The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular filesharing websites, is off the Internet after a Swedish court threatened its bandwith supplier with a hefty fine, news reports said Tuesday.
Stockholm's district court on Monday ordered Black Internet to stop providing bandwidth to The Pirate Bay or face a fine of 500,000 kronor (70,000 dollars, 50,000 euros).
"We received the decision about the fine shortly after lunch and shut down the capacity just before 3:00 pm," Black Internet's chief executive Victor Moeller told the online edition of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
"There are laws and rules in society and they should be respected," he said.
AFP's attempts to access the website on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
A Swedish court in April found the four men behind The Pirate Bay guilty of promoting copyright infringement by running the site, sentencing them to a year in prison.
They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor (2.72 million euros, 3.56 million dollars) to the movie and recording industry.
The four have appealed the verdict, and -- prior to Monday -- the site remained in operation.
However, the movie industry in July again sued The Pirate Bay over 100 movies and television series, demanding that the three men who run the site (the fourth is their financier) and Black Internet be prevented from operating the site.
The Stockholm court ruled on Monday that Black Internet had to pull The Pirate Bay off the web until the latest lawsuit has been resolved, or pay the fine, Dagens Nyheter said.
Moeller said he expected The Pirate Bay to be up and running shortly through another provider.
"They're going to be able to re-route and get capacity elsewhere, but it will take a little time," he told the paper.
Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.
None of the material can be found on The Pirate Bay server itself.
The Pirate Bay claims to have some 22 million users worldwide.
The site has been subject of a takeover bid in recent weeks after Global Gaming Factory (GGF), a Swedish online games firm, claimed on June 30 it acquired the Pirate Bay for a sum of 60 million kronor (5.9 million euros, 8.5 million dollars).
But media in Sweden have suggested that the acquisition announcement was merely a bluff to boost Global Gaming Factory's share price and now the Swedish Economic Crime Authority has opened an investigation into potential irregularities.
(c) 2009 AFP
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