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A number of Swedish judges who were members of copyright interest groups have been cleared of bias charges and approved to preside over the appeal of convictions for operators of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay. Complaints were lodged by the defendants in the criminal trials of the Pirate Bay organisers after it emerged that Judges Ulrika Ihrfelt and Kristina Boutz were members of local Swedish pro-copyright organizations, but Sweden’s Supreme Court has found no conflict of interest and cleared them to hear the trial. The operators of The Pirate Bay were found guilty of copyright infringement in April 2009, and sentenced to a year in prison and combined fines of $3.9 million. The appeal of their convictions is now expected to be heard some time in late 2010.

In related news, a German court has granted a preliminary injunction against the current Germany-based Web hosts of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, TorrentFreak has reported.  The Motion Picture Association petitioned a court in Hamburg for an injunction against CB3ROB Ltd, operators of the CyberBunker Web hosting service. The court said that CyberBunker must specifically remove links to torrents purporting to facilitate downloads of “The Bounty Hunter,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Our Family Wedding,” “Green Zone,” “Repo Men” and “Cop Out.” CyberBunker now must either disconnect The Pirate Bay entirely, or else The Pirate Bay must remove those specific torrents to comply with terms of the court’s order. Sanctions include fines of up to E250,000 for each instance of infringement and potential custodial sentences for CB3ROB directors. At the time of writing the website was firstly taken offline by Cyberbunker and then back online, apparently hosted by Sweden’s Pirate Party whose key focus was to push for less restrictive copyright and patent regimes. A Pirate ‘Tweeted’ this:  LOL! AS U MITE HAS READ OR NOTICD, PEEPS ONCE AGAIN R TRYIN 2 SHUT US DOWN. DIS WILL NOT SUCCED, LOL. TEH PIRATE BAY IZ AN UNSINKABLE SHIP. IT WILL SAIL TEH INTERWEBS 4 AS LONG AS WE WANTS IT 2. REMEMBR DAT, K THX. TPB, ONLY IN IT 4 TEH LULZ SINCE 2003. The Danish Supreme Court has since then upheld a blocking ban on the Pirate Bay.