Music industry demands fines for Pirate Bay duo

Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, two of the men found guilty for their role in operating The Pirate Bay file sharing site, both find themselves once again in the recording industry’s crosshairs.

Four major record companies, Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner Music, have renewed their calls for the two men to each pay 500,000 kronor ($71,000) in fines for not taking steps to prevent Pirate Bay (TPB) users from downloading copyrighted music using the site.

Following the October ruling by the Stockholm District Court, which paved the way for Neij and Svartholm Warg to be fined, The Pirate Bay decided to shut down the tracker that allows users to share digital files.

The site’s operators argued that the technological development of decentralized peer to peer networks had rendered the site’s tracker unnecessary, as file sharers could establish connections without the BitTorrent technology featured on The Pirate Bay.

“Now that the decentralized system for finding peers is so well developed, TPB has decided that there is no need to run a tracker anymore,” read the Pirate Bay’s blog in November.

But the record companies allege that the move didn’t change anything and urged the court to move ahead with fining Neij and Svartholm Warg.

“The changes in the tracker function haven’t changed the file sharing services function,” the record companies argue in a recent petition filed with court.

“Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg have seen to it that users can use the new tracker by making sure that TPB’s website automatically provides links to the trackers to all the torrent files which are on or are uploaded to TPB.”

The record companies also argue that both Neij and Svartholm Warg are still involved in the operation of The Pirate Bay, despite claims by both that they are no longer involved and that the site is now operated by a company known as Reservella.

If the court agrees with the record companies’ arguments, the pair could then be forced to pay the fine.

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