepage
      "I do not see how it benifits a society to not freely share and celebrate music and other forms of art." I believe that people -- Americans in particular -- get very wigged-out when it is suggested that anything whatsoever might not be private property.
      • by Znork (31774) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:46AM (#16276767)
        "might not be private property."

        Hence the IP lobbyists adoption of the misnomer intellectual 'property' rather than intellectual monopoly, despite the actual nature of the subject.
      • by lbrandy (923907)
        I believe that people -- Americans in particular -- get very wigged-out when it is suggested that anything whatsoever might not be private property.

        Don't forget people -- Europeans in particular -- get very wigged-out when it is suggested that people actually have the right to get paid for the work they do. (And the fact that it is their societly duty to provide art, for free, that everyone can sit around and celebrate).

        Look, you can argue with the merits of the implementation, but pretending you don't
    • by jb.hl.com (782137)
      There's nothing wrong with sharing and celebrating music. There's a lot wrong with doing it against the author/artist's wishes.
    • I do not know much about economics, but I do not see how it benifits a society to not freely share and celebrate music and other forms of art.

      Then I respectfully suggest that you study some introductory economics for a while. The point of copyright and related laws is to offer something to those who create useful works of art as an incentive to share them. Of course there's no benefit to society to give up the right to share the art that's already available, but how many of those works would have been r

      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        But there's also a strong case that it wouldn't be anything like as many as we have now: the vast, vast majority of useful software that gets written was not written purely because someone was kind enough to spend many hours producing a useful or enjoyable work for the benefit of society, and the same goes for books, movies, and so on.

        That is what makes the incentive reasonable: you can't share and celebrate art that no-one has.

        Of course, you must also realize that copyright isn't the only possible incentiv

      • Your sig seems a tad ironic, considering the tone of your post.

  • but it is nice to see the playground bully get a black eye, whether he deserved it or not.

  • Way to get good evidence; a screenshot. May I suggest that instead of screenshots and other flimsy evidence, the RIAA concentrate on, say, people on forums etc who brag about downloading shitloads of albums off BitTorrent? Written evidence, usually (knowing the "I downloaded 23890248230 albums, aren't I so fucking l33t" crowd) accompanied by screenshots of their music folders. Evidence, see?
  • As a Swede myself, there was a minor disturbance in the force here, but I'm happy to hear things are now back to normal again. :-p

    Seriously, I'm happy to see a screenshot of a DirectConnect client not being good enough evidence for a court. To a good Photoshopper, you could just as well give the court a scribbled down note listing an IP address and tell them it's proof. These things are so easy to tamper with, so one should be able to assume these get thrown out of court. However, with how things are going

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