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Swedish Police Score Pyrrhic Legal Victory Against Pirate Bay

Verdict in trial may be weeks away
Swedish Police Score Pyrrhic Legal Victory Against Pirate Bay
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Mar 13, 2009 6:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
STOCKHOLM — While waiting for the verdict in their trial, the four defendants who run The Pirate Bay are still being pursued by Swedish authorities.

Swedish police raided a suburb of Stockholm last week as a part of a crackdown on piracy. Officials confiscated 65 terabytes of data spread across 10 servers.

Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau Spokesman Henrik Pontén praised the police.

“The well-organized pirates on the scene seem to have an inflated sense of their own ability to conceal themselves, but this raid shows that we can get to them," he said. "Copyright applies to the Internet too and we will continue to prioritize efforts to counteract these well-organized groups.”

But according to online reports, the police actually confiscated servers belonging to another online file-sharing ring called Sunnydale. Still, the authorities claimed that the files they got account for the vast majority of content traded on The Pirate Bay.

Peter Sunde, one of the four men behind The Pirate Bay, disputed that claim.

"More than 800,000 people have uploaded to The Pirate Bay, so I don't believe it's the source of everything," he said. "But it is possible that it's a major source."

The raid comes in the aftermath of Sweden's prosecution of The Pirate Bay, which put Sunde, Carl Lundström, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg on trial for stealing millions of dollars worth of copyrighted content.

The defendants are still waiting on a verdict in the key online piracy trial, which saw the prosecution bungle a few key points on its way to significantly downgrading the total charges. A verdict could be weeks coming.

The players seeking damages against the four men include such heavyweights as BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. All told, the prosecution wants more than $12 million in damages.

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