The Pirate Bay faces massive damages claim

The Motion Picture Association of the United States (MPA) has demanded 93 million kronor ($15 million) in compensation from file sharing site The Pirate Bay, Computer Sweden reports.

The Pirate Bay faces massive damages claim

But Gottfrid Svartholm Varg, one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders, said the MPA’s claims had no basis in reality.

“These are very well-developed fantasies. They have a good sense of imagination,” he told The Local.

The MPA is basing its claim on the costs its members incurred as an indirect result of the illegal distribution of four films and one TV series – Harry Potter, The Pink Panther, Syriana, Walk the Line and the first season of Prison Break.

Earlier on Thursday, Computer Sweden also revealed that Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Agency (APB) was set to demand 6.75 million kronor in compensation from the four people responsible for The Pirate Bay.

When APB formalizes its demands in an impending submission to Stockholm District Court, The Pirate Bay will be left with a potential bill for damages amounting to almost 115 million kronor.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has previously said it would demand 15 million kronor from The Pirate Bay for the illegal distribution of music files on the site.

APB’s claim is partially based on what it refers to as a “hypothetical licence fee”, a figure calculated to correspond to what the companies affected would have charged to make movies available on the internet in the same way as The Pirate Bay.

The remainder of the claim is based on the number of times the files in question were actually downloaded.

Pirate Bay founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström have all been indicted on charges of being accessories to breaking copyright law.

A date for the trial has not yet been set.


Sweden now owns Pirate Bay domain names

The Swedish state became the unlikely new owner of two domain names used by The Pirate Bay after a court ruling on Tuesday.

Sweden now owns Pirate Bay domain names
The Swedish state now owns two Pirate Bay domain names. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

In its ruling the Stockholm district court awarded Sweden the domain names and

The case marked the first time a Swedish prosecutor had asked for a web address to be wiped off the face of the internet, Dagens Nyheter reports

“A domain name assists a website. If the site is used for criminal purposes the domain name is a criminal instrument,” prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told the Swedish daily earlier this year. 

Sweden’s Internet Infrastructure Foundation, which controls the Swedish top level domain .se, opposed the prosecutor’s move to prohibit any future use of the two Pirate Bay addresses.

The court agreed that the foundation had not done anything wrong and conceded that it could not force the group to block certain domain names, Dagens Nyheter reports. But by awarding the addresses to the Swedish state the court effectively ensured that they will not be sold on to another owner. 

The file-sharing service was temporarily knocked off line in December after police seized servers hosted at a data centre in a nuclear-proof bunker deep in a mountain outside Stockholm.

But seven weeks later the resilient file-sharing behemoth was back on its feet and Tuesday’s ruling is unlikely to knock it off balance for long, as the court cannot prevent The Pirate Bay from continuing to run sites on other domains.

The Pirate Bay, which grew into an international phenomenon after it was founded in Sweden in 2003, allows users to dodge copyright fees and share music, film and other files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site – resulting in huge losses for music and movie makers.

In 2009 four Swedes connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court. 

They were each give one-year jail terms and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) in compensation.