AAARGH! So just in case you have been under a rock for the last 5 days, the ruling is in... the founders of Pirate Bay have been found guilty in a Swedish court of law.Â They have all been sentenced to one year in prison and will have to pay approximately $3 Million in damages (after the appeals process- if the ruling stands).
So what now?
The facilitators have been stopped, but what does that mean for all of the users (Pirates) populating Pirate Bay?Â What does this mean for the bay?Â Will it suddenly dry up?Â No.Â In a word... No.Â This really means nothing.Â The Swedish courts have placed their finger in the dyke... they have stopped the spillage for a moment, but the flood waters will remain.Â The Pirate Bay remains active... servers housed safely outside of Sweden... and the pirates sail on.
There is a lot of debate going on over whether the founders of TPB were injustly convicted... whether the ISPs should be held responsible as well.Â I think there are a lot of people at fault here including all named previously and in some way, I would love to see them held responsible.Â However, I am a realist.Â I understand that the times are changing and our industry needs to find better ways of making a living (outside of suing).Â Ultimately,Â the results of the pending appeals will leave a legacy of rulings that will affect the way our courts view file sharing for years to come.Â The next few years will no doubt be an interesting lot...Â time will tell.
As a sideline to this story, there has been a recent study stating that "pirates" are 10 times more likely to buy online music than law-abiding non-pirates.Â The number of participants in the study was rather small (less than2000), but I find it quite interesting and wonder if this is in fact the way it is... according to the comments below the story- the pirates doubt it as well.