17.04.09 - Pirate Bay Trial Ends In Jail Sentences
STOCKHOLM — Four men linked to popular file-sharing site Pirate Bay were convicted Friday of breaking Sweden's copyright law by helping millions of users freely download music, movies and computer games on the Internet.
In a landmark ruling, the Stockholm district court sentenced Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom to one year each in prison.
They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6-million U.S.) to a series of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.
BitTorrent tracker site founders sentenced to a year in prison, and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million USD) in
damages to the entertainment industry, but remain defiant, comparing trial to “The Karate Kid” and vow to pull of a “crane” at the
The four founders of The Pirate Bay, Hans Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundströmface, were found
guilty today in a case watched with anticipation by both the BitTorrent community and entertainment industry at large.
“The court has found that by using Pirate Bay’s services there has been file-sharing of music, films and computer games to the extent
the prosecutor has stated in his case,” the district court said. “This file-sharing constitutes an unlawful transfer to the public of
They were each sentenced to a year in prison and were also ordered to pay 30 million kronor, or about $3.6 million USD, in damages
to the entertainment industry who had originally sought $14.3 million USD.
“By providing a website with … well-developed search functions, easy uploading and storage possibilities, and with a tracker linked to
the website, the accused have incited the crimes that the file-sharers have committed,” the court said in a statement to the media.
The court added that the four “knew that copyrighted material was being file-shared.”
The one-year jail sentences were motivated by the “extensive accessibility of others’ (copy)rights and the fact that the operation was
conducted commercially and in an organized fashion.”
Entertainment industry spokespeople could barely contain their glee.
“The trial of the operators of The Pirate Bay was about defending the rights of creators, confirming the illegality of the service and
creating a fair environment for legal music services that respect the rights of the creative community,” said IFPI Chairman and CEO,
John Kennedy. “Today’s verdict is the right outcome on all three counts. The court has also handed down a strong deterrent sentence
that reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed. This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is making a
living or a business from creative activity and who needs to know their rights will protected by law.”
The IFPI is the same outfit that took out OiNK and we all now how well that turned out. The creation of two even more popular music-
related BitTorrent tracker sites couldn’t have been the outcome they were looking for. Such will surely be the same with The Pirate Bay.
“We welcome the court’s decision to convict and sentence the people behind The Pirate Bay, the source of immense damage to the
creative industries in Sweden and internationally,” said an MPAA spokesperson. “This important decision confirms that Sweden’s laws
do protect creative works and apply online. We now look to the Swedish authorities to end this criminal enterprise.
But, The Pirate Bay remains defiant, with Peter comparing the trial to the movie “The Karate Kid” and vowing to bust a “crane” on the
entertainment industry in the end while standing on one leg.
“So, the dice courts judgment is here,” reads a statement on The Pirate Bay. “It was lolol to read and hear, crazy verdict.”
“But as in all good movies, the heroes lose in the beginning but have an epic victory in the end anyhow,” it adds. “That’s the only
thing hollywood ever taught us.”
In a press conference that followed the trial verdict Sunde called the verdict “bizarre” and said they won’t be paying the $3.6 million
USD anytime soon.
Peter Sunde's "I O U" to the entertainment industry...
“It’s serious to actually be found guilty and get jail time. It’s really serious. And that’s a bit weird,” Sunde said.
“It’s so bizarre that we were convicted at all and it’s even more bizarre that we were [convicted] as a team. The court said we were
organized. I can’t get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you’re going to convict us, convict us of disorganized crime.
“We can’t pay and we wouldn’t pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn’t even give them the
Rickard Falkvinge, leader of Sweden’s Pirate Party called the verdict “a gross injustice”.
“This wasn’t a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing
“There is a lot of anger in Sweden right now. File-sharing is an institution here and while I can’t encourage people to break copyright
law, I’m not following it and I don’t agree with it.
“Today’s events make file-sharing a hot political issue and we’re going to take this to the European Parliament.”
Either way, the trial is far from over and one thing’s for sure, file-sharing is not nor ever will be sued out of existence as the
entertainment industry may hope. You can fight technology no matter how hard you try.
In fact, after The Pirate Bay was raided and briefly shuttered a few years back, it went to great lengths to scatter its servers around the
globe, ensuring that it will weather any legal storm such as this.
The entertainment industry may have won this stage in the case, but the last time I checked, The Pirate Bay was up and running and
there were just as many files being shared online as the day before.
Who really won in the end I ask?
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