Filesharer Sentenced to Pay Half Million Euro for Single Film

Filesharer Sentenced to Pay Half Million Euro for Single Film

A Swedish 28-year-old man has been sentenced to pay 4.3 million Kronor, or 476 000 Euro, for sharing a film over the torrent site Swebits. 

The filesharer from the Swedish town of Sala stood accused of sharing over 500 films and TV series, but was only sentenced for one, the Swedish crime film Beck – Levande begravd. Apart from the fine of almost half a million Euro, he also received a suspended prison sentence and 160 hours of community service. The filesharer himself said that he has not earned anything from sharing the films.

The Young Pirates of Sweden criticised the sentencing in a press release, and said that the filesharer instead should be thanked for his cultural achievements.

“To get such a heavy punishment for doing something that millions of Swedes do, shows how out of date the legislation is”, said Gustav Nipe, president of the Young Pirates of Sweden. “The only way forward is a radical reform of this copyright mess which allows for sharing of culture.”

After the sentencing was made official on 17 December 2013, the Internet erupted with criticism, and the extremely high fine has been criticised, even by copyright defenders. Cornucopia?, one of the largest Swedish-language blogs on economy and politics, chose to compare it to twenty years of slave labour, where every Kronor went straight into the pockets of the film producers.

Christian Engström, member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party, pointed out that while fines have previously been given out on this scale in the US, this is the first time such a “sentencing of madness” has occurred in Sweden.

The complete verdict in Swedish can be found here.

Featured image is CC BY-NC-SA michiexile. (Prohibited File Sharing Prohibited)