If you have ever used torrent services, you should be aware of The Pirate Bay, the world’s most popular pirate service in Finland. But such services mostly do not work legally. The Pirate Bay doesn’t as well. Though it’s been blocked in Finland and in many countries, there are still many other where this service is available. Maybe you know that the co-founder and former administrator of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde has been accused in violating the rights of various record companies. During 2005 – 2009, he was distributing copyrighted recordings via the torrent site. After many years of litigations, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has confirmed that he was running the site during the mentioned period, so he should take responsibility for the mentioned period.
Record Companies Have Been Fighting For A Decade
As per record companies’ request, in 2011, the Helsinki District court ordered local ISP Elisa to block The Pirate Bay to prevent music piracy. Next year, IPFI filed a lawsuit against two other providers and the administrators of the Pirate Bay. It was demanding to restrict access for one and activity closure for the second.
Five years later, in 2016, not getting any respond from the site operators, the Helsinki District Court handed down a default judgment requiring site co-founder Peter Sunde to pay several record labels including Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI, around €350,000 in damages. What’s more important, Sunde was warned that in a case of similar infringements, he will pay a penalty of €1,000,000.
However, after the decision appeal in 2018, the District Court canceled the penalty. Plus, the recording companies decided to dropped their €350,000 damages claim. In the same year, the Court was accusing Sunde in being liable for infringements that took place via The Pirate Bay only between 2010 and 2014. The defendant disagreed with this arraignment. At the same time, the recording labels were requesting from the Court that Sunde should be held responsible for copyright infringement from July 2005. They were mainly insisting on the further activity of Sunde that would drive to a €1,000,000 penalty.
What Did The Court Decided?
“The defendant is prohibited from repeating the infringements under threat of a fine of EUR 35,000. The Court of Appeal found that it was competent to also hear the case in respect of the distribution of recordings via Swedish telecommunications operators on the grounds that the defendant was domiciled in Finland and the recordings had been available in Finland,” the Court’s summary of the decision reads.
Apart from this, Sunde has been also ordered to pay legal and other costs of €19,200. And though Sunde complained on this, it seems all parties are happy this lawsuit is quitted.
“We welcome the decision from the court today. Copyright infringement harms the music ecosystem and prevents music creators from being fairly compensated,” IFPI says.