• Sweden's news in English

Court affirms jail time for Pirate Bay founders

TT/AFP/The Local · 26 Nov 2010, 20:17

Published: 26 Nov 2010 14:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Nov 2010 20:17 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

All three of the men have been sentenced to prison, although their terms have been reduced from those initially handed down by the lower court.

"The Appeals Court, like the district court, finds that The Pirate Bay service makes possibly illegal file sharing in a way that entails a punishable offence for those who run the service," the court said in its ruling.

Fredrik Neij was sentenced to 10 months in prison, Peter Sunde to eight months and financial banker Carl Lundström to four months.

In addition, the court of appeal increased the compensation the defendants are required to pay up to 46 million kronor ($6.57 million). Lawyers for the entertainment industry had requested damages of 120 million kronor.

"This is wrong, this is just really wrong. Now it's time for the Swedish legal system to shape up a little bit about what they think and believe about the world. This is just reprehensible, totally and utterly reprehensible," Sunde told the TT news agency.

Ludvig Werner, chair of the Swedish arm of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), called the verdict "an extremely clear signal."

In April 2009, the Stockholm District Court convicted Sunde, Neij, Lundström and fellow Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg of facilitating copyright violations.

Each man was sentenced to one year in prison. They were also ordered to pay a total of 30 million kronor in damages.

The appeals court didn't review the case against Svartholm Warg because he was sick in a hospital in Cambodia during the trial. He is set to receive a new trial at a later date.

The court of appeal ruled that evidence showed that the three men charged in the case had been involved in facilitating illegal file sharing.

"Unlike the lower court, the appeals court does not believe one can make such a collective decision entailing that everyone carries the same responsibility for what is done within the framework of The Pirate Bay," the court explained.

"Each one will be puinished only for the acts he has committed himself," judge Ulrika Ihrfelt told reporters in Stockholm.

Werner was also pleased that the damages claim was increased by more than 50 percent.

"This is positive news, naturally, because the appeal and the district court result are so similar," said Werner.

He pointed to other sites that carry out similar activities and hopes they will also consider what the ruling entails.

Monique Wadsted, an attorney representing American record companies, was pleased with the ruling.

"It's a relief that the court of appeal finally affirmed that if you carry out this type of activity, you'll go to prison," she told TT.

Story continues below…

"In two years, this type of piracy will be over. After a ruling like this and all the pioneers start to get older and have children and families, piracy won't occur to this extent."

While Christian Engström, a member of the European Parliament representing the Pirate Party, called the ruling "depressing," he disputed whether the ruling would affect file sharing.

"The judgement has no meaning for file sharing. It has continued to increase from year to year and the technical capabilities continue to develop," he told TT.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay, which claims to have more than 23 million users, makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

During last year's trial, the defendants maintained that file sharing services can be used both legally and illegally, insisting their activities were within the law. They vowed to wage a lengthy legal battle and to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:32 November 26, 2010 by wolverine2k
Elect the Pirate party and get these rogue politicians out of their white castles whose only duty is to serve the corporates...
15:04 November 26, 2010 by eppie
Since when is the swedish state serving american record companies? Shame!
15:34 November 26, 2010 by donutwallah
Disgraceful that the Swedish judiciary kowtows to US business in this grovelling manner.
15:46 November 26, 2010 by KevinFairchild
"In two years, this type of piracy will be over. After a ruling like this and all the pioneers start to get older and have children and families, piracy won't occur to this extent."


Is this guy for real?!?!?
15:56 November 26, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
"In two years, this type of piracy will be over. After a ruling like this and all the pioneers start to get older and have children and families, piracy won't occur to this extent."

just as:

"640 K ought to be enough for anybody."

-- Bill Gates, 1981
16:09 November 26, 2010 by Twiceshy
This is a joke, going to prison and paying millions in fines from making a site which doesn't host any copyrighted content.

Do NOT buy records from RIAA / MPAA affiliated companies.
16:12 November 26, 2010 by BrittInSweden
@jazzIIIlove Bill Gates never made that comment. It is a commonly used misquote.

If people paid for what content they wanted there wouldn't be this problem. Stop thinking the world owes you and buy the things you want. You can bitch and cry all you want but the right decision was made by the Swedish courts.
16:29 November 26, 2010 by Twiceshy
"Stop thinking the world owes you and buy the things you want"

What a wonderful analysis of the all the legal complications involved in this case. I'm convinced, these guys belong in jail.

(for the extremely dumb, yes I was being sarcastic)
16:41 November 26, 2010 by Digithed
It's pretty plain to see that the Swedish legal system has been hijacked by the media industry.

Typical fines dished out recently by the courts in Sweden..

Murder: 75000kr (£6825)

Rape of a 14 year old girl: 50000kr (£4550)

Pirate Bay fine for aiding Copyright infringment: 46000000kr (£4.1 million)

Make up your own mind as to whether the legal system has been manipulated or not.
16:45 November 26, 2010 by eppie

If record companies and movie companies would give me my money back everytime there products turn out to be crap (like with every other product you buy) I will pay for their CD's and movies.
17:54 November 26, 2010 by hordequester
@BrittInSweden, One actual quote is "64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time." Said during his 1989 speech on microcomputing. It's nearly impossible to prove whether he did or didn't say it. At this point, it's just his word against rumor. Obviously, he would never admit to saying that openly.

This ruling is flat proof of the corruption of the entertainment industry and just how much power money can buy.

Want it to stop? Quit buying their crap.
18:19 November 26, 2010 by Markus G
"In two years, this type of piracy will be over"

Obviously she is clueless. The Pirate Bay is still running as well as ever. Most people who are used to the bittorrent model do not know how to buy music "legally". Many have grown up with the torrent model and where there is demand, there will always be supply. Even for people who actually own a CD, it is sometimes easier to just download the music rather than search for the CD.
18:50 November 26, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
Injustice and crap, the court is indeed injust.

People I' will not keep quite organise a demonstration and I will be there.

I also request every one to support them at least if every one pays 50 Crowns to their website.

This is stupid that is too big fine and there will always be piracy ALWAYS.
19:01 November 26, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
Theft is theft, even in the digital age. Swedish companies presumably have the right to sue individual Americans for the same thing.

Anyone whose income depends on his/her creativity and expertise (whether one is a musician, engineer, architect, author, inventor, etc..) would be annoyed if their creative output was stolen and posted on a file share website, such that their potential financial compensation for their hard work and inventiveness was largely eliminated. And if they work for a company, the company would be equally annoyed.

Many people have deluded themselves into thinking that if downloading music and moves is so easy to do, then it should be free and legal.
19:25 November 26, 2010 by keepvogel
People saying that piracy will be over soon, are not able to justify the court's verdict.

Seriously, that's just plain stupid...

And the most stupid fact is, that with this conviction The PirateBay is not even affected. Even if TPB was, for example, taken down, another 10 new torrent sites would arise.

The internet is always 2 steps ahead.
19:55 November 26, 2010 by DAVID T
It's a pity that they didn't have the court case in England - they would have got at least five years in prison and I mean real prison not the holiday camps they have here. I'd love them to be somebody's personal swedish bitch in a real prison. Good riddance for a year anyhow
20:26 November 26, 2010 by eppie

You have to see the difference between a digital file and a tangible thing like a car or a pair of trousers.

If movie and music industry want the same rules as for tangible things, than that should also go the other way. Let me pay 100 SEK to see a crap movie in a cinema? Give me back my money. Let me buy a crap CD from a crap artist who is just marketed very good, once I find out the CD is crap, I want to be able to return it and get my money back.
21:08 November 26, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant

"If movie and music industry want the same rules as for tangible things, than that should also go the other way. Let me pay 100 SEK to see a crap movie in a cinema? Give me back my money. Let me buy a crap CD from a crap artist who is just marketed very good, once I find out the CD is crap, I want to be able to return it and get my money back."

What type of Buzarro world to you live in? For a start read some reviews for films or download a 20 sec sample of music before you hand over your money. When was the last time you demanded a refund from the cinema or a restaurant because you felt robbed. Never, I bet.

Put these guys behind bars and then move onto the rest of the freeloaders who think that the world owes them a turn. In my circle of friends, the wheel is turning. People are now embarrassed to admit they download movies when they realize that they are in fact stealing off those who pay the admission price.
23:27 November 26, 2010 by lux.veritas
Digithead's point is on the button and a symptom of so many systems which are corrupt, flawed and failing people from the very top down.

EtoileBrilliant's point is also poignant. How often do we watch a crap film, buy a crap book, or listen to a crap CD. No money back guarantee, token or voucher.

"There is no cruder tyranny than that perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." Montesquieu 1689 - 1755.

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state." - Tacitus.

"All those who have come seeking justice, leave all hope at the threshold."

The majority of imprisoned people are for non-violent 'law infractions'; yet war criminals, tortures and other evil doers owned and run by state, corporation and bank walk the streets with near impunity.

Dodge your taxes, make your own booze, grow your own weed plant and storm trooper suited and armed government thugs bust down your door and brutalise you. After the black-robed judge of doom has stolen everything off you, taken a cut for the corrupt court and given the rest to the rotten criminal state you spend time in a jail where you are brutalised and criminalised further.

Moralising individuals who blurt on about the law being the law really should take a deeper look into the vile institution; where justice is out of the reach of common folk and true victims, where the court is a tool for the powerful, wealthy and the state.

This is a must see documentary, 'Social Engineering in the 20th Century':


Practical anarchy audio or pdf, over 20 million downloads at freedomainradio:

00:43 November 27, 2010 by crofab
A terrible ruling, the courts should really be ashamed of themselves.
00:55 November 27, 2010 by my5cents
The Swedish government is looking like little angels compared to what is happening over in the USA right now.

The entire population is being robbed by the government and the banks!

There will be a serious disaster soon ......

Go to YouTube and do a search on:

Meltup (Two parts)

Hyper inflation nation (6 parts)

Just released a few days ago:

"The Day the Dollar Died"

What do you think is going on at the top?
08:31 November 27, 2010 by eppie

That is exactly what I mean. The trailer of a movie always shows the coolest part of the movie. You go an watch it and notice that the rest is crap. That is daylight robbery.
10:27 November 27, 2010 by my5cents
ok Mr. "Brigthstar" - I can see that you are not bright enough to catch on and did not get it!

Go back and watch your cartoons and play your video games now.... LOL
11:44 November 27, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
Re: Fines for violent crimes like rape and murder in Sweden. These fines are too low, but this does not automatically imply that the fine for enabling massive global digital theft was too high.

Re: Piracy will continue. All types of commerical crime and violent crimes will continue, and this does not automatically imply that the victims of these crimes should stop pursuing the criminals or the enablers of these crimes.
13:21 November 27, 2010 by birdofprey2
PB Prosecutor who says "Piracy is dead now" Monique Wadsted


Monique Wadsted contact:

* Telephone direct: +46 8 407 09 00

* Fax: +46 8 407 09 10

* Mobile: +46 70 770 84 25

* Email: monique.wadsted@se.maqs.com

* vCard: monique-wadsted.vcf
13:49 November 27, 2010 by bodd
hey we are music lovers! we are cool !

when we aren't dreaming about getting a girlfriend and masturbating in front of our screens. we give music away......for free.

yes thats right, you heard it right ! we give other peoples music away.......for free.

but its ok, we don't actually host the files, we just have links to where you can download them. clever aren't we? yes we are big and clever. we are groovy.

its ok its a copyright issue after all and you don't need record labels after all.

Btw did we mention we have a friend in an indie band, they are really talented and they tried self-releasing their stuff but it got kinda lost online with so much noise and other bands online, now they want a record deal instead, hey maybe you can give them a record deal so people can hear their stuff? we promise not to pirate THEIR stuff as they are our mates after all.

whats that you say small european independent record company? you are going into liquidation because everyone steals your artists music? but what about our mates band, why won't you give him a record deal? .......what? there are no more record companies? thay have all gone bust? no one to invest in underground bands anymore? its all x-factor pap now......

hey no it wasn't our fault, no we are clever and cool, we are the pirate party, hey vote for us, hey ...........we give others talented artists music away for free.......
18:20 November 27, 2010 by jazzIIIlove

You are right, but there is and there cannot be perfect secrecy of an intangible product. Even Bishop says so in its book as Introduction of Computer Security; whether there are security mechs, or not, noone can provide 100% anti-pirated environment. Moreover, it may be misunderstood by other parties as the freedom of sharing (yes, it's a freedom) is supressed.
21:40 November 27, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant

When you grow up, move out of your mother's basement and give your right hand a rest, you'll realize that there's a real world out there where people work for a living, save for what they want and buy copyrighted material, rather than steal it.

The question downloaders can never give me a straight answer for is, what, in their opinion, is a fair price to pay for a movie or a music track (no money back guarantees) . The answer is always "free".
13:34 November 28, 2010 by aonri o b
@everyone taking the side of the Multi National companys you should read "Appetite For Self-Destruction" (the spectacular crash of the Record Industry in the digital age) by Steve Knopper. Whitch tells the storey of the enormous greed and stupidiy of the degernate record companys, witch totally ripped off us punters, and artists off for years, making HUGE profits,and resisting all ideas for change because of the enormous profits they were making on CD format, To defend them you really have to be a total Moran or work for a record company,and I wouldent be a great fan of Pirate Bay either.Also I think giving out the Lawer's Moniques deatails are totally out of line,she is only doing what Lawer's are meant to do,ie fight both sides of a issue
14:24 November 28, 2010 by Rebel
Wonder if Obama's Homeland Security Department, which now is targeting web sites that feature music downloads (and you thought terrorists were just people who blew up things) helped to put pressure on the glorious little bald dude to make sure the legal system went after these men.
15:46 November 28, 2010 by bodd
@aonri o b

That would be Moron, not moran.......

yes its true, large MAJOR record companies are/were greedy and are now f**ked.

BUT.....can you explain to me how the music industry (thats small independent labels, usually run at a loss for the love of the music and the artists) can survive?? can you?

so whats going to happen WHEN THERE ARE NO MORE BANDS? are all the pirates going to record the music themselves and swap it amongst themselves in a

file sharing freebie frenzy?

.....because all the TALENTED musicians that might have pursued a life in music (thats life not career) will pursue other options as there will be no discernable advantages in playing music at all save for the love of it. being a musician will be akin to being a poet now.

there is already way too much sub-standard music online, impossible to find in all the noise. Record labels act as filters saying this is good, please listen to it and maybe buy it.

we have already seen people prostituting themselves out to corporations with endorsed tours and releases, so basically we will return to the 15th century with bands having to be sponsored by benefactors who control their lives, like painters such as vermeer etc were sponsored.

the self release route doesn't work, maybe 1% of the time.

Daddy ,whats a rock n' roll band? hey son, there was a time after the 2nd world war and the start of the 21st century where outsider kinda dudes played wild music and toured and were rebels but then everyone started giving their music away and it became disposable and wasn't seen to be worth anything. They all died out son.
00:53 November 29, 2010 by perryinjax
Dear Swiss officials,

It is so very sad to see that you are the puppet pushover for the American Corporate bigshots...now you are in the same company with American politicians,....at the beck and call of Greedy corporations and to hell with the PEOPLE you are SUPPOSED to serve. Bend right over for every whim of the corporations and their lobbyists!

It is UNTRUE that piracy could possibly cause any musician or movie studio to lose enough money to make them "All die out" or even anything close.

To the comment that says, "but then everyone started giving their music away and it became disposable and wasn't seen to be worth anything. They all died out son. "...what an idiot you are!

I am ashamed to be of the same species as the GREEDY corporate power mongers.....SHAME! SHAME!

Never will I do anything to support the RIAA / MPAA affiliated companies if I can help it one bit!

If anything they have only ENCOURAGED me to pirate from them.

I DESPISE them....greedy bastards...scared to death they might lose a few pennies.

Rediculuos! Sending these guys to jail!

My heart goes out to them and their families.
09:43 November 29, 2010 by Seamus Guevara
@perryinjax my heart goes to switzerland
21:28 December 11, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
Pirate bay supports wikileaks n wiki angered the bully
22:50 February 7, 2011 by gmx
In my opinion the defendants should have been found nor guilty by the court on the grounds that their software was misused by others who should be held accountable for their own illegal actions. I give two examples to explain my reasoning:

1. Vehicle manufacturers produce cars capable of exceedong speed limits. They are not procecuted when a driver of one of their cars is caught speeding.

2. Arms manufacturers are not procecuted when people are killed by their a lethal weapons.
Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available