back to article Pirate Bay guilty verdict: Now what?

The four men behind BitTorrent tracker website The Pirate Bay were handed stiff sentences of one year each this morning and ordered to stump up $3.6m in damages to the entertainment industry. The judgment may come as a short, sharp shock for members of the sprawling file sharing community. But the site will almost certainly …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    always gonna be guilty, you can't beat the machine. But at the same time just as the fall of napster did nothing, the inevitable fall of the pirate bay will do nothing.

  2. Steven Jones

    Wong Ship

    If they were operating from Somalia I could understand the pirate boat. As it is, surely a bunch of Swedes marauding across international frontiers with the aim of aiding and abetting the looting of foreign goods should have chosen a long boat as their emblem. I'm sure that the Rover one is available if they fancing pirating something.

    Of course, just like the Vikings, there will be some who consider consider these guys to be misunderstood, colourful heroes who were just dealing out to the wealthy what they deservered. Not everybody will see them in that light...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    stuff some foreign beak...

    ..who cares what some judge in Uppsala or wherever says? BT is so widespread in so many countries it makes no difference what Bjorn the Beak proclaims, and thus the law makes a mockery of itself.

    (which means I'm going to continue torrenting what I want, when I want, until the pricing from the media companies becomes realistic and fair, games aren't drm'd to the point of collapse, and commercial actually works and is worth the price the manufacturers expect you to pay for it. If they didn't rip us off in the first place we wouldn't go d/ling hookey copies)

  4. Mike Smith

    Doncha just luuurve this guy's innocence

    "Whereas The Pirate Bay was set up to make piracy easier, Google, which has many pros and many cons associated with it, will cooperate if we ask them."

    Riiiiiiigghhht - so the world's biggest and richest search engine will cripple their results just because of a legal verdict that (a) hasn't had its final appeal and (b) has no power outside the EU.

    Of course they will. How silly of me to assume anything else. They'll co-operate if asked. This nice man said so.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The guy does know that...

    .. hes given the pirate bay ammunition

    "We also asked Kennedy if the IFPI would consider going after Google following today's potentially landmark verdict.

    "The comparison with Google is amateurish," he said. "Whereas The Pirate Bay was set up to make piracy easier.""

    If they prove that false , and actually wouldn't be hard to do, they can sue him for libel and use that in the appeal, WP mate!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    This will run and run

    I find myself somewhat in the middle over this case. On the one hand I agree with the record industry, in that copyrighted content should be paid for, as it pays the salaries of the artists concerned.

    On the other hand, I object to the huge percentage of income that the record companies keep for themselves rather than passing on to the artists, and do feel its about time they started to embrace modern technology rather than fight it. Outmoded sales models won't last, and though they can prop up their income by prosecuting pirates, a revised distribution method would be a better long term plan.

    However, I find Engstrom's comments about 'destroying the internet' by trying to impose laws on it juvenile and somewhat missing the point. The Internet is just a communications medium - it is not some sort of lawless frontier where you should be able to do what you want. Transactions over the Internet need to be regulated to ensure rights aren't infringed. How would he feel if he bought something online only to not have the goods turn up, and then have no recourse to the law to recover his money?

    One slight irony though is the recent history of Metallica. After sueing the ar$e off Napster and its users for illegal distribution of its music, they went on to record 'St.Anger', an album which was in itself a disincentive to pirates because it was so unremittingly awful and not worth wasting bandwidth on. Their latest album 'Death Magnetic' is far better fare, but the CD is of such dreadful sound quality, that the only way to get a listenable version is to troll BitTorrents to find a copy of it ripped from Guitar Hero.

    Paris, becuase she wouldn't repel boarders (or possibly only ones with scruples).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, will TPB be up long enough for coders to replace it with something else?

    I'm betting on a big fat "yep"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice to see a conviction

    We'll see if justice is really served or if these criminals go free on a technicality.

  9. Barney Carroll

    "Google will cooperate"? Right.

    Obviously YouTube's recent absolution makes them think they're slowly consuming the universe.

    As for LInX: “This verdict is vindication of our belief to pursue the infringers through the court and not hold intermediates such as internet service providers responsible for the actions of third parties.”

    Bullshit. This is entirely about prosecuting intermediaries, not the infringers.

  10. blackworx


    "But, if the trial would have taken place in Blighty..."

    Try: "If the trial HAD TAKEN place in Blighty..."

  11. Pierre Silver badge

    Yeah, sad day indeed

    Regardles of whether one approves of TPB , erm, "philosophy", this is bad. Very poor prosecution case, no understanding of the underlying tech or principles whatsoever, this case is not going to solve any of the perceived "problems" of the recording industry. If anything, it will trouble the water a bit more. There could -should?- have been a reflexion on IP in the modern world, but all we saw was "they stole from us m'lud. We can't prove it and we don't know what they did or how they did it, but they are bad, honest m'lud, believe me". Pathetic.

    Bad justice is worst than no justice at all. In this case, I reckon the naughty IP-infringing will not decrease but strive as a reaction to a trial that was so much of a comedy that everyone involved will perceive it as unjust (no matter the final verdict, the MPAA, RIAA et al. lost all the benefits of winning by bringing up an utterly unresearched and ridiculous case in the first place).

    Pirate as that's what cool kids do. In Somalia.

  12. Benny
    Thumb Up


    "The comparison with Google is amateurish," he said. "Whereas The Pirate Bay was set up to make piracy easier, Google, which has many pros and many cons associated with it, will cooperate if we ask them."

    Ok, ask them then. Im sure they'll rush to remove all offending material from the searches and the caches.

    One could argue that it was setup to enable the distribution of non copyright material easier, and it has been abused by a few. ( see many ) Kinda like the whole guns dont kill people, people do

  13. Codge
    Black Helicopters

    Double plus ungood?

    > This verdict is vindication of our belief to pursue the infringers through the court and not hold intermediates such as internet service providers responsible for the actions of third parties.

    By that logic, The Pirate Bay are an intermediary shurely? Thereby not responsible for the actions of third parties.

    ?petard. own, his, by, Hoist

    Winch me up Scotty. Things are about to get nasty!

  14. Mat
    Dead Vulture

    Off topic but please...

    Will someone tell Kelly Fiveash that this is a site and therefore we'd like our currency conversions in sterling thank you very much. Yes, do tell us how many kronor or whatever the originating currency is, but then give us the amount in pounds (or you know what, I'm happy to accept Euros). But dollars? Beggars belief. Oh and kronor please - not Swedish Crowns!

    Not just a moan about this story but this one:

    and this one:

    all by the same author. Have I missed something? As they are all pirate-related stories why not gives us the amount in Doubloons? Just as meaningful as dollars in this case.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Miscarriage of Justice obviously

    How did piratebay breach copyright?

    Why not give jail time to producers of CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, DAT tapes, compact cassettes (am I showing my age there?), MP3 players?


  16. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    ""Whereas The Pirate Bay was set up to make piracy easier.""

    If they prove that false , and actually wouldn't be hard to do"

    Dude, the site is called the PIRATE bay. It's going to be quite hard to *prove* that the site was *not* set up to aid so-called "pirates". The reason we have judges in this world is because they can quickly eliminate stupid arguments like yours by invoking common bloody sense.

  17. mark c
    Black Helicopters

    The Pirate bay conviction

    The Pirate bay conviction, just shows the judicial system either dose not understand what they are ruling on or they are in the pockets of the RIAA etc.

    If pirate bay can be convicted of providing a means to allow people to break copyright then I can’t wait for when the directors of Colt and Smith n Weston get convicted of murder. For supplying equipment that is knowingly used to kill people.

  18. Peter Reynolds

    Lazy Entertainment Industry Deserves What It Gets

    Professor Carrier has it right. It's only the likes of Pirate Bay that have dragged the entertainment industry, kicking and screaming, into actually providing online services that consumers want. Ultimately, am I now going to be prosecuted for lending a Blu-ray disc, a CD or a book to a friend?

    I recommend The Pirate Bay and and

  19. frymaster

    re:"stuff some foreign beak"

    (which means I'm going to continue torrenting what I want, when I want, until the pricing from the media companies becomes realistic and fair, games aren't drm'd to the point of collapse, and commercial actually works and is worth the price the manufacturers expect you to pay for it. If they didn't rip us off in the first place we wouldn't go d/ling hookey copies)

    self-serving hypocrasy. "It's alright to rip these people off, because they rip people off!". Er... no it isn't. Either being a rip-off merchant is OK (in which case you should have said "I'll bittorrent because I'm a cheap git scumbag") or it's not, in which case you just DON'T BUY THE STUFF. Apart from anything else, you're convincing publishers that there's a decent market for their stuff if only they could write some better DRM.

    And for myself? Yeah, I use bittorrent, and I'm a cheap git scumbag. But at least I know it, and at least I'm not trying to claim some kind of moral right to rip people off.

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Too little, too late!

    At the end of the day it will make very little difference, big song and dance, let the **AA have their day in the sun but even they know it's nothing more than a simple PR exercise which might frighten say 2-3% BT users off the internet, but in the end will suddenly make more people curious to find out what this Pirate Bay thing is all about and does this torrent thing work anywhere else?

    Hell I know non-techie mums round my kid's primary school who boast what movies they got for nothing off the internet last night!

    You have your day in the sun, but this is too little too late!

  21. Martin

    corrected for you

    'The comparison with Google is amateurish," he said. "Whereas The Pirate Bay was set up to make piracy easier, Google, which has many lawyers and more money than us would kick our arses all over the american courts

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh wow.

    "This verdict is vindication of our belief to pursue the infringers through the court and not hold intermediates such as internet service providers responsible for the actions of third parties.”

    Intermediates in this case is defined by how close to London you are.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good result

    Won't do any good but for once the Law is not an ass. Should have locked them up for longer just for being wankers, the arrogant little shits!

  24. Yes Me Silver badge

    Computer Science dictum ruled invalid defence

    There's a well known dictum that "Any problem in Computer Science can be solved by adding a level of indirection." Up to now, I think, most legal judgments in most jurisdictions have accepted this as a defence. Storing copyright material without permission is illegal; storing a pointer to copyright material doesn't need permission. As far as I can tell from the reports I've seen, the Pirate Bay Four have been convicted and sentenced for storing pointers. This is serious. Quite apart from the ludicrous injustice of jail time for this "crime", it's a very dangerous precedent. Imagine the ramifications, especially if it's applied recursively. Anyone who has a web page of any kind that points to a page that points to a page that points... to some copyright material is at risk.

    The Swedish judges obviously missed out on Computer Science 101.

  25. Paul

    Guns don't kill people...

    Wabbits do! Summon tha police! WOO WOO WOO!

  26. Martyn Wright

    Google, Yahoo, MSN?

    People mention Google as having access to the same copyrighted material, but what about Yahoo and MSN? MSN is the one I find most ironic as Microsoft have been one of the companies that have complained about TPB in the first place, yet they also allow you to search for copyrighted material in torrent form.

    Once the appeal is heard by a tech-savvy judge, they'll be found innocent (hopefully).

  27. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Some thoughts


    My windows XP disc is borked and I want to re-install the OS, but I cannot buy another since M$ have decided not to sell it anymore.

    who do I turn to for a copy?

    Ok lets d/l an illegal copy off PB and install it.

    BUT I have a valid licence key for windows Xp so therefore I'm not breaking copyright

    But what about the record companies/movie companies?

    If they'd brought out decent file sharing software which would be locked to their site, along with a reasonable pricing regime to cover the cost of the server, storage, and associated other infrastructure with a small profit margin and a title showing how much goes to the artists, people would have had no need to go looking for pirated stuff and instead the record co's would be raking in even more money

    Unless they are sure that we would'nt want to buy today's mass produced pap.......

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think that they may have had more chance

    if they hadn't called the site The PIRATE Bay.

    If they had called it something unrelated to piracy then I believe they may have gotten away with it.

    I know if I had been sitting in that courtroom, i'd be thinking their intent was obvious from the name.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "Google will cooperate"

    I'm sure they will, its not as though it will cost them much...


    The Pete Waterman composition 'never gonna give you up' as performed by Rick Astley has been viewed on YouTube almost 150 million times.

    The payout from YouTube for this via PRS has been approximately £11.


    - so in round terms every 100,000 views of a music video is worth 1p to the artist(s).

    [ or, if you're so inclined, every 100,000 illegal downloads of a video available on YouTube costs the artist 1p ]

  30. Anonymous Coward

    The real surprise...

    What is surprising about the veredict is not that it was guilty, but that it was reached after such a poor and pitiable prosecution with a bunch of bad arguments, which makes it all seem like it was indeed a political trial.

    The best evidence for the assistance of copyright infringement was provided by the TBP guys themselves by making the site so pirate-friendly by creating direct categories for copyrighted TV shows and movies, running their "Oscar-specials" and endorsing known uploaders with coloured skulls, for example. If they had kept the site more neutral and emphasized the searching and user sharing aspect of it (instead of the "Download music, movies, software games!" title, for example), it would have been more difficult to regard them as significantly different than Google.

    The disturbing fact is, however, that AFAIK, the prosecution made no emphasis of these aspects and went on to make a fool of itself with stupid arguments (like the "one download - one lost sale" fallacy) and STILL managed to "win". This means that either the judge (jury?) convinced him/herself independently on his/her own or there was some significant transfer of money under the table.

    Let's hope the appeal goes better. I hate the copyright tyrants as much as anyone else.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sue everyone

    The BBC link to the pirate bay. Therefore they too are aiding in infringment. Proof; under related links.

    Sue the media for improving their presence on the web. their SEO, and so forth. TPB have not broken any Swedish law, and the fact remains that this is trial political and unjust as the Swedish politicians lubricate their backsides for the Americans to violate their citizens residing and obiding by the laws set upon them.

    So, we must therefore bring to trial natives in the Amazon for canabalism, places in the far east for under age relations, or many others for polygamy. The verdict is as atrociouss as the law and those who are there to uphold it laughable and aged.

    I don't pirate anything, but I stand with TPB.

    Paris, because she's been screwed just as hard.

  32. Matthew
    Thumb Down


    In the end it will just be like kazaa or napster. there is always another waiting to take its place

    What really gets me though is the way they measure copyright infringement. I mean if its free your going to download FAR more than if you have to pay for something. therefore, its stupid measuring the downloads etc and saying "we have list this much", because most of the people downloading wouldn't have bought it if it cost actual money.


  33. Remy Redert

    @Yes Me

    The important part here appears to be intent to assist in committing a crime.

    If you link to a DDL website with the intent to make it easier for someone to download illegal content off that website, you are committing a crime. Conversely, if you link (directly or indirectly) to that website as, for example, an example of how (not) to code a website, you would be in the clear.

    Similarly, Google provides links to lots and lots of things. It's set up to provide links for everything. The fact that some people (try to) abuse it to get copyrighted materials does not make Google break any laws. However a lot of torrent sites are stuffed with copyrighted materials and their aim is to make it easier for people to get these torrents and hence the copyrighted materials. If they made an effort to filter out the illegal stuff (Or simply had a hell of a lot more legal material!), they wouldn't have a legal problem.

  34. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    I love Paris in the springtime

    "I find myself somewhat in the middle over this case. On the one hand I agree with the record industry, in that copyrighted content should be paid for, as it pays the salaries of the artists concerned."

    First cuckoo of the spring. Well done that man!

  35. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Paris Hilton

    natives in the Amazon for canabalism

    You want us to sue fish for eating fish?


    I think this reading the comments section has gone too far.

    Night all.

  36. Doug Glass

    The Fat Lady ..

    ... has not just warmed up, she started to sing. That light at the end of the tunnel has bars in front of it. Steel bars and I don't mean the kinds that sell beer.

  37. Adrian Esdaile

    Wow, big surprise

    Well, knock me down with a feather!

    A large, obscenely rich, entertainment-industry funded bulldog steamrollered a small, independent party in court?

    Next you'll be saying that courts are just an opportunity for the very wealthy to flex their muscle when screaming & spittle doesn't work.

    After that, you'll be claiming that ALL civil courts are fundamentally corrupt and pander like lap-dogs to the rich (ie, their shower-room mates).

    Ah, but that would be contempt of court!

    The courts aren't even worth my contempt, I save it for more worthy institutions.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @ all the "they called themselves PIRATE Bay" comments

    The use of the name does not make them guilty, any more than calling myself Jack the Ripper makes me guilty of something. The "it shows intent" argument is bullshit too. If I publish a website about the various methods used by serial killers to evade detection over the years (like the FBI site, for example), it does not mean I am guilty of anything, nor does it mean I am trying to assist serial killers.

    The verdict was all about money and politics.

    If you think any differently, you're a naive fool.

  39. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Exactly right! Alright Napster buckled, but they had an easier model to break, but in the end we know how effective shutting down napster was at curtailing online "copyright infringement"!!!

    So this story hits the mainstream media and what's the first thing that happens? Joe Public puts "pirate bay" into Google and sees that stuff is available for nothing. Does this this torrent thingy work anywhere else? I search for "torrent sites" and more free places come up? Great! As I have said before, I know mums round at my kid's school who know how to use torrents to get movies but couldn't care less about anything else a computer can do!

    No such thing as bad publicity and I wish to personally congratulate the law on raising the numbers of people who will now join in the torrent scene.

    That's where it's going, it will not stop, this will make no difference and after the TPB "owners" have done their 2 weeks in prison, 'cos that's all it will come down to, they will continue to run their servers as though nothing has changed.

    Personally I just wish that the amount of money wasted on this could have been put to better use, like catching some of the real scum out there that blight lives and make life hell for some people, rapists, muggers, child abusers, etc!

  40. michael

    my little points

    1. the trail seames to me to be a it of a farce with the changing f the harges and the witnesses admiting they did not know what the site did ti seames silly

    2. @pepol who go after the name "the pirate bay" I have a tool called hijack this it sounds like a hackng tool but it is a anti hacking tool on the bases of there name should they be procuated? simulay one of the bigest anoynces in my work in a program called xp anti virus 2009 should they be let of cos they called it ANIT virus?

    3. I just bought a hd tv and a blu-ray player and I went to every shop in my town and could not find what I wanted in hi def at any price 5 mins on a torent site ( not TPB) and I got 48 hours of exactley the sort of hd programs I wanted to watch and instructions on how to make them play thrught my computer on my new tv or on my xbox360 on my new tv makes you think (3 mounth later I still have not used my blu-ray plaer)

  41. Andus McCoatover


    Er, surely you mean 'pieces of 8'? (Squawk!)

    Better to put figures in the most widely circulated currency.

    The Euro.

    Mine's the one with a few cents in the pocket. Euro-cents, natch.

  42. Dan
    Black Helicopters


    "Google, which has many pros and many cons associated with it, will cooperate if we ask them."

    Well, have you asked them? They have not removed all results. I can find a pointer to just about any {foo} by searching for "{foo} torrent".

    Since you have not asked them, why have you prosecuted TPB? One difference is that TPB folks have a nationality, religion, and race, while Google, being a company, does not.

    The RIAA and MPAA's treatment of piracy facilitators is therefore based on nationality, religion, and/or race. Proof: Two groups, TPB co-founders and Google, have both performed substantially identical acts. The group of nationality, religion, and race has been repeatedly harassed, and has now been prosecuted. The other has not.

    I'm not on the side of pirates, I'm on the side against the RI Ass. of A.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Sue everyone

    it's called balanced reporting, you ass, whereby your news source gives you sufficient information to inspect the evidence for yourself and draw your own conclusions, rather than ramming a the thick veiny cock of a biased agenda down your throat. Further, the BBC is linking to TPB's front page, which has precisely no links to any infringing material. Whether you choose to type something in the search box and follow the rabbit hole is entirely up to you.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    re: "storing a pointer to copyright material doesn't need permission"

    Pointers are evil. When mis-used they can cause insidious memory corruption, systemic instability and general collapse of ordered behaviour.

    They should have been given 10 years....

  45. Winkypop Silver badge

    I'd leave a comment but....

    .....I have about 12 torrents on the go, I'm copying a bunch of DVDs and I'm ripping my CD collection to MP3.

    So much free content, so little time.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About the comparison with Google etc

    I can find torrents with Google, like with TPB. But I cannot use a torrent client and Google alone to download what the torrents "points" to, but I can do that via TPB, can't I?

    Doesn't the torrent tracker "hide" the fact that TPB doesn't store the content directly, that from the client's perspective, TPB does store it by using the users local storage? (Virtualizes the storage)

    In addition, as others point out, Google probably wouldn't answer letters from copyright holders in the same spirit like TPB does:

    IMNSHO, these guys behave so arrogant and totally out of touch with reality that it is hard to believe that many people support them.

  47. Rapacity
    Paris Hilton

    Spot the difference


    Both groom impressionable (usually) young people for work,

    both ply their staff with affection,

    both run protection rackets,

    both over control their staff to the point of limiting their lives,

    both severely punish and are vindictive to non-payers,

    both take a huge cut of their staff's earnings,

    both, many would say, "own" their staff as opposed to hire them,

    both severely dislike competition...

    I could go on but I wont. There's only one difference and its a legal one. Can you spot it?

  48. Anonymous Coward


    "The Pirate Bay has cost the legitimate economy by taking away revenue for content creators, reducing tax revenue and possibly even costing jobs at these firms.”

    I think The Pirate Bay hasn't cost legitimate economy much as the sales of CD-R's, DVD-R's, etc would have gone up by 1000's, so its move just moved where the revenue was going :)

    I would be that Stupid DRM has cost the economy more as people dont want to buy music with DRM that will only allow them to play 1 or 2 devices

    I want to download a track that I could have and listen to on my PC, My laptop, my mobile, play on my car CD player and play on portable MP3 player

    Therefore am forced to either remove the DRM or finding the MP3 file else where

  49. Paul Delaney

    More Vinyl?

    Cheaper than a court case...

    Download that!

  50. theotherone



    The Pirate Bay stands for freedom of information, and the people behind it are heroes of the digital era's civil rights movement .....

    The people will prevail you greedy corporate fascist fucks .....


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