First, there’s all that trouble on the high seas from and for Somali pirates. (Can’t a rogue swashbuckler just be left alone to ply his trade without all these dogooders rescuing the hostages and killing or capturing the hardworking pirates?)
Now, several of the founders of the bit torrent site The Pirate Bay (which currently shows the headline “Don’t worry – we’re from the internets. It’s going to be alright. :-)”) have been convicted of a number of copyright-infringement-related crimes in a Swedish court of law. (As yet another sign that I should really read the news more, I learned this from Stephen Fry’s tweets.) Some of the news stories:
- LA Times: Swedish court finds Pirate Bay file sharing creators guilty, Hollywood hails ruling
- CNN: Four sentenced to jail in landmark piracy case
- The Register: Pirate Bay guilty verdict: Now what?
You can view The Pirate Bay’s own press conference (and other related videos) at http://thepiratebay.org/special/2009epicwinanyhow.php or http://bambuser.com/channel/Spectrial. They seem to be getting a lot of hits on it so the playback might be a little choppy in parts. It’s quite funny to watch — at one point, Peter Sunde (who is boyishly cute and quite personable, which helps the overall impression that digital piracy is the realm of Robin Hoods, unlike high seas piracy) remarks that even if he had the money to pay the levied fine, he’d rather burn everything he owns than give one penny to pay the fine. Shades of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart: “They will never take away our FREEDOM!” 😉
You can also follow comments related to the trial on Twitter.
(As an aside — I like asides, in case you couldn’t tell; I should probably start writing like Lesley at Um…What?? — why on earth do people persist in writing that the four people were “jailed” or “sent to jail”. “Sent to jail” implies an immediate action — if their butts aren’t physically in a cell at the time you write that, they’d better just be in transit there. And “jailed” is exactly what it says — they’re in jail at this very moment. They haven’t gone to jail yet (in fact, they were going to be partying in Malmö the night of the verdict) and probably won’t any time soon (they have oodles of appeals to go through yet).
Bad word choice makes the baby Jesus cry. You don’t want that.)