Pirates Jailed For A Year

The Pirate Bay site is still up and running and people are still using it to download free music, but four of the people behind the Swedish-based torrent tracker have been sentenced to jail for a year.

Apart from the prison sentence, an April 17 Swedish High Court judgment also ruled the four to pay 30 million kronor ($2.4 million) damages to a number of major entertainment companies including Warner Bros., Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

The defendants claimed they were running a streaming site and that Pirate Bay doesn’t store music for illegal downloading.

Peter Sunde, one of the pirates sentenced, has already made a Web cast mocking the verdict, describing it as being “bizarre” and “a bit weird” and waving an IOU note for the millions of dollars in damages.

In a Twitter posting, he said nothing will happen to The Pirate Bay and said the case was only “theatre for the media.”

Elsewhere, the Swedish court ruling was better received, with IFPI chairman and chief exec John Kennedy saying it was “the right outcome on all three counts.”

He said the trial was all about “defending the rights of creators, confirming the illegality of the service and creating a fair environment for legal music services that respect the rights of the creative community.”

“This is music to the ears of the thousands of small independents and artists who produce the majority of new releases today,” said IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith on behalf of the international indie music companies. “It demonstrates a real understanding of the dilemma that if no one pays for music today who will make the exciting new music of tomorrow?”