By James Savage
31st May 2006
Police have closed down The Pirate Bay, a Sweden-based file sharing
site and one of the most popular websites of its kind in the world.
Three people were taken in for questioning after police raids in
Sweden on Wednesday. The trio, ages 22, 24 and 28, are suspected of
violating property rights legislation, police spokesman Ulf G=F6ranzon
Servers connected to the site have been impounded and the site was
down on Wednesday afternoon, although the operators of The Pirate Bay
have set up a temporary website to provide updates on the situation.
Some fifty policemen and women were involved in raids on ten homes and
offices in Sweden.
The three men taken in by police were still being questioned on
Wednesday afternoon. They all have links to The Pirate Bay.
Prosecutors will decide whether to detain the men after they have been
"The suspects are not people who download files, but are people who
have relations to the website," Ulf G=F6ranzon told The Local.
He would not reveal anything more about the roles that the men played.
Police have been monitoring the website and the men behind it for some
time. Computers were taken during raids on the men's homes and offices
to secure evidence.
"We are now going to look at how the operation is structured,"
"At the moment we are talking to lots of people about this case. We
are still at a very early stage in our investigations," he said.
He would not reveal whether police had their eyes on further suspects.
Henrik Pont=E9n, lawyer at Antipiratbyr=E5n (The Anti-Pirate Bureau) in
Stockholm, welcomed the move to close down the site.
"It is good that the Swedish police are now prioritising this kind of
crime. The copyright laws finance creativity within film, computer
gaming, music and other culture," said Pont=E9n.
"People who break copyright laws steal from the creators and
movie-watching public of the future. The closure of The Pirate Bay is
therefore good for all of us who enjoy new film and entertainment."
But Tobias Andersson at pressure group Piratbyr=E5n (The Pirate Bureau),
which founded The Pirate Bay, stressed that there was no
copyright-protected material on the servers.
"The Anti-Pirate Bureau has clearly misled the police in this case,"
"They appear to have persuaded police who are incompetent in IT that
the servers in question are full of copyright-protected material. This
is a gross misuse of taxpayers' money."
Andersson also condemned the fact that police had closed down a number
of other websites, including The Pirate Bureau, which he says is no
longer officially linked to the Pirate Bay.
"This is the greatest infringement. The Anti-Pirate Bureau has clearly
fooled the police into closing down its antagonists, The Pirate
"We are very upset that the film industry doesn't dare to have a
debate, and chooses instead to trick politicians and the police into
criminalizing their opponents and a large portion of the Swedish
The Pirate Bay is a BitTorrent tracker, which enables people to
download large files such as movies from other users.
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