This should get more press, but not enough people care in NL I think as this is only dredged up as 'wow how can this be' in tech forums while it's usually only a footnote in other press. And I don't believe that's a conspiracy, but rather that, no-one cares...
You do the math.
If my impression is correct and this judge actually does the majority of Brein's cases wouldn't that alone be worth an investigation?
These rules exist to ensure that judges can't take over cases they wish to distort in some way (eg. because they don't like the plaintiff or defendant, they have a strict opinion on the subject matter, ...).
Unfortunately, the rules used in some places here allow(ed) the plaintiff to skew things in their favor (if they want a certain judge to handle the case). If assignment depends on the date of filing, they wait for the right day. If it's semi-random (but guessable to some very high degree based on prior day's assignments), they check the records to find the right timing... These lobbying groups consists mostly of lawyers - if there's a loop hole, they'll find it.
It's possible that BREIN found a legal way to skew assignments in their favor, too.
Edit: Ah, Hensen already has a seat in the Benelux council for intellectual properties.
He actually believes in draconian copyright protection, and considers himself to have the right to take measures the government fails to take, and to use ISP's as his on private anti-piracy police force.
There has been some uproar about this on (Dutch) internet sites, however I haven't seen anything about it in mainstream media.
On a related note, just today a small ISP that needed to block TPB has refused to do it and they are now sued by BREIN (http://tweakers.net/nieuws/81929/brein-daagt-zeelandnet-om-t...). The trail will start in June and is expected to last several months. I just hope this time maybe more uproar will ensue if the same judge is doing the case again.
Very curious to see if it's Hensen again. I would think it is.
We're the Netherlands, it's our job to be forward thinking, an example to our friends a few kilometers to the East (the Germans, for those not well versed in European geography). As it now stands they're past the first corner, but there's still time to catch up and overtake..
1st. No one has been charged, tried, and found corrupt.
2nd. Was this association before, during, or after the court case? There really is a difference between those three.
3rd. What is this "association"? The judge's name is part of the lower category with a dozen other names. Does this mean he's in the same building?
4th. Even this article is starting to claim (in edit/update, forced by a commenter) that this "commercial" course was some type of an official bar course where the two parties were perhaps picked by the bar (as in, they didn't pick each other).
5th. The article keeps on mentioning that this judge ruled "file names" to be illigal. Right, because taking the URL and breaking it appart before posting it on a warez site clearly turns everything around and makes the forum a place for a purfectly legitimate discussion of "file names". The author seems to be outraged by this.
And it goes on and on...
2nd, corruption is corruption. Does it matter when? Before, during, after, it's still sketchy as heck. Any judge in possession of their mental faculties should think twice before creating the appearance of impropriety. I don't care if it's an official course - find someone else!
3rd, and 4th, granted.
5th, Right, because having a link to a file (and nothing more!) is somehow infringing anything. The affected server had no infringing content on it. I'd be outraged too. The idea that search engines and other sites should have to be censored despite not doing anything wrong is insane - equally insane is the idea that I can construct an anchor tag that will get me in trouble with the law.
Equally sketchy is the fact that this particular judge always seems to preside over BREIN's cases.
That's two strikes, and he seems reeeeeaaallly eager for a third.
If you read http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/66177/ftd-vonnis-is--schokkend--e..., you will learn that Arnout Engelfriet (who more or less invented Internet law as a separate subject of study in the Netherlands) states that he, in his role of council for the defense, did not think that the judge needed replacement because the circle of Dutchmen knowledgeable of the matter is so small that it is impossible to find a knowledgeable judge who hasn't had some contact with someone from BREIN.
So, if you claim corruption, you should include mr. Engelfriet in it.
He disagrees with the rulings, too, but that is a different subject.
"equally insane is the idea that I can construct an anchor tag that will get me in trouble with the law."
Not all countries follow US law; freedom of speech carries lower weight in some of them. For example, one cannot publish "Mein kampf" in the Netherlands (AFAIK, the current stance is that a scientific edition might be legal)
As far as freedom of speech, I find the instance you mentioned to be equally insane.. but given the choice between the USA and the Netherlands, I'll still take the Netherlands (or almost any other European country) every time, despite being a US citizen.
I have no idea about the merits of these particular cases or the quality of the judge's legal reasoning. It might be terrible. But Falkvinge isn't making legal arguments about why the judge is wrong, he's relying on people's ignorance of the judicial system to whip up opposition where none exists. Politicians always like to beat up on judges, and there is always a ready audience for populist bullshit.
All that said, I don't know anything about Dutch legal ethics in particular, and I might have misunderstood or mistranslated the information about the classes in question.
I may be wrong about this, but when I was younger it seemed like corruption was well hidden from public view, now the elites rub our faces in the fact that they can get away with just about anything.
That judge is going to sit there for about 20 years. As you see right now with the upcoming supreme court decision on the healthcare issue, the decision is most likely going to be made along the party lines, with most of the decision power hanging on the mercy of a single judge. If you are the president and have the ability to appoint/suggest a judge, you need to find someone that you can rely on to keep his political leaning intact for the next 20 years. Otherwise you are significantly reducing the chances to see your worldview represented in the rulings for the next 20+ years. Sure, the process is questionable, but I can completely understand that politicians see the appointment of judges as a very strategic element, and therefore making it necessary to keep them close. But apparently too close in some cases...
Yes, doing something "highly unethical" IS corruption. If you are a public official and you do one or more "highly unethical" things, you are corrupt.
Corruption is "when an elected representative makes decisions that are influenced by vested interest rather than their own personal or party ideological beliefs" . The key phrase is vested interests - that's what separates vanilla unethical behaviour from corruption.
Now, perhaps he has a mental illness and he has begun doing things for no apparent reason, beyond his conscious control. That might be the case. I'm sorry for missing that narrow exception.
However, in practice, rational people don't just do highly unethical things for no reason. In fact, that really speaks to the very definition of a "rational" person in many ways. No, they do them because they get some sort of satisfaction out of doing them, and that is the definition of a "vested interest".
Highly unethical behavior without some motivating vested interest just doesn't exist. The vested interest needn't be financial of course, but it is still there.
It is also worth pointing out that corrupt behavior isn't always illegal under that same definition (at least the portion you quoted, which seems to be a pretty "common sense" way of looking at the issue).
Additionally, even where the behavior is illegal, it is easy to imagine situations in which there would be no way to prove to a court (given that, in the US at least, the standard of proof is quite high in criminal trials) that the corrupt behavior violated the law.
This last point is one reason we have elections. Even when the courts can't establish that a leader is corrupt (quite a tricky thing to do), the public can convict the individual at the ballot box. Of course this doesn't always work, and sometimes it works backward (and it doesn't work at all for appointed judges, though in the US they can be impeached and removed by the legislature).
No system is perfect, but based on the article I am comfortable concluding, at least provisionally, that this particular judge is corrupt. Of course my opinion means exactly nothing to the Dutch people and government, but since when has an issue like that stopped us from having a rousing discussion on HN? :-)
To my (USA) mind, this seems like Enemy action, or a multi-national conspiracy. In the USA, judges with this kind of appearance of bias would most like recuse themselves, and if they didn't, one side or the other would try to set up the whole case for an appeal later, and then appeal later with flags waving and horns honking.
Why does this appearance of judicial bias occur so often in connection with The Pirate Bay?
Because the internet's repeatedly not getting the answer they expect. Apparently only a fool and a corrupt one at that could possibly consider TPB, a site which everyone even marginally familiar with knows is devoted to piracy and profiting off piracy ever second of every day, to have anything to do with piracy! Also international conspiracy lol.
Judicial decisions should be taken by a council rather than an individual.
Unproven and sensationalist it is, but how is it "misleading"?
In a blog context, it means neither.
Good job on finding the other common meaning; you'll have noticed that a search on "found to be corrupt" yields two meanings besides this article: corrupted data, and findings of a court or investigation.
There are a lot of ways to phrase the headline that wouldn't make a reasonable reader assume that this was an official ruling, e.g.
"X is corrupt",
"Why X is corrupt",
"Evidence that X is corrupt",
"X alleged to be corrupt",
or really anything but "found to be".
The facts by themselves are interesting, but the headline I found misleading.
It means that evidence indicating corruption has been found. Any other reading puts words in their mouth.
As such I have a healthy disdain for people who knowingly and willingly oversimplify or scream to make their point. This doesn't help anybody accept perhaps attracting a crowed that yells "me to" or "it is an outrage"
For this article he could have written or investigated quite a lot of things. For example the process or system that the Netherlands uses to assign a judge to a case. That is kind of vital information if you are going to establish a link between the judge presiding a case, the specific case, the plaintiffs and the outcome. Where is it?
Perhaps it would be nice to note for a (foreign) audience what exactly a Dutch judge does in a case. It is a far cry from an American judge, I can tell you that.
These court cases with the so called corrupt judge? Were they appealed? And if so successfully and why? An other bit of vital information that is no where to be found. What exactly does the dutch law say about copyright? How actually does one hire or fire a judge in the Netherlands? Surely, if anybody, the lawyer of the accused has reason to pursue action and to open his mouth. Etc etc etc.
If you are going to assert in a headline that "someone is proven to be corrupt" or "is proven to have robbed a bank" I expect to read an article that has a bit more to say than a vague accusation mixed in with the fact that you obviously don't agree with the guy.
Hence, sensationalistic, unproven and misleading.
I do think it helps. But it's very difficult to see what helped in the end. There were a lot of 'uninformed' articles about SOPA, especially in the big news outlets; I'm willing to bet (but have no proof) that those made the outcry larger than the technically correct and informative ones on HN etc.
But it's hard to tell what makes the pendulum swing and better researched at this time is better, but nothing at all is worse.
By this logic (something is good by virtue of the discussions it starts over and above its inherent truthfulness) I could make up BS about any worthy cause and claim that the ends justify the means.
OP asserted the judge is corrupt. Not that there is evidence that he is corrupt, but that he is corrupt. By stepping so far so early he is essentially playing the analogy of the Tea Party card - rally your base, i.e. those who already agree with you, while alienating the centre. It's immature righteous indignation instead of reasoned rhetoric.
It's ironic that OP misrepresents the facts in order to condemn a party for misrepresenting facts.
Sensational headline aside, there are some pertinent facts in it.
He has a lot of press contacts so maybe that will make it go somewhere.
Translation: The article with the link [where this HN story leads to] is already in the queue. The link cannot be sent in again.