Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 10:24 UK

Pirate Bay confident of trial win

By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website

Gottfrid Svartholm Varg (C) and Peter Sunde, (R) from The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay founders will receive a verdict on Friday

One of the founders of file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has said he anticipates victory in the court battle over alleged copyright theft.

Peter Sunde said: "We are quite confident we are going to win."

Mr Sunde said the site would continue operating even if he and his three co-defendants were found guilty on Friday.

The Pirate Bay is the world's most high profile file-sharing website. In February 2009, it reported 22 million simultaneous users.

Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde founded The Pirate Bay in 2003.

No copyright content is hosted on The Pirate Bay's web servers; instead the site hosts "torrent" links to TV, film and music files held on its users' computers.

The file-sharing program BitTorrent, which is a legal piece of file-sharing software, uses the torrent links to manage the transfer of files online between those who have parts of the data and those who need parts of the data.

Representatives of the movie, music and video games industry are seeking about 115 million kronor (10.6 million euros) in damages and interest for losses incurred from tens of millions of illegal downloads facilitated by the site.

Court charges

The four men are charged with "assisting making available copyright material" after a higher charge of "assisting copyright infringement" was dropped on day two of the trial.

The Pirate Bay founders have consistently said their actions are legal under Swedish law because they offer a service that can be used in both a legal and illegal manner.

Mr Sunde told BBC News: "We still don't think we have done anything illegal under Swedish law.

"We don't share any files; we just link to material."

He said even if the four men were found guilty the website would continue operating.

"The Pirate Bay will continue. Nothing is going to happen if we lose, for a multitude for reasons, not least because we will immediately appeal."

Representatives of the Swedish music industry have been vocal in their criticism of The Pirate Bay.

'Tired and sick'

At the conclusion of the Pirate Bay trial, Jonas Sjostrom, chairman of the Swedish Independent Music Producers Association, said in a statement: "We are... tired and sick of services like The Pirate Bay who have no understanding or respect for the creative community, and instead have their own financial interests at heart."

John Kennedy, chairman of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, representing record firms around the world, told the Swedish court that The Pirate Bay had done "significant damage to the music industry as a whole".

A written judgement by the Stockholm court will be issued on Friday morning.

The four defendants face fines and possible imprisonment, if found guilty.

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