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The Pirate Bay loads cannon with official appeal

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The Pirate Bay four, who were convicted of being accessories to breaching copyright laws on Friday, have fired off an official appeal against the $3.6m fine and one-year jail terms they were handed by a Swedish court last week.

The BitTorrent tracker site’s co-founders Peter Sunde, Carl Lundström, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg always planned to appeal if they lost February’s high-profile trial in Stockholm.

As a result, the case will be referred to the Swedish Supreme Court, which could take several years to reach a final verdict.

In the meantime, Sunde, who throughout the trial was the main spokesman for the group, said he is planning a trip to Brazil as well as working on other internet projects.

On Saturday protesters against the judgment hit the streets of Stockholm, Goteborg, Karlstad and Lund, to express their anger at the decision that the four men should be thrown in the slammer and cough up $900,000 each in damages to the entertainment industry.

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of pro-file sharing advocates, many wearing jolly roger bandanas, rallied against what they described as “judicial murder”.

The Pirate Party, which is an entirely separate outfit from The Pirate Bay, but shares political views on the issue, organised the protests.

It claimed membership shot up 20 per cent to 20,000 people, following Friday’s verdict. The party is hoping to grab a seat in the European Parliament elections in June.

"The establishment and the politicians have declared war against our whole generation," said Pirate Party chairman and founder Rickard Falkvinge at the rally in Stockholm. He also called on "file-sharing for the people."

Elsewhere, Paul McCartney has come out, unsurprisingly, in support of the verdict by labelling it a “fair” decision.

Macca, who continues to tussle with the Fab Four's record label EMI over making the entire Beatles back catalogue available through Apple's iTunes, told the Beeb: "If you get on a bus you've got to pay. And I think it's fair you should pay your ticket."

But over at The Pirate Bay, despite the judgment, it continues to be very much business as usual at the site, which remains fully operational – for now.

“You, our beloved users, know that this little speedbump on the information super highway is nothing more than just, a little bump,” reads a defiant message on TPB’s blog. ®

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