Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Pirate Bay Founder Peter Sunde Requests Pardon (torrentfreak.com)
31 points by Garbage 1750 days ago | hide | past | web | 40 comments | favorite

I don't understand. Its only 8 months. While i don't agree with the verdict, his peers found him guilty.

"I can't go to prison because my new company needs me." is surely not a reason to avoid prison. I am sure the prison has doctors and can treat the majority of ailments and illnesses.

What exactly don't you understand? If you had an option, no matter how unlikely to succeed it might be, to avoid going to prison would you not at least attempt it?

No ruling has been made, just a request - why would he ever not make that request?

I find locking people away from their life for more than a day or two absolutely barbaric. I'm surprised a country often rated most democratic in the world locks people away for non-violent offenses.

On a different tack, I find the notion that non-violent crimes are a priori lesser than violent crimes and the people who perpetrate them are somehow 'nicer' and less deserving of punishment somewhat troubling.

Why is someone who pulls a knife on someone and demands the content of their wallet more 'evil' than someone who systematically scams people out of their life savings? Is a corrupt public official who enriches himself at the expense of the tax payers he's supposed be serving less deserving of punishment than someone who robs a bank?

I would be good with getting rid of prisons entirely. If someone is violent and dangerous then they're probably insane and should be treated, not "punished".

As far as your example, I find it bizarre that you find a person threatening to kill you with a weapon in your face is on the same level as someone who empties your bank account behind the scenes. The latter is more financially devastating but the first is more terrifying to be on the receiving end of and could result in you dying or being crippled.

Further, I didn't really have in mind some guy doing a hold up. I was thinking more about murders and people who will do violence to others if not contained.

And finally, it's not about "evil" and it's not about what someone "deserves". Throwing someone in prison doesn't fix anything. It doesn't make them stop committing crimes, in fact it usually means they'll commit more when they get out. It might make some people feel better about themselves to know that someone is suffering, but I would question the mental health of that point of view as well.

I find it bizarre that you find a person threatening to kill you with a weapon in your face is on the same level as someone who empties your bank account behind the scenes.

I don't. I consider the person who scams someone out of their kid's college fund far far worse than someone who just steals their wallet. I might accept that a mugger is worse than a pickpocket, but just because a crime is non-violent doesn't automatically make it lesser than any violent crime.

Throwing someone in prison doesn't fix anything. It doesn't make them stop committing crimes

That is far too a simplistic statement. It depends very much on the crime in question, and the life situation of the person in question. For unemployed drug addicts mugging people on the street what you say is true. For successfully employed people people committing white collar crime, there is evidence that prison does in fact make them stop committing crimes. Now I'm not necessarily arguing that prison is the best solution, or even a good solution, but any argument against prison in the case of white collar crime, cannot simply rest on "doesn't fix anything" as the evidence simply does not back that up.

Also 'prison' doesn't really mean anything, there is a huge difference between prison in North Korea, America and Sweden for example, and even within those countries there are large differences. Trying to hold a discussion without making clear what prison system we're talking about is futile.

Just out of curiosity, but if 'prison' is barbaric, how would you describe the actions that sent him there?

So what should the punishment be for non-violent offenses?

> So what should the punishment be for non-violent offenses?

Is it not the goal of prisons to rehabilitate law-breakers? It seems to me that the expectation of punishment for law-breakers comes from those members of the non-law-breaking population whom are stuck in the lower levels of Kohlberg's stages of moral development; a.k.a., the children in business attire.

There are many options. Charge them money (and ensure you can force them to pay it back, e.g. wage garnishing), public service was suggested, etc. Looking them away from their life seems incredibly excessive.

> Charge them money (and ensure you can force them to pay it back, e.g. wage garnishing)

Would this not give rise to a class of super-wealthy-scott-free-law-breakers?

I’m totally in favor of mild punishments and I do think that imprisonment is barbaric and should be avoided if at all possible, but money as a punishment, for example, is not without problems.

It basically gets rich people of the hook. If there is a flat rate to pay, that’s the case anyway, but even if the punishment is a percentage of someone’s income, this disproportionally hits poor people. Poor people need all their money to survive – pay rent, pay heating, pay food – there is nothing extra, no money to save. Once you are making several dozen times that money, a monetary punishment hits you disproportionally milder.

It’s funny that you seem to be worried about the poor for which this type of punishment is probably absolutely devastating and not very likely to have any positive results at all. The poor are a problem, not because they might not pay, but because the punishment might be excessive and not lead to a positive outcome for them (i.e. it doesn’t prevent repeat offenses).

Preventing repeat offenses and being a deterrent seem like the only two legitimate justifications for punishment to me, and I’m not sure whether money can do that.

It depends on what we're talking about. If a person stole money then they should have to pay that back with reasonable interest. So that wouldn't be tied to how much money the person has, they're basically giving back what they took.

If it is some other crime that can't be handled by simply giving the money back you could just scale up the costs, for example. E.g. if you make $1m/yr, then the penalty is 90% of your earnings. If you make $10m/yr, it's 99%.

Just brainstorming. I don't know what the proper solution is, but looking people in a cage seems crazy to me.

If a person stole money then they should have to pay that back with reasonable interest.

What if I attempt to steal money, but fail? Do I get to walk away unpunished?

they're basically giving back what they took.

What incentive is there then to not try to steal? Best case scenario I retire on a tropical island with tens of millions in the bank. Worst case scenario I end up more or less where I started and can just try again next week.

if you make $1m/yr, then the penalty is 90% of your earnings. If you make $10m/yr, it's 99%.

What if I make $50k/yr according to the IRS, but have millions stashed away in hidden bank accounts? Do I simply pay $5000-10000 and move on to my next crime? You're basically describing a system where there is essentially no downside to white-collar crime unless you are monumentally stupid.

Forced public service.

I believe the value of a person to a society can come into account in rulings, mostly with non-violent offences.

"It's only 8 months"

Yes I'd like to see you in prison for 8 months

I think his point is not that prison is nice, but that 8 months away from a company is survivable for the company. Mothers do it all the time with maternaty leave (and fathers as well).

In Sweden? Not saying I would want to go either, but if I had to do eight months in prison in a country of my choosing Sweden would top the list.

I cannot speak specifically for Sweden but there are definitely different kinds of prison in other European countries and within the legal system it is sort-of common knowledge which ones are for white-collar crime and which ones are for the really tough guys - and prisoners get sent to the "right place" accordingly.

No idiotic juries in Sweden. Get out of your bubble.

I can't help but wonder: What is the point of the 11$ million debt? He'll obviously never be able to pay even the tiniest part of the money, so why bother?

How do they calculate the monetary "damages" any way?

What is the point of the 11$ million debt?

They can use it to put a lien on his future earnings, basically extending his punishment for as long as they feel like it.

Sure he can. He (and probably is still doing) made lots of money through advertisements on thepiratebay.

Actually, I don't think that's at all probable. See the comment on the Torrentfreak thread about all that. There is a tremendous amount of expense in running TPB.

A tremendous amount of expense where? Servers are cheap, bandwidth is cheap and they don't do trackers or even serve torrent files now, and they don't produce content.

The only thing there's a tremendous amount of is ad impressions.

Like I said, that's all dealt with on the OP thread. Did you not read it? No? Let's review then:

1. Legal costs. 2. Operators for each mirror. 3. High prices for server costs. 4. Multiple residences. 5. Difficulty in attracting large advertisers.

I find the idea of openly pardoning people based on business interests extremely disturbing. Is this a thing outside of Sweden too?

He has requested pardon, not been granted it. I find it highly unlikely he will be pardoned, at least using the business interest argument.

Is it a thing in Sweden? It's not like he got it yet.. ?

He should be happy that he is not going to prison atleast! (electronically tagged in his apartment)

> After being found guilty of copyright offenses in connection with the operations of The Pirate Bay

Did Sweden fundamentally change their copyright laws or how could the piratebay guys be found guilty, in detail?

They downloaded copyrighted material illegally?

They may have, but the charges were "assisting copyright infringment" and not copyright infringement. (Medhjälp till upphovsrättsbrott).

I stand corrected. I was under the impression that the charges were unrelated to TPB since TPB is still in operation.

> They downloaded copyrighted material illegally?

Are you asking this or is it a statement-question?

I was guessing... since TPB is still in operation I assumed their crime was not running TPB but more likely piracy.

huh? In what way did they download anything?

> They downloaded copyrighted material illegally?

Are you asking me or is this supposed to be an answer? Because TPB did certainly not DOWNLOAD "copyrighted material illegally?" and they never UPloaded it either and for many, many years they were defacto untouchable under Swedish law and were publicly ridiculing legal threats made against them because of that.

So my question was a lot more detailed and valid than you probably assumed and either way please refrain from statement-questions as these are just plain rude.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact