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Key charges dropped at Pirate Bay trial

All charges related to copying copyrighted works in the criminal trial of The Pirate Bay were dropped on the second day of proceedings, leaving only charges that the website made copyrighted works available for BitTorrent tracking and searching.

Four men behind the notorious Pirate Bay – the world's largest BitTorrent tracker and search engine with an estimated 25 million active users – were brought by music and film companies before a Swedish court on charge of facilitating the distribution of copyrighted material. They faced up to two years in prison and a fine of 1.2 million kronor ($145,000).

The Pirate Bay is. The four men are charged with facilitating the distribution of copyrighted material, after police raids in 2006 during which officers searched their premises in Stockholm and seized servers.

Half the charges were dropped because BitTorrent files to be used as evidence against Hans Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were not receivable because Swedish prosecutors could not prove the files actually used The Pirate Bay's tracker.

A disappointed International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the global recording industry, said however that the ruling did not change its compensation claims.

The music and film industries also brought civil claims against The Pirate Bay, to be heard at the same time, with the music industry seeking $2.8 million and the film industry looking for $14 million in damages and compensation.

Story filed 19.02.09

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