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'Pirate Bay earned millions from advertising'

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'Pirate Bay earned millions from advertising'
07:55 CEST+02:00
The Pirate Bay earned up to 35 million kronor ($5.2 million) in advertising revenue from the file sharing website, film companies maintained on the second day of the appeals court trial on Wednesday.

The claims were dismissed by Jonas Nilsson, legal counsel for one of the defendants, Fredrik Neij.

Nilsson argued that instead of being a profits earner most of the work to keep The Pirate Bay running had been undertaken on a voluntary unpaid basis.

"The revenues, which were not very large, went to buying new equipment," Nilsson said.

The issues of money and revenues took up much of the second day of proceedings in Stockholm, according to tech website TorrentFreak.

Representatives from the music and movie industries cited lost revenues and declining sales that they claim can be attributed to The Pirate Bay, the website reported.

They presented the claims over the advertising revenues to support their argument that The Pirate Bay is run as a commercial organization.

Prosecutor Håkan Roswall spent part of Wednesday explaining to the court the various roles that he claims the four defendants played in the operation of The Pirate Bay.

When Roswall had completed his presentation he is reported to have raised a few laughs in the audience when he introduced Peter Danowsky of the music industry organisation IPFI, erroneously introducing him as a member of the “International Federation of the Pornographic Industry", TorrentFreak reported.

Danowsky went on to argue that the damages claimed from The Pirate Bay are equivalent to if the website had obtained licences to distribute the music worldwide.

The appeals court proceedings opened on Tuesday with some confusion when one of the four men behind the file sharing website The Pirate Bay, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, failed to turn up.

It was later confirmed by Svartholm Warg's attorney Ola Salomonsson that he was sick in hospital in Cambodia.

On Wednesday it was Fredrik Neij who declined to attend court, with Johan Nilsson explaining that he had been "under the weather lately".

Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, as well as Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were all convicted in April 2009 on charges of being accessories to copyright violations.

The four defendants are appealing their conviction and sentence of 12 months imprisonment and a collective fine of 30 million kronor ($4.4 million) payable in compensation to a slew of record and film companies.

Peter Sunde has told media that he considers the court proceedings to be "a waste of time" as he was certain that the case would continue all the way up to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime defence attorneys for the four men have all argued that their clients should be acquitted or have their penalties reduced.

The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular BitTorrent trackers, meanwhile remains open and has more members than ever, despite several attempts to force its closure.

All of the four defendants are resident overseas. Carl Lundström in Switzerland, Fredrik Neij in Thailand, Peter Sunde in Germany and Svartholm Warg, in Cambodia.

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