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Fredrik Neij (right) and Peter Sunde (center) fought the law, but the law won. The pair have been sentenced to prison time by a Swedish appeals court for their role in creating the immensely popular site, The Pirate Bay.  (Source: Reuters)

The Pirate Bay remains one of the world's top torrent sites and is as active as ever, despite the media prosecutors' efforts.
To the brig, with ya, matie!

The bid by administrators of the world's largest torrent site, The Pirate Bay, to escape time in Swedish prison is at an end.  An appeals court delivered a new ruling that is seen as largely unfavorable for the group and guarantees that they will serve prison time, if they stay in Sweden.

The ruling comes after nearly two years of legal conflict, which began when prosecutors filed charges against Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Peter Sunde, who ran the site; and Carl Lundström, a Swedish businessman who through his businesses sold services to the site.  The men were charged with promoting massive copyright infringement and crime, much as their site's name might suggest.

At the trial the group put up a spirited defense, but eventually were defeated in a court ruling.  The results were unsurprising, given information that would later come to light.  The presiding judge in the case was a former member of a copyright protection organization and reportedly receiving compensation in the past from media organizations.

With the judge firmly in their pocket, the plaintiffs -- Swedish subsidiaries of leading music and film companies, including Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Brothers; and international copyright attack-dog the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) (the parent of America's RIAA) -- secured a guilty verdict.  The accused were sentenced to a year in prison each and ordered to repay 32 million crowns ($4.57M USD).

The Pirate Bay leaders scoffed at the charges, saying that even considering the net value of their servers, that they had nowhere near the amount demanded.  They quick appealed, on the grounds that the judge in the case had an inappropriate conflict of interest.

A Swedish Court of Appeals finally reached a ruling last Friday and delivered a relatively harsh final sentence against The Pirate Bay creators.  It stated, "The appeals court, like the district court, finds that the service Pirate Bay has facilitated illegal file sharing in a way which is punishable for those who carried out the service."

The sentences of two of the admins and the site's financier were all reduced.  Fredrik Neij's prison time was cut to 10 months, Peter Sunde's to 8 months, and Carl Lundstrom's was cut to four months.  However, their fines were raised even higher to 46 million crowns ($6.57M USD).  Like the recent verdict against U.S. citizen Jammie Thomas-Rassert, that punitive judgment virtually ensures that the accused will live in poverty for much of the remainder of their lives, if they remain within the nation (the exception being Lundstrom, who has substantial wealth).

The IFPI's battle against The Pirate Bay in Sweden closely mirrors its battle (via the RIAA) against Limewire in the U.S.  In October a U.S. court ordered Limewire be permanently taken offline.

If there's a bit of good news for supporters of The Pirate Bay, it's that the verdict has seemingly done little to achieve the prosecutors' goal of damaging the site.  The site is still online and is as active as ever.  It is now registered in the Seychelles, an island nation known for its lose copyright laws.  And rather than a small set of individuals, which could be prosecuted, the site is now run by a larger organization.

The leadership of Europe's Pirate Party, which supports loosening copyright laws, mocked the verdict.  Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge while implying court corruption said that the ruling would do little to stop piracy.  He states, "This case was politically motivated from the start and (the problem) must be solved politically.  This doesn't mean anything for The Pirate Bay and it doesn't mean anything for similar sites. File sharing is increasing every day and the only thing this means is that more and more people will try to hide what they are doing on the Internet."

And recent data on piracy worldwide indicates that he's right.

In short, big media may get to chuckle at the misfortune of the piracy ringleaders who will soon be in the brig, but at the end of the day it's the millions of pirates worldwide who are enjoying the last laugh.


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RE: Moore's Law and Piracy
By Spivonious on 11/30/2010 10:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, this is fun.

If you think hockey is mostly gliding around on ice, you haven't seen a hockey game at anything above high school level. They are absorbing hits just as big as football players. At 140 lbs I would get seriously injured if I played hockey at anything more than pickup-game level. I believe the lightest player in the NHL right now is 5'7", 175lbs.

Endurance? Try skating at full speed from one end of the rink to the other, stopping on a dime, and then doing it all again to the other side only to be checked into a wall by a 250 pound player also skating at full speed. Your 300 pound lineman would have a heart attack after 10 feet.

Skill? Hockey requires more all-around skill than football. While football has a few specialized players (QB, WR, kicker), hockey demands all range of skills from every player.

The NFL plays 16 games because their players would die, I agree. It is very brutal and taxing. Some level of injury happen every game. I would hate to have the body of a 35 year-old NFL player. But I still believe that American football is the dumbest sport in the world.

Only in America could a sport where the ball is in play for seconds at a time, with extra space filled in with commercials, make as much money as it does.


RE: Moore's Law and Piracy
By Reclaimer77 on 11/30/2010 4:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Endurance? Try skating at full speed from one end of the rink to the other, stopping on a dime, and then doing it all again to the other side only to be checked into a wall by a 250 pound player also skating at full speed. Your 300 pound lineman would have a heart attack after 10 feet.


That's absurd. If you don't think it takes extreme cardiovascular conditioning to be even a lineman than you have no respect for the game.

quote:
But I still believe that American football is the dumbest sport in the world.


OH well, yeah, you don't have any lol. Dumber than modified riding mower racing? Dumber than curling? Come on son, you're mental! And let's not even get started on baseball.

quote:
Only in America could a sport where the ball is in play for seconds at a time


????

Football is a game of "plays". I don't see how this is even a valid criticism. If the ball was in play for minutes on end, how would you have a coherent game?

quote:
They are absorbing hits just as big as football players.


Lie. Even in modern football, with pads and protective equipment, we've seen neck and spinal injuries. Even paralysis! In older less..civilized versions of the game, we've seen death. In hockey your biggest threat is losing some teeth.

quote:
The NFL plays 16 games because their players would die, I agree. It is very brutal and taxing. Some level of injury happen every game. I would hate to have the body of a 35 year-old NFL player.


So wait, you're basically agreeing with me here. How can you say hockey hits are just as hard, but then also make this statement?

I don't know why I'm bothering though. You are extremely biased again Football and won't see reasoning. Are you Canadian by any chance?


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