Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Piracy It's funny.  Laugh. The Courts Your Rights Online

US Lawyers Target Swedish Pirate, and His Unicorn 181

Posted by timothy
from the please-make-this-into-a-movie dept.
Chaonici writes "When a Swedish citizen identified as Ryan heard about US movie studio Liberty Media's plan to get copyright infringers to confess and voluntarily pay up, he couldn't stop himself from sending them a satirical email promising that he will pay 'from the pot of gold I got at the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow', regardless of scathing criticism of the studio from his unicorn. However, despite his location, the jesting nature of the email, and his insistence that he has never downloaded anything for which the studio is suing, Liberty Media's lawyers have taken the 'confession' seriously, and have issued a subpoena to Google for personal information related to Ryan's Gmail account. In a phone call, the legal team affirmed their determination to 'hunt him down, all the way to Sweden if need be.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Lawyers Target Swedish Pirate, and His Unicorn

Comments Filter:
  • Well, that'll teach him to be a wise-ass. Seriously, it's probably the most stupid way to personally handle legal things, even if the almighty The Pirate Bay is doing it...
    • They have/had a lawyer as "part of the team".
      • Yeah, the guy who wrote these answers [thepiratebay.org]. Definitely the right person to take lessons from on how not to be a wise ass.
        • The way to torment those guys is to make and use the email account from a couple of public hotspots such as a free hotel lobby, public library, or other dead end location. Then NEVER log into the account again from anywhere. Let them dig, trace, stake out, monitor, and spend their resources. What they spend tilting at windmills is up to them.

          Even better is to get one of the scammers to relay it for you as part of scambaiting. Maybe the studios can get some of the Internet cafe's shut down in Lagos.

      • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Per Wigren (5315) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:44AM (#35450590) Homepage
        Yes, but the lawyer naively thought that the law was going to be interpreted by the letter, the way it had always (officially) been done in modern day Sweden. They just underestimated the power of angry multinational mega-corporations and their lobbying/bribing/truth-twisting skills. The trial was very un-Swedish in many ways. TECHNICALLY they didn't break any Swedish laws and the lawyers approached it in a purely technocratical way. Usually that would had worked. Unfortunately, everything turned into messy discussions of intents, unproven figures of lost sales, attitudes and the like. This while there was MASSIVE pressure from very very strong international interests.
        • On the other hand, you could argue that thepiratebay itself and their way of running it is very un-Swedish.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            I'm a Swede, but I think it's as much un-Swedish as it is un-. Thepirateby enables people to "steal", as much as the most well known forums for stolen things creates an underground market.

            • Maybe. But I'm talking more about the not-giving-a-shit attitude of lawlessness. The crude blue-eyed naivety, though, that's very Swedish.
            • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Insightful)

              by lordholm (649770) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:28AM (#35450736) Homepage

              No one stole anything through pirate bay, they may have committed copyright infringement, but that is an entirely different thing.

              As a side note, the postal office enables people to send drugs and bombs to each other, they are still not held accountable, despite they knowingly do this. The "enabling" part is a faulty argument. However, they did definitely knowingly host links to the files, and did not act when made aware of such files; that is a proper argument that you can build on and probably argue in a court.

              • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Per Wigren (5315) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:54AM (#35450846) Homepage

                No one stole anything through pirate bay, they may have committed copyright infringement, but that is an entirely different thing.

                Not even that. The Pirate Bay is charged with "assisting copyright infringement of 24 albums, 9 movies and 4 games", nothing more, nothing less. According to the Swedish constitution that's the only thing that should be taken in consideration by the court. Anything else they may have done except assisting copyright infringement of those specified 24 albums, 9 movies and 4 games is completely off-topic in the trial. Also, all fines and damages compensation are required to be in line with proven losses and it's against the constitution to use general deterrence, to make examples of specific deviants.

                One thing we learned during the TPB trial and the debates of the new surveillance laws (FRA, IPRED, datalagringsdirektivet) is that the Swedish constitution isn't enforced at all. We have a "constitution deputation" but what they say are only to be regarded as "recommendations" and weighted with the opinions of other deputations. Previously this wasn't a problem because courts and law makers have pretty much followed the constitution anyway but the last few years it has become clear that we desperately need a constitutional court with full veto.

              • by scubamage (727538)
                I have to disagree. I recently performed an experiement on TPB wherein I uploaded a zero'd out file, titled the same as a main stream movie. I also uploaded a similar file in a passworded zip file. While seeding, almost immediately after getting to 1 full download I suddenly found the torrent removed from TPB, and my account banned. I repeated this 3 times (at which i ran out of IP's to use). To this day i cannot create an account using my home IP because its static. If they're somehow checking the material
        • swedish justice, has failed.
    • by mirix (1649853)

      Yeah. The email is pretty retarded and childish.

      But, being in Sweden I can't see the company being able to do SFA to the kid.

    • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lordholm (649770) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:43AM (#35450798) Homepage

      Confessions without proof are not valid in Sweden (you cannot for example do plea-bargains in the Swedish court system). It is well known that people make up confessions; for example the Swedish police has received the confessions of over a 100 people, who all confessed murdering the former prime minister Olof Palme. Confessions are only counted (but only marginally so) if there is also technical evidence and / or witnesses.

      The point is, if they trace the guys IP, it is doubtful that the Swedish court would grant a request to reveal the identity behind the IP address, you need to have at-least some bit of concrete technical evidence (e.g. logs identifying him in a bit-torrent swarm) to do that.

    • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:28AM (#35451254) Homepage

      Well, that'll teach him...

      Not really... it's unlikely that they can prove anything with his gmail account...
      And the case will never hold in Sweden...

      The news here is that some US judge signed a subpoena based on that email... Some might argue that such as judge is somewhat stupid... To put it mildly... :)

      • Re:Wise-ass (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jimicus (737525) on Friday March 11, 2011 @08:20AM (#35451928)

        The news here is that some US judge signed a subpoena based on that email... Some might argue that such as judge is somewhat stupid... To put it mildly... :)

        Look at it this way:

        • The email confesses to sharing files. It also goes on to talk about leprechauns and unicorns, but that's not relevant to the core of the issue here, which is "did this person share files or didn't they? Well, they say they did".
        • The sender claims to be in Sweden. Well, good for them. But there's no evidence either way, and wouldn't it be interesting if it later transpired they were lying? Particularly as you could then say to the court - assuming it ever gets that far - "Mr. Defendant, you claimed to be in Sweden and beyond US justice. Yet here you are standing in a US courtroom, and the IP address you were using is based in the US. Can you explain that for us, please?"
        • The news here is that some US judge signed a subpoena based on that email... Some might argue that such as judge is somewhat stupid... To put it mildly... :)

          Look at it this way:

          • The email confesses to sharing files. It also goes on to talk about leprechauns and unicorns, but that's not relevant to the core of the issue here, which is "did this person share files or didn't they? Well, they say they did".
          • The sender claims to be in Sweden. Well, good for them. But there's no evidence either way, and wouldn't it be interesting if it later transpired they were lying? Particularly as you could then say to the court - assuming it ever gets that far - "Mr. Defendant, you claimed to be in Sweden and beyond US justice. Yet here you are standing in a US courtroom, and the IP address you were using is based in the US. Can you explain that for us, please?"

          Such a judge must also be frequently checking to make sure his refrigerator is running.

          • by The Moof (859402)
            You should read the e-mail [torrentfreak.com] before claiming it's obviously satire and the judge is clueless. The parts about the leprechaun and unicorn aren't so much the satire that the summary claims, but more flaming in a (and this is a direct quote) "go fuck yourself" sort of way.
        • Re:Wise-ass (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday March 11, 2011 @10:50AM (#35453200) Journal

          My first question, if I were this guy's lawyer, would be, "Do you believe this man shared files based solely upon his email?"

          If the answer is "Yes", then I would say, "That would indicate that you also believe he owns unicorns, talks to leprechauns with pots of gold at the end of rainbows based upon your same assumptions."

          If the answer was "No", then I would ask, "Then what are we doing here?"

          Make them look as stupid as possible.

          • by houghi (78078)

            The defense will put so much lawyer power into action that they could make the judge neglect the word not in "I did not download copyrighted material."

        • by Machtyn (759119)

          Can you explain that for us, please?

          Certainly, easily done. I claimed that I was in Sweden, yet here I am. The letter's statement is a lie. It also stated I would pay with the pot of gold I procurred from my leprechaun. The letter's statement is a lie. It also stated that my unicorn gave the company scathing criticisms. The letter's statement is a lie. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume the entire letter was a lie, including the bit where it stated that I confessed to sharing files.

    • It's funny because John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are pretty much nothing but professional wise-asses, and yet they seem to be celebrated for such actions. Quite frankly, I consider wise-asses to be some of the foremost defenders of civil liberties. Satire is their sword. Humor is their bow. The First Amendment (or equivalent in whatever country they exist in) is supposed to be their armor.
    • by plopez (54068)

      True.I was on a jury once and a guy got pulled over for having a few beers in him. His BAC wasn't high enough to warrant immediate guilt so it went to us, the jury. His friend came in from out of state to help him move and they had had a few beers at the bar. The friend went to the witness stand as a defense witness to give testimony. The exchange between the attorney, witness, and judge went sort of like this:

      Attorney: And why did you travel all this way to see Mr. Smith.

      Witness: He had just graduated and

  • The lawyers forget that Sweden is not a state of USA. The kid is safe while the lawyers make an ass of them selves. Sweden has its own laws :) They might aswell try to sue /dev/null
    • They might have ulterior motives for making this sort of statement, even if they know it's futile. Leading the client on for more pay, temporary publicity for their company, etc.
      • by ArhcAngel (247594)

        Aaron Barr had an ulterior motive for confronting Anonymous and we all know how that turned out.

    • Do lawyers come up with with the stupidest things and portray themselves as educated idiots because of the lack of oxygen caused by too-tight neckties, or is it some other reason?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Here's their train of thoughts:
        How dare some insignificant worm mock us fancy, bigshot corporate lawyers? That peasant should know his place! Something has to be done to show the cattle who's boss!

        • by SudoGhost (1779150) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:02AM (#35450660)
          Actually this is their train of thought: If someone messes with us or tries to interfere with us, then let's make it as expensive, time consuming, and difficult for them as possible, and make knowledge of our actions public as possible, to set an example.
          • by evanism (600676)
            You just outlined the generic American company line of thought.
        • by DrXym (126579)

          Here's their train of thoughts: How dare some insignificant worm mock us fancy, bigshot corporate lawyers? That peasant should know his place! Something has to be done to show the cattle who's boss!

          Of maybe bigshot lawyers are thinking, "yippee, here's a way to generate 10 billable hours!". The letter is quite obviously satirical. Even if the person were in the jurisdiction required, his "confession" would be laughed out of court.

    • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:16AM (#35450704) Homepage Journal

      Note to self: when pulling a similar stunt, claim to be from a fake country, like Lavatruria, Pays-Bonguebongue, or Belgium [zapatopi.net].

      • by houghi (78078)

        Belgium? You will be the wrath of our government. Oh wait. Never mind. (Well, and what is one less? We have plenty of them to go around.)

    • by rvw (755107) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:19AM (#35450710)

      The lawyers forget that Sweden is not a state of USA./quote>

      Here in Europe we are not sure about that anymore.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      The lawyers forget that Sweden is not a state of USA. The kid is safe while the lawyers make an ass of them selves. Sweden has its own laws :) They might aswell try to sue /dev/null

      It isn't. Which means he almost certainly won't defend himself, and will be ordered to pay up.

      I can't see him paying up, and for one person and $1000 it's hardly worth going to the trouble they did with the Pirate Bay people. But - and IANAL - I wonder if this would pose a problem at immigration if he ever chooses to visit the US? Of course, he may take the view "why on Earth would I ever want to visit the US?" but the US lawyers don't know that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah just asked the guys at piratebay or julian assange, Sweden is completely not a state of the USA. OF course not. Sweden would never roll on to its back and wag its tail like the little bitch she is... :P

      yeah im norwegian :D

    • by TheLink (130905)

      The lawyers forget that Sweden is not a state of USA

      Is that even relevant to them?

      1) They still get paid right?
      2) The US laws apply if the silly swedish guy (and his unicorn) ever ends up in the US territory[1]. So there is still an effect. Go ask Dmitry Sklyarov.

      [1] You don't even have to be "rendered". You could be flying to/from Canada and stuff happens and your plane has to land in USA (this has happened to someone I know - the US immigration bunch even asked him stupid questions like why he didn't have a valid US visa - he wasn't intending to go to the

  • in sweden [youtube.com]
    the US lawyer problem can only be solved with shotguns. making lawsuits and money out nothing ...
  • First, I would like to say that this is a clear case of the cloud being the wrong place to store your data. Especially if the cloud-based service is located in the USA. From the (2nd) article:

    “Discovery (evidence gathering) allows for the acquisition of literally anything relevant to the suit as long as it is not protected by some kind of privilege,” we were told. “It is often a wake-up call to people when they learn that they likely do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in e-mai

    • by jimicus (737525)

      and you don't expect the lawyers to start asking for personal data because of trolling. (I'm going to shoot that president, and the vice-president of the United States with my ak47.)

      The idea that a single off-the-cuff comment is hardly going to lead to all sorts of trouble coming down on you is an interesting view to take, however ITYF it's not shared [dailymail.co.uk] by the majority [chicagobreakingnews.com] of those [wired.com] in positions of authority [reuters.com].

    • by jittles (1613415)
      Saying that you are going to cause physical harm to the POTUS is actually a crime here, whether you intend to do so or not. I don't know whether you are from the US, but that kind of stuff does get investigated on a regular basis.
  • haaa ha ha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474)

    PWNED. OK, this is so funny :)

    No, really, I can't stop LOLing, it's insane.

    What??? You have never seen a fool teasing a dog or something else he shouldn't have and then being bitten by it?

    Come oooooon, this is exactly like that.

  • by Grapplebeam (1892878) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:48AM (#35450600)
    They have UNICORNS in Sweden?!
  • increase their billable hours.
  • Crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:51AM (#35450616)

    So, BitTorrent users, have you downloaded any Liberty Media movies? If so the company says it is time to hand yourselves in. From 8th February for 14 days, the kind folk at Liberty are offering an amnesty.

    I have downloaded a lot of porn. A lot. I'm fairly certain that I may have represented a few percentage points of the entire bandwidth used by porn in a single day.

    That being said, I have no idea if I downloaded anything from Liberty Media. In the interests of providing amnesty I think it would behoove them to put up a public website with examples of their copyrighted works. Not the whole things of course, but just small groups of shots. Perhaps the ones that made the most money for them, those being the ones most likely to be pirated.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I have downloaded a lot of porn. A lot. I'm fairly certain that I may have represented a few percentage points of the entire bandwidth used by porn in a single day.

      Ha, that's nothing. I once downloaded all the porn on the internet in one day. Mind you, this was back in 1970 and it fit on a floppy disc.

  • these law guys certainly could use some real gigs. that's one problem, law firms being so bad that they get dependant on one trolling client with POTENTIAL income flow some time later. it worked so well for the other law firms..

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      and it seems to me that liberty media focuses more on relicensing media instead of creating it? so if I rent a movie from somewhere can I start sending subpoenas to people who downloaded that movie?

  • Lawyers might just think the kid is from Sweden, hoping he's an American lying about his physical whereabouts to prevent them from even asking questions.

    In any event, if they just throw the first sentence of that confession in front of a judge:

    "I have been sharing a whole load of your files... on every torrent site like Purena, Empornium, Kickasstorrents etc"

    And it'd be at the very least enough to cause an American major headaches.

    Assuming the kid really does live in Sweden though, American courts don't hav

    • Assuming the kid really does live in Sweden though, American courts don't have jurisdiction.

      Not necessarily. A court may be able to exercise long-arm jurisdiction under the "minimum contacts [wikipedia.org]" rule--when Ryan went out of his way to make contact with Liberty Media, his actions were clearly directed to the forum state (wherever Liberty Media is based). As such, he may have subjected himself to that state's jurisdiction, at least with regard to this matter (this definitely wouldn't be enough to subject him to general jurisdiction, that is, he couldn't be sued for just anything in that state).'

      Jurisd

      • He may well be sued in a US court, and they may even win; but what does it matter, so long as he's in Sweden? Any verdict would be unenforceable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't be stupid folks. If you're gonna do stuff like this,
    a) have a common version of a Linux Live-CD running
    b) use Tor for all access.
    c) setup a new gmail account.
    d) Let the unicorn speak to anyone you like using that gmail account over Tor **always**

    If you slip even once and forget Tor or use your normal OS - even under Tor - you may be discovered.

    • by Securityemo (1407943) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:36AM (#35450770) Journal
      Also, tor transparent proxy support FTW. Add:

      AutomapHostsOnResolve 1
      TransPort 9040
      DNSPort 5300

      to torrc, and then:

      sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -t nat -p tcp ! -d 127.0.0.1 -m owner ! --uid-owner tor -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040
      sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -t nat -p udp -m udp --dport 53 -m owner ! --uid-owner tor -j REDIRECT --to-ports 5300
      sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -t filter ! -d 127.0.0.1 -m owner ! --uid-owner tor -j DROP

      and then just add 127.0.0.1 as nameserver in /etc/resolv.conf. There where instructions for this on the tor wiki, but it didn't work right. Doing it this way also filters all traffic for all users except tor, and allows you to use tor without sudo. These rules also assume that you don't have a lan, otherwise just add exceptions for 192.168.0.0/32, etc.
    • by jimicus (737525)

      Don't be stupid folks. If you're gonna do stuff like this,
      a) have a common version of a Linux Live-CD running
      b) use Tor for all access.
      c) setup a new gmail account.
      d) Let the unicorn speak to anyone you like using that gmail account over Tor **always**

      If you slip even once and forget Tor or use your normal OS - even under Tor - you may be discovered.

      Actually, when you put it like that I'm surprised nobody's developed a version of Bittorrent with Tor-like functionality already built in.

  • The bar association in this lawyer's area might be interested to hear a complain about this clear abuse of the legal system. No one could take this as a confession, not even a bad lawyer. It is beyond reasonable and should be punished. I know lawyers rarely punish their own, but perhaps if enough complaints come in?

    • Terrorists can't take a joke; hired gunman either. Just because their weapon isn't a gun does not mean they are not "hired guns" and just because they don't blow themselves up for a religion doesn't mean they are not terrorists.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Still, these "terrorists" and "hired guns" are operating "for profit" and are, at the same time "officers of the court" which means they are bound to certain duties and within certain restrictions on behavior. It appears to me that they are exceeding those limits and abusing their role and position for personal gain. It's time to demote them from being officers of the court.

  • got enlarged to include 'money whore' ?
  • by vegiVamp (518171) on Friday March 11, 2011 @07:15AM (#35451662) Homepage

    The same Corbin Fisher as this Corbin Fisher [wikipedia.org]? Really?

    This should prove to be amusing, at the very least. Yes mister judge sir, this here man has illegally copied and jerked off to thousands of dollars' worth of gay porn that we filmed using straight actors.

    Actually, mister judge, sir, you're looking pretty good, yourself. Can I interest you in a financial opportunity ?

  • They always do. They are now charging Liberty Media $200/hour while chasing a fantasy. They don't care what they do as long as they earn some money -- parasites!
  • Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.
  • Not that it is a big surprise coming from a media company.

  • Is going to be creating some gmail accounts via TOR and sending them some "confessions" this weekend?

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

Working...