Prince to sue The Pirate Bay

Pop star Prince is planning to sue Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay for copyright and trademark infringement. With the help of UK-based internet policing service Web Sheriff, the veteran musician is in the process of filing lawsuits in the United States and Sweden.

Prince to sue The Pirate Bay
Photo: Danny Moloshok/Scanpix

Web Sheriff President John Giacobbi told The Local that the time had come for The Pirate Bay’s founders to pay their dues.

“Because they’re based in Sweden they assume that George Lucas and Universal won’t come after them – and they have so far been proved right,” he said.

According to Giacobbi, The Pirate Bay had previously been able to “hide behind Sweden’s lax laws”. But these law had gradually become tougher, he said, and could now be used to pin down the BitTorrent giant.

“We are issuing proceedings in several countries and this time they’re going to have to come out and fight. If they choose to ignore this we will win a default judgment against them,” Giacobbi told The Local.

If successful, he said, the suit could result in a multi-million dollar damages award for Prince.

“That could then open the floodgates for other artists.”

Web Sheriff also intended challenging the view of The Pirate Bay as “self-professed anarchists” who ran the site for purely altruistic reasons.

“It is estimated that they make a minimum of $70,000 a month in advertising revenue. We’d like to know where that all goes,” said Giacobbi.

Prince hopes to stem the flow of money coming in to The Pirate Bay by taking legal action against advertisers and agencies that place ads on the site, many of which are based in Israel.

But The Pirate Bay was dismissive of the legal challenge being mounted by Prince.

“He’s welcome to try. But basically they have no clue what they’re doing,” spokesman Peter Sunde told The Local.

“For one thing, the United States has no jurisdiction in Sweden. Also, we’re not a company, so I don’t know why they’re trying to use company law. We’re just a bunch of friends,” he added.

The Pirate Bay also rejected Web Sheriff’s claim that the founders made a profit from the advertisements on the website.

“We don’t. We cover our expenses,” said Sunde.