posted by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Thu 25th Jun 2009 16:40 UTC
IconBack in April after the four involved in the Pirate Bay scuffle were declared guilty of helping to break copyright law, the judge who gave the verdict, Thomas Norstrom, was found to probably be biased due to his involvement in several pro-copyright groups. After a long, cold, hard bout of deliberation, the Swedish Court of Appeals has actually found Norstrom unbiased, something rather surprising. This means that the charges against the guilty still stand.

Surprises are just around every corner these days, it seems. First we were surprised when the four accused, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom, were declared guilty and with such hefty penalties, and now that the court declares the judge, who was in fellowship in the pro-copyright groups with several of the lawyers representing the entertainment industry, unbiased when he delivered the verdict.

According to a statement from the court, "none of the circumstances that have been presented about Norstrom's extracurricular activities cast any legitimate doubts on his objectivity." At the same time, though, the court did chastise Norstrom for not being clearer about his involvement with the mentioned groups. If he did, they said, his legitimacy in the matter could have been tried earlier. They continued in that his membership in these groups are in the interests of rights holders, but none of this was enough to find him biased.

This means that the case will not be retried. Instead, the four accused will take the case to the Court of Appeals and try to negate the charges. The appeal is expected to take place in the first half of next year. If they lose the appeal, they'll be facing the original penalty of 2.75 million EUR (about 3.8 million USD) and a year in prison-- for charges resting on the copyrights of 33 files. Interesting little world we live in.

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