Sweden wants ‘Pirates’ behind bars

Mon 16 February 2009 09:06, Bas van den Beld

Sweden wants ‘Pirates’ behind bars

Today Sweden sees the start of a trial which might influence the way download-websites, or maybe we should call them download- search engines, work. The people behind Pirate Bay, amongst who the three founders, face charges of assisting copyright infringement.

The Pirate Bay is the world’s largest filesharing website. The website now has over 22 million active users. Since it started in 2003 it has always been a topic of discussions.

Pirate Bay claims it is not doing anything illegal. It claims not to be a ‘standard’ filesharing website but a search engine. This means it doesn’t actually host any illegal data, but merely sends its users to the right place to download the wanted torrent.

Public prosecutor Hakan Roswall doesn’t believe the site is a search engine. He told Reuters in January: "It's not merely a search engine. It's an active part of an action that aims at, and also leads to, making copyright protected material available"

Piratebaysupporter

What is remarkable is that next to the three founders of the website, Fredik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi also an investor in the website is charged. Carl Lundström, who got rich in the dotcom-era, is also charged. Lundström has built a questionable reputation in the Nordics by supporting extreme right wing politic parties in the past.

If the ‘Pirates’ are found guilty they could face two years of prison and a £100,000 fine.


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