The founder and former leader of the Swedish Pirate Party has penned a damning article against Chris Hensen, the Netherlands judge who not only ordered the Dutch Pirate Party to remove links to torrent site The Pirate Bay, but forced last year’s shut down of FTD, the Netherlands’ largest Usenet community.
In a blog post on his website, Swedish Pirate Party Rick Falkvinge revealed that Hensen and the plaintiff’s representative for the FTD case run a business together. And not just any business, but one that teaches people about the evils of piracy. As Falkvinge points out, it “makes the judge not only corrupt, but textbook corrupt”.
Let me take that once more, for this is truly mind-boggling: not only was the plaintiff and judge personally and closely acquainted, the plaintiff in a controversial copyright monopoly case was running a commercial anti-piracy outfit together with the judge in the case.
Money was involved. Commercial interest was involved. The judge was, as it appears from this brochure for the quite expensive course, getting money. Shortly after the case. In a directly related matter together with the plaintiff.
I think it’s good to have a judge who has some knowledge of the topic they’re presiding over, but this information doesn’t cast a very objective light over Hensen. Falkvinge posted about the FTD case back in 2010, so it’s not like there hasn’t been time for officials to take a closer look at the judge’s personal and commercial interests.
Image: David Mertl / Flickr