Tomorrow the long awaited file sharing/internet piracy trial will begin. The Times Online called it the Internet piracy trial of the decade. It’s the Pirate Bay website (or rather four men behind the site) that go on trial for enabling millions of internet users to make illegal downloads of music, movies, games and software. The courts will look into subjects like
– what is a link
– what is a search engine
– aiding criminal offences
Most of the stuff is interesting from a legal-technical point of view since the outcome will hardly have any effect on file sharing on the Internet. The most probably outcome will be a court “victory” for the copyright industry and an appeal to the next level. The case will move towards the inevitable Supreme Court trial. The whole affair should be very interesting and yet, in practical terms, not relevant the total amount of file sharing online. User may have to switch to another provider or service but most probably the Pirate Bay will remain online in some form.
To understand how big this is take a look at the torrent user statistics on a map in real time here. Killing a website like the Pirate Bay will not stop this.