back to article Pirate Bay founders 'cleared of copyright crimes' in Belgium

The four founders of the Pirate Bay have been cleared of copyright infringement in a Belgian court – after it was found that they couldn’t be held responsible for the site after selling it in 2006, it is reported. The Pirate Bay's cofounders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij, former site spokesman Peter Sunde, and site …

  1. frank ly

    I'm laughing; maybe I shouldn't be.

    "He now lives with his family in a several hundred square meter villa ..."

    I bet they give him free food, clothing and use of a very nice car; as an act of charity.

    "I have it good," he told the paper.

    He certainly does.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'm laughing; maybe I shouldn't be.

      If it's good enough for Iain Duncan Smith...

  2. Fink-Nottle

    The Belgian Entertainment Association also stated that all heavenly bodies revolve around the Earth.

    Although, technically speaking, they agree with Mr Galileo.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is no different to selling a car then years later being asked to pay recent traffic fines. Good luck to them.

  4. Chris Evans

    Typo in sub heading?

    I suspect it is meant to say "flounders on facts"

    1. JeevesMkII

      Re: Typo in sub heading?

      Nope, "founder" is exactly the word they were going for. It's a nautical joke, innit.

    2. thomas k

      Re: "flounders on facts"

      That would be "fish on encyclopedias".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "flounders on facts"

        > fish on encyclopedias

        like scholarly sole or highbrow haddock?

  5. James 51

    Wow. How did this case even make it to court? Basic fact checking should have stopped it in its tracks long before that.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      You must be new here

      or didn't you know that Lawyers only care about the rate/hour that they can screw out of, sorry charge their clients.

      1. Ed_UK

        Re: You must be new here

        "or didn't you know that Lawyers only care about the rate/hour ...

        "Y'know, lawyers are like bridge-rectifiers. Whichever way the case goes, money always flows towards the lawyers.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have to convict the current owners

    Unless the prior scumbag owners are legally associated with the current scumbags owners of TPB, you can only convict the current owners. That however does not mean that claiming bankruptcy should be allowed when there is proof of substantial personal means for the already prosecuted TPB crims. Being in prison also does not exempt anyone from prosecution for other crimes they may have had a hand in while in prison. In the end, all who pirate or facilitate piracy will be punished. Most crims are deterred by prison and high fines but some crimes are rotten to the core and will need to be exterminated to end their reign of crime. The sooner the better.

    1. DocJames

      Re: You have to convict the current owners

      Most crims are deterred by prison and high fines but some crimes are rotten to the core and will need to be exterminated to end their reign of crime.

      Err, no. Taking a personal example, I am not deterred from committing murder by the likelihood of jail, I do not want to commit murder because this would seem (to me) to be ethically wrong. Piracy is a less ethically extreme example, and I suspect the deterrence comes more from the need to fit in socially. It is the fear of capture (and hence the likelihood of being caught) that determines crime rates, rather than the punishment.

      Your conclusion does not follow. There are other ways to prevent those who would commit crimes from doing so; jail would seem an obvious example.

      I'm not sure your post deserves such a reasoned response; the first 3 sentences seem rational but from then on it's nonsense.

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    declared personal bankruptcy

    "he declared personal bankruptcy, after being thought to have signed over his assets to his wife"

    Under what jurisdiction is it legal to give away your assets when you already have debts to pay? Isn't that fraud?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: declared personal bankruptcy

      Most western nations. I know, crazy innit?

    2. SolidSquid

      Re: declared personal bankruptcy

      My guess would be that he did this well in advance of the ruling, possibly even before he was charged with anything. It's not an uncommon tactic for people looking to set up a new business in a high risk sector

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Hollywood still not paid?

    That's some damn fine poetic justice right there. Every goddamn Hollywood studio has fucked, scammed, cheated and stolen from everyone from writers to actors to directors to stage crew and investors.

    Fuck them. Fuck them hard. They make politicians look honest.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Hollywood still not paid?

      That is a low blow considering Mark Twain called the US Congress "America's native criminal class"

  9. earl grey

    As nelson says

    HA HA

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    as far as I can recall, you've never been able to download any illegal material from TPB....the only thing

    it provides is links to places where the material is stored....and , that mainly being torrent links (be they magnet files or otherwise) means that the material you are downloading is from thousands of people sharing that material on their own systems worldwide. in that regard, you can search for such links on many other sites - who provide a similar index of links...take Google or Bind for example. all they are doing is providing a link. if TPB actually stored and distributed the other real pirate sites...then they would be culpable.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: downloaded?

      Yeah... believe it or not, you're not the first person to think of that. That defence was brought up the first time TPB was dragged into a courtroom.

      And like it or not, it didn't work.

      1. Shades

        Re: downloaded?

        That is true. But then one has to ask why, exactly, haven't Google, Bing and a few others been similarly brought to book? Are they not doing exactly the same thing albeit by one degree of separation?

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: downloaded?

          There's two parts to it. The first is whether they were actively encouraging people to download illegally copied material (which they did occasionally do on the home page), which makes them more likely to be liable for things. The second is whether the court understood the technology well enough and whether they were able to provide a detailed break down to the court (the judge may well have considered it irrelevant if he didn't understand it)

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