One of Pirate Bay founders convicted of aiding copyright infringement said the group is considering taking its case to the European court, after Sweden’s top judges refused to hear their appeal against a guilty verdict handed down in 2009.
In a ruling on Wednesday, the court said it would not grant the right to appeal to Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, three of those convicted in 2009 — effectively cementing their jail sentences and a €47 million ($7 million) fine. Another one of the site’s founders, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, had already lost the right to appeal after missing a hearing due to illness. All four have since moved abroad.
But Sunde, who now runs the online payments service Flattr but faces an eight month jail sentence and multimillion dollar fine, told me that the group would “probably” take their case to Europe — although other options were still available.
In addition, in a post on his blog, he said that the Pirate Bay had broken “the monopoly of information”, accused the Swedish legal system of corruption, railed against the entertainment industry, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and drew parallels with Wikileaks.
TPB has been one of the most important movements in Sweden for freedom of speech, working against corruption and censorship. All of the people involved in TPB at some time have been involved in everything from famous leaks projects to aiding people in the arab spring. We’ve fought corruption all over the world. We’ve promoted equal opportunities to poor nations around the globe.
The ethical argument will rage on, particularly in the wake of controversial legislation such as SOPA and ACTA.
But in the meantime, the organization appears to be taking defensive measures and the main Pirate Bay site appears to have been taken down. It is currently redirecting to a Swedish mirror, thepiratebay.se, in what Torrentfreak reports is an attempt to prevent domain seizure by US authorities — as was seen recently with the shutdown of Megaupload
A lawyer for Lundström, a pharmaceuticals millionaire with ties to extremist groups who had helped fund the Pirate Bay in its early days, told Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter that the decision was “absurd” and that the technical legality of torrent services still had to be examined closely.
“I am disappointed that the court is so uninterested to dissect and analyze the legal twists and turns of one of the world’s most high-profile legal cases of all time,” Per Samuelsson told DG.
However the case proceeds, it seems that the Swedish court’s decision could spark further action against other sites, according to the country’s Anti-Piracy Bureau.Stockholm’s Aftonbladet newspaper said the APB is preparing “a new offensive against filesharers”.
The highest court has made it clear that anyone who takes any part in these crimes, even those who supply the internet connection, will have to face up to their responsibility,” said Henrik Pontén, legal counsel for Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Bureau
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