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Roger Wallis at Pirate Bay Trial

Published torsdag 26 februari 2009 kl 13.16
Roger Wallis presenting last year's Polar Music Prize

At the trial of four men linked to the Pirate Bay file-sharing website, composer and university professor Roger Wallis has sharply criticised the music and film industries’ claims that they lose money because of illegal downloading.

Wallis is currently a professor emeritus at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology. He told the court that there’s no connection between downloading and decreased record sales, saying that research shows that many downloaders buy more cultural products than others.

The entertainment industry is seeking more than 13 million dollars in damages from those behind the Pirate Bay. Rejecting that claim, Roger Wallis told the court that downloading has in fact led to the greatest transfer of resources ever to entertainers, through increased interest in musicians and concert ticket sales.

After Wallis had given his testimony he was upset over questions posed by the prosecution, which he felt were questioning his credibility as a both a scientist and academic. However, showing his support, Swedish rapper Timbuktu wrote an sms to Wallis shortly after the trial telling him to ”hang in there”, according to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

When asked if he wanted to be reimbursed for his travel costs or similar Wallis said that he didn’t want anything for himself but that flowers for his wife would be welcome. According to SvD many microbloggers from Twitter and Bloggy have declared their intentions to take him up on that. A local florist had already received over 50 orders this afternoon, according to SvD.

Roger Wallis wrote the Swedish entry to the 1969 Eurocvision Song Contest and is the former president of the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers.

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