According Swedish news websites Expressen and SvD (thanks to The Mrs for spotting this!) three people from the popular Bit Torrent site The Pirate Bay have been
arrested interviewed by detectives.
Swedish police officers raided their offices (/bedrooms) and also took away their server farm for investigation.
Brokep from Pirate Bay told Slyck:
“…The police right now is taking all of our servers, to check if there is a crime there or not (they are actually not sure),”
A few weeks ago the winner of Toppkandidaterna, (The Top Candidates) a popular reality TV show in Sweden publicly stated he would donate 20% of his winnings to the site. And before that, “Piratbyrån” (the Pirate Bureau) political party was formed to campaign for the reform of copyright and file distribution laws both in Sweden and the wider world.
Traditionally, copyright laws have always been far more relaxed in Sweden than the rest of the EU. Until recently it was not even illegal to distribute copyrighted materials for your own use. In terms of bit torrent usage, this was usually thought to allow the download of bit torrent files but not the upload.
However, in the past year the law has been harmonised with the rest of Europe, many believe in response to political pressure caused by the popularity of The Pirate Bay.
It’s worth pointing out, for those not familiar with Bit Torrent, that The Pirate Bay never held, stored or distributed copyright material – only the trackers that referenced the third-party seeds and peers where the material was available from.
It is in that respect, as Copyright Reform organisation, that I have supported the work of The Pirate Bay since it’s inception.
I believe that it’s recent move into the political sphere and the high-profile donation from the Toppkandidaterna contestant has elevated the site too far into the mainstream for the Swedish authorities to continue to ignore.
Whilst I don’t believe the folks at The Bay are committing anything illegal with their work, clearly it’s “sailing close to the wind” of legality, and politically pisses a lot of people off both in the entertainment industry and Swedish political circles.
I hope the site is back online soon.