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US government pressured Sweden over Pirate Bay

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US government officials put pressure on the Swedish government shortly before the raids on Pirate Bay took place.

In April, officials from the US Department of Commerce, the State Department and the US trade representative's office met with officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice, the Washington Post reports. They told the Swedish visitors that the Pirate Bay was one of the world's largest sources of unauthorised copies of films and music.

At the end of May the Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police.

But the issue is a little more complicated in Sweden where there is a lot of support for file sharing. Demonstrations in favour of file sharing have attracted hundreds of people. There are elections in September and several political parties have made noises about copyright reform.

The country may consider some kind of levy, like in France, to recompense artists - this would be a tax on blank media like CDs and DVDs.

The Pirate Bay was briefly forced abroad after the raids, but quickly returned to Sweden. It currently plans to divide operations between several countries to make it harder to take down. The service is run by volunteers.

US lobbyists have tried similar tactics against Russia - saying its entry to the World Trade Organisation could be at risk unless it takes action against music and file sharing sites.

More from the Washington Post here. ®

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