Prosecutor sets stage for Pirate Bay trial

Later this week public prosecutor Håkan Roswall plans to bring charges against the people who run the popular Pirate Bay file-sharing site. They are accused of being accessories to breaches of copyright law, Reuters reports.

The Pirate Bay is widely considered to be the world’s largest file-sharing website for movies and music. Launched in 2003, the site is estimated to have around ten million users worldwide.

In May 2006 police staged a major raid on the site. A number of suspects were taken in for questioning and servers connected to the site were impounded.

If convicted, the suspects risk fines or jail terms of up to two years.

Håkan Roswall does not believe that convictions in Sweden will be enough to stop the site.

“Because the infrastructure is scattered among several places around the world… no separate country will be able to stop the site,” he told Reuters.

The Pirate Bay however has consistently argued that it cannot have broken any laws as it does not host copyrighted material on its site.

“It’s idiotic. There is no legal ground (for the charges),” spokesman Peter Sunde told Reuters.

In 2007, some 600,000 Swedes are thought to have used the site to download movies.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), illegal downloads of music currently outnumber legal purchases by twenty to one.