Pirate Bay founder arrested

03/09/2012

Gottfrid Svartholm, founder of filesharing site The Pirate Bay, has been arrested in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Svartholm was arrested on Thursday (August 30). He was sentenced to a year in jail with his fellow Pirate Bay founders, but has been on the run after failing to return to Sweden and serve his jail term.

Svartholm, whose website has enabled millions of people around the globe to download download files, music and films without paying, was picked up by police at his apartment above the Cadillac Bar on the riverfront, according to the Torrent Freak website.

In October 2011, Swedish courts ordered that the 27-year-old computer specialist be jailed for 12 months after he failed to attend a court appearance.

However he failed to serve his sentence and became a wanted man.

The reason for his arrest has still not been confirmed and neither Cambodian nor Swedish authorities are commenting the matter.

While there has been no official announcement, according Gottfrid’s lawyer Ola Salomonsson the arrest could be related to The Pirate Bay case.

He was quoted as saying: 'As far as I understand it is because he is on an international wanted list.'

The lawyer said he believed Gottfrid could be returned to his home country eventually, even though there is no extradition treaty between Cambodia and Sweden.

The Pirate Bay, launched in 2003 by a group of friends from Sweden, allows users to search for and access copyrighted content including movies, games and TV shows.

In 2009, the Swedish courts found the site's four founders guilty of helping people circumvent copyright controls.

The ruling was upheld after an appeal in 2010 but the site continues to function.

A message on The Pirate Bay's blog said the move was an attempt by the music business to 'squeeze' it out of the market.

It advised users to 'circumvent the block' and campaign against the move.

In May of this year, The Pirate Bay criticised internet hacker collective Anonymous for taking down the Virgin Media website in protest at a court ruling which could have shut the filesharing site down for copyright infringement.

The Pirate Bay condemned the action on their Facebook page, stating: "We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us"

Anonymous took down the website after a court ruling earlier this year which has stated that The Pirate Bay enables breaches of copyright laws. Anonymous claimed the ruling was censorship.

The Pirate Bay has 3.7 million UK users and 30 million users globally.

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