I admit to being really torn on this issue. I despise theft and copyright infringement but I also hate big brother, strong arm tactics that restrict me from doing stuff that is useful and legal. I use VMWare on my Mac to run other operating systems apart from the native OS X. I run a licensed copy of Windows, I run freeware Ubuntu Linux and occasionally some other stuff like Solaris. I use Azurius as a client and I have used The Pirate Bay to get binary VMWare compatible Ubuntu images from the nice folks who build these things and share them. All completely legal, honest, decent and truthful and just as useful for me and the many others that work in the IT space.
Sometimes I do much the same thing with a DVD burner or one of my USB memory sticks, again completely innocuous and perfectly legal. The difference is that the folks who provide one transfer medium – the index for my Bit Torrent client and the folks who make my DVD blanks and USB sticks get treated differently. So when I read on the BBC Website that the case against the Scandinavian Pirates was being challenged I smiled:
Lawyers for four men jailed for running The Pirate Bay file-sharing website are calling for a retrial, saying the judge could have had a conflict of interest.
Judge Tomas Norstrom is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association and sits on the board of Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property.
But the judge has told Swedish Radio: “These activities do not constitute a conflict of interest.”
Sweden’s Court of Appeal would rule on a possible retrial, the lawyers said.
Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde were found guilty of breaking copyright law on 17 April 2009 and sentenced to a year in jail.
The four were also ordered to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages to a number of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment.