Pirate Bay Trial (02:10)
In April 2009, a Swedish court charged three young men with setting up an illegal free file sharing site. The entertainment industry claims copyright laws protect artists, while proponents argue for free access to culture for non-commercial purposes.
Sweden's Technological Generation (03:17)
Per Gottfrid Svartholm Warg taught himself programming as a child. The music industry discouraged copying in analog or digital forms, and declared war on Napster rather than embracing file sharing. Svartholm created Pirate Bay with Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde.
File Transfer Technology (02:18)
Pirate Bay allowed users to download free music and media, and became the world's most popular sharing site. Learn how BitTorrent enabled rapid downloads and anonymity among original "pirates." The entertainment industry objects to indexing unlicensed content for user access.
Alternative Digital Distribution Market (02:26)
Hear how copyright laws work. Having ignored early file sharing technology, the entertainment industry believed Pirate Bay was costing millions in profits, and sent Svartholm Cease and Desist emails in 2004. Music lawyer John Giacobbi discusses his sarcastic replies.
Hollywood Strikes Back (01:49)
Svartholm, Sunde, and Neij believed they were protected by Swedish law. In May 2006, police seized servers from Pirate Bay facilities. Within three days, the site was restored in the Netherlands with cyber security.
Sony Rootkit Scandal (03:31)
The entertainment industry employed DRM methods to protect copyright laws. However, Sony BMG illegally installed malware on the computers of legitimate music CD customers to try to prevent them from copying—infecting 500,000 machines worldwide.
Scoffing Copyright Laws (02:33)
The Pirate Bay trial turned Svartholm, Sunde, and Neij into cyber heroes; supporters gathered outside the courthouse. Prosecuting lawyer Henrik Ponten charged them with aiding and abetting to copyright infringement—accusations they didn’t take seriously.
Pirate Bay Sentence (03:04)
Prosecution alleged that the defendants profited from advertising. They were ordered to pay $3.6 million in damages and given prison time. The Swedish public was outraged, since the site never hosted material, but functioned as a search engine. Hear from both sides of the file sharing debate.
Pirate Bay Trial Epilogue (02:01)
The case was appealed in 2010; the new judge reduced prison time but increased damages. Neij and Sunde served their sentences, while Svartholm became involved in Wikileaks and is now in jail for hacking Danish government sites.
Pirate Bay Legacy (01:41)
The file sharing trial taught the entertainment industry to collaborate with internet entrepreneurs on legal content streaming, but artists are still losing money. Hammersley reflects on its role in internet history.
Credits: Piracy: Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley (00:25)
Credits: Piracy: Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley
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