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Italian prosecutor pursues The Pirate Bay

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 3 May 2009, 10:44

Published: 03 May 2009 10:44 GMT+02:00

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Italian prosecutor Giancarlo Mancusis is conducting a legal investigation into the four men behind The Pirate Bay - Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reports.

The investigation is the first of its kind against The Pirate Bay outside of Sweden's borders.

Simona Lavagnini, a lawyer representing the Italian recording industry organisation Fimi, told DI that the recent convictions of The Pirate Bay founders by the Stockholm court has strengthened their resolve.

"We see the chances of a trial in Italy reaching the same result as good," Lavagnini told DI.

The charges under investigation are the same as those in the Stockholm court trial - accessory to copyright infringement. A conviction could lead to imprisonment of between six months and three years as well as significant fines.

The Pirate Bay has employed two IT lawyers based in Sardinia to represent their interests, DI writes.

"The case will almost definitely reach court. But I do not understand how the prosecutor can prove "accessory" to crime. Nor do I understand how this can come under Italian criminal law," one of the lawyers, Giovanni Gallus, said to DI.

Story continues below…

The Pirate Bay has never located any servers in Italy nor used the country as a base for its activities. They have 450,000 contacts in Italy, around 2.3 percent of the total visitors to their site.

In August 2008 Fimi sued The Pirate Bay and an Italian judge ruled that the site should be blocked in Italy. The ruling was appealed and the case will be heard by the Italian supreme court in September.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:03 May 3, 2009 by RoyceD
and its called a justice system.... yea right. This is getting out of hand, these four guys have committed no crimes that hurt society, they should be heralded as pioneers
13:09 May 3, 2009 by bjluv
These guys provided same service as what Google provided us. Maybe Sergey Brin, Larry Page together with the CEO, Eric E. Schmidt should also be charged the same way. Google alone provides more torrents than what PirateBay could offer.
15:56 May 3, 2009 by Thebinary1
From a legal standpoint, is this "double jeapordy"?
19:34 May 3, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
This sounds clearly to me like some sort of opportunism. Aren't they at the end of day only interested in the money raised from those fines?

If I can recall rightly - a couple of years ago Mr Beslusconi's lawers wanted to sue youtube for copyright infrigiments for allowing people to download and watch contents of his Italian channels Rete 4, etc. They asked for the miserable amount of half billion euros... hahahaha
02:28 May 4, 2009 by KnowledgeIsPower
Support the Pirate Party. People are trying to make knowledge and culture a currency to be horded and sold. The progress of human civilization is at stake here.
10:11 May 4, 2009 by peruzzijay
if we need to charge and sentence these guys for what they did, then i think its high time we begin to arrest and trial the Mail men for being party to criminal offences also...
16:17 May 4, 2009 by DAVID T
I hope they do get prosecuted In Italy and have to spend some time in a real Jail.

I own a music distribution company that have seen sales slide in the last 3 years - why do people think that music should be free? What's the point of musicians making great music for everybody to steal it? If that was the case nobody would bother.

Pirate Bay knew what they were doing was wrong - they've been giving the finger to the rights owners for years - maybe they need some time in the showers at an Italian prison - that would wipe the smirks off their faces.
16:26 May 4, 2009 by Kieruk
Would you also lock up all the people who on a sunny day play their music at full volume on the beach, as they are therefore doing a public performance of the music?

And also anyone who lends a friend a book? Should they be locked up as well??

The Music industry has just become too powerful, and is afraid that its massive profits are sliping away.

Make the music really cheap, and easier to find and download, and you will get more people paying for it. While it is much much easier to get it for free, people will continue to do so.
16:43 May 4, 2009 by Miss Kitten
The problem is that the rights owners have been going after the wrong people for years. Those torrent files that can be found on The Pirate Bay can also be found on thousands of torrent download sites all over the internet. If you're serious about fighting piracy then you should go after the actual pirates. That is, the people who uploaded the copyrighted content to the internet in the first place. Prosecuting a torrent download site for doing nothing more than linking to a file that someone else uploaded accomplishes nothing in the fight against piracy. It's like prosecuting Google for linking to copyrighted song lyrics.
17:32 May 4, 2009 by Nemesis
The italian authoritis have a nerve to purasue anyone outside there own justice system.

They need to start arresting Italians for all there crimes before looking outside the country.
10:27 May 5, 2009 by Snikk
Times have changed. There are plenty of businesses that don't make as much much as they use to... there are plenty more that have been wiped out all together.

What's happening here can not be stopped! Time to adapt.

The Italian prosecutor is just jumping on the bandwagon. Just because Sweden did it, and it got world wide attention, they now want to take it further.

I think that these prosecutors should go after real criminals. Child pornography on the internet is what they should be prosecuting instead.

I just don't believe that The Pirate Bay guys will spend a day in jail.
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