Today at The Pirate Bay trial, there were two expert witnesses, both of whom were sympathetic to the TPB cause. So of course, the IFPI tried to discredit their credentials rather than their ideas.
The first person up was Kristoffer Schollin, via telephone, who’s a lecturer in IT law with a focus on file sharing. He’s also written a paper on DRM. Here’s what he had to say:
• Essentially, TPB is an “open database” of .torrent files, like a BBS, making it harmless. After all, you can find more .torrent files with a Google search than with a Pirate Bay search. And hey, lots of legit companies use BT for perfectly legal uses!
• He also noted the difference between a site, like The Pirate Bay, and a tracker. He said that people know about sites, but trackers operate behind the scenes and regular people don’t know about them.
• Explaining how torrents are created, he described how most of the process takes place offline with nothing to do with TPB. Only after it’s been uploaded to the internet does TPB come into play, and Google can index it at that point.
• When the prosecutor asked him questions, he challenged many of their figures, like that TPB is responsible for 40% of internet traffic and that 50% of all torrents are hosted there.
The next witness was Roger Wallis, a media professor, composer and Chairman of the Swedish Composers of Popular Music and is involved in other outfits dedicated to the rights of musicians.
• He, again, said he didn’t see the difference between The Pirate Bay and search engines such as Google and criticised the industry for being so slow to adapt to new technology, bringing up the backlash against cassettes in the 70s.
• When asked if piracy damages sales in the music industry, he said that downloading increased the sales of concert tickets and that, while CD sales have dropped, they’ll go back up soon because people who download tend to buy more CDs.
• When the prosecution started questioning him, they immediately went after his credentials, asking if he was a proper professor. “Have you no better questions to ask?” asked Wallis. Later, he asked “Can you use Google? Then you could easily find my CV.” Oh, snap!
After Wallis left the stand, Peter Sunde of TPB showed an 8 minute video explaining how BitTorrent works, since the prosecution still doesn’t seem like it understands.
And that was a wrap. Fun times! [TorrentFreak]