The Pirate Bay's owners are currently appealing against a 30 million SEK fine and year long prison sentence.
March 17, 2006
Via Fascimile (+46 8 405 36 01) & Mail
The Honorable Dan Eliasson
Ministry of Justice
103 33 Stockholm
Re: The Pirate Bay
Dear State Secretary:
As you will recall, on October 12, 2005, you were kind enough to meet with me, at which time I relayed my concern that Sweden appears to have become an international piracy haven. We discussed at some length an organization operating in Sweden called The Pirate Bay, probably the world's most prominent BitTorrent torrent-tracker site specializing in the unlawful distribution of copyrighted material.
At that time, thepiratebay.com boasted that it hosted 102,000 torrent files (links to infringing material) and approximately 1,620,000 users. Not only has The Pirate Bay continued in operation, it has grown, claiming to host 134,000 torrent files with over 1,900,000 users.
I have taken the liberty of attaching two articles that appeared recently about The Pirate Bay. The first, which appeared in Wired magazine, a leading popular journal on digital issues. The article chronicles in depressing detail the level of disrespect for intellectual property in Sweden. After citing the Motion Picture Association's efforts to educate people around the world about the consequences of piracy, the article quotes one of the operators of The Pirate Bay:
"We're also into educating people about the consequences of piracy," Pirate Bay operator Brokep shot back in an e-mail. "We're teaching them how to do it."
The second article, which appeared at Slyck.com ("The Pirate Bay to Cash In"), in which the winner of a popular local game show called "The Top Contestant," pledged to donate 20% of his winnings to The Pirate Bay, attesting to how widespread contempt for intellectual property rights appears to have grown in Sweden.
Clearly the complaints that we filed on behalf of our members in 2004 and 2005 with the police in Stockholm and Gothenburg against the operators of The Pirate Bay have resulted in no action. As I am sure you are aware, the American Embassy has sent entreaties to the Swedish government urging it to take action against The Pirate Bay and other organizations operating within Sweden that facilitate copyright theft. As we discussed during our meeting, it is certainly not in Sweden's best interests to earn a reputation among other nations and trading partners as a place where utter lawlessness with respect to intellectual property rights is tolerated. I would urge you once again to exercise your influence to urge law enforcement authorities in Sweden to take much-needed action against The Pirate Bay.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss.
With best professional regards, I remain.
John G. Malcolm