FIN24, the Naspers-Media24 financial news site has been found guilty on one count of copyright infringement.
The South Gauteng High Court found that Fin24 infringed the copyright of one Moneyweb article in 2013, after copying and republishing a substantial part of an original article, and was ordered to pay damages to Moneyweb.
Judge Daniel Berger did not find similar infringements in six other articles and ordered Moneyweb to pay 70% of Fin24’s costs.
These were the main findings in the copyright infringement case Moneyweb instituted in 2013 against Fin24, after Fin24 copied and republished content from various Moneyweb articles. Moneyweb argued that copyright was infringed in seven articles.
Damages in regard to the infringement have yet to be finalised.
STOCKLHOM – Hours away from their landmark criminal trial in Sweden, the men behind the world’s most notorious BitTorrent site are showing no sign of regret. Pirate flags flew above a scrapped bus from Stockholm’s public transport system. The bus was parked outside the National Museum of Science and Technology as a command center for the Pirate Bureau, a loosely organized network of activist youth. The Pirate Bay was one of their experimental projects, which then grew to become the world’s most famous file-sharing site, now run independently.
On Sunday this history of The Pirate Bay was flaunted in front of a large media crowd in a museum auditorium, while children discovered the play-friendly side of technology with their parents outside. The press conference was held the day before the scheduled opening of court proceedings against four individuals involved in running the site. One of the accused, libertarian cyber-hippy Gottfrid Svartholm, is known for the obnoxious e-mail answers he publicly gives to world’s highest paid law firms through the site.
He lived up to his defiant reputation Sunday, calling his prosecutor a “clown,” and saying he doubted that the prosecutor passed fifth-grade math. Svartholm seemed unconcerned about potential jail time, and financial damages that could wipe out his and his codefendants’ economic prospects for life. “I lost my web hosting firm, PRQ, as a result of this and have a lot of debt and live abroad now where I help poor people get on the net,” he said. “So they will get nothing.” He promised “to happily frame all collection letters and put them on the wall.” Peter Sunde, his well-mannered and likable co-defendant, said nothing is going to change, no matter what the outcome in court. Any judgment will be appealed by the losing side and it may take up to five years to reach the Swedish Supreme Court. In the meantime, he said, The Pirate Bay will be up and running. “We are four individuals on trial. But The Pirate Bay has its own life. It is not dependent on us as persons”.
The strongest impression from the pre-trial gathering was that something bigger was at stake here: Joining the two defendants were some of the key ideologues from the Pirate Bureau, led by Rasmus Fleischer, who is a well-known Swedish intellectual in his own right and a leader in the area where culture, arts, internet and digital network technology cross. The Pirate Bureau sees the trial as theater or spectacle and wishes to transform it into “good theater.” Hence a lot of activities are planned with their art bus as a center, parked close to the court house.
The pirates have been touring Europe with the bus, and had to drive it up from Belgrade in Serbia. In just a few days they collected the necessary 25.000 kronor (about $3.000) on the web to finance the trip. Experts at using the tools of the net, they coordinate decentralized reporting and activism on a site called Spectrial. In their mix of playfulness and revolutionary zeal three of Sweden’s largest media were banned from the press conference: “We do this on our free time and because we think it is fun. But we do not have an obligation to feed content to organizations that knowingly try to distort what we are doing and portray us as crooks”, said Sunde.
NOTE: Last year, South African torrent site Bitfarm was forced to close due to pressure from digital rights management lobbyiests and the music industry. What do you think – should torrent sites be allowed or not?