The defendants in the Pirate Bay trial, who were appealing their custodial sentences to Sweden’s Supreme Court, have now exhausted their options in Sweden after the Court refused to hear the final appeal. Two of the founders and the funder of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, were found guilty of copyright infringement for their former roles at the Pirate Bay in 2009. A third founder, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, had already been refused future appeals for failing to attend his first appeal hearing on the ground of somewhat unspecified illness. Whilst their custodial sentences had been reduced on appeal that seems to be as far as the Swedish courts will go. Lundstrom’s legal team said “This ruling is absurd. I am disappointed that the court is so uninterested to dissect and look through all the legal comings and goings in one of the world’s most watched court cases of all time”.
News then emerged that the current operators of The Pirate Bay, presumably in response to MegaUpload’s recent enforced demise, and possibly fearing the US authorities might use Supreme Court ruling to justify taking action against its .org domain, which is administered by the US-based Public Interest Registry, officially made a Swedish domain, thepiratebay.se, their principle URL. Tallking of MegaUpload, boss Kim Dotcom Schmitz has been refused bail for a second time, not least because of a previous allegation of jumping bail in his past, although two colleagues have been released from custody on bail. And the BitTorrent search engine BTjunkie has shut down voluntarily, seemingly in the wake of the MegaUpload takedown and arrests and the confirmation of the Pirate Bay convictions by the Supreme Court of Sweden with the sites operators saying “ ”This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we’ve decided to voluntarily shut down. We’ve been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it’s time to move on. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!”.