The Pirate Bay trial is the collision of 'can I?' and 'should I?' cultures
Posted in: Online TV/Music at 27/02/2009 03:23
People who don't speak Swedish are missing almost all the interest of the Pirate Bay trial, which is supplied by the frankly unsavoury nature of the defendants. The money man, Carl Lundström, on whose servers The Pirate Bay was housed, is straight out of the crime novels of Stieg Larsson. He inherited a fortune built on crispbread, and has a long history of involvement with extreme rightwing politics. In the 1980s, he was a member of "Keep Sweden Swedish", an anti-immigrant fringe group; he has financially backed the Sweden Democrats, a would-be populist and anti-immigrant party; and only this month the managing director of one of his companies was charged with a robbery in a small west-coast town, part of a feud within a neo-Nazi group. Lundström told the Metro newspaper (bit.ly/metro) after he sacked the man that he had known he was a party member, but not that he had gone to collect another member's computer with a submachine gun.
Gottfrid Svartholm Varg and Frederik Neij, the nerds who run The Pirate Bay itself, have also been accused by the prosecutor of tax evasion, but deny that they were making any money from their business. Their attitude of sneering entitlement towards the government is all of a piece with their attitude towards the big content companies. But I can't see The Pirate Bay as morally superior to the Disney corporation.