The Pirate Bay Verdict is in; and it isn’t good for Peter Sunde, Fredrick Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Ward, and Carl Lundstrom, the four men who are the founders of The Pirate Bay have been found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail each. Read more, see photos and video.

The Pirate Bay Verdict

The Pirate Bay

Have you ever visited The Pirate Bay? No, not the one where the Navy Seals show us exactly how good they really are. I’m talking about the file sharing web site Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay founders have been on trial since mid February and the verdict is in: guilty.

The four founders’ defense lawyers had argued that they don’t actually host files under copyright on their site, but that they just provide a forum for users to download content using torrent files. The argument didn’t work, the men were found guilty of “helping” others commit copyright violations.

Carl Lundstrom, the financier of the site, along with Peter Sunde, Fredrick Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm were each sentenced to one year in jail; the men are also going to be required to pay the equivalent of $3.6 million in damages.

Over 20 million people use The Pirate Bay, and this verdict may force many to go back to the old way of downloading songs, movies and other files; by paying for them. It was tough to see how these guys were going to win this case, with such heavyweight names going against them; Warner Brothers, Sony Music, and Columbia Entertainment to name a few.

The Pirate Bay had and still has a lot of supporters, maybe even more than the Somali pirates. Supporters of the group, showed up waving (of course) a black flag complete with skull and crossbones. They also set up a website devoted to the proceedings. The foursome sent updates via Twitter; somebody shoot me, please. On a post Friday on Twitter Peter Sunde said:

“Stay calm- Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally, or file sharing whatsoever. This is just a theater for the media,”

Even a pirate can be wrong once, well twice if you count the Somali pirates unfortunate encounter with the Navy Seals. Anyway, Sweden had once been a haven for internet technology; but with this verdict against The Pirate Bay, and a new law just recently passed in Sweden that could be changing.

Sweden just passed a new law making it easier to prosecute file sharers; it requires internet service providers to give up the IP addresses of suspected violators of copyright holders. The Pirate Bay had been under the gun since 2006 when the United States began to put pressure on Sweden, which had become a focal point for file sharers.

Pirate Video