It is not fair use – at least in Sweden – to point to millions of copyright-infringing torrents and sell advertising on the portal. As I reported on government.zdnet.com, a Swedish court found the four founders of the Pirate Bay guilty of criminal and civil copyright offenses. It’s doubtful they would be convicted in the U.S., since they didn’t actually host any content. My govtech post is below:
The Pirate Bay founders have been found guilty and ordered to spend a year in jail and pay a $4.5 million fine, according to the BBC.
Peter Sunde had some choice words at a pre-imprisonment press conference. Basically, the record companies won’t see a penny.
It’s serious to actually be found guilty and get jail time. It’s really serious. And that’s a bit weird. It’s so bizarre that we were convicted at all and it’s even more bizarre that we were [convicted] as a team. The court said we were organised. I can’t get Gottfrid out of bed in the morning. If you’re going to convict us, convict us of disorganised crime.
We can’t pay and we wouldn’t pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn’t even give them the ashes.
But it was high-five time for the recording industry. IPFI head John Kennedy said:
These guys weren’t making a principled stand, they were out to line their own pockets. There was nothing meritorious about their behaviour, it was reprehensible. The Pirate Bay did immense harm and the damages awarded doesn’t even get close to compensation, but we never claimed it did. There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that.