Pirate Bay Founders Get 1 Year in Prison and $3.6m Fine

April 17, 2009

Pirate Bay four jailed for breaking copyright in Swedish file-sharing trial

The founders of file-sharing website The Pirate Bay have been sentenced to a year in jail in Sweden for breaking copyright laws by helping millions of users download music, movies and computer games for free.

Experts believe the ruling could be the first step towards ending illegal downloading, which has cost music and film companies billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Founders Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, along with two other employees Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, were sentenced to a year in jail after being found guilty in a Swedish court of making 33 copyright-protected files accessible for illegal downloading on the website Piratebay.org.

The four were also ordered to pay $3.6 m (£2.4m) in damages to copyright holders, including Warner Brothers, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony and Universal, according to Swedish media reports.

A sad day when giant corporations and government get into bed with each other to bend the law to their own ends, all at the expense of the people. The music industry’s business model is outdated. It’s not the web’s fault that they never bothered to figure out how to actually get paid for their crap. And it’s crap anyway. I doubt a lot of this stuff would even get listened to if people had to pay for it. You can’t make the excuse that people are stealing your stuff when really they wouldn’t want it unless it’s free – because it sucks.

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