Transcript: S01E14, Kickass Down – with Peter Sunde, Gary Fung and Andrew Norton

December 9, 2016

These subtitles are for S01E15 of STEAL THIS SHOW. Many thanks to JP for producing these! 


Jamie King:      So we invited three people to help us elucidate the KickAss Torrents takedown, what it means for the torrent world and peer-to-peer more generally.

The first is Gary Fung; you’re a founder of one of the biggest torrent sites, isoHunt.com.

Gary Fung:      Yes I am. It was a long time ago in 2003, while I was still in university.

Back then, there was this huge site called SuprNova. It was a huge, huge site before The Pirate Bay had come along. Obviously, The Pirate Bay came on the scene, and then that became really big.

Throughout this time, isoHunt always served as a search engine.

So in a way, I don’t think of isoHunt as whether it was a big torrent site or not.

Yes it was big, but it served as a search engine for any of these websites.

Jamie King:     Our second guest is Andrew Norton, who has been involved with the Pirate Party at a variety of leadership levels.

Give us a very quick rundown of your various Pirate Party affiliations Andy.

Norton: I’m the former chairman of the US Pirate Party, the founder of Pirate Parties International, former governor of the UK Pirate Party, and also currently the community manager and research at TorrentFreak.com

Jamie King:     And last, but certainly not least, Peter Sunde; one of founders The Pirate Bay.

Pet. Sunde:     Yup!

Jamie King:     How do you currently define what you are up to?

Pet. Sunde:     Oh I mostly consider myself as an artist.

Jamie King:     What is your favorite current artwork you’re working on?

Pet. Sunde:     I can’t really talk about it, because if it gets public, it kind of destroys the artwork.

Jamie King:     A super-secret Peter Sunde artwork?

Pet. Sunde:     Always! I like having secrets.

Jamie King:     Andy, could you fill us in? What’s happened, what’s the story around the KickAss Torrents case?

Norton: On June 27th, the Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division) sent down an indictment of a gentleman by the name of Artem Vaulin, who is a Ukrainian national who is located in Poland.

 It is an indictment and criminal complaint for four separate counts of: Conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, money laundering, and other similar things including direct copyright infringement of more than $25,000 within a 180-day period.

He has been indicted on those, and he was arrested in Poland, and is due to be extradited to the Northern District of Illinois, which is Chicago, to be-

Jamie King:      That’s the jurisdiction of  Alicia Florrick… The Good Wife…. that’s set in Chicago, isn’t it?

Pet. Sunde:     And then Peter Florrick is going to be the DA?

Jamie King:     Yeah.

Pet. Sunde:     Then they could know what’s in store for them, that’s fine,

Jamie King:     It’s like a kind of first; they tried to do this with Kim Dotcom. They tried to extradite him to the United States to face crimes against copyright.

Pet. Sunde:     They’re still trying to though, that’s the thing. They’re still trying to.

 I don’t think that it will be the same with the KickAss Torrents guy because he does not want to be in the public media, he is not interested in that.

Otherwise, he would’ve done that ages ago when people were asking.

Jamie King:     What I’m curious about is any similarities you see between what’s happened with KickAss Torrents, you, with The Pirate Bay.

I mean from your experience, are there any things that seem similar about the approach that’s being used with the actions against KickAss Torrents and the approach that was used against isoHunt?

Gary Fung:      I definitely see similarity between The Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrents, less similarity with isoHunt.

I was fortunate in a sense that the case brought against me was civil and not criminal in nature; whereas the ones that were fought against of The Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrents, those were criminal.

Jamie King:     And why do you think they’ve both received criminal cases and you got a civil? Yours was restricted to a civil suit?

Gary Fung:      Honestly, I think (I’m not a lawyer) it kind of beats me in terms of what happened there. But I think for one, it was a difference in jurisdiction that The Pirate Bay was sued in Sweden, while KickAss Torrents- the person running the site was arrested in Poland. So I’m not sure whether they’re suing him under Polish law or Ukrainian law, whatever it is; but it is definitely not under US law.

 We have a somewhat ironic situation where Hollywood is suing someone in a foreign country, and somehow that entitles them to a criminal case. While suing in the United States, locally to them, actually turns out to be a civil case.

Jamie King:     And Peter, what’s your take on this? Because I mean you were subject to a criminal case of The Pirate Bay right?

Pet. Sunde:     Yeah.

Jamie King:     And you served time, all of you served prison time.

Pet. Sunde:     Yeah.

Jamie King:     And why do you think, while you had a criminal case, and you were charged and served time in Sweden, this guy is being extradited to the States?

Pet. Sunde:     First of all, I think that we were much more public, so it would be much harder for that to happen because we were protected by the publicity around the case. In the KickAss Torrents case, he is much more anonymous, and not a public person.

So it is like one of these guys from Megaupload also went from the Netherlands to the United States, and served time, and then got kicked out.

So maybe that’s because we had our faces out there, we were public, and it was very political like we were in that for or I was in that for politics, for ideology.

I think it’s a very different type of case for that reason.

Jamie King:     Because in 2006, when you had that first raid against The Pirate Bay, one of the big pieces of news that came out around that, was that the raid was in least in part the consequence of threats from the US Trade Department against the Swedish government saying, you’ll be put on this watch list –this trade sanctions watch list– if you don’t do something about The Pirate Bay.

The case was seen in this trans-national way, but I guess that they decided Sweden was a competent jurisdiction to carry that out; whereas maybe Poland or Ukraine, not so much.

Pet. Sunde:     Well it was definitely the United States behind the raid; we know that the Swedish prosecutor actually said that The Pirate Bay was legal in Sweden. So he didn’t want to prosecute: he had to because of the pressure from the United States, so it is very different.

But I also think that they had a different outcome in mind, and that when there was a raid against The Pirate Bay, it would shut down and everything would be fine, and the opposite happened.

It became much more popular after that, and I think that is the worry they have that if they do the same thing now, that they don’t take away everything and just threaten people and make people really scared of doing things like this, they are going to have more cases like this on their hands.

So I think that’s the reason why they really want him to be extradited to the United States, for the same reason as for the casinos and so on, because they want to scare people like the long arm of the United States law can reach anyone, anywhere; kind of the motto they want to get across.

Jamie King:     It seems very unlikely that the United States would attempt to extradite a citizen from Canada to the United States to face trial for running a torrent site. It seems equally unlikely to me, although maybe not impossible given what’s been going on with Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks situation in Sweden, that a citizen could be extradited from Sweden to face trial in the United States.

I think I remember that there was a case in the UK of a guy who had a file-host linking site that they try to extradite him, Richard O’Dwyer?

Norton: He eventually didn’t get extradited, I think that the current Prime Minister Theresa May intervened and decided not to push forward with that. That’s the one thing, but Poland isn’t the UK and the extradition laws are a bit different.

Jamie King:     Which are the torrent sites that got a criminal case against them Andrew? Do you know?

Norton: EliteTorrents had a criminal case, they had a full FBI raid and everything. They were based in the US.

Jamie King:     So my question is: is this guy being extradited because Poland isn’t strong enough or big enough to stand up to the United States, or maybe the Ukraine since he is a Ukrainian citizen, is it the case that they wouldn’t do that to Sweden, but that they would do it to Poland and the Ukraine?

Gary Fung:      I would say that probably is the reason. I think that a civil case would not entitle them to extradite, but a criminal case would.

Norton: I think that the cases with the Ukraine or with Poland, they were moving around; Artem was moving around a lot it seems like.

Jamie King:     Do you think that they maybe also think that they don’t stand much chance of getting any money out of somebody in the Ukraine or Poland, unless they bring him to the United States for a criminal case, they’re not actually going to get any money.

Gary Fung:      So I think for reason of an extradition, the only way that they could them is through a criminal case. Otherwise, I won’t think they can extradite someone for a civil concern.

Jamie King:     How much money are the prosecutors saying KickAss Torrents was making?

Norton: They estimated the money made is somewhere in the region of $60,000,000 a year.

They have done that by taking the amount that was paid for an advert, and then later for a different advert, and then basically saying, “Okay, if that’s the price were paying for that advert, then were just going to multiply them all up, that amount of money for that amount of time, lets extrapolate that to a year, that’s how much it made.”

Often it doesn’t work out that way; you would be bulk-buying, which makes it cheaper; there’s time you don’t sell your adverts, there’s time you sell them for pennies just to at least get something on there.

Jamie King:     Right. But was there also though, wasn’t there, a bank account?

Norton: Two of them, yes. The first one they said is in Estonia; and then the second one in Poland I think.

Jamie King:     Wasn’t there an amount of money that was paid into that bank account in one year, something like $20 million dollars?  ‘Cause I mean $60m sounds like a lot of money to me. Peter, does that fit with what you would imagine?

Pet. Sunde:     I was really surprised about that. But then again, it is of importance for them to show a high number;  I’m not saying that he didn’t make that money from KickAss Torrents, but they are saying that he quoted them $800 in euros for an advertisement, and then they are saying that the cash on the account is $27,000,000 during this period.

But they are not saying where the money came from; they’re just saying it is somehow associated with this company, which could also do something else.

Norton: It could’ve been that the bank account belonged to an ad broker. You know it wasn’t just for that site, but `for sixty or seventy other sites, maybe porn sites or maybe you know any other kind of sites, click-bait news sites.

The fact is that the affidavits request a seizure order on just bank accounts that they don’t know who owns them exactly, what the details are, or why people have deposited money in them.

I mean accuse me of I don’t know, copyright infringement for profit and then you look at my bank account; every penny in there is not going to come from that.

It is going to be articles that I have written I’m going to be paid for that, my day-job I’ll be going to be paid for this, paid for that, paid for that. It’s not all just one thing.

If this were really making $60m -$80m a year, you got to wonder then why other people haven’t thought of running their own torrent sites, because it’s making such easy money. That’s the point, it takes a lot of- even the investigator said that the site was one of the Top-100 on the internet so that means that’s a lot of traffic, and a lot of site bandwidth, and a lot of site infrastructure is going to be needed just to keep it running and that’s not cheap.

Jamie King:     One thing we do know is that SolarMovie, that streaming site, went down at the same time as KickAss Torrents. So it looks like he may have been involved with SolarMovie, which would probably be a pretty significant source of advertising revenue as well I would’ve thought.

Pet. Sunde:     I don’t want to speculate too much about that, it’s not unlikely that he is connected because I first found SolarMovie when finding a link on KickAss Torrents and had this ‘Stream This Movie’ link instead of just download the movie. So this connects to him at least.

I actually think that the money, it’s just like in The Pirate Bay case, they could prove that over a two-and-a-half year period there was a turnover of 800,000kr and they agreed that they miscalculated so it’s 640,000kr over two-and-a-half years of Pirate Bay time, that’s less than one person’s salary during that time like it was mostly cost-associated with Pirate Bay.

But they still said that we made $65,000,000 or something like that. But the numbers are very often taken from guestimates which they want to be high rather than low.

You should be really careful about the numbers, until they have become a fact of the case.

Jamie King:     Yeah I guess that in this case it was just interesting that they specifically quoted an amount of money that had gone through a bank account.

Pet. Sunde:     Not saying where it came from or where it was going, and all of these things.

Jamie King:     Yeah.

Pet. Sunde:     It’s still a lot of money, I’m not saying it’s not a lot of money, but I don’t have- it could be maybe selling uranium on darknet, you know?

Jamie King:     Ukrainian uranium.

Pet. Sunde:     Sure.

Jamie King:     Dirty bombs.

Pet. Sunde:     That’s a big business I guess.

Jamie King:     I guess what it seems to happen is that they use these figures that they are derived from purely notional assessments of advertising revenue and so on, to justify huge damages against torrent site operators.

Gary, for example you’ve just settled your case with MPAA and CRIA recently, what was the amounts that they eventually got there?

Gary Fung:      $110m was in their Hollywood case, which has been settled three years ago; and the one that we just wrapped up with CRIA, that is $66m in total.

Jamie King:     Hundreds of millions of dollars, in terms of repaying that, are you on a repayment plan? Is it like a student loan? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to make light of it, but it just seems like an extraordinarily large amount of money for anyone to ever pay back.

 I mean I’m guessing you don’t have, you know  $150m hanging around.

Gary Fung:      This is where again, I cannot comment beyond what is already public.

[ SPONSOR BREAK 

Jamie King:     I guess what I’m driving at is, obviously they are trying to stop torrent sites. They have these two measures, one is putting people in jail; I would guess that’s kind of effective.

When people hear that Artem from KickAss Torrents is maybe going to be extradited to the United States and go to prison there, I assume that acts as a deterrent against casual activists or progressive-type developers from making torrent sites as a kind of fun project. You know, like the original Popcorn Time team, they’re not in it for money; it probably makes those guys feel like… it probably deters them.

But I wonder how much of a deterrent these huge fines are ultimately, because definitely Hollywood never gets the money; they never get the money they’re asking for. It’s not like you know, turn over a torrent site it’s like, “Oh, there’s a quarter of a billion dollars for you.”

So I’m just wondering how effective do you see it as being, the current cat-and-mouse game between torrent admins and the various copyright agencies?

Do you see this as an effective way to maintain copyright law-and-order?

Gary Fung:      This whole strategy amounts to whack-a-mole in terms of finding and jailing, or fining technology providers, which is what all of us are doing.

We’re providing tools to the general public, and then the public can be free to do as they want with such tools.

I don’t think it’s effective because nothing short of shutting down the entire internet will be effective. Peer-to-peer is very much a part of the internet, and the spirit of the internet that everything is distributed and files are being shared without centralized control.

Jamie King:     Does this ratcheting up of crimes against copyright into a serious criminal issue at the level of terrorism –  you know extradition and big criminal cases and so forth… is this having the effect of, I’m wondering, of the big sites that remain, and of the ones that are to come, are we going to see that with the increased risks for the operators that it’s more attractive to the “gangster-criminal type” and less attractive to your “activist-enthusiast-hobbyist-technologist” type?

Gary Fung:      I think that’s logical. I mean if those who cannot protect themselves know that they’re not here for running something like that, what’s left would be the kind of people who think they could protect themselves from the authories and at the same time make a buck, so I think that would be the logical next step in terms of how the legal environment has pushed BitTorrent.

Norton: I don’t know it’s going to go quite like that. I mean years ago the various, let’s call them intellectual property agencies in the UK, made a claim about how the IRA and other terrorist groups are making their money from copyright infringement.

They claim that IP [intellectual property] is a great money maker for them; but when you examine the figures, they were doing that by the fact that the police were assigned a value of £50 to a fake DVD & £25 for a fake CD, and the actual money was not there. I mean, why would they bother spending all this time for a fake thing that somebody could actually easily download for free; it’s a smokescreen.

The US has now got a perhaps a new rising star in the criminal investigative department who’s wanting to push himself, stretch his legs, and make a name for himself.

Jamie King:     Who’s that?

Norton: That would be, Jared Der-Yeghiayan. It’s a very oddly spelled name; it is D-e-r – Y-e-g-h-i-a-y-a-n.

Jamie King:     I think he’s just got a chip on his shoulder because no one can pronounce his name.

Norton: It’s certainly- , it’s an unusual name anyway, yes.

Jamie King:     I heard that this guy was the guy who was involved in prosecuting the Dread Pirate Roberts in the Silk Road case.

Norton: He was indeed one of the investigators used in the Silk Road prosecution, and that of Dread Pirate Roberts, yes.

Jamie King:     Right, so is this the case of a United States attorney backing an investigator, going after cases in which peer-to-peer is enabling a kind of distributed civil disobedience?

In one case it was Bitcoin, Tor, peer-to-peer software backing the creation of a large market for drugs, guns, stolen credit cards, etc. And then on the other hand, peer-to-peer in the form of BitTorrent making it possible to share infringing files on a massive scale; is this a case of the State against the power peer-to-peer is giving people to organize themselves in ways that defy state authority, they’re both threats to the establishment brought by decentralization?

Gary Fung:      I think that is a logical similarity, like very different technologies but I think that there’s a substantial similarity in the sense that we have massive organizations that are  completely distributed.

There is no head, so to speak, to actually hunt down, other than what they can make an example of which is the actual people that’s running certain operations.

But the underlying technology and the people involved, like it is millions of people around the world. There is no way that they will hunt down millions of people.

Jamie King:     This was the message of Steal This Film 1.

In 2006, we said that and every year it’s just the same thing, it just repeats again and again. They take the same approach, high-profile takedown, you know we’ve taken down the biggest site in the world, we’re going to put the founder away, and we’re going to have this big fine.

Everybody knows that the stage just moves to a new website, some other new website takes over; but now you have things like ZeroNet popping up.

Gary Fung:      I assume it’s some kind of dark web technology?

Jamie King:     It’s just a completely distributed file system, so you can run websites off it.

BitTorrent came up with something similar they were running for a while; I forgot what the name of it was, you can even host the index in the swarm.

Gary Fung:      So basically it’s a distributed web server?

Jamie King:     A distributed web server, so you can run applications from it, right.

Gary Fung:      I should actually look into that, that’s actually interesting from a technological standpoint.

Jamie King:     You heard it here first. I think that there’s a site on Zeronet called Play, you can take a look at, which is a torrent site, and probably new services popping up (I’m keeping an eye on it). There’s two or three of those kinds of projects…

Pet. Sunde:   Now it’s more obvious to everyone I guess, that there is a need for more distributed, and lots of smaller sites.

It would mean less problems for the people involved and also less problems for having a stable source of distribution for the future as well.

So that’s the thing I always wanted, a big hybrid; lots and lots of smaller sites instead of having one big target like KickAss Torrents or Pirate Bay.

But the problem is that big behemoths like Pirate Bay, KickAss Torrents, and all of those are not really good at using the new technology and if you don’t have the user base, you won’t have the technology there either. IPFS is really, really good; and if everyone started using that instead, it would be great, it would be working perfectly.

The problem is again, if you don’t have the user base and you don’t get the people that control the user base to start switching, there will be no innovation that actually reaches the audience.

So that’s the responsibility on The Pirate Bay, KickAss Torrents, all of them, to make sure that you use new technology; but then you look at the big sites.

Name one of them that has a really up-to-date user experience, user interface, or uses new technology at all. It’s the same shit that’s been around for ten years, fifteen years even.

There’s no innovation whatsoever behind these sites, and a lot of them are I guess tired of running the sites and just want to keep them up, or have other things to do in their day-job, or don’t have the interest in actually making the user base more distributed.

KickAss Torrents I’m guessing made a lot of money on the users and they don’t want people to go to other sites for financial reasons, which is the wrong reason to run a torrent site.

So you need new voices, new people, new activists, and new ideologies into kind of the whole piracy thing.

Jamie King:   Do you think we have reached the end, the end of the era of the blockbuster torrent sites, you know KickAss Torrents has gone down, Popcorn Time as soon as it got itself together it was attacked really heavily, Pirate Bay is still there in some way but it is some sort of pale imitation of its previous self.

Is this, do you think, the end of the era of the big torrent sites, and the beginning of some type of new more distributed, more community based situation?

Norton: Not always the easiest thing to run a big site, and especially right at this moment because everybody is suddenly looking for the next big thing, you’re going to get a huge burst of traffic so it’s going to be hard to build a site that has the resources to deal with the potential influx at this point.

So those are going to get bigger, probably the ones who already got an  established base but which have the resources to weather the storm of new interests.

Big sites go down; other sites come up. Even 11 years ago when SuprNova went     down it took a while for a good site to come take its place and that was  Mininova.

The Pirate Bay was still in the background then; it slowly ramped up. Then when Mininova went down, then The Pirate Bay took over.

So we may see that one that’s been considered, somewhat of a second fiddle, it may rise, I mean KAT itself didn’t rise forward until The Pirate Bay’s raid in 2014.

So I don’t really know. There’s all a lot of sites that are somewhat hidden, often what are commonly called ‘private sites’ but which are more accurately called ‘activity-logging sites’ or ‘registration-required sites’.

Many feel they’re more safe and more secure, even though in reality with the amount of data they collect and the data that’s shared and stored on them and the fact that you have to register for them, they’re actually far less secure and far less safe than the public sites which are basically open books that anybody can access at any time.

Pet. Sunde:     I’ve been saying this for years that I want Pirate Bay to be shut down and I’m hoping now with KickAss Torrents being shut down, that this will inspire people to actually do something fresh, and innovative, and something new, and that there is a void to be filled by some new innovation.

And to be honest, it’s not really hard to run a torrent site; it’s not really hard to set one up. There’s no big reason anymore for advertising on any of these sites.

Back in the day it was really expensive with bandwidth and having to run a tracker, but today you don’t need to run a tracker which uses a lot of bandwidth; you just need a small website somewhere.

So it’s not hard at all, it’s not expensive at all, you can do this on a community basis.

There’s just one non-advertising torrent site that has an open database that everyone can just share and copy, and distribute, and back and forth. Do stuff that’s a little more modern than the old shit.

Jamie King:     So someone needs to build something like that, where it’s basically got an API and somebody who’s running a torrent site can make sure that all the torrents that get uploaded to their site specifically also get, I don’t know, get mirrored in this public database. Is that something that needs to be done?

Pet. Sunde:     Yeah it’s just like a normal blog page, its super simple.

It’s like, this shit is so old, it’s around already, it’s so weird that no one is doing this already.

This surprises me, but I think that the big problem is that people just depend on KickAss Torrents and The Pirate Bay to be there for them, and as long as they’re around no one wants to bother doing the same thing, because someone else will take that risk, in this case the guys from KickAss Torrents or the guys from Pirate Bay.

So I think it’s lazy on both ends, and the people that lose out are the community as a whole, because if you don’t have both of these sites trying to innovate, we’re going to lose on our end and in the long run. You know Netflix is better than most torrent sites, most streaming sites of course.

People are using Spotify for music, why didn’t we innovate more on the piracy side for this? We’re not really there for people in the countries that can’t benefit from Spotify. Like people that have Spotify stopped sharing music on Pirate Bay, which means that the poorer countries in the world don’t have access to the same music anymore.

So we are going backwards in time for the people that are not part of the community. That’s really sucky and I really really hate that, because we’re giving up too easily when we have it served for us, having served some sort of crappy dinner every single day like, “We have a McDonalds so we don’t need to get better food.”

That’s the same thing with Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrents. Like I used KickAss Torrents because it was better than Pirate Bay, and KickAss Torrents was really fucking sucky in terms of technology. You could do so much better than that, that’s how bad it is.

Jamie King:     Andy maybe in conclusion, you could just talk about how strong you think the case is that these guys have, and what chances you think Artem has if he is ultimately extradited to face the criminal courts in Chicago.

Norton: As to the case as a whole, if they’ve got nothing much more than what they got in the indictment, and we don’t know because it’s sealed and we can’t actually see the case number to read the dockets and everything else that they’ve filed, from what they presented there they don’t have the strongest of cases.

They may be able to get the extradition depending on what the extradition treaty with Poland is, and how it may or may not interact with Ukrainian law.

I’m not a legal expert, and certainly not an extradition specialist, so I can’t really answer how well it’s going to succeed on an extradition basis.

But for the case as they’ve presented it, it’s going to be difficult to make a coherent case that isn’t stymied by pre-existing case rulings and precedents. Such as the Sony Betamax case, which shows that a technology which has significant non-infringing uses can be legal and KAT, which does not directly use and seek out infringing content and promote it other things by design, is not going to fall foul of that in many opinions, that depends on the judge.

If the judge is one that’s very sympathetic to copyright interests, it may go easier for the prosecution.

But it’s going to be very hard especially it’s a criminal case, and so many civil cases only have what’s called a preponderance of evidence flaw, where they just got to convince 51% of the way.

Here they got a basically get at least 95-98% it’s going to be beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s going to be a lot, lot harder to do when just reading through this affidavit there are so many question marks and ambiguous statements that can be attacked and undermined.

So I’m uncertain, I feel that as with many other cases they’re going to lean towards a plea deal instead.

Jamie King:     And is there a political dimension to all this?

Obama’s term is coming to an end. Does that play into this case in any way?

Norton: Obama has been a very good president for much of the entertainment industry.

Joe Biden of course has long said the things that the MPAA want to say.

There have been many former RIAA and MPAA lawyers, some of the top spots of the Justice Department were filled by Obama on his taking office with people from the entertainment industry, and you can expect that there was some close connection with former Senator Chris Dodd who is head of the MPAA now.

They may be pushing to get this at least started before the end of the term, just so that it’ll be there in the system.

Just in case the Democrats do lose the White House, because the Republican Party obviously is not a big fan of what they call “Hollywood Liberals”.

So they may take a lot of priority in that, although it is a business and they do love business.

So, there’s possibly a political element and a sort of rush to set the tone, to set the stage, and an impact on it. And it could also help with trying to push through things like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trade and Services Agreement, and the other similar trade deals which also have a strong copyright motive, and they could say, “Look here’s this case, the big case, it’s worldwide, it’s a massive site. We’re trying to deal with it, but you know it’s hard, we got a complicated case, and it’s difficult to prove. If only we had this kind of treaty, we could solve this and all of these problems, and all of this money that is being stolen…” (Which it’s not) “…for all of this money which is being stolen can then brought back into your own economies, and taken away from these dubious, evil, bad men who are stealing it, millions, millions, and millions of dollars a year.”

Pet. Sunde:     For me, it’s weird that Poland is arresting someone on order of the United States, where the person has not been, that is to me is very, very strange.

It’s similar in the Megaupload case with Kit Dotcom, and I didn’t think that would actually happen in Europe, and not in a European Union country; that is very strange to me.

Even if he’s a national of some country which is not part of the EU, it still surprises me quite a lot, and I’m hoping the European Commission might actually look into that.

I have an issue always with one country having that much power; I don’t care if it’s the United States, Russia, or whatever it is. But one country should not be able to just go grab people from anywhere in the world, just because they do something on the internet. That’s just insanity.

Jamie King:         And Gary, you’re mentioning this business about treating torrent site admins as if they were international crime kingpin terrorists. Any last words on that?

Gary Fung:          Honestly, we all know what’s going on in the Middle East with ISIS. Those actual crazy terrorists setting cities on fire, and burning down thousand-year old monuments, actual crimes against humanity; it just baffles me: Homeland Security and those guys with all their resources, they’re not spending it on those kind of criminals, but on so-called criminals – what are they doing? Filesharing? How does that compare to actually killing people by the thousands?

 

 

 

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