Swedish prosecutor files charges against The Pirate Bay
Stockholm, 31st January 2008
A public prosecutor in Sweden has today filed charges against The Pirate Bay, the international engine of illegal file-sharing. The charges of preparing and participating in copyright infringement have been filed against the four individuals who invested in and operate The Pirate Bay.
IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, welcomed news of the prosecution, which follows 18 months of investigation since the raid on The Pirate Bay’s offices in 2006. The service has continued its operations since that raid, facilitating access to copyright infringing material.
The Pirate Bay facilitates access to many forms of copyright infringing material, including music by popular Swedish and international artists and films, but also television programmes like the BBC’s Doctor Who and even books such as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.
The company’s claimed business model is based on selling advertising to brands that wanted to reach its 10 million users in more than 30 countries, while paying nothing for the content that it uses to attract those users.
The Pirate Bay allows its users to search for and download indexed torrent files, which contain the information needed to download data files containing the copyright-infringing content from other users of the service.
A broad coalition of rightsholders has supported action against The Pirate Bay for some time, calling on the Swedish government to provide the prosecution with the resources needed to complete the investigation.1
The four people facing charges today are Carl Lundstrom, Peter Sunde, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg.
The news comes two days after a Danish court issued an injunction ordering a major ISP to block its users’ access to The Pirate Bay because of its role in preparing and participating in copyright infringement.
John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, says: “The operators of The Pirate Bay have always been interested in making money, not music. The Pirate Bay has managed to make Sweden, normally the most law abiding of EU countries, look like a piracy haven with intellectual property laws on a par with Russia.
“We welcome the filing of these charges in Sweden. The evidence presented by the prosecutor shows that The Pirate Bay, which claims to be motivated by idealism, is really motivated by making money.”
Ludvig Werner, chairman of IFPI Sweden, says: “The Pirate Bay operation has caused massive financial damage to rightsholders. The profiteers behind The Pirate Bay have no interest in free speech, and they are not running The Pirate Bay because they love music and films. They are totally mercenary and are driven by the desire for personal wealth.”
* 1. IFPI, Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), Federation of European Publishers (FEP), International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP-CIEM), Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) and European Film Companies Alliance (EFCA)For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London