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That Kennedy Klown
A Mozart piano concerto.
STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- If you're in Stockholm and find you need a solicitor then look up Per E Samuelson. He's probably very expensive but give his office a call and find out. It'll be worth it. The drop from Samuelson's class to next best is steep.
Per Samuelson made an utter fool out of IFPI CEO John Kennedy. And he didn't do this by badgering Kennedy or raising his voice or anything of the sort.
Samuelson simply gave Kennedy the opportunity to do it himself. And listening to this world class cross of Kennedy was - for its skill and art - every bit as beautiful as a Mozart piano concerto.
To use a cliché.
Samuelson's method is simple yet beautiful. Never embarrass a witness. As soon as the questions and answers are taped and part of the record the job is done. Samuelson's final word in his interrogation was a mildly uttered exakt - 'precisely'. He made the point he needed to make. The court records do the rest.
Samuelson's first question concerned the global turnover for music in 2008. Kennedy had the figure at his fingertips: $18 billion. The followup question - which one would assume was just as close at hand - was how much of that figure was profits.
Kennedy didn't have an answer although it took Samuelson a good five minutes to get Kennedy to admit it.
The next question concerned how much the IFPI spend annually on fighting file sharing. Kennedy again started dancing like a butterfly in a rather clumsy way but eventually was pinned down by Samuelson to a 'guess' of £75 million.
'That's one billion Swedish kronor per year to fight file sharing', Samuelson added to the court record.
The fact Kennedy had one figure pat in US dollars but another in British pounds did not escape the court. But in typical fashion Samuelson knew he didn't have to point that out.
Samuelson then painted a typical scenario of someone who's purchased a music CD and decides to create a torrent file for it. And the first introductory question - asked so innocently with no threat hovering over Kennedy: does Kennedy understand how BitTorrent actually works?
'Only vaguely' was Kennedy's spontaneous answer. Samuelson moved on.
Does Kennedy know if these people creating BitTorrent files need special software to create their torrent files?
Kennedy dodged the question, saying only he 'suspected' there were 'different ways' to create BitTorrent files.
So already we have an IFPI CEO who doesn't have a clue how his clients are doing financially, who has come to Stockholm to submit claims for financial damages to a court but has no idea how the various parts of the file sharing actually work...
And this is just the beginning. Samuelson's not even in second gear yet.
Samuelson now began asking Kennedy if he thought the people actually making the torrent files and distributing the copyrighted work were at least in part responsible. After a lot of ifs ands and buts Samuelson got Kennedy to admit his organisation had in the past pursued individuals in similar cases.
Now Kennedy starts to unravel all by himself. He tells Samuelson and the court completely gratuitously that his organisation used to pursue individuals but came under considerable pressure 'from the press and governments' for so doing and thus decided to change tack.
And he's completely blind to the roundhouse kick that's coming.
'So in other words you do admit that the people who put the torrent files online are responsible to a degree for damages incurred as you've sued them in the past?'
Kennedy is down for the count. He's lost his bearings. He doesn't know which way is up. But his answer - if forthcoming - is a formality only. He's already made it clear the IFPI do in fact regard these people as responsible.
But Kennedy can't get back on his feet. After stumbling along for a while muttering meaningless nonsense Samuelson stops the poor sod and moves on. The point has been made.
Samuelson has a way of letting opponents think they've got the upper hand. He wants to bring Kennedy's legal expertise into the court records. There's hardly a doubt Samuelson has all this stuff pat through his own research but he lets Kennedy fill in the blanks.
'So as I understand it you've been a practicing solicitor since the 1980s?'
'Actually it's earlier than that unfortunately', says the swelled up Kennedy. 'I began practicing already in 1977!'
'So you would therefore have considerable experience reviewing cases such as this from a legal perspective? asks Samuelson rhetorically - and immediately moves on.
Samuelson now refers to Kennedy's initial reading before the court when he cited damages for what's transpired at The Pirate Bay. Samuelson asks Kennedy innocently if the charges and the claims therein take European e-commmerce and copyright law into account. Samuelson cites an EU directive that's well known - it's the directive Roswall once cited when explaining The Pirate Bay could not be prosecuted and the Hollywood studios couldn't claim copyright in Europe at all.
'I've got lots of lawyers and experts!' blurts Kennedy. 'I can bring them in!'
Which of course wasn't the point. And everybody seemed to know it except That Kennedy Klown. Samuelson correctly held Kennedy liable, as CEO of IFPI, for following European law in Europe when making claims in a European court. And Samuelson doesn't tell Kennedy what the EU directive is all about. Everybody else knows - but not That Kennedy Klown.
After a lot of fumbling Kennedy says he'll be glad to offer the court his 'legal expertise' and read and interpret a bit of the directive if that's what everybody wants. Samuelson's playing with Kennedy like a cat with a cornered mouse.
Kennedy now wants to know what part of the directive they're all interested in. 'All of it!' Samuelson and magistrate Norström chime in together.
Kennedy is now extremely flustered. Samuelson doesn't give him time to catch his breath. Now the coup de grâce.
'Do you even know what this EU directive is about?' asks Samuelson. After more embarrassed fumbling and dodging Kennedy is forced to admit has no clue whatsoever.
'Precisely', concludes the triumphant Samuelson.