“I have decided to not be the spokesperson for The Pirate Bay anymore,” Sunde wrote on his blog.
He explained that serving as Pirate Bay spokesperson simply put too many demands on his time.
“I want to build something new and I want to focus my energy in a different direction. I have projects waiting to be finished, a book is waiting to be finalized and many more books are waiting to be read,” Sunde wrote.
Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay has been facing a slew of legal challenges over the past year.
In April, Sunde, along with site co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij, as well as financier Carl Lundström, were convicted by a Stockholm court of being accessories to copyright violations. They were each sentenced to a year in prison and collectively fined 30 million kronor ($4.2 million).
And last week, a Dutch court ruled that The Pirate Bay be banned in the Netherlands, ordering the site’s owners to pay fines €30,000 ($42,000) for every day it remains in operation.
While Sunde made no mention of The Pirate Bay’s impending sale to Swedish IT company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF), some observers said the impending deal contributed to his decision to step down.
“With the sale of The Pirate Bay to Sweden’s Global Gaming Factory still promised for the final days of August, it’s doubtful whether his unique blend of abilities would be compatible with their immediate business strategy, if the deal sails through,” said TorrentFreak, a technology news website.
According to Sunde, however, the reasons for ending his journey as Pirate Bay spokesperson seemed to a bit more existential in nature.
“Today marks the end of a small era for me,” he wrote.
“But I am simply leaving a role in order to be a person instead.”