Pirate Bay founders lose appeal

Pirate bay logo, AFP
Image caption The site has become notorious for hosting links to pirated music, movies and games

Three founders of The Pirate Bay have lost an appeal against a conviction for illegally sharing copyrighted content.

The Swedish appeals court upheld the 2009 ruling against the site's founders which saw them sentenced to a year in jail and heavily fined.

The ruling reduces the sentences the men face but increases fines to 46m crowns (£4.1m).

Three of The Pirate Bay's four founders were in court for the verdict. The other was too ill to attend.

The original verdict on Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Carl Lundstrom was handed down in April 2009 following a lengthy trial.

Lawyers acting for music labels and movie studios alleged that via The Pirate Bay, the four men helped people circumvent copyright controls.

The founders defended themselves by saying that The Pirate Bay did not host any pirated material directly.

The appeal court ruling will see Mr Neij serve a 10 month sentence; Mr Sunde eight months and Mr Lundstrom four months. Once Mr Svartholm Warg is fit his "criminal liability" will be tested by the appeals court.

Throughout the legal action and appeal hearing The Pirate Bay website has continued to function.

"Today's judgment confirms the illegality of The Pirate Bay and the seriousness of the crimes of those involved," said the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry in a statement.

"It is now time for The Pirate Bay, whose operators have twice been convicted in court, to close. We now look to governments and ISPs to take note of this judgment, do the responsible thing and take the necessary steps to get The Pirate Bay shut down."

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