Prosecutor sets date for Pirate Bay showdown

Copyright broadside in January

Pirates ahoy!

Swedish prosecutors say they will file charges against five individuals involved in BitTorrent tracking operation the Pirate Bay by the end of January.

According to IDG (in Swedish), prosecutor Hakan Roswall will name the Pirate Bay's adminstrator Peter Sunde, also known as Brokep, in the copyright infringement suit.

Swedish neo-fascist and telecoms investor Carl Lundstrom, who has provided financing for the Pirate Bay, also said he is under investigation. Lundstrom is believed to be a major funder of the Swedish Democrats - the leading far right party in Sweden. Pirate Bay has distanced itself from his political views.

The other three targets of the prosecution have not been identified yet.

It's likely that in any trial the Pirate Bay will repeat its line that it acts only as a search engine, and does not host any infringing content itself. The site's operators have repeated the line in interviews, and it's the same tack taken by OiNK admin Alan Ellis after he was arrested in the UK in October.

A showdown between Swedish authorities and the Pirate Bay has been a long time coming. Police raided sever locations connected with the site in May 2006, following pressure from the US government. The server seizures motivated a daft plan to buy Sealand that was later dropped.

The Pirate Bay's operators have said if they are sunk in Sweden they plan resurface quickly, elsewhere in Europe. ®

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