Last week, the founders of Pirate Bay were found guilty of “assisting the distribution of illegal content online” in Sweden. The punishment is a year in prison and a fine of about £2.4 million. All the details are available to read in a fact-filled news item by the Guardian.
I didn’t follow the trial closely but some reports of what was happening filtered through to me. I am surprised the prosecutors managed to get any verdict considering they had to change the charges halfway through because they proved they didn’t understand the technology behind what was going on.
There’s a much more detailed run through of the court proceedings day by day at TorrentFreak but I guess everyone is really interested in the verdict now. It seems harsh to me.
The two arguments as I understand it, and put very simply:
- You are making it really easy for people to pirate music, TV and film, and we can’t have that.
- We are simply compiling a list of links. Sue us and you’ll have to sue Google too.
I guess in the end this is a precedent case, and if the Pirate Bay guys had got off then it would be really hard to prosecute anyone in the future.