Pirate Bay's fileshare four get year in jail

Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:39pm EDT
 
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By Veronica Ek

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Four men behind The Pirate Bay, one of the world's biggest free file-sharing websites, were each sentenced to a year in jail on Friday for breaching copyright, and ordered to pay $3.6 million in compensation.

Analysts said the guilty verdict in the closely-watched test case could help music and film companies recoup millions of dollars in lost revenues, though they doubted it would stem the tide of illegal downloading.

In a broadcast on The Pirate Bay's website one of the four defendants, Peter Sunde, taunted the court, holding up a mock IOU note for 31 million Swedish crowns ($3.6 million) followed by the initials "JK" -- Internet lingo for "just kidding."

"That's the closest they're going to get to getting money from me," Sunde said.

International trade body IFPI, which represents some 1,400 record companies across the world, reported earlier this year that about 95 percent of music downloaded in 2008 was illegal.

On its website, The Pirate Bay scorned the ruling, calling it a "crazy verdict."

"It was lol (laugh out loud) to read and hear," the message read. "But as in all good movies, the heroes lose in the beginning but have an epic victory in the end anyhow. That's the only thing Hollywood has ever taught us."

IFPI Chairman John Kennedy welcomed the court sentence which he said in a statement provided a "a strong deterrent" against copyright infringement.   Continued...

 
<p>Pirate Bay co-founders Fredrik Neij (L), Gottfrid Svartholm (C) and Peter Sunde leave the city court after the last day of argument's in their copyright trial in Stockholm, March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Strong</p>