Swedish government wins legal case to seize Pirate Bay domains

It gets knocked down, but it gets up again

The new Pirate Bay logo

The Swedish government has won its case to seize piratebay.se and thepiratebay.se, but the site is already back up under another domain with a new logo to show it isn't beaten.

The new round of whack-a-mole flared up on Tuesday when The Stockholm District Court ruled in a case brought by government prosecutors against Swedish domain registrar Punkt SE. The Court determined that the domains were the property of Pirate Bay founder Fredrik Neij and could be seized as he is a convicted felon.

"The District Court's conclusion is that the domain names are property that can be forfeited," the ruling reads, Torrentfreak reports.

"Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him. The prosecutor's primary claim with respect to Fredrik Neij should be upheld and domain names should be confiscated from him in accordance with the Copyright Act."

The court also ruled that Punkt SE was not responsible for the activities of the Pirate Bay and couldn't be held liable. It awarded the registrar US$42,877 (SEK 332,000) for costs incurred through the litigation.

"We have received the verdict and are of course glad that the court chose to decide according to our view," said .SE public relations manager Elisabeth Nilsson. “We think it is good that this issue has been examined. Now we need some time to read through the verdict and do a thorough analysis before we can make any further comments.”

While the Swedish government is claiming a victory it's a Pyrrhic one at best, considering the payout to the defense and the result. The Pirate Bay was down for dozens of minutes, before springing up again on new domains.

The new site also has a new logo with a not so subtle gesture of rebuke to its opponents. The familiar ship is there, but it's now wreathed with a Lernaean hydra, the mythical beast that grows two extra heads when one is cut off, signifying that it'll take more than court orders to shut the website down. ®

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