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AWOL pirate's guilty verdict comes into force

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AWOL pirate's guilty verdict comes into force
10:55 CEST+02:00
The guilty verdict against Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has come into force after his failure to request his appeal be heard.

He missed an original appeal hearing last year because he was ill in Cambodia.

In April 2009, the Stockholm District Court convicted Svartholm Warg, along with co-founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and financier Carl Lundström, 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 ($4.4 million) in damages.

All four appealed their sentences, and in November 2010 the Svea Court of Appeal uphold the convictions, with the exception of Svartholm Varg who failed to turn up at the hearing because of illness.

He was living in Cambodia at the time.

All three of Svartholm Varg's fellow Pirate Bay-founders had the jail terms of their sentences reduced from those initially handed down by the lower court, with Neij being sentenced to 10 months in prison, Sunde to eight months and 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.

But since Svartholm Varg missed the hearing, the court never reviewed his case. And now the time allowed for him to petition the court to hear his appeal has expired, meaning the original sentence handed down in 2009 has become legally binding.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay made it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using BitTorrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

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