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Swedish rights owners target Pirate Party over its TPB hosting

By | Published on Thursday 21 February 2013

The Pirate Bay

An alliance of Swedish rights owners have reportedly written to the country’s Pirate Party demanding it stop providing internet access to the infamous Pirate Bay, threatening legal action if the political organisation fails to comply. A Swedish net firm called Serious Tubes Networks has also been sent a missive, according to The Local.

There have been various efforts over the years by the Swedish authorities, pressured by the music and movie industries and empowered by various court decisions, to take TPB offline, in much the same way the US authorities shut down MegaUpload last year.

However, it’s never quite clear how and where the rogue file-sharing site is hosted, and on the one occasion some key servers were seized, operators of the site got it back up and running on new kit within a couple of days.

Of course unlike MegaUpload, which actually hosted unlicensed music and movie files, TPB’s databases simply identify the whereabouts of content files elsewhere on the net, making the site itself much more nimble, especially since the shift from storing BitTorrent files to magnet links.

Nevertheless, it is believed The Pirate Party provides some web services to the Bay, and Sara Lindbäck of Sweden’s Rights Alliance says “if they don’t stop, we will have to go to court”.

According to The Local, the Alliance believes that the decision a year ago by the Swedish Supreme Court to not hear the appeals of the four men convicted for their involvement in founding or funding the Bay, piles on the pressure for anyone assisting with the current operations of the file-sharing set up. Indeed, says the Alliance, hosting The Pirate Bay constitutes a “criminal act”.

The rights group has give the Pirate Party and Serious Tubes until 26 Feb to respond to the letters. But the head of the Swedish Pirate Party disagrees with the Alliance’s viewpoint, telling reporters: “The Pirate Party’s activity is legal, and lawful activities should not be subjected to threats of this type. It is not illegal to provide The Pirate Bay with internet access”.