Swedish torrent website Pirate Bay returns back home

By EDRi · June 21, 2006

At the end of May, the Swedish Police raided the location where the
PirateBay.org website was located and shut down the site seizing several
servers. However, after less than 1 month, the site, which is considered the
world’s biggest BitTorrent tracker being visited by 10 million to 15 million
daily users, resumes its activity from Sweden.

The Motion Picture Association of America quickly reacted after the Police
raid considering that: “The actions today taken in Sweden serve as a
reminder to pirates all over the world that there are no safe harbours for
Internet copyright thieves.”

After just a couple of days from the raid, PirateBay.org was back online,
hosted somewhere in Netherlands. The operators of the website fought back
considering that their actions were not illegal as The Pirate Bay only
provided links and not the actual downloads.

A recently formed party called the Pirate Party that is supporting more
open and consumer friendly copyright laws has been very active in
criticizing the police actions. The Pirate Party that will run in the 2006
elections has supported public meetings in Stockholm and Goteborg where some
hundreds of protestors with pirate flags asked for the return of the servers
to the Pirate Bay owners and the closing of the investigation. It is
estimated that in Sweden there are one million file-sharers out of the nine
million inhabitants.

There have been rumours that the action has been required by the United
States. According to Washington Post, in April 2006, officials from the US
Government met with the officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice and
said that the Pirate Bay was one of the world’s largest sources of pirated
films and music. At the end of May, the police acted against PirateBay, even
though, according to some sources, the Swedish prosecutors considered they
didn’t have a strong case against it.

The Police has also other problems since ten Swedish companies are now
asking for damages for disruption of their businesses. During the raid on
the PirateBay website the Police confiscated 200 servers, some of them owned
by companies not affiliated with that website. The companies now request
damages from 1 000 EUR up to 20 000 EUR.

At the middle of June, the website was back home with an increased
popularity in Sweden but also worldwide. However, its operators considers
splitting the operations between several countries in order to avoid closing
it down.

Swedish police scupper Piratebay (31.05.2006)

File-sharing crackdown and backlash in Sweden (4.06.2006)

Pirate Bay resurfaces, while protesters walk the street (5.06.2006)

Swedish IT companies demand damages after file-sharing crackdown

Piratebay sails back to Sweden (15.06.2006)

US government pressured Sweden over Pirate Bay (19.06.2006)