A founding member of Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde, has been ordered to pay 350,000 euros, by a court in Helsinki (Finland), to Claimant record labels including Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI Finland.
The action was brought by the record labels mentioned above on the basis that music from 60 of their artists had been illegally shared on Pirate Bay. Mr Sunde did not appear in Court in Helsinki to defend himself and so a default judgment was handed down for the 350,000 euros plus costs of 55,000 euros. On top of this, Mr Sunde faces a fine of one million euros if the relevant content continues to be shared on the Pirate Bay website.
Mr Sunde is no longer connected to the Pirate Bay website and so it is difficult to see how he could have control over its content; this is not something the court expanded on.
The music industry resolved to take Pirate Bay on and has enjoyed some success; Peter Sunde himself has described Pirate Bay as a shadow of its former self. However, whilst this judgment is a welcome success for the music industry, it is not the first judgment which has been handed down against Pirate Bay. Mr Sunde and two other co-founders of Pirate Bay owe large sums of money to copyright holders in decisions dating back years but which, to date, have not been satisfied (paid).
It is widely acknowledged that piracy and copying are problematic for the creative, particularly music and film, industries. The Pirate Bay website may be the most famous example of piracy and it has been described as a piracy haven depriving artists of their income.
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