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Website back after Swedish raids

4 June 06 12:16 GMT

A website accused of directing users to pirated films, music and software has reopened days after Swedish authorities shut it down.

One of those operating the Pirate Bay site, Fredrik Neij, told the AFP news agency that it had reopened using servers in the Netherlands.

Swedish police targeted the site last Wednesday, seizing 200 servers.

Hackers later attacked the police website, forcing it to shut. It is not known whether the events are linked.

Hundreds of people protested in Stockholm on Saturday against the police raids on Pirate Bay.

Legislation

ThePirateBay.org has described itself as the largest search index for BitTorrent, a system used for sharing large files over the internet.

But critics in the entertainment industry argue it is a major source of music and film piracy.

The Pirate Bay says it does nothing wrong.

Its operators maintain that the site's function is to direct users towards the files that they search for and manage the uploads and downloads. The website itself does not hold any copyright files.

Sweden last year passed legislation banning the sharing of copyrighted material on the internet without royalty payment.

File sharing now carries a maximum two-year jail term.

About 50 Swedish police were involved in 10 raids last Wednesday.

Three people, including Mr Neij, were arrested and later released. They could still face charges.

The Pirate Bay became a dominant player in tracking BitTorrent files when another search index, SuprNova.org, closed in late 2004.

SuprNova.org shut down after a relentless campaign by the entertainment industry to close its operations.

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