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Pirate Bay's I-dunno defense

Pirate Bay founders say they don't read contracts or write speeches, that they don't control the enterprise. But will this ignorance defense work?

I wrote a comment on the Pirate Bay story to the effect that TPB can't be charged with conspiracy as someone suggested because:

The elements of conspiracy are this (again, US law): (1) there was an agreement to commit an illegal act; (2) the conspirators willingly entered the agreement; (3) one of the parties committed an overt act towards completion of the crime; (4) the overt act was taken contemporaneous with the allegation of the criminal act.

In other words, unless TPB had some agreement to send users over to this torrent site or that torrent site, there was no agreement. The link would be the overt act but there was simply no agreement between TPB and Torrent site. Thats why theres no conspiracy charge.

But reading coverage of the trial today Ars Technica, I'm beginning to wonder.

Fredrik Neij was questioned by lawyers who tried to paint him as the point man for The Pirate Bay operations. Peter Danowsky, who represents the music business, pointed out that Niej owned The Pirate Bay's domain and then showed him a contract he had signed saying that he would oversee operations for the site. Neij's response? "But I didn't read it." Neij was also asked about a speech he gave back in 2006 (watch it on YouTube) in which he said that the site had received many threatening letters over the years from copyright owners. Lawyers tried to use the speech to show that Pirate Bay admins were aware the site hosted links to copyrighted content. Neij's response? "I just read the text which someone at the Pirate Bureau had written.” (Neij says he's dyslexic and has difficult writing his own material.) When asked about his view of the law as it related to copyrights, Neij said that he doesn't worry much about the law, doesn't care about the ideology behind (some) file-swapping, and does what he does because it's fun to run a large site. He did indicate that he thought the site was legal.

This I-dunno defense doesn't hold much water, I think. The question is whether there was any communication, any agreement between illegal torrent sites. The evidence isn't quite there, but I wouldn't be surprised to see enough to show some intention, some money-making activities. That would be enough to convict on the