Prison sentences in Pirate Bay trial made final as Supreme Court refuses hearing

The Swedish Supreme Court didn't find enough reasons to hear the case

The Swedish Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from the founders of The Pirate Bay against prison sentences and fines imposed by the Swedish Court of Appeals, the court said on Wednesday.

Over a year ago, the Court of Appeals sentenced Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström to 10 months, eight months and four months of jail time, respectively. The court also said they must collectively pay a 46 million kronor (US$6.7 million) fine.

The Supreme Court hears cases that are considered important for the direction of Swedish law enforcement, or when there are special circumstances. The court has reviewed the material in the Pirate Bay case and found that neither reason to hear the case exists, it said.

Separately, Gottfrid Swartholm Warg has been sentenced to one year in prison. Due to illness, Warg never showed up at the appeals trial, and recently had his verdict in the district court confirmed.

The Pirate Bay case has been contentious from day one, and not everyone thinks Wednesday's decision was the right choice.

"The Pirate Bay case is fundamentally important and it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case," said Anna Troberg, leader of the Pirate Party in Sweden, in a statement.

The case has been handled inadequately since the raid back in May 2006, and it would have been desirable that the Supreme Court heard the case, she said.

The entertainment industry is happier. The verdict is a defining moment in the battle over copyright on the Internet, according to the industry-funded Antipiratbyrån (Anti-Piracy Office). The Supreme Court has made it clear that all involved are responsible for any violations, including those that deliver the Internet connection, said the industry group.

Now that the sentence has been confirmed, Antipiratbyrån will act against the nearly 150 illegal file-sharing services that have Swedish connections, it said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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