It seems the Pirate Bay’s legal drama has finally come to a end in Sweden where the Supreme Court today turned down the site’s final appeal. At the center of the case are the file sharing site’s founders Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström who have been battling Swedish prosecutors for a number of years now. After they were convicted of facilitating copyright infringement. The trio was initially sentenced to prison. They appealed the ruling in 2010 and though they failed to overturn it. They managed to see their 12-month sentences reduced by between two and eight months.
Today their final attempts were shot down with the Court’s dismissal. The fines and prison terms remain the same: ten months for Neij, eight months for Sunde and four for Lundström. There’s also a fourth co-founder involved, Gottfrid Svartholm, who has been absent from several hearings. Under today’s ruling, his original 12-month sentence will stand and the four men will have to pay a total of $6.8 million in damages. Because the case has dragged on for at least five years, however, there’s a chance that the sentences could be reduced by 12 months (bringing them down to zero), as is common in the Swedish legal system.
Megaupload’s website may have been shut down due to the presence of pirated materials BUT there’s still a series matter of all that legal content that’s on its servers. People want their files back and now the government’s has got what it needs, the hosting companies no longer need to keep the data around because Megaupload’s no longer paying them to do so. So Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications have decided to preserve the data for at least two weeks while a deal is brokered with the DOJ for its release. In the meantime, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has teamed up with Carpathia to create a website that puts people in touch with the EFF so users can try to retrieve their data.
So the US Government (along with other governments) pulled the plug on Megaupload and its whole executive team last week. By charging the them with criminal charges for copyright infringement and racketeering in addition to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and money laundering.
As a result of this several other cloud locker companies have shut down their sharing ways to avoid similar DOJ entanglements. FileSonic and Fileserve have eliminated file sharing from their service menus, and Uploaded.to is no longer available to those people in the US. None of these co
mpanies have said that Megaupload’s legal problems are the reason for the changes, but the timing suggests it’s more than mere coincidence.
Feel fee to have a debate about this matter in the comments section and we’ll do a story of your views at the end of the week.