By Jacqui Cheng | Published: November 25, 2007 - 10:26PM CT
Original article can be found here.
The Pirate Bay faces three separate legal challenges this holiday season, though site administrators tell Ars that they're not worried by any of the pending cases. A Swedish prosecutor wants to take down the site, though, and Prince has set his lawyers on the same task. We spoke with The Pirate Bay about what's in store for them in the new year.
Most pressing, perhaps, is the news that a Swedish prosecutor soon plans to press charges against the popular BitTorrent search engine. The charges will be filed before January 31, 2008, by prosecutor Håkan Roswall.
Roswall told IDG Sweden that the parties behind The Pirate Bay are being accused of facilitating copyright infringement. He has already named two parties—Peter Sunde, spokesperson and administrator for The Pirate Bay, as well as Carl Lundström, a famed political extremist in Sweden—but the remainder of those involved with the charges have yet to be named. Lundström's connection to The Pirate Bay is loose at best; his hosting company once offered bandwidth to The Pirate Bay in the past, but as TorrentFreak points out, this was likely due to a Pirate Bay founder having once worked there.
The Pirate Bay isn't exactly quaking in its boots. The group has already stated it doesn't believe that anything will come of Roswall's legal threat and that it plans to stick around for a long time. That's partially because over a year after Swedish police raided the site and confiscated a number of its servers, authorities still have nothing to show for it.
Peter Sunde, one of The Pirate Bay administrators, says that he's been expecting the charges for some time. 'I'm quite confident we're gonna win and I was expecting this to happen,' he tells Ars. 'Roswall is also a very biased man, so I'm glad to take it to court instead of letting him dig around my personal life for no apparent reason. Actually, it's kinda funny.'
Pirate Bay admins continue to insist that the site does not host any content, legal or illegal—it merely acts as a search engine for others to find torrent files.
This is, of course, only the latest of the The Pirate Bay-related legal news for the season. Earlier this month, Prince began to make good on his promise to go after sites that allegedly host or make it easy to find unauthorized copies of his music, including The Pirate Bay and YouTube. The artist has reportedly hired the services of Web Sheriff to help with his lawsuits; Web Sheriff president John Giacobbi told CNet last week that Prince plans to go after The Pirate Bay's advertisers as well as the site itself, since The Pirate Bay allegedly earns some $70,000 per month in advertising revenue.
As we learned last week, that pressure has already started to be applied, though Sunde says that it has been largely unsuccessful to date.
Finally, the battle is still brewing between The Pirate Bay and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry over the alleged hijacking of ifpi.com. The UK-based organization is not happy that its old domain has fallen into the possession of The Pirate Bay and has initiated a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in hopes of getting it back.
Sunde expressed concern at WIPO's ability to resolve the conflict fairly, since the organization is a cooperating partner with the IFPI. 'I'm quite sure it will not be a fair arbitration. IFPI and WIPO are in cooperation with each other (just look at WIPO's homepage where they say they work close together with, for instance, IFPI),' he says.
However, IFPI spokesperson Alex Jacob has told Ars that this should not be a concern, as the WIPO 'appoints an arbitrator from a list of outside lawyers/professors not employed by WIPO.'
Between being stalked by investigators taking pictures from cars, trying to purchase its own island, and taking control of the ifpi.com domain name, it's been an eventful year for The Pirate Bay. 2008 promises to be just as interesting.