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The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde: 'They can't take my soul'

Daniel Goldberg, Linus Larsson | Feb. 19, 2013
Peter Sunde was the poster boy for the file sharing movemen, then he was sentenced to eight months prison and fined millions of dollars

Sunde then points to the far right of the room. "I want to be over there, pulling everyone else in my direction," he says -- far off in the distance, in other words, away from the thinkers, pundits, speakers, journalists and authors who have taken an interest in Internet freedom and software piracy. Those are the people with a steady income through writing articles, selling books and profitable speaking engagements.

But Peter Sunde was sentenced to jail and fined millions of dollars.

How does that make him feel?

Sunde stays silent for a while before answering:

"I get love letters sent to my home. Do you?"

TIMELINE

2003

*The Pirate Bureau sets up a bittorrent-tracker, later named The Pirate Bay. It grows to become one of the largest file-sharing sites on the Internet.

2006

*Motion Picture Association of America contacts the Swedish Ministry of Justice, asking them to take action against The Pirate Bay. This is a very sensitive issue in Sweden, where ministers are strictly forbidden to directly intervene in how government agencies, such as the police, handle specific cases. The legal term is "ministerial rule."

*Police raid the data center where The Pirate Bay is hosted. The servers are taken offline and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij are taken in for questioning. Three days later, The Pirate Bay is back online.

*Minister for Justice Thomas BodstrAPm is accused of ministerial rule following the raid, but the allegations are dismissed.

2008

*Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl LundstrAPm are charged with copyright offenses.

*The policeman responsible for the investigation into the Pirate Bay accepts a new job with Warner Brothers, one of the claimants in the case.

2009

*A district court sentences Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl LundstrAPm to one year in prison and a total of 31 million Swedish kronor in damages. The defendants appeal the verdict.

*Tomas NorstrAPm, the presiding judge in the district court, is accused of bias after it emerges that he is affiliated with a Swedish pro-copyright organization. Other members of the same group are employed by the film and music industries.

2010

*The Royal Court gives its verdict in the Pirate Bay case. The four defendants see their prison terms shortened somewhat, but the damages increase to a total of more than $7 million. The defendants again appeal the verdict.

2012

*The High Court declines to take up the case on appeal.

*Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is arrested in Cambodia and transported back to Sweden. He is now serving his sentence in the Pirate Bay case while a prosecutor investigates a separate hacking and fraud case.

*With interest, Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl LundstrAPm now owe roughly $11 million.

 

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