Hollywood companies file suit against Pirate Bay file-sharing site

[JURIST] Several Hollywood production companies filed suit Monday in Sweden against the operators of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay [website], seeking an injunction. The US companies, including Disney, Universal, and Columbia Pictures, filed a writ to sue [The Local report] in the Stockholm District Court, requesting that the court order the owners to cease and desist the operation of their BitTorrent [backgrounder] website. In April, the website operators were sentenced to one year in prison for abetting copyright infringement [judgment, PDF, in Swedish; JURIST report]. Moniique Wadsted, who is representing the film companies, characterized the defendant's disregard for their April conviction as "unusual" and stated that the companies are not currently seeking any fines. Global Gaming Factory (GGF) [corporate website] is in the process of purchasing the website to operate it in a way that conforms with the law, which, according to Wadsted, is welcomed by the film companies. The Pirate Bay posts complaints and their responses on the website and maintains that no torrent files will ever be removed [materials]. Dutch anti-piracy group Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland (BREIN) also recently filed suit against the website on behalf of copyright owners although The Pirate Bay responded with a defamation lawsuit [press release] against BREIN for criminal accusations made during a press conference.

Last week, the French National Assembly [official website] voted to delay a vote [JURIST report] on a new version of a controversial Internet piracy law. The French law originally subjected copyright violators to suspension of Internet access at the discretion of an administrative authority but the provision was rejected [JURIST report] by the country's Constitutional Council. In April, the Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) went into effect, which resulted in a 33 percent decrease [BBC report] in Internet traffic. The law was based on similar legislation [text, PDF] passed by the EU and allows copyright holders to force internet service providers into providing information about users. Before the Swedish law was passed, copyright holders had no recourse [Wired report] in the country aside from reporting the alleged infringement to the police who were often reluctant to pursue the complaints.

 

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