The three founders of The Pirate Bay, the most popular bit torrent file-sharing site on the Internet, have been found guilty of violating copyright law by a Swedish court. The founders and their financial backer have been sentenced to a year in prison and fined $3.6 million in damages which will go to the leading entertainment companies.
The trial has attracted a lot of media attention, and is considered a major symbolic victory for the record labels and movie industry. The verdict is not anticipated to have much impact on illegal file sharing, in fact, The Pirate Bay is still functioning and is as busy as ever. John Kennedy, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, admits that the victory is shallow but stated that the entertainment industry is satisfied with the court’s clear statement that what the defendants were doing was wrong.
The defendants plan to appeal the verdict.