Monday, April 20, 2009

The Trial

The Trial (German: Der Prozess) is a novel by Franz Kafka about a character named Josef K., who awakens one morning and, for reasons never revealed, is arrested and prosecuted for an unspecified crime.

Source: Wikipedia.

I was away this weekend and returned to see that the Swedish judicial system appears to have been turned upside down. Yes, I'm talking about the now infamous trial against four individuals involved in the development and administration of a search engine called The Pirate Bay. These guys were convicted simply because they provided the technical framework allegedly used to distribute 30 pieces of intellectual property (movies and songs). I'm having problems understanding how this could be considered a crime, but that's another story. The scariest part is that these guys were convicted without a shred of credible evidence, and with plenty of uncertainty concerning the involvement of The Pirate Bay when it came to the distribution of the movies and songs in question.

There are only three reasons I can think of that made this outcome possible:
  1. The judge is ridiculously incompetent
  2. The judge is on the mafia entertainment industry's payroll
  3. The judge has been pressured by the government into making a knowlingly wrongful ruling
Unfortunately the two later options seem the most plausible. This means that corporations and politicians are able to manipulate the judicial system to their advantage, rendering the law completely useless. You're no longer innocent until proven guilty, instead you're guilty until you can prove you're innocent - which is close to impossible, as evidence is not needed to get you convicted. A simple accusation is enough - much like an accusation was enough to get a so-called witch burned on a stake in the dark middle ages.

Add to this the new Ipred-law, that basically allows these corporations to start a judicial process against you without your knowledge (until they come crashing through your door to seize your computer, that is), and therefore without you being able to defend yourself, and you see where I'm getting at with my little Wikipedia quote at the beginning.

How many Josef K's will we have in Sweden before someone puts the rule of law and basic human rights before the profit maximization of the entertainment industry?

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