Pirate Bay co-founder banned from running site

Pirate Bay co-founder banned from running site
The Pirate Bay's Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde, Feb. 2009
One of the co-founders of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde, has been banned by Stockholm district court from continuing to run the filesharing site.

If Sunde defies the ban, he must pay a fine of half a million kronor ($68,160). The court’s decision is an interim ruling and is effective until the criminal case against Sunde and two of the other co-founders, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, is finally settled.

Svea Court of Appeal had already pointed out this spring that Neij and Svartholm continue to run The Pirate Bay even though all three were already convicted in another case by the district court for abetting the violation of copyright law.

At that time, they were required to restrict access to file-sharing services. The court decided that the threat of penalty prohibited Neij and Svartholm from running the site.

Since Sunde could not be served a writ of summons in court last autumn, the court could not examine the question of a fine against him until last Friday, when the decision was announced.

The battle against The Pirate Bay is powered by four record companies and 13 film studios. They want to stop The Pirate Bay, which they believe violates the law.

The four founders of the site were sentenced to one year in prison in 2009 as accessories to breaking copyright laws. They also were sentenced to pay 30 million kronor in combined damages to the companies.

All the convicted have appealed their sentences and the case will eventually be taken up at Svea Court of Appeal.

The men were convicted by the district court because they, through the site, have made it possible for the public to download music and movie files for free, helping users infringe copyrighted works.

Parallel to the criminal proceedings, the record and movie companies initiated a new legal battle in October last year against the founders, whom they consider to continue to run The Pirate Bay. The companies demand that the founders pay a fine of several million kronor.

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