More delays for Pirate Bay trial

The pending trial of the the men behind the file sharing site The Pirate Bay has been pushed back yet again and may not start before next year.

More delays for Pirate Bay trial

“It has taken an extremely long time. It took time to inform the suspects, the last one as late as May. Then the claims from the plaintiffs had to come in,” said Anita Thimberg, an administrator with the Stockholm District Court, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

According to Thimberg, several of the lawyers working on the case have extremely busy schedules, as do several of the representatives for the plaintiffs in the case, making it difficult to find a date to start the trial.

It was back in January when the four main people behind The Pirate Bay, Hans Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström, were indicted for “promoting other people’s infringements of copyright laws,” according to charges filed at the time.

The charges cover 33 cases of alleged copyright infringement, including twenty involving music, nine related to movies, and four dealing with computer games.

The suit demands that the accused pay damages of 1.2 million kronor ($185,000) to the Swedish state and that suspects’ computers to be confiscated.

In addition, Pirate Bay four also face sizeable damage claims from the recording and film industries.

In March, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Ifpi) filed a suit demanding 15 million kronor for the illegal distribution of music files on The Pirate Bay, prompting a sharp reaction from one of the site’s founders, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg.

“The record companies can go screw themselves,” he said at the time.

Later in the spring, the Motion Picture Association of the United States (MPA) also filed a request for 93 million kronor in compensation, a figure which Svartholm Warg called a “well-developed fantasy”.

According to Thimberg, no final decision has been made as to when the trial may start.

While she hopes that the trial can begin by the end of the year, it is conceivable that the entertainment industry may have to wait until 2009 before seeing The Pirate Bay’s founders in court.

“It’s our responsibility to decide it as soon as possible,” Thimberg told DN.