Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Pirate Bay awaits court verdict

Pirate bay, AFP
The Pirate Bay organisers could wait weeks to hear a verdict.

The trial of the creators of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has ended.

Lawyers for both the prosecution and defence have delivered their closing arguments in the high-profile copyright trial in Sweden.

Frederik Neij, Carl Lundstrom, Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg - are accused of promoting copyright infringement via the hugely popular The Pirate Bay website.

The judge in the case is not expected to deliver a verdict for several weeks.

In their final statement prosecutors called for a one-year prison sentence to be imposed on the four administrators of the site.

The Pirate Bay hosts thousands of links to so-called torrent files, which allow for movies, TV programmes and applications to be shared online.

No copyright material is stored directly on The Pirate Bay servers.

"I believe that the correct punishment should be one year in prison and that is what I am requesting that the district court hand down in this case," prosecutor Haakan Roswall told the court.

Lawyers acting to defend the four men spent their last day in court showing how BitTorrent works and calling for their clients to be acquitted.

They also challenged prosecution estimates of how much the administrators of the site have made from the site.

The four men have been charged with earning at least 1.2m kronor (92,000) by facilitating copyright infringement.

The film, music and video games industries are seeking about 117m kronor (9m) in damages and interest for losses incurred from tens of millions of illegal downloads facilitated by the site.

After the trial closed, Ludvig Werner, chairman of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Sweden, said: "It is important to see organisations representing rights holders from all over the world show their support in the trial of The Pirate Bay.

"It's particularly encouraging to see support coming from thousands of small, new and independent creative companies," he added.

"That's a powerful response to The Pirate Bay, whose propaganda very often misrepresents this as a battle between young and old, and between new and old techniques," he said.

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