- 17 Apr 09, 10:09 GMT
From Hollywood to Stockholm via London, the movie and music industries will be breathing a sigh of relief, albeit one which will only last a short while.
The Pirate Bay has been, as far as the professional creative industries are concerned, public enemy number one in the battle against the file-sharing of content without permission.
For years, The Pirate Bay has not just ignored the requests and ultimately legal demands of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries and the Motion Picture Association of America, it has publicly and volubly taunted them, even daring them to try and sue it in the Swedish courts.
The IFPI and MPAA had to take action against The Pirate Bay because to do nothing would have meant sitting on their hands.
Certainly, the conviction of The Pirate Bay founders is the biggest scalp since Napster was brought to heel in July 2001.
Eight years ago Napster was successfully pursued and shut down but it is very unlikely that the same thing will happen to The Pirate Bay.
It is almost certain that The Pirate Bay will keep on sailing, long after today's court judgement.
The fact The Pirate Bay's servers are outside Sweden and the fact it has enough support to keep it afloat financially will ensure it remains one of the most popular sources of copyright material on the internet.
And given that The Pirate Bay's founders will appeal, the authorities in Sweden have no power to force the four men to switch off the power at the data centre.
But the IFPI and the MPAA know this only too well. The goal has never been the closure of The Pirate Bay, although I doubt they would say this publicly.
This was always about awareness and education.
Eight years ago Napster was one of only a handful of similar file-sharing technologies. The mistaken aim then was to try and cut people off at the source - and the source was the file-sharing technology.
The rise of BitTorrent and the plethora of clients and torrent trackers that make finding content simple has made that approach futile.
The professional creative industries know too well that file-sharing copyright files without permission is not something they will ever completely eradicate.
Instead, they want to drive it to the margins of society - and to do that they have to educate the file-sharers and attempt to eradicate the abuse of file-sharing technologies.
But the battle is a long, long way from success. Unauthorised file-sharing is many factors more popular now than it was in the days of Napster, fuelled by the ubiquity of broadband connections.
According to the IFPI, tens of billions of illegal files were swapped in 2007. The ratio of unlicensed tracks downloaded to legal tracks sold is about 20 to one.
There is a 'lost generation' of music listeners who probably will never be pulled back from using illegal file-sharing networks.
These are the people caught in the gap between the old model of physical disc sales and the new emerging models of streaming music (Spotify), subscription music (Comes with Music) and legal downloads (iTunes).
It is the heart and minds of those music listeners and film watchers born into the iPod generation that the music and film industries are targeting.
Victory over The Pirate Bay may not have meant its sinking, but it's a shot across the bows of those who are still using illegal file-sharing sites and, more importantly, those thinking of using such sites.
The battle is already shifting away from The Pirate Bay and towards those gatekeepers of the web, the Internet Service Providers.
The creative industries want ISPs to become the guardian of those gateways and take more responsibility over the way their customers use the internet.
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