Prosecutor seeks prison terms in Pirate Bay filesharing case

Mar 02, 2009
Gottfrid Svartholm(C) and Peter Sundin(R) from The Pirate Bay, an online piracy site, meet the press in Stockholm in February 2009. A Swedish prosecutor on Monday called for one year jail terms for Svartholm, Sundin and two other members charged with running the world's top websites for illegal downloading.

A Swedish prosecutor on Monday called for one year jail terms for four men charged with running The Pirate Bay, one of the world's top websites for illegal downloading.

"I believe that the correct punishment should be one year in prison and that is what I am requesting that the district court hand down in this case," prosecutor Haakan Roswall told the court.

Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstroem are accused of running The Pirate Bay website and "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws."

On the second day of the trial, which began on February 16, Roswall dropped a separate charge of copying films and music.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

None of the material can thus be found on The Pirate Bay server itself.

Roswall insisted that the four defendants were running the site with the intent of promoting illegal downloads of copyrighted material, pointing out that they had made large sums of money on their activities.

The four, who have denied any wrongdoing, have been charged with illegally raking in at least 1.2 million kroner (104,000 euros, 131,000 dollars) by facilitating copyright infringement, but Roswall said Monday they could easily have made 10 times that amount.

The Pirate Bay claims to have some 22 million users worldwide.

Representatives of the movie, music and video games industry are asking for around 117 million kronor (10.1 million euros, 12.7 million dollars) in damages and interest for losses incurred from tens of millions of illegal downloads facilitated by the site.

Lawyers representing the industry were to hold their summations later Monday while the defence was scheduled to wrap up the trial on Tuesday.

The court is expected to take a few weeks to announce a verdict.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 6

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Edylc
5 / 5 (1) Mar 02, 2009
shit
Drogo
5 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2009
It's like punishing the cellphone company, when someone makes threatening phone calls.
grahf
5 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2009
More than that, it's like punishing the cellphone company when what the caller did wasn't even a crime in that country. File sharing is legal in Sweden. The content producers get money from a tax imposed on media sales (blank CDs and the like).
x646d63
5 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2009
I love how they call Pirate Bay a "piracy site" and then later in the article they admit "None of the material can thus be found on The Pirate Bay server itself."

Here is who should be named in the lawsuit:
The Pirate Bay owners/operators
The telcos that provide internet connectivity
The power companies that provide power for the servers and telco companies
All of the hardware manufacturers and software manfacturers for Pirate Bay computers and components, Telco computers and components, Power company computers and components
The writers of any treaties that allow international telco networks
Any politician that has ever been in favor of international cooperation for telcos
Any country's government that promotes, funds, or defends any part of the infrastructure that allows "illegal file sharing" to take place.

Did I mention everyone?
paulthebassguy
5 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2009
The problem here is that prosecutors, politicians, and company executives don't understand technology.

These guys are no threat to society, they are not harming anyone, and definitely do not deserve to go to jail.

Illegal downloads only negligibly affect artists' incomes as most get income from live performances, not recording sales.

Company executives do profit from the sales though, but instead of punishing those who create technology that benefits millions of people they should instead embrace this technology, and form agreements with p2p network facilitators so that they both can profit together.
earls
5 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2009
No. Big Media had their chance for negotiation, truce, peace and profit. Now they shall pay instead.