Handing each man a year’s custodial sentence and ordering them to pay 30 million kronor (£2.4m) in damages to several entertainment companies, the four men were charged with accessory and conspiracy to break copyright law.
The four men where convicted after breaking Sweden’s copyright laws via the file sharing site Pirate Bay.
The site allows users to copy software, music, films and computer games from each other without paying.
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said, “From a law and order perspective FAST applauds this sentence. By enabling unscrupulous users to find downloads online illegally for free, the Pirate Bay has cost the legitimate economy by taking away revenue for content creators, reducing tax revenue and possibly even costing jobs at these firms.”
The Pirate Bay uses torrent technology, allowing users to share parts of files they have the rights to, therefore resulting in rapid download speeds.
Lovelock concluded: “Many internet users view the web as an unlimited free resource for digital content, but by stealing copyright content like movies, computer software and audio they deny the creators the revenue to go on making these works. This harms both these companies and the industry as a whole.
“This is why FAST works in the UK to halt similar copyright offences wherever possible.”
Robert Holleyman, president of the BSA, added: “The BSA applauds the court’s decision in the Pirate Bay trial. It serves as a clear warning to other web site operators who are knowingly offering illegal content, or enabling the illegal distribution of content, that their operations are immoral and punishable by law.
"This case is a victory for copyright holders, who deserve to be rewarded for their creativity and hard work. Internet-based software piracy is a huge problem with serious consequences for consumers, the economy, and society. It spreads computer viruses, increases the chance of your personal information being stolen, and reduces employment in IT sales and services. It is particularly important to curb illegal software use in the current global economic climate, when we simply cannot afford to undermine a strong source of productivity and employment like software and computers.”
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