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Hollywood demands shuttering of Pirate Bay

Site sails on despite conviction

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Hollywood is asking a Swedish court to deliver the killing blow against the The Pirate Bay now that its four co-founders have been found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement.

Although the owners of the notorious BitTorrent tracker face prison time and hefty fines, the sentence handed out in April did not include an injunction forcing the site to close down.

Now a coalition of studios including Columbia Pictures, Disney, NBC, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, and Viacom is demanding that the website be shuttered to protect the illegal distribution of roughly 100 films and television programs. A writ to sue for closure was presented Monday to the Stockholm District Court.

"They've been sentenced to prison for criminal activities but haven't stopped carrying out those activities," Monique Wadsted, the lawyer for the studios, told Sweden's The Local.

The injunction doesn't request damages for alleged copyright infringement, although the studios do ask for compensation of court costs. They also named Pirate Bay bandwidth supplier, Black Internet AB, in their lawsuit.

Pirate Bay administrators Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde, along with site financier Carl Lundstrom, were sentenced in April to one year in prison and ordered to stump up a combined 30 million kronor (~£2.5m, $4m) to the entertainment industry.

The group unsuccessfully tried to appeal the sentence based on allegations that the presiding judge was biased because he was a member of the same pro-copyright groups as several of the entertainment industry reps in the case. The judge was cleared of the accusation in June - although it's expected the Pirate Bay group will appeal the case again on other grounds.

Presently, The Pirate Bay will hand over its keys to Sweden's Global Gaming Factory X for roughly $7.7m, which plans to implement a yet unspecified, non-criminal business model for the torrent tracker.

Wadsted told The Local that her clients welcome the change, although she added, "but we can't wait and see." ®

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