1 October 2015Jurisdiction reportsMaria Zamkova

Sweden: The problems of file-sharing

Six years later, the three founders were found guilty by the Stockholm District Court of assisting in copyright infringement and were sentenced to serve one year in prison and pay a fine of kr30 million ($3.5 million). On appeal the prison sentences were reduced but the damages were increased, and in February 2012 the Supreme Court of Sweden refused to hear an appeal.

In 2013, a prosecutor filed a motion targeting the domain names thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se. However, this time the case was not just against one of the co-founders of The Pirate Bay but also against the Internet Foundation in Sweden (IIS). The prosecutor argued that since The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, its domain names are tools used by the site to infringe copyright. As IIS supplies and controls the domain names, it is therefore liable for their misuse, and the domain names should be dealt with in the same way that other criminal tools would be.

IIS took the position that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law, as a top-level domain (TLD) administrator should not decide whether a case is against the law.

On May 19, 2015, the Stockholm district court ruled that the domain names were the property of The Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij and could be seized as he is a convicted felon.

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