The founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest names in file sharing, face up to two years in a hard-core Swedish prison if they can’t convince a judge that their unfortunately named Web site isn’t legally responsible for 115 million kronor worth of media piracy.

The advent of Bit Torrent software, when paired with file sharing sites like The Pirate Bay, has made downloading movies, music, TV shows and software super easy and fast for those in the know. Naturally, that has infuriated and alarmed the entertainment industry, which has so far handled the situation about as badly as possible (like suing a single mother for millions of dollars because her teenager may have downloaded — then deleted — a few pop songs).

Eight years after the death of Napster, Hollywood is still fighting this war in courtrooms, and not on store shelves and online shopping carts. After all, $40 for High School Musical 3 is enough to make anyone think illegal thoughts.


“File-sharing services can be used both legally and illegally,” defence lawyer Per Samuelsson said.

Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmsioppi and Carl Lundstorm have portrayed themselves as digital libertarians and say that they cannot be prosecuted for copyright theft because none of the content is hosted on their computer servers.

The men are accused of “promoting other people’s infringements of copyright laws”, according to charges filed by senior public prosecutor Haakan Roswall.

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