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Web's Top 'Pirates' Jailed In Landmark Cases (Sky News 17/4/09)

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Post by VampiricPadraig on Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:54 am

A Swedish court jailed Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom for a year each for running and funding The Pirate Bay.

They were also ordered to pay damages of 30m kronor (£2.4m).

"The Stockholm district court has today convicted the four people charged with promoting other people's infringement of copyright laws," it said in a statement.

Film, music and video game bosses had sought 120m kronor (£9.6m) in damages and interest for losses incurred from tens of millions of illegal downloads facilitated by the site.

The site has also become the industries' number one enemy because it allows tens of millions of people to copy music, movies and video games from each other without paying for them.

It uses so-called torrent technology which let users download files from different locations simultaneously, increasing download speeds.

However, the site itself does not host any protected material, which is why the four men maintain that they do not break the law but simply provide a service along the same lines as Google.

The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde on copyright holders wrote:I would rather burn that money that give it to them

The guilty verdict will now raise questions about whether the likes of Google and YouTube can be held accountable for content downloaded illegally by their users.

Google has a stated policy that says anyone can ask them to remove them to Copyright-protected material.

The Pirate Bay, however, openly mocks such requests from record companies, publishing them on the site along with their own sometimes obscene responses.

Before the hearing, a post on The Pirate Bay site said they would appeal and that the site would keep running regardless of the verdict.

"It will have no real effect on anything besides setting the tone for the debate," the post added.

Sunde has insisted he will not give the entertainment companies a single krona in damages.

"I would rather burn that money than give it to them," he was quoted as saying.

Critics say Swedish authorities caved in to pressure from the US when they lauched the crackdown on The Pirate Bay in 2006


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