Swedish court finds administrators of The Pirate Bay guilty of contributory copyright infringement

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Friday, April 17, 2009

A court in Sweden has found at least four administrators of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay (TPB) guilty of being "accessories to copyright infringement." The court ordered Carl Lundström, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde to serve at least one year in prison and pay damages of US$3.5 million (2.7 million).

"The Stockholm district court has today found guilty the four individuals that were charged with accessory to breaching copyright laws. The court has sentenced each of them to one year in prison," said a statement released by the court.

The Pirate Bay logo
The Pirate Bay logo

Despite the ruling, TPB says it will not be shut down and file sharing operations will not be affected. "Stay calm -- Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing whatsoever. This is just a theater for the media," said a spokesman for TPB. The spokesman also added that TPB "cannot and will not" pay the damages. TPB is expected to file an appeal.

The trial lasted two weeks, and ended on March 2. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures among others. Investigators say at least 33 specific films and songs posted on TPB were tracked by authorities.

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